How Did You Fare In The January No-Spend Challenge?

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Did January feel like the longest month ever? Well get excited, because we’re about to turn the calendar page and enter a new month (and slightly shorter one, to boot). But before we move on from our long and drawn-out kickoff to 2020, we need to check in on everyone’s no-spend challenge.

That’s right, if you’re reading this, it means you made it until the end. How did you do?

I was so impressed with the mid-month updates some of you shared. You pared your grocery bill down to the essentials. You shifted your Uber/Lyft budget toward public transit. You reduced your spending to one-third of a normal month. You lived “like a hermit,” but found gift cards while decluttering that you could use or plan to use soon.

Even when you admitted you faltered, it was easy to see you had the best of intentions. One of you bought an expensive trash can you’d been eyeing forever until it went on sale this month. Another bought flowers for your mum who was having a hard time after surgery.

I started the month with the best of intentions, but as I admitted already when we got to the halfway point, I didn’t have the greatest success rate. I wanted to stop spending after 10 p.m. and track every dollar I spent, and I think I overloaded myself with too many goals for one month.

The breakdown in my plan happened the weekend after we last checked in, when I hosted a group of friends from out of town. I only violated the 10 p.m. rule once (and only by about $US30 ($45), which included a late-night ride home for all four of us). But tracking every dollar in my handwritten ledger? I fell off that wagon and I landed hard. I kept every receipt from our meals and adventures, but I didn’t write them down. Instead of trying to catch up, I just sit at my desk every day next to the tidy stack of receipts I haven’t logged.

I’ll start again next month, and I hope you will too. Whether you did a full no-spend month, curbed your spending in a specific category, or challenged yourself in another way, I’m sure you made some important discoveries about your relationship with money.

Now that the month is ending, how are you feeling about the challenge you took on? Share what you learned in the comments, and know that I’m over on my side of the computer screen applauding you for your progress, big or small.


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