I did it! We did it! The February No Spend Challenge for 2017 is officially in the books and I'm feeling pretty pumped.
Last year I got sidelined by the flu right in the middle of the no spend challenge for that year, so I never really felt I gave it my “best shot.” I'm happy to report no flu, no large emergencies (except for Roo needing skin fungus medicine), and $350 in additional savings…almost to the penny.
Here's How I Did…
I set the goal of having 4 spend days and 24 no spend days. After following the preparation and planning outlined in this post, I was pretty successful in avoiding expenditures.
I ended up having six spend days, 22 no spend days.
Roo needed an office visit for a skin infection, and because I'm terrible at keeping up with beauty appointments, I ended up NEEDING my roots done before the end of the month was over for some events/TV stuff I was doing.
This is why planning is so critical because also, my roots needed to be done in January, so joke is on me.
Here's How You Did
We had 77 people join us for the February No Spend Challenge – which I'm thrilled about because there was very little promotion to garner sign ups.
After sending out a survey – the majority of you planned for 28 no spend days. (Overachievers, the lot of you…)
That's a full month without any non-discretionary spending, which is very hard to do. The majority of you ended up with 3-4 spend days, which is still super amazing. Although one woman reported buying a piano….?
I took all the emails of the people who filled out the response form and put them into an excel sheet with a corresponding number.
Then I went to random number generator and got this number: 11
The giveaway winner is JULIANA HERRERA . Check your email for your prize – a $25 Starbucks Giftcard.
My Takeaways from the No Spend Challenge
Even though at times I did feel deprived, it felt really good to focus just on where my money was going for a full (albeit short) month. One thing I learned is how many apps and subscription services I have on autopay (which I didn't notice so much when previously spending at my normal rate). This helped me evaluate if some of these services were really worth the money. Click here to read how to do a full utility audit if you're interested.
I think it's important to have days where you are allowed to spend, even during a “no spend” challenge. I always feel like having breaks allows for greater consistency. Keep in mind the whole point of a challenge like this isn't to not splurge ever again, but to spend in a more mindful way.
Meal planning can help a great deal with food costs and ensuring you always have something around. I live in the heart of a walkable area where you can walk out the door, go down a block, and grab food very quickly if you're #hangry, so having groceries on hand was key for me to being successful with this challenge. Even though I ate at home more, I was able to keep my grocery costs the same as months where I plan for eating out. Meal planning is the ultimate way to get this kind of result! Check out our lifestyle Pinterest board for tutorials from other fabulous bloggers on how to do this.
Every little bit adds up and the more you save, the more exciting is to save faster. I don't think I really understood this before now. (Isn't it amazing to still have revelations about your money habits even after all this time?!) I have savings goals in my Qapital app and they're saving for me automatically (usually around $50-$75 per month of “change” off regular purchases) and was able to contribute additional money for those goals thanks to my greatly reduced spending habits. It was fun to log in and see even bigger balances, which helped motivate me to contribute more to those goals that I really do feel are important….more important than say, $30 for takeout chinese. (I eat a lot when I order Chinese. Don't judge.)
Did you participate in the February No Spend Challenge? What were your takeaways?