Feb was No Spend Month

rosasribbon.jpg
Rosa‘s nice ribbon.

This was one of the few luxury purchases I made in February while undergoing “No Spend Month“.

Other things which forced me to break the rules included:

  • Brown Owls Membership
  • Coffee (or hot chocolate) and cakes at Laurent for Mum, Dad, Amelia, Lily and Me one Saturday morning (Mum spotted us for all other Saturday mornings in Feb. Thanks Mum! That was a bit naughty of me really.)
  • Sweeney Todd at the Rivoli
  • DVD rentals (Die Hard 4, The Bourne Ultimatum and Once)
  • An apple tart to take to a dinner party on a weekend when I had no time to cook.

Things I held back on even though it made me miserable:

  • Green and Black’s White Chocolate
  • Fabric (even with a visit to Patchwork on Central Park)
  • New shoes to replace my completely trashed campers

Things I thought I would miss but strangely had no effect on me:

  • Life etc. and various other nice magazines
  • Books from Dymocks
  • Take away food
  • Chai tea at Macro
  • Clothes on sale

Things that surprised me:

  • We reduced the amount of rubbish we put out for collection by half for the month!
  • Amelia stopped asking “Can I have (insert toy/video game/treat/donut/etc.)?” all the time. She doesn’t do it at all anymore.
  • I got a little boring and evangelical about it (actually, perhaps that’s not so surprising).
  • I really do feel compelled to buy less.

No spend month was quite good. It kind of reset my “Need to buy, must consume” button, but I do have a renewed respect for those who do the Compact challenge. I have already got back in to the swing of purchasing a few things that really I shouldn’t have… but ya gotta live a little… right?

19 Responses to “Feb was No Spend Month”

  1. Erin

    I’ve been amazed at how much money I’m saving by not going out shopping, or even hanging out in the CBD or anywhere *around* shops, because of the sunshine. Even just doing my grocery shopping online, with my produce and Coles Online orders, has reduced my spending, I suppose because the temptation’s gone, and I’ve got to get rid of all the fresh veggies. I rarely eat takeaway or restaurant food now, so it really is a special treat.I decided to fix the clothes that have been sitting in the mending pile – tricking myself into thinking I’m expanding my wardrobe. I thought it would be depressing, not being able to shop (especially op shop) whenever I feel like it, but I’m actually thrilled I’ve fixed the clothes I once loved. And I do have more to wear!

    I’m going to have to fork out some dough for another pair of Camper boots, though. Even though they’re expensive, I think they really are worth it.

    Reply
  2. kate

    I think it’s really hard to keep spending under control sometimes (most of the time…) unless you have a plan. It doesn’t even have to be a strict budget, just a ‘these are things I can splurge on sometimes, and this is roughly how much money I can spend on splurging’, instead of allowing yourself to spend on anything anytime. If you start looking at other people’s frugal tips, they’ll say stuff like “don’t go out for coffee because you can have it at home for less money”, which is true, but never going out for coffee would make me miserable. I do it much less often these days though. I don’t think spending on some things is inherently bad (coffee, buying lunch, and takeaways are usually on frugal hitlists) unless you’re spending on things that you don’t really value. Like when I realised I was still getting the paper delivered, even though I wasn’t really reading it. I miss it much less than I thought I would.

    Reply
  3. Nichola

    Great job Claire! It makes you think twice doesn’t it? Kev has FINALLY clicked and realised that you don’t ‘need’ to spend to be happy, in fact i think he may be taking it a little too far sometimes!

    Reply
  4. MIa

    Hey Welcome Back! So good to see you blogging again.I find it stange that February was No Buy Month for me also. Although I wasn’t particularly successful. I didnt know that anyone else dedicated months to not spending.Funny!Mia

    Reply
  5. Aimee

    We are actually dedicating the entire year to “use what you have”. Obviously there are things we will have to buy, like food, but we are making a big effort to use what we already own and not spend unless we have to.Glad to see your month went well! 🙂 Oh, and very happy to have you back in the blog world too!

    Reply
  6. friendlyflamingo

    I feel I ought to try the no-spend month too, but there are so many lovely, inexpensive things to buy…. Like the ribons you’ve just shown us, and all those fantastic Etsy finds!

    Reply
  7. Jo

    It’s not so hard is it?… we went camping for 4 weeks over Christmas, away from the shops, away from online temptation, and guess what?… when we got back it was really easy to hold onto our ‘consume less’ lifestyle. The kids don’t even ask for tv any more !?! … however, I am noticing that things like etsy, amazon japan, and ebay are making it really hard to stay on track… There is just so much beautiful stuff out there!

    Reply
  8. Angela

    I think I need to schedule myself into a No Spend month very soon. I made myself a little new years resolution to cut back on the ‘no need’ purchases but I think I have to challenge myself further.Thank you for your ‘compact’ link and No Spend month motivation! Very cute trim!

    Reply
  9. Monica

    I’m dreadful with money and the only way I can control my spending is by giving myself a daily budget of $50 (after bills, rent etc). What I try to do is spend as little of that money as possible, perhaps only a coffee before work and bus fares etc. When I finish the day with $40 to spare it really makes me realise how much money I’ve spent on crap during the past. But the best part is watching my bank balance grow each week! But then again, I don’t have two children like you. Well done on your no-spend month! And welcome back. I’ve missed your site.

    Reply
  10. Shaylind Standing

    It’s so wonderful that you are back to blogging!Yours was one of the first artist/mom/crafter/business woman/superhero blogs I ever read and it helped inspire me to get out there and do something of my own.Thank you for that. 🙂

    Reply
  11. michelle

    It’s a strangely liberating thing to do isn’t it!The awful run-off effect it has had on me though is that everything now seems frighteningly expensive – as if while I wasn’t watching it all doubled in price – which is a bugger because I LOVE to buy beautiful things. I worry that I will turn into one of those people who constantly moan about how expensive life is – and wear clothes that I make myself from old ‘green’ shopping bags or something similarly horrendous.

    The kids need pyjamas, but I can’t bring myself to buy them when I could make them myself – and they kind of need them now…

    Reply
  12. ash

    Brown owls membership? Dang, I wanna move to Australia, now!That ribbon was a must!

    Reply
  13. Dee

    WTG! I did a “no-spend” challenge in January, and was also surprised by how little trash we had.

    Reply
  14. kristina

    When I watched The Story of Stuff a few months ago when it was making the rounds, I was struck by the statistic that 90% of purchases are unused or trashed within six months. We try hard to do our bit recyling, composting, repairing or doing without, etc. and I think of us as mindful consumers, but ever since then I’ve been apalled by the volume of our garbage. Food packaging, junk mail, newspapers, etc…We’ve got to cut back, but I don’t see how. Sigh.

    Reply
  15. S

    Little mundane, but I would suggest shopping for basic groceries at AldiOur grocery bills have dropped from $140-160 a week to $80-$100.

    Reply
  16. lindsey clare

    i fear i’m a bit evangelical about things like this too. my little family of two had quite a massive paycut at the end of last year and so we’ve HAD to be strict on ourselves. but you know, i actually really like living simply and modestly. it makes you appreciate everything far more, and it feels good knowing that less STUFF is being used/wasted because of me.so good on you Claire!

    (that vegan book does look wonderful by the way)

    Reply
  17. Krista

    Just a suggestion to save a few more bucks – check out your local library for dvds (and books – obviously) Our library has all the award winning dvds – including Die Hard! You usually get them for longer, and the late fees are much cheaper :)Good for you though – I wouldn’t have been able to go a whole month…

    Reply
  18. beth maher

    First of all, I only just noticed you are blogging again and I am soooo happy! Your little corner of the internet was always my favourite.As to the frugal living… I find it is definitely much easier not to spend money when I don’t go shopping. Unfortunately I live in Canada which means that for a few months every year, Malls are one of the few places to go for a walk without freezing to death. Towards the end of the Winter around here we just tend to get grumpy and not want to see snow anymore (it’s still sticking around, as we speak, grrr). So If I were to do this, it would be in, like August, or something. Which might be cheating. Although we live so frugally anyways, I think doing something like this might just be torture for me.

    Reply

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