The Spending Strike Day 30 – 5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Temptation to Spend

We’re now THIRTY days into the Spending Strike! Yeehaw! Have you made it? I keep telling you that we haven’t  cut out all spending, but I can tell you, we have spent perhaps a 1/3 of what we normally spend in a month this January! That’s huge, Friends! And I call this Spending Strike a great, big, huge success. Even though we had a few fails. Even though I am really looking forward to my big Costco run on Feb 1. And even though I’m really, really, really looking forward to my trip to Ikea and Trader Joe’s a few weeks after that. I’m still calling it a success. I can do that, right! It is my blog, after all. 😉

5 Easy ways to reduce the temptation to spend © Roka22 | Dreamstime.com

This Spending Strike has been a little extreme, honestly. Sometimes, it’s good to take a step back and think about what we’re buying.  I learned in the last few weeks that a few areas of my budget could be a lot better! Sometimes, I waste too much food. Sometimes, I think I put too much money in my wallet at the beginning of the month – I could save a little more for bigger purchases instead of wasting it simply because I have it. When we moved into the barn in July, our expenses went way down. I started to be a little less careful with my money than I have been in the past. Too many trips to Jimmy Johns…buying too much food {and then throwing it out} and not relying enough on what I already have. So buying very, very little these past 30 days has been good for me, for sure! While I really don’t believe we have to always abstain from all spending, all the time, reducing the temptation to spend is key to spending less!!

 Here are 5 Easy Ways to Reduce the Temptation to Spend

  1. Turn off the TV (not watching commercials) – because who needs to be tempted by all of those food commercials? And really, do you want your kids asking for all the latest toys? I love it that my little kiddos have no clue what’s hot in the toy world. I want to keep it that way.
  2. Stay out of stores – I can’t tell you how many times I head to a store for one thing, and end up with bag fulls of crap {usually at Goodwill or Salvo}. It’s hard to turn down that sweater or book for 88 cents – but .88 x 10 = $8.80 and 20 x .88 is double {funny how math works}! And then, I have to find somewhere to put it all. If I just stay out of the store in the first place, I don’t have that problem. I’m still trying to take control of the junk in my house. It takes massive amounts of will power to drive by Goodwill to drop something off and NOT GO IN. But it can be done. 🙂
  3. Unsubscribe to emails – Staying out of stores is great, but what about the junk in your email? Oh man. You guys would D.I.E. if you saw my email inbox. I have massive clutter over load. I dream about changing my email just to stop getting all the JUNK! One of these days I will do that. In the meantime, I try to unsubscribe to unwanted emails as they come in. I have a bad habit of signing up for lists because I want that freebie or coupon. I have a long way to go to clean up my email box, but not reading the posts that want to sell me something is key not wanting that item. I’ve heard an easy way to get rid of spam is to use unroll.me – but it used to only work for gmail and I use Outlook. It looks like it might support Outlook now, so I am going to give it a try! Of course, I want you to keep getting my emails {subscribe here, by the way} so you know what’s going on over at SimplfyLiveLove – but you could also subscribe via BlogLovin if you’re getting too many blog emails. Just click here to follow me via BlogLovin.
  4. Not reading the ads in the newspaper – Another way to avoid temptation is to quit reading the ads in the paper. Again, out of sight, out of mind. In my couponing heyday I read through all of those ads religiously to see what was on sale where. We finally quit subscribing to the paper and it cleaned up a lot of clutter – no papers to recycle, no kids looking through the ads getting the greedy gimmes. Right before Thanksgiving I subscribed to the paper because I missed the grocery ads and because I thought I might like the Black Friday insert. Well, honestly, the hassle of the paper is not worth it for me. When those 13 weeks are up {soon, I hope}, I won’t renew my subscription again.
  5. Simply staying home – And of course, the ultimate way to reduce temptation to spend {if you can stay off the internet} is to stay home. Staying home saves me gas money, eating out money, and money spent in stores. It’s pretty simple. Staying home saves me money. Unless, of course, I click over to Amazon… 😉

And these are five easy things I do to reduce the temptation to spend! I’ve had a great time with this strike and I hope it’s been interesting and helpful to you, too. The best advice I can give is to live within your means. We’ve never had consumer credit card debt. Ever. That’s not because we don’t use credit cards. I’ve had a credit card since I was 18 and I will continue to have one (or even 23 credit cards if I want). I like my credit card, thank you very much.  I don’t agree with every thing Dave Ramsey says, either, obviously, as he says no credit cards. In principle, though, living within my means will take me further in life than I would get if I didn’t live within my means. The problem is the temptation to spend is EVERY. WHERE. We live in a consumer society. We are taught to spend, spend, spend. Not spending is hard. But it can be done.

Now, pop over to Kelli’s post and read her tips for not spending in the workplace! I work from my home, but I know a lot of you work outside the home. Check out what she says about curbing spending in the workplace here.

30 Day Spend Nothing {or as close to nothing as possible} Spending Strike

I’ve got some great wrap up Spending Strike posts in store for you – and there’s still one day left in the Official Spending Strike! I hope you’ll enjoyed this series! In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you do to reduce the temptation to spend! Please share.

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Comments

  1. This is awesome. Staying home is huge for us. When I can manage to stay home all week, I spend very little. But I usually have to go out just once for food, usually at the market.
  2. Congrats, Dear Friend! You are inspiring me for sure!! We want to save, save, save for taking time off!!! We spend WAY too much on food that gets thrown out and entertainment for the kids! And I hear ya about goodwill. I need to have someone else drop off for me. AND i have started a thrift list. So that I actually only go look for certain things. It is still the hardest part for me! =)
  3. Hi Michelle, I have a tip for you about emails and coupons! I set up a separate email account just for subscribing to all of those websites and coupons, and daily deal sites. It keeps everything out of my normal email and I can just go search the inbox if I need a particular coupon. It has worked really well so far! I also had a question for you. I live up in Iowa City and also go to Stringtown a lot. They don't always have meat, though, and I'm wondering where you usually get yours from?
    • This is a great tip, Allison! Thank you! I bought pork from an Amish man named Paul. He lives on down toward Kalona on Hwy 1. If you head south on Hwy 1, you'll see a house on the right with a sign that says grass fed meat for sale. That's where I've ordered meat in the past. I brought my beef locally in our town until now, but I will am switching to grass fed for my next order. I don't have the info on that yet, but will share when I do! And I'm still looking for a good source of poultry. These are all topics I plan to blog about soon so be on the lookout. :-)

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