"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take."

No Spend Challenge: Week 4 Reflections

Can you believe that it’s been 28 days since we decided we were going to do a no spend challenge this month?!  And today, we’re wrapping up the month and evaluating our progress throughout the month.  Here’s our spending breakdown for week four of our fiscal fast.

SPENDING (Week 4 Total: $419.78)

2/22/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/23/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/24/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $302.04)

$249.60 – Groceries for the next two weeks.

$52.44 – Gas for Josh’s truck.

2/25/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/26/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $117.74)

$23.79 – Gas for Alexis’ car.

$93.95 – Dentist appointment copay for Josh’s appointment.

2/27/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/28/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

REFLECTIONS

28 days on fiscal fasting in the books!  Since we only spent money on two days during the last seven, here’s what we learned:

  • We didn’t do any frivolous spending for 7 days and still ended up spending $419.  Legitimately, we spent money on gas, groceries and a dentist appointment and spent $419, in four pretty unexciting ways.  It’s a bit discouraging that even though we didn’t do any “fun” spending during the last week of our no spend challenge, we still spent $400+.

So, here’s Alexis’ thoughts at the end of our first no spend challenge:

Because I’m obsessive curious, I did some digging to find out how our spending during this month’s fiscal fast compared to our spending before we started our debt-free journey (February 2016) and a few months after we started working toward becoming debt-free (February 2017).  And the numbers were kind of shocking!

Month & Year Description Amount Spent
February 2016 Freely Spending $4560.66
February 2017 6 Months Into Debt-Free Journey $2101.81
February 2018 18 Months Into Debt-Free Journey $1795.60

I could not believe how much we spent during February 2016!  And even more concerned that, after reviewing our spending in February 2016, we couldn’t identify anything that we spend $4500+ on!  It was a ton of small, seemingly insignificant expenditures that added up to a huge amount of nothing memorable.  The realization that in February 2018 we spent only 39% of what we had spent in February 2016 was simply astounding.  And, to be honest, quite sickening.  Even though we had drastically decreased our spending by February 2017, it was still nice to see that we were able to cut costs by another $300 by being even more purposeful with our spending.

Josh also had some thoughts about this fiscal fast experiment:

I’m happy and sad about our no spend month.  I’m happy to know that, for the last year, we’ve made a concerted effort to not spend as much and not spend frivolously.  February 2017 seems fairly “typical” for our spending habits since starting our debt-free journey.  At the same time, I’m a little sad that our numbers during February 2018 wasn’t better, for as much as we considered our spending and attempted to make concessions.

And that, folks, concludes our no spend February 2018!  We really appreciate your support and encouragement throughout the month.  We’re actively looking for our next challenge, so, if you’ve got some ideas, please let us know!

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