If you have been following me on Instagram you know that I have been doing a “No Spend September”. I have read about “No Spend” challenges for years but have never actually tackled it myself. To be honest, I thought that I would fail. I thought that I would either lack the self control, the planning, or even the remembering what I’m doing part! My mind can be a lot more forgetful than I like to admit, and I thought that I would just flat out forget about the no spend “rules” (which, by the way, there are no hard and fast rules, you can make them up according to your unique circumstances).
You might have even noticed that it wasn’t until just yesterday that I even shared the information that I was doing a No Spend month! Why did I wait until day 20 of not spending before I actually spilled the beans? It was the same reason I had waited so long to start such a challenge: fear of failure.
You see, I tend to be an “all or nothing” type of girl. When my mind is made up about something, I jump right in and dig in my stubborn girl heels. 😉 I hate not being able to complete an assignment I give myself.
So when I decided to finally commit to a no spend challenge, I was all in.
I had “No spend” stickers in my daily planner and on my wall calendar to remind me. I had no spend stickers on my computer (in case the temptation of online shopping came my way). I purposely didn’t open emails that I knew would be tempting with sales, and I did my grocery shopping one day a week for the whole week to reduce the amount of trips to the store I would take, to further avoid tempation.
I have to say, I surprised myself. I was doing alright! My “rules” for my no spend month were simple; Buy Food and only necessary basics (like putting gas in the car and paying the power bill). I thought it would be hard to follow because it seems like things always pop up, but I managed to stay strong….for 20 days. I was feeling so good about my will power and thriftiness that I decided to share with my instagram friends about the challenge I was doing. Some followers even shared their own experiences of how they saved hundreds of dollars by doing a no spend challenge themselves! I was feeling inspired and on the “home stretch” of my no spend month.
The sale. The sale I wait for all year!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I don’t get excited about clothing sales or shoe sales….but mention an ebook sale and I’m all over it!) I was so excited to see this amazing deal sitting and staring at me in my inbox. Then, my heart sank. I recalled my “No Spend September” and I felt like a hypocrite.
I checked the dates quickly to see if perhaps the sale would be on long enough that I could buy it October 1st and technically be outside of my no spend month. I knew better, though. These sales are always so awesome that they only last for a matter of hours to a few days. This sale was no different, it would last just six days and the deals would be gone at midnight on Monday, September 26th.
My mind went back and forth about what I should do. Do I give up on my no spend September and admit defeat? Do I seize the sale and do so quietly so as to have no one know that I was unsuccessful in my first attempt at a no spend month?
I reasoned that I first needed to go through the list to see what the bundle included. It could be that perhaps the bundle didn’t have what I needed or wanted. I have passed on bundle sales before, simply because even though I wanted a few items, it didn’t warrant the price of the whole bundle if the rest of the items were of no use to me.
So I looked. I scrolled through to see the 56 Ebooks, the 25 e-courses, and the printables that were included. There were even a few of the 11 bonuses that would ship to Canada (since usually they are just to the US) The ebooks and ecourses were of course all digital products so there would be no need to wait for shipping, it was available immediately, for instant gratification after purchase….even for those of us living above the treeline who usually are accustomed to waiting 😉
Then, I saw it. The E-course I have been waiting for. I had heard so many good things about it, and I really feel like it will help me with the next few steps in gaining my health back. The course is usually offered for between $97-$149 but for just 6 days it was included in this bundle deal! So I could get not only the course I had been wanting but a total of over $2,400 value in products for less than the cost of the one course I wanted!
Option 1– I pass on the once a year deal and claim victory over my no spend challenge. I end up paying full price for the course (spending at least $70 more for it – and only having the one course and no ebooks or other courses which might also help my health journey)
Option 2– I admit defeat. I purchase the deal since it would be crazy to miss an opportunity to save $70 much less $2,400!
Option 3 – I realize that the purpose underling the “no spend” month isn’t necessarily for following hard and fast rules, but to make me think twice before spending money. I realize how already in the month I have found thrifty ways to save and cut back in order to stick to my no spend rules. I admit that the challenge has made me much more aware of impulse buys and seeing things that I can go without. I see how important it is to be in control of the spending and not to cave to every temptation or whim. I realize too that the goal is to save the family money in the long term and not just the short term. After careful consideration, rationalizing it out and not acting impulsively, I decide to purchase the deal but not to accept complete defeat. I had already gained a victory. I had 20 days in which I carefully counted the cost of every purchase I made. I had success in creating the “no spend” habit/mindset. My “no spend” month doesn’t have to end here. Sure, it didn’t turn out as I had planned or expected, but this was just one purchase….one purchase that saved me a significant amount of money in the future, and was an investment in my health (which is also one of my focuses this year). My no spend month will resume for the remainder of the month, and perhaps even a little longer to make up for my little “cheat”. Living frugal is about knowing the deals to seize just as much as knowing the deals to pass on. This was one worth seizing!
So, I chose option 3 😉
Want to check out the amazing deal for the Ultimate Healthy Living bundle? Check it out here! I will be sharing my thoughts on some of the ecourses and ebooks as I work through them in the future.
Have you ever cheated on a no spend month? If so, how did you deal with it?
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