Thursday, March 1, 2018

No-Spend February: Review

No-Spend February is over, and I'm fairly happy with how the month went.

My goals were:
  1. Avoid frivolous/non-essential/impulse spending.
  2. Don't eat out or order take-out, with exceptions for a weekend spent traveling and a date night to see Black Panther. 
  3. Post updates here.
  4. Sort through old collectibles and clothes for sale or donation, in order to clear out some space in my office and closet.

Goal 1:
I did very well on goal one - the only "non-essential" item I bought all month was the Disney's Robin Hood themed shirt-of-the-month from Jordandene, since it was a design I was hoping for, with limited availability.

My credit card does have more on it this month than I was planning on when I set out at the start of No-Spend February.  This is because Sideshow shipped the Hoth Leia Hot Toys figure I preordered last year AND I bought our Disney World tickets before the annual price increase (on February 11th this year). But I'm shrugging that off because it was something I had already budgeted for and neither purchase was an impulse - that was my real goal this month, to curb the little $10-$30 purchases I was developing a habit of making throughout the holiday season. And I succeeded in doing that.

Goal 2:
I chose this goal for health and financial reasons. We sometimes have a month or two where we eat way too much fast food or take-out. The cost adds up, but it is also difficult to fit that into my calorie goals. I lost 15% of my high bodyweight in 2016, and I maintained that loss through 2017. Now I am ready to finish my weight loss and get down to my goal weight, and that'll be easier if I am cooking at home. This goal helped get me in the groove of calorie counting and cooking at home again.

We did have our date night - Black Panther (#WakandaForever!) and burgers! And we had a couple nights at the end of the month where we made room for pizza and some fast food.

Goal 3:
I did post a couple of updates, but by the end of the third week it was like "yeah, didn't buy anything, didn't even visit a store this week..." It felt kind of silly to post about that, so I just saved last week's post and rolled it into this recap.

Goal 4:
I didn't do this. At all. I had some writing deadlines, quizzes to write, the first exam for the class I'm teaching, and I started running again in the evenings... The one weekend I had time, I spent it on the couch watching K-dramas because I was so tired! (excuses, excuses)

Now that my Hoth Leia Hot Toy is here, I really do need to sort, reorganize, and donate stuff from my home office because I don't have a space for her! The university has spring break soon, so I'll take a day or two during that week and knock this one out.

Future Goals:
Now that the month is over, I'm going to continue with goals 1 and 2 - avoiding little purchases that add up too fast, and not relying on take-out when I'm exhausted and don't want to cook. I will also take some time to work on goal 4 and reduce the amount of clutter in my house.

Also - I have been tracking how I spend my free time in the evenings. In February it was almost entirely spent watching TV. Not good! I want to read more, make some crafts, and play more games. For March I am challenging myself to spend three evenings each week doing something other than laying on the couch, zoning out to whatever's on TV until I can reasonably go to bed.

I really like this exercise as a low stakes way to adjust a habit. I will probably use it again in the future if I find myself eating too much take-out or slacking with my running.

Thank you, Barb, for suggesting No-Spend February!

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