by Elizabeth S.
No spending on coffee, snacks, or meals
I like to think I am pretty good about this stuff, but lately I’ve been atrocious. I will make my iced coffee at home, and prepare my lunch each night before work. There are meal replacement shakes and a can of nice, hearty soup in my desk if hunger strikes. No excuses. Every single meal I have this week will be homemade or out of someone else’s pocket (i.e. if my work buys lunch).
One trip to the grocery store mid-week
This will be tricky, because I often have the perfect meal in mind, but tell myself I need to shop for one or two things to complete the meal. In reality, this turns into a $30 to $40 trip, usually with some fancy cheese or (unnecessary) exotic vegetables making their way into the bag. I’ll need to plan my meals and the things I need for the house in advance.
No drinking during the work week
The summer of hedonism must end, unfortunately. Nothing gold can stay. I was reaching for the odd glass of wine with dinner, or a cold cocktail on my west-facing porch at sunset, but it’s become a little more frequent than I would like. Cutting back on the adult social beverages should help me with my finances because alcohol is an avoidable expense. I also have less time to spend money when I’m active and then exhausted from being active!
Hit the pavement and the gym
My (cheap!) gym membership is deducted from my paycheck and I think I’ve only been once all summer. YIKES. It’s a waste of money right now. I have a corporate discount and pay $40 all in ($20 bi-monthly) for access to a nice gym franchise. It includes access to all locations (and there is one across from my office and one a half-mile from my house), towel service, swimming, fitness classes, etc. I need to use this. I want to lift weights twice a week in addition to my outdoor run training, which I will commence this Wednesday. Historically, fitness activities really rein in the excessive grocery and entertainment money. And the best part is, none of this adds money to my monthly expenses.
WIll goals help?
I like making SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. I think my goals for the week fit the bill, and I’m looking forward to this little achievement. After that, I would LOVE to try a no spend work week!
Has anyone else had success with no spend challenges? I’d love some tips before I consider how to set myself up for success with that goal.