In my marriage, we have two kinds of people. The first, is a frugal, money-saving, deal-finding, handsome person. The second is a pocket-burning, “I need everything”, “our children have no clothes”, okay-looking person. Can you guess who is who 😉 ?
When it comes down to the fact of the matter, my husband will tell you himself that he has never, in his entire life, seen someone spend money the way that his wife does. Sometimes I think it really stems from the way you were raised and how you grew up viewing money, but we won’t get into that now. When I came up with the “No Spender December” concept, I knew that Adam (hubby) would be the most excited/proud/exuberant/ecstatic/(searching Google for more synonyms here). G-d forbid my spending would ever actually get to the point of shalom bayis (peace in the home) issues, but it never hurts when you are working on yourself to know that your self-work is also directly affecting (in a positive way) your relationship with your spouse.
So I have accumulated some tips I have found helpful for myself, thus far, and I have compiled them below in an easy way for you to agree or completely disagree with.
1) When on Amazon and you feel that itching in your pointer finger to click “add to cart” or “buy now”, simply re-direct your pointer finger to “add to list”. I have a Wish List on Amazon where I simply add things that I think I “need” to have. Two things happen when things go to the Wish List. 1) They sit there until I realize that I don’t need it anymore, and I can, with good conscious, remove them from the list, and send them back to Amazon oblivion. 2) A birthday or Chanukah or “just because” rolls around, and a gracious family member decides to purchase something you actually want from your list! Obviously, #2 is much more exciting, but #1 feels really good when you’re trying to save.
2) When things like GapCash are being dangled right in front of your face saying “Spend me or the world will collapse”, I find that it is easiest to pass your GapCash along to someone else who actually needs to buy things for their kids. I just did this, so that there was way I could possibly be taunted by GapCash for the past 5 days, and I did a good deed! I think they call that “paying it forward”? My spending addiction is your gain, lady!
3) Return, return, return! If you waaay over-spent before deciding to implement No Spender December like some of us (cough, cough), when you receive your items in the mail, seriously go through them and decide what you really need. I’ve returned over $100 worth of things I bought in late November, simply because I decided that they are not necessary. The best part? It feels good to return things and know that the money is going back into my checking account/credit card, and it will be saved and better-used for my family.
4) Purge, purge, purge! Somehow (and I can’t imagine how), “things” have accumulated in my apartment over the past year since I had my first baby. Now that I have gone through the third bedroom in order to get it cleaned up for our new arrival, I’ve been able to sell some items that we really don’t need. It’s really fun (yes, I said fun) when a sale actually goes through on OfferUp or the marketplace on Facebook. I feel good about getting back to basics and knowing that I am making room for someone that is infinitely more important than the home items section at Target.
5) Finally, if you do have to spend this month, because, hey, things do come up, then at least use . I seriously get so much cash back this way, and it literally takes no extra effort on your part, after you sign up. I will admit that I get bonuses when you sign up and shop through my link, but I would not be such an advocate if I didn’t truly believe that it was worthwhile.
Well, here we are, almost one week into December, and I’ve only bought necessary groceries, sippy cups, and toiletries/laundry detergent from Target. Yes, I actually went into Target, got what I needed and got the heck out. I’ll call that a win any day! Happy not-shopping!