Thursday, January 4, 2018

Welcome to No Spending January

January 3, 2018 at Bed and Bath on Broadway.
 Clearly no one got the memo that it's No Spending January.

I've been thinking about my word of the year, "Health." When I initially chose it my perspective was pretty narrow. I was simply thinking of physical health and actions I wanted to take to improve my balance, weight and well-being. But in the last few days I've realized that (good) health includes much more than my physical health. It starts there, but once I let my mind wander I thought of financial health, intellectual health and spiritual health. It seems like too much to think about, even for an entire year. But I am going to pick one goal for each of these areas that will be specific and achievable.

My goal for improving my financial health is bringing back an old friend, No Spending January. This is as simple as it sounds. After the spending excesses of December I don't spend money on "things" in January. I can buy groceries, go to the movies, and pay my regular bills. But I don't make spur of the moment purchases for things I don't really need. I generally plan purchases, but I've been known to buy a new brand of shampoo when it's on sale, even though I have enough shampoo to wash my hair through the end of this decade. I will stay away from post-Christmas sales and won't look at emails offering giant discounts on clothes I probably don't need. In the interest of transparency I am thinking of using a gift card I received and buying a suitcase to replace one that is very heavy.    

In Manhattan temptation is everywhere. I took the photographs in this post yesterday walking from the gym to the bus stop. Literally every street corner seems to whisper "Buy something here." I'm usually disciplined, but a lapse here and there can eat a hole in my budget and I don't have much to show for these lapses.

This is the scene at the bus stop. It's so tempting to duck in and warm up while I'm waiting for the bus and just see what's on sale. Don't I need another pair of jeans or another pair of socks if they're on sale? Not if it's No Spending January.

My only purchase thus far is an e-book for my book club next week. I had hoped my reserve would come through from the library, but the I didn't make it off the waiting list. I used a gift card to buy Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You. 
What are your money saving tips for 2018?  

I didn't make it out of the house today. We had about 8 inches of snow, but it was windy and slippery and in the interest of prudence I stayed in, read and baked cookies. I also watched endless hours of weather coverage.

As always, thanks for visiting. Take care and stay warm.


Jess said...

I liked Ng’s book. My library book expired before I finished, so I’m back on the list.

I too am trying to start being much more conscious of my purchases. Necessary as I attempt to buy a house!


It's good you can be disciplined and not spend. i find it difficult to do that. enjoy your book.

Theresa said...

Staying in, that's where I have been:) I love the warmth of my home but I have got to venture out today. Bank, Post Office and grocery store. I admire you for NO SPEND JANUARY, I have already blown it on some things I didn't need. Have a blessed day, stay warm and safe up there. HUGS!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's definitely a no spending January for me. I'm only making purchases like milk and eggs . My pantry is full and needs some emptying anyway. Moving things from the back of the shelves forward is a good thing to do. We don't have all the snow you do, but there is some on the ground. The thing we have is bitter cold with 0 degree temps and below 0 winchills. A good reason to not spend as I'll need the extra cash for utility bills which will be outrageous I'm sure. Take care and keep warm !

Chatty Crone said...

I think that is a great idea. I didn't make it a no spend January - but I am definitely not spending this month -- because of what I spent last month! lol sandie

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

I love your broader perspective on health in many areas. Always trying to achieve it and January is a time of reflection and review for me.

Those flowers are so pretty and I wonder how they stay so lovely outside in the cold. Are they faux flowers? Either way, they would be a tempting purchase to me.

Joy Nissen said...

Staying in where it is warm is a great way to not spend if you can also stay away from spending on your computer!! Far to easy to do that these days!! Also if I am keeping busy exercising or doing a hobby like reading or crochet (I believe I have enough yarn to keep myself busy for quite some time) I can save some real money!! I am going to try to keep tabs on my spending this year, I have let it go too long!! No spend January is a great idea!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

Nawm D Gerr said...

I am glad I found your blog in time to join you for No Spend January. Just paying taxes (last month) and my annual HOA and my professional licenses makes me broke already in January. So this helps me do it more intentionally and beware of bored or distracted "instant gratification" spending. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Good Saturday Afternoon, Carol. I am taking a long break from posting on my blog but I will still be visiting/commenting here. Like you, I am doing my best not to buy anything other than groceries during January. I am always tempted by after Christmas sales and then regret it later. I love seeing your pictures of your walk to the bus stop. We are cold here (8 for a low, 30's for a high and it has been windy) but thankfully, now snow. Other than walking the dog twice per day, we are staying in. I spend my afternoons preparing meals and freezing portions for another day. I hope you will enjoy your new book and the cookies you baked. Enjoy the remainder of the weekend. Mildred

Susan Arthur said...

Hi there! Thank you for commenting on my blog. I love hearing from people and finding new blogs to follow.

My money saving tip for 2018 is: if I'm looking for a household or clothing item that needs replaced, I first ask myself if it is something I can find at a thrift store. I recently lost a lot of weight and had to completely replace my jeans and pants. I bought nearly everything I needed at thrift stores and, of course, donated my things that no longer suited me. The world doesn't need to be manufacturing new stuff, we need to use up what we already have.

I also resolve every year to do better at not wasting food. I've done fairly well this last year and will continue to keep doing what I can to reduce waste. I buy exactly the amount of groceries I need to get me through the week. Anything that's leftover in the fridge gets made into a frittata on Sundays, or fed to my 3 dogs. Everybody wins at my house.

Hope you have a wonderful 2018 everyone!