31-Day Spending Strike Link-Up {Week 4} & Day 31

This is it. Today is the last day of our month-long spending strike, and what a month it has been! Michelle and I have really enjoyed hosting this strike for you, especially hearing your tips and words of encouragement. A spending strike is hard, and right from the beginning I had intentions to follow a strike similar to the one Sarah wrote about. 
  • John and I went on vacation, which we paid for months ago, without spending money at the resort. We bought breakfast in the airport on the way home, and airport parking. 
  • If I wanted to go out with friends for a drink or dinner (which I did only once), I used money from my consignment account. 
  • Like Michelle and her family, we ate from the pantry and deep freeze. I even downloaded a freezer inventory chart to tape to my deep freeze so I would know what's inside. {Thanks to a fabulous reader for that tip!} I got creative when it came to meal planning to ensure we weren't stopping off at the deli or ordering take out. 
  • I held off on purchases. Most of those things I wanted to purchase earlier in the month aren't that tempting right now. I likely won't buy these things now that I've had a chance to consider their priority in my life. 
  • I analyzed my spending at the workplace, on beauty products, and on entertainment. Identifying those big temptation areas was huge!

It feels like I've saved a ton of money when I look back on the temptations that I resisted. Let's take a look at the final results:

Total money spent in January (outside of bills): $90
Total money saved in January (what I normally could/would have spent): $325

I am pretty amazed when I see those numbers. Could I really be spending that much money on crap and  unnecessary items each month? What do I have to show for my hard work? How much value am I placing on my work when I don't spend my earning wisely? 

What about February and the rest of the year? 

I am going to continue a few elements of this strike. First, I want to continue eating from the pantry and deep freeze in February and March. Later this spring we will be getting half a hog, and our deep freeze needs a desperate cleaning. Because I am so grateful for the quality beef and pork my parents provide us, I want to ensure we aren't wasting food. Being organized helps that endeavor. I also canned a lot of my garden produce in 2013, and want to make room for this summer's bounty. We have a lot of tomato products, and meal planning with those canned goods will continue to save us a lot of money on groceries every month. 

I am going to try the envelope system, as described by Ally and Lindsay. I'm not going whole hog on Dave Ramsey just yet, but we'll try allocating money to each area of spending. Any tips for us? 

When wanting to purchase something, if possible, I will wait at least a week before making that purchase. If this spending strike has taught me anything, it's that what I think is a 'need' usually turns out to be a 'want'. Waiting a few days to make a purchase will allow me to really evaluate that purchase.

Now it's your turn to share!

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