Today marks the half way point of our No Shopping Challenge!
It's been an interesting month. I remember when I first decided to commit to this challenge I was really worried about whether I would be able to follow through. The thought of not buying anything caused anxiety for a few days, which only goes to show that it was a challenge I really needed to do.
I've managed to stay motivated over the last month mainly because we're saving up a house deposit. Mr J and I are desperate to get out of renting and into our own place where we can plant trees and grow our own food. I've reminded myself of this dream whenever I've felt tempted to buy something and it's helped me to focus. Over the last year of saving I've often moaned about how hard it is to save on one income and at times I've been really discouraged about the whole thing. Tens of thousands of dollars is a huge sum to save and sometimes it just feels plain impossible. Over the last 31 days of this challenge I think I've learned a thing or two about spending & saving and it's made me realise that our goal isn't impossible at all.
Here's what I've discovered:
- It's just numbers. That's all it is. To save the money we need we must spend LESS and try to earn MORE.
- We can save a thousand dollars - that I know we can do, then it's just a matter of doing that over and over until we have enough in the bank.
- Shopping shouldn't be a recreational activity. It's a lazy choice. There are so many things we've done with the kids when shopping or window shopping simply wasn't an option.
- Every financial choice we make whether it's $2.50 or $250 has an impact on our savings.
- The less I shop, the less I want. The more I spend, the more I think I need.
- Life isn't going to go perfectly just because you've decided to save. The car needs new tyres or someone gets sick and it costs money. What's important is getting back on track as soon as you can.
- If we keep going we will get to our goal. One day we'll get to dig a hole and plant our first apple tree. It's just numbers and simple arithmetic at the end of the day. There is no mystery behind saving, it's just one decision not to spend made over and over and over again.