I come to a scary realization last week; I hadn't gone a single day in two weeks without spending money. A quick review of my finances showed that this wasn't a positive thing. I spent part of the weekend, and the beginning of this week trying to decide what to do. I needed to rethink my budgeting strategy once again. I was doing really well for a while, keeping my spending in check, bringing lunch to work every day, etc. However, things had broken down again, and I've decided I need to do something new to get myself back on track.
So I'm introducing #nospend days to my week. My new goal is to go three days per week without spending a penny. Now, this only applied to things purchased in stores, if bills are due, they will be paid regardless of whether the day was a #nospend day. I'm also allowing myself a few exceptions for the first two months of this project. I can spend money on transportation, suck as gas or reloading my Go-To Card and necessary essentials, such as toothpaste, toilet paper, and deodorant. After these two months are up, I hope I will have improved my budgeting enough to prepare for the days ahead.
The truth is, this shouldn't be that hard. There is no reason why I need to spend money more than 4 days a week. Especially in the winter when half the time I would rather bathe in rancid butter than walk back outside when I get home. There is a good possibility I'll revisit this plan come summer. Still, I think it will help, not just financially, but in getting to a point where I plan my meals for the week in advance, have more social gatherings at my home, and other things we all should probably do more of.
There is one caveat to this, and that is that it won't be possible in January. Since I'll be living in a hotel room without a way to cook my own meals, I will be forced to go out to lunch and dinner daily. But, if I only allow myself to spend money on those two things 3 days a week, I'll be in good shape.
Oh, and dates. If I meet someone and decide to go bowling, ice-skating, or out for a drink on a day I had designate as a #nospend day, I'm giving myself a break. Just in case, someone notices and decides to call me out.