I’m going to be savoring these last few weeks of summer, but I did want to mention something I’m planning for September. I’ve been looking at the budget lately, and between rising food prices and recent medical bills, frankly, it would be really nice to find a little extra cash somewhere.
Two years ago my family, along with some others, did an experiment called 30 Days of Nothing.
For one month we drastically cut back on our spending, to see just how much we could live without. Different families played along to different degrees. But for our family that meant no new clothes, no books, no eating out, and only the absolute essentials when it came to groceries. We’re not talking starvation here, people. After all, September is a great month to eat out of the garden. When we ran out of something we really needed, I bought it. No one lost weight that month. But we did skip chips, coke, fish sticks, and a passel of other non-essential conveniences.
I was shocked at just how many times I had to resist the urge to buy. And I was gratified to see how the experiment got my whole family thinking. What could we do with money instead of squandering it?
We are fortunate to have so many choices. But just because we CAN buy almost anything our heart desires, doesn’t mean we SHOULD. In September we’re doing the experiment again and I’ll share my family’s experience with you.
I hope that some of you might decide to try this experiment for yourselves.
30 Days of Nothing.
I’ll talk more about it later. But in the meantime, think about it.
Updated to add:
Just to clarify the ‘rules’, this is an extremely personal project. I’m not going to say you must do ‘xyz’ to be involved. The purpose of the month is to look at each and every decision and say, ‘Must I spend money for this? Can I live without it? Is there a cheaper option?”
Grappling with your own personal set of ‘rules’ IS the project.
When you scrutinize every penny coming out of your pocket it can get really complicated really quick. Is coffee creamer an essential? Sounds ridiculous, but I missed it dreadfully when we ran out last time.
School pictures? If buying is required by your child’s school, then it’s a no brainer. But the number of pictures you buy…that’s another thing…
Some people might decide to curtail all new clothes. Others might take a foray into thrift store shopping and be thrilled at the savings.
Last time around I opted to buy canning supplies when I ran out because that would benefit my family for the entire year. But I opted not to stock up when the grocery store ran some good sales that month. Fuzzy line? You bet. It made my head hurt a little.
But I also came away from the month with….well, I’ll have a whole month to talk about it. For now I’ll just encourage you to try it for yourself. Then you can tell me your impressions. I’ll put a Mr. Linky on my blog so we can all keep up with the people who decide to participate. This should be really interesting!