Our No Spend Month: Two Weeks In.

Open Late Christmas

Hi there, my sweet sweet friends! I hope the first two weeks of 2018 have treated you well. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering how we’ve been holding up during our no Spend challenge. I’ll be honest with you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it definitely hasn’t gone the way I planned. However, I’ve learned a lot these past two weeks and I’m looking forward to finishing this challenge on a positive note.

So what exactly went wrong? Well, the simplest explanation would be that we spent money when we weren’t supposed to. In the past, I probably would have just given up. I would have felt defeated, and probably would have never attempted a no Spend challenge again. This time, I decided to practice what I preach and just roll with it.

So here’s what happened. First, Walter had to have some blood work done (don’t worry he’s fine, I’ll be writing about this soon), so Tyler and I decided to treat him with a trip to the children’s museum. While we were out, we got lunch with my mother. Now, I could have used this opportunity to save money like I was supposed to. I could have easily told my mother that we couldn’t go to lunch because we weren’t spending money this month, but I didn’t. I chose to hang out with my mom instead of saving thirty bucks, and I’m glad we did it. Like I said, I could have easily said no, or we could have done something free but we didn’t. I’ve chosen not to beat myself up about. 2018 is all about being patient with myself.

Our second exception to our no Spend challenge was buying supplements for Walter. Recently we discovered Walter has some demineralization on his two front teeth. In order to combat this issue, Tyler and I have decided to try to remineralize his teeth with a homemade toothpaste, and some small changes to his diet. If you’re interested in our toothpaste recipe, and the exact supplements Walter will be on make sure you check back next week. I’ll be writing a post all about it.

If you decided to join us during our no Spend month, I’d love to hear how it’s going. Feel free to leave me a comment here or on my Instagram! I’ll be doing a full recap of the month, and going over exactly what I’ve learned from the experience at the end of the month. Make sure you subscribe so you get an email notification every time I make a post!

Until next time. I’m sending you lots of love, and all the positive vibes.

greet2

Our No Spend Month

Deck The Halls In Sparkles Instagram

As we begin a new year, I know I’m not the only one looking to make some changes. I’m usually not one for New Year’s resolutions but I figured I’d give it a shot in 2018.

I’m looking forward to a year or personal development, financial security, and happiness. I’m wishing you and your family the same 🙂

Let’s just jump right into it. I’m sure the title grabbed your attention(that kinda the point). And I know a lot of you are wondering how we plan on going an entire month without spending any money. I’ll start by explaining what a no spend challenge is, then I’ll lay out the rules that my family has chosen to follow during our no spend month.

So, what is a no spend challenge?

well, it’s a period when you chose not to spend any money what so ever. I know it sounds ridiculous and absolutely impossible.  A lot of you a rolling your eyes, and probably thinking to yourself ” okay, this B*tch is crazy.”.  I promise it will all come together in a minute, just hang in there.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what a no spend challenge is, I want to share with you exactly what we plan to get out of our no spend challenge and how we’re bending the rules (just a tad) to make it work for our family.

Being content with what we have.

This is first on the list because this is the most important element to our challenge…for me at least. As I continue to grow as a person I want to push myself further out of my comfort zone. I’m no stranger to wanting things, and I know most of you aren’t either. It’s okay to want nice things, really it is. The problem is when you want things solely for the purpose of having things. If you’re using material items to fill a space within yourself (like I was), I strongly recommend you do a little self reflection and more importantly some self love. I’m encouraging you to step outside your comfort zone as well, and spend some time figuring out exactly what it is you need in life.

Stop mindless spending.

This one goes hand in hand with our first goal, but I figured I’d give it it’s own little moment because I know someone people are struggling just like we are. My partner and I have a horrible habit of spending money on “little things” without realizing that all of those “little things” add up. Budgeting our money is something that we’re both very unfamiliar with, and to be honest sometimes it makes me really uncomfortable. I hate the idea of having to miss out on something that I want or feel I need or deserve because I need to save money. However, this year we’ve decided to do everything we can to change our habit of mindless spending. We’re determined to teach our son something different and to break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck.

Paying off debt.

For some odd reason, this is something no one ever wants to talk about. Honestly, I find that strange because being in debt is something so many people struggle with, especially millennials. Like some many other people our age, Tyler and I both have a ton of student loans debt as well as a fair amount of credit card debt. Plus, we both have cars we’re still paying for. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into exact numbers but trust me when I say we owe a lot of people a lot of fucking money.  How hope is that this no spend month will help us put more money towards our debts, and put us one step closer to being debt free!

Now that you know exactly what we’ve hoping to gain from our no spend month, its time to see exactly how this thing works.

Rules number one is simple, don’t spend any money. This is usually where people get hung up and decide that this type of challenge isn’t for them.  Hopefully, I can help you understand things a little bit better. So obviously it’s impossible to spend absolutely no money what so ever ( for most people at least). Most of us have a family to support and a set of constant bills that have to be paid every single month.  During our no spend month we’re of course going to pay for things like our rent etc. But that’s it, we’ve no allowing ourselves to spend money on anything else.  To make it simple I’ll create a little list so you’ll know exactly what we’re choosing to spend money on and what we’re not. There are a million and one ways to do a no spend challenge, I encourage you to take a look at our list and decide what works for your family and what doesn’t.

Here’s what we’ll be spending money on this month

  • Our rent- obviously we need a place to live 🙂
  • Groceries- we’ll be sticking to a much tighter grocery budget than usual
  • Gas- we have to get to work somehow
  • Our monthly bills- like electric, car payments, phones, etc.

And here’s what we’re not spending our money on this month

  • Anything that isn’t on the list above- pretty simple right 😉

Like I said before, there are a million and one ways to do a no spend challenge. Take some notes and figure out what works best for you.

I’ll be doing a check in during the middle of the month, just to let you guy know how things are going. I’ll also be making a post at the end of the challenge, so make sure you sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss a post!

It’s 2018, chase your dreams, end toxic relationships, live the kind of life you want to. Happiness is up to you.

greet2

 

Plastic Free July

disposal-1846033_960_7202

A low waste/ zero waste lifestyle is something I discovered last year, and since then I’ve been working towards minimizing my waste in order to create a better future for my little one.

I’ve always been passionate about protecting the environment and spreading a message about sustainability and conscious living. I know I’ve talked about ways you can minimizing your waste in the past, but I figured there was no better time to revisit the topic.

Plastic free July is a challenge that “aims to raise awareness of the problems with single-use disposable plastic and challenges people to do something about it.” For the rest of the month, I’ll be doing everything I can to lower the amount of single use plastic, and I encourage you to do the same!

Here are a few tips to help.

  • Say NO to water bottles

Instead of buying a bottle of water while you’re out, bring a reusable bottle with you. Americans use about 50 billion single use plastic bottles a year. Protect our planet by using a reusable water bottle.

  • Ditch the straws

Whenever you go out ask for your drink without a straw, or bring a stainless steel or glass one with you. Around 175 billion straws are used every year!  Those tiny plastic straws eventually end up polluting our waterways and oceans.

plastic-631625_960_720

  • Bring a reusable bag

Reusable bags can be a lifesaver! You never know when you’ll be out and need to buy something. Having a bag with you means you can refuse a store’s plastic bags.

  • Bring a reusable coffee cup

In their last annual reporting period, Starbucks likely used somewhere between  2.916 and 2.946 billion cups. Using a reusable coffee cup cuts down on waste, and also gets you a discount on your drink.

If you’re looking for other ways to challenge yourself this month, try focusing on all your waste, instead of just plastic. Below are a few more ways you can reducing your impact on the environment.

plastic-bottles-115069_960_720

BUY IN BULK

Purchase unpackaged products whenever possible. Try switching to bar soap instead of a plastic bottle of body wash, make your own toothpaste, and stop using plastic produce bags at the grocery store. This will save you a ton of money as well as dramatically reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill.

COMPOST 

If you’re like most people, the majority of your waste probably comes from food waste. In order to reduce the amount of food wastage in your home, try composting your food scraps instead of throwing them in the trash.

NO FAST FASHION 

Cheap, disposable clothes are becoming more of a problem each year. We’ve become accustomed to buying things as cheap as possible so when they are worn out or just no longer useful to us we don’t feel bad throwing them away. The problem with this is we don’t put much thought into where the clothes are actually going. We toss them out and think they’re no longer our problem. However, our old clothes are quickly filling up landfills. Today the majority of our clothing is made from man made materials, meaning they don’t biodegrade. Instead of buying brand new clothes, shop second hand. If you want to take it a step further, only buy clothes made from natural materials.

plastic-cups-973103_960_720

EAT PLANT BASED

It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, while producing 1 pound of tofu only requires 244 gallons of water. By going plant based, one person can save approximately 219,000 gallons of water a year. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.

Reducing your waste can seem overwhelming at first. Try not to change too much all at once. Taking small steps towards your goal is better than taking none at all. I’d love to hear about your plans for plastic free July. Make sure you leave a comment or shoot me an email.

If You’d like to see what I’m up to during Plastic Free July make sure you follow me on Instagram. I’ll be making posts daily.  Make sure you check in at the end of this month to see how things went. I’ll be making a follow up blog post recapping my entire experience!

xoxo

Destiny

wheelie-bin-2272721_960_720