I read roughly forty blogs on a weekly basis. Cait introduced me to the No Spend Days idea. She’s had successful shopping bans and is currently working on her second year. I’ve noticed in my readings of other articles that there is a bit of a misunderstanding when it comes to shopping bans or no spend days or whatever similar idea. People seem to believe that these bans mean absolutely no money can be spent, which-I will admit- the name is misleading.
These bans do not mean bills go unpaid, savings are disrupted, or that necessities-such as gas, etc-are not paid for.
I started tracking my No Spend Days with my February Budget. I only count the days I had no controllable expenses. These are the days where I spent no money on food (not groceries related), entertainment, etc.
Cait’s Shopping Ban is a little more complicated than my slightly half-assed version. She has an approved list of things she can buy based around hobbies, wear and tear on clothing, as well as things for her friends.
While Cait started this as a means to “live a life with more purpose,” I started it specifically to be more conscientiously with my spending. This doesn’t always happen and I think I, too, need to up my ante.
I found a quote recently, “If you feel you’re depriving yourself of something you really love, you’ll never be able to stick to your plan over the long-term.” I know it came from one of the many blogs I follow (sorry for not sourcing!). Obviously, since Cait has been able to stick to this plan for almost two years (her ban ends on July 6th!), she has it balanced in a way she is not truly depriving herself.
I know I am an active person, which means I need to be doing things and staying busy. Staring at a TV screen all day is not my kind of fun (I do, however, partake in a Netflix movie at least twice a week). I am setting a couple of guidelines for myself to help increase my amount of No Spend Days. So far, since February, I’ve had 17, 20, 20, 17 No Spend Days. I know I can increase this number, so here’s what I am going to do:
- limit myself to two excursions a week
- gas purchases are limited to twice a month
- limit one ‘me’ purchase a week
I am starting with these three because I know that I like to go out and do things, but I can do too many sometimes, hence the excursions. The gas purchases are limited because I know I normally only purchase gas twice a month, if I am purchasing it more often, it is because I am out doing too many things and need to contain it. This will also help me on my car value goal. Lastly, I have ‘me’ purchase for entertainment (Xbox, concerts, etc), massage tips, cooking, or things for friends.
Have you ever completed a Shopping Ban or tracked No Spend Days?