Like many Americans, I entered into 2017 with some debt – due to overspending around the holidays. My Christmas budget got blown out of the water and it was much easier to just eat out when you’re pressed for time due to Christmas shopping, wrapping, and baking. Sometimes in life, we just need to hit the reset button and that time for me was now.
As I searched for some money-saving ideas on the internet, I kept coming across an interesting concept – the No Spend Challenge. This idea kind of intrigued me. The rules were fairly simple – no spending money, except on basic groceries and gas. This meant no daily stops at Dunkin Donuts for a mid-afternoon coffee, no Carvel stops to celebrate my kids’ basketball wins and no pizza on Friday nights. While I felt this challenge was doable, not everyone in my house seemed up to the challenge.
On New Year’s Day, I went over the basic rules with my family. To throw a positive spin on it, I reminded them of our planned mid-winter vacation to Cancun, Mexico and made that the official deadline for our No Spend Challenge. I started a countdown to our trip and every time they asked for something, I’d remind them of the number of days until we would be in sunny Cancun. Although my kids think I’m the meanest mom in America, what they are learning is you need to make sacrifices in order to obtain the things you want – which is an important life lesson.
With only 7 weeks under our belt, I am happy to report our credit card balance is lower and we have regained a small cushion in our savings. I think it’s important to have financial balance in life. Spending a bit less now will ensure a great 2017 for us financially.
( Photo Source: Mfala, Moon-palace-golf-and-spa-resort-cancun, the size, CC BY-SA 4.0 )