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Our {more or less} No Spend Month

Recently, our daily ‘miscellaneous’ expenditure has crept up.  Coffee in a café. Op-shop treasures. Take-away lunch. Thrift shop finds. Newspapers. Garage sale bargains. Snacks. They all add up.

Op_shop_vintage_kids_pictures {Some recent second hand treasures that were too sweet to ignore}

Often, I’ll start the day with a $50 note in my wallet and by the end of the day it will be gone, with nothing to show for it (except a much needed coffee, a lovely lunch that I didn’t have to make, a treat for Little Eco, and yet another second hand find that was too good to ignore, but that I really didn’t need).

Op_shop_timber_bowls {A few more recent op shop treasures that I really didn't need}

Or lifestyle is currently far from frugal.

Inspired by Eileen of Consumption Rebellion, we did a no spend week almost a year ago (you can read about it here, here, here, here, here, and here). At the completion of that week we’d planned 'to regularly have no-spend weeks to remind us of the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’'. That was almost a year ago, and we haven't done the challenge since. We decided we're well and truly due for another no-spend challenge.

Second_hand_glasses {another recent second hand find that we actually needed. I’ve been looking for pre-loved glasses just like these for months. Then last week I found these for 50cents each at a local church fete}

But things have changed around here a little since the last challenge, making a no-spend week not really that much of a challenge. We’ve found our pantry storage groove, and in reality we’d have a few months worth of dry-goods in there.

Dry_goods_pantry_storage_1 {part of our pantry, full of a range of dry goods that we eat regularly}

We’ve also changed what we eat. Most meals these days are based on a pantry staple (like chickpeas, lentils, red kidney beans, or rice) plus veges.

Dry_goods_pantry_storage {five large plastic buckets that sit in the bottom of our pantry are filled with dry goods. A jar can hold only so much. When a jar becomes empty we simply top up from our bucket storage system}

Speaking of veges, we paid for a years worth of vegetables at the start of the year. We’re lucky to be a member of the local Purple Pear Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm and each week we receive a box of lovely fresh organic vegetables. So we don't have to pay anything for our vegetables for the rest of the year.

Purple_pear_CSA {Mark from Purple Pear CSA farm growing vegetables especially for us (and around 30 other local families)}

Given these changes since our last attempt at the no-spend challenge, we’ve decided a no-spend MONTH would be a more appropriate challenge.

We’re starting tomorrow!

A whole month of {more or less} no spending

IMG_2375 {Little Eco sharing her last pre-challenge treat with a friend at the farmer's markets today}

Obviously, we don’t want this challenge to affect our health and wellbeing. It’s about reminding ourselves of the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. It’s not about depriving ourselves of ‘needs’. So there are a few exceptions.

The exceptions

1.    Bills will be paid.
2.    Medical and health expenses are exempt.
3.    $50 per week for fuel.
4.    $20 per week for local milk and organic fruit.
5.    Our weekly cleaner. We’re telling ourselves she’s exempt cause it wouldn’t be fair for her to lose four weeks income from us, but in reality keeping her is about maintaining our wellbeing and sanity. To me, weekends are for family and adventures, not cleaning. After four days at work, the last thing I want to do is clean.

Despite these exceptions, I still think the month is going to be a doosy of a challenge.

How about you, how little could you spend in a week?

Would you consider going a day, week or a month without spending?

Wish us luck :-)

Still in the mood for more pre-loved treasures? Head on over to this weeks Flea Market Finds.

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