Spend Nothing-uary

jan_2016 (1 of 1)

Happy New Years! Somehow, we’ve all made our way across the threshold into 2016. As for me, I was among some really great friends in the midst of our annual (lightly debaucherous) cottage retreat when the clock struck midnight. There’s something about the holidays–from about December 12th (my birthday) and onwards–that slowly becomes more and more unhinged. Wine every night? Why not. Spend that extra $100 for a Christmas gift? Sure thing. Avoid exercise, yoga, and really anything physical until January? Nailed it.

I can’t be the only one who craves the slow crawl of early January and the resolute goal-setting that comes with it. I am drawn to New Years Resolutions. But instead of “resolutions” I like to think of goals that I’d like to accomplish. Goal setting, for me, shifts the focus of resolutions onto our desired outcomes.

My personal goals for 2016 are all starting with a general re-commitment to mindfulness, and intentional living. I’ve adopted a daily mindfulness practice, for example. I’ve also set up some guidelines for my daily life, including new habits that will help me to achieve those goals. Conversely, I’ve schemed to put myself through a couple challenges to help me break habits that are keeping me from achieving my goals.

Enter “Spend Nothing-uary”. Catchy, isn’t it? The idea is to spend nothing in January, beyond groceries, gas, and existing bills. As I was preparing this blog post, a friend of mine posted that she was doing a true-to-form “Spend Nothing-uary”, complete with no groceries and only one tank of gas. The “pantry deep-dive” edition. While I find that super inspiring, I’m going to be doing the “lite” edition: Groceries (especially fresh fruit and veg) and gas are on the menu.

My intended outcomes are to:

  • Not seek out distractions (dinners out, new toys, movies in the theatre, etc) in order to recommit to my goals;
  • Develop more awareness of when and where I am drawn to spend money;
  • Align my spending habits with a minimalist approach;
  • Start saving more money on a month to month basis;
  • Appreciate what I already have.

I’ll check in when January is done to let you know how it went. So far, so good. I almost went to see Star Wars before I realized that doesn’t fall under the umbrella of groceries or gas.

Do you think you could muscle your way through a month without spending any of that hard-earned cash?

3 thoughts on “Spend Nothing-uary

    1. There is nothing like an all-consuming reno to eat up all your social time. I’m also trying to extend the “buy nothing” challenge to reno materials this month. I have enough on hand to build a bathroom, laundry room and finish the hallway floors, so maybe not buying anything new will be good for those projects!

      1. Or round up unused materials, return for store credit, and call that free money to buy what you need. Also, there is a difference between investment and consumption. Mindfulness may as well include drawing that line.

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