Hang out in the PF blogosphere for a little bit and you’ll see there are several money saving “tricks” that are pretty prevalent. If you read my February update, you’re aware I finished up the month a little cash strapped. Fortunately the whole Roomba fraud business seems to be taken care of, but my credit card still took a beating.
I started looking at other upcoming events – 2 best friends’ birthdays, one I have to travel for and some summer travel plans of my own I’d like to make – and I thought I need to nip this past month in the bud in one fell swoop.
I realized that a No Spend week would probably even me back out.
If you’re unfamiliar, No Spend days – or weeks – are where you spend $0. Seriously. Nada. I’ve come across the idea on several people’s blogs and it’s often listed as a way to pocket a little extra cash. Last Sunday night, I realized that this would be a great week to spend nothing.
Conveniently, I’d hit the grocery store that afternoon – not anticipating this money light bulb I had later in the evening and was pretty sure that between what I’d bought and what was just languishing in my cupboards, I could make it through the week on that.
I figured what more do I need than food and a Metrocard? I’ve already got both. And so, No Spend week began.
I thought it would help that I had a sort of ridiculous work week coming up – 7 days straight, often long hours. And in some ways it did, but it also made my biggest money sucker immediately clear to me.
Mother of pearl, I like eating out. Not like, sit down for a $20 meal with a pal out, like, I’m starving, tired and don’t want to cook and that $1 pizza slice looks like the best thing in the world to me eating out.
I realize there are lots of food options in NYC, but I never REALIZED it until I walked past them all this week and wanted to eat EVERYTHING. Evidently there are 4 sushi places between my job and the gym. I had no idea. I love sushi. And it’s kind of healthy, as long as you don’t eat the deep fried or cream cheese kinds. Sigh.
Honestly, if it weren’t for wanting to eat EVERYTHING all the time, this wouldn’t’ve been so hard. I swear, I could even be actively not hungry, walk past Dunkin Donuts and just want a Boston Cream donut so bad I could nearly cry. It’s only $.99!!
So, my No Spend week taught me I definitely have some really weird food issues. And a solid addiction to sugar.
I also learned to better appreciate thinking over a purchase before buying it. I saw easily half a dozen things that I wanted to pick up over the course of the week, but at the end of the week, there was only one thing that mattered enough that I still remembered it (coconut oil – has anyone else noticed a bunch of articles about the benefits of oil pulling lately? I’m kind of fascinated and totally going to give it a try).
A definite benefit to the week, beyond saving a good chunk of change that, apparently, would’ve gone to a ton of unnecessary fast food, was that I utilized another thing that’s already paid for way more than usual – I went to the gym 6 out of 7 days. So yeah, take that circus weight.
The one thing I borderline cheated on was paying for postage to mail out a bunch of eBay packages, but I feel like if you’re spending money directly to make some money, it’s still in the spirit of No Spend week.
All around, I think it was a pretty successful week. And if I wind up with another month like February, I’d probably do it again in a heartbeat. I think it would even be interesting to load it with a few more challenges, like hanging out with a few friends and finding a way to still keep it free.