Almost being halfway through my no-spend month has already taught me a lot. Here are my top five things I've learned:
1. I think I may have an Amazon Prime addiction
Okay, not seriously, but I do order from there FAR too often, because it is so easy. I need to focus more on buying locally to support Oshkosh. Plus when buying locally means driving across town, you don't do it as often and instead clump your trips together. Delaying the trip also gives me time to rethink what I "need." Many times I am able to come up with something I already own that will work fine.
2. We have WAY MORE food in our house already than we think. We have only bought staples weekly since the beginning of the month. This includes milk, bananas (again, I love them a lot), eggs (lots of these), and yogurt and cheeses. We have eaten quite a few meals that were at the bottom of the deep freeze. I had no idea we have so much frozen chicken. Our deep freeze is FULL. Same thing with our cabinets. It was very obvious to me quickly that I hadn't really taken inventory of our stock for a LONG time. Everyone needs to do this every few months.
3. Buying does not make me happier. I don't really feel any different not buying as many things. In fact, I am loving checking our progress on the You Need A Budget website. There were quite a few charges that came through this month from the previous month (credit card bill with Florida tickets on it), but we are still doing fine. I have even made several Target trips and bought nothing other than what was on my list! I deserve a prize for that. I didn't feel sad when I walked out of the store. I kinda felt like I had won in a fight or something.
4. Go to the library:
Lilli was very disappointed when a show she likes (Good Luck, Charlie) was removed from Netflix. Really disappointed. My instinct was to go to Amazon to buy her a season or two. Instead...I went to the public library. And guess what? They had a DVD! This cost me nothing, and Lilli was thrilled. While I was there I also got a book on DVD for me for the car. Yes, I have an Audible account and don't plan to get rid of it (reading is a necessity for me), but this is another free way that I can listen to even more books during my time in the car. Grabbed a few other books for myself. Public libraries offer so much nowadays. Even free classes! Check out the Oshkosh Public Library's website to see what they have.
5. I have too much stuff. While I hate the word "stuff" and often won't allow my students to use it, it is the correct word in this instance. We have way more than we need. Not buying this month has taught me that not only do I not need more "stuff," but I also need to purge a lot of what we have. I could try to blame it all on kid things, but that's not the truth. I have too much, too. I was just looking at my shoes this morning and realized I only wear around 5 different pairs of shoes, yet I have A LOT more than that. My next goal is going to be to focus on getting rid of quite a bit of what we have. I will have the kids join me in this endeavor as well. I think they are beginning to realize they have too much, too.
Overall, we are doing pretty well with this no-spend thing. How is it going in your household?