My experiment to not spend money for 7 days has officially come to an end today. And guess what, I made it! It was not easy, but it was totally worth it. It made me realize a few things that I wanted to share.
The Things We Take For Granted
When you do not have any money to spend, you quickly realize the things we take for granted. I can’t believe how much I missed going out to the bar and eating once in awhile. I also missed buying the little things like beer and soda when I ran out. Things like this we consider small in our everyday lives, but when we don’t have this option they feel a lot bigger. I felt like I was missing out on a lot of things.
The Things We Forget
However, not spending money also makes us realize the things we already have and enjoy doing. For example, not renting movies made me realize how many movies I already own that I haven’t looked at in ages. It’s easy to overlook our belongings when it is so easy to go out and get new things all the time.
I also realized how many free things there are to do. Going for walks, rollerblading, and hanging out at the park are just a few. Taking pictures and hiking were two other things I enjoyed doing during the 7 days.
It’s Easy To Spend Money
The weird thing about not spending money, is that it made me realize how easy it is to spend money. Consumerism is a tough thing to beat and a big reason why so many people struggle when it comes to spending habits and credit cards. Yet it is so easy to do when there is so much going on in the World. Everywhere you look there are restaurants, stores, and malls waiting for your money.
However, it is also important to live life because not spending at all can easily make your life miserable. In just 7 days I felt what it is like to not be able to go out and do the things you enjoy. So the key to success, is to find a happy medium.
My New Plan
After talking with my girlfriend about this experiment, we have decided to implement a weekly spending budget for entertainment. This includes things such as eating out, drinking at the bars, and so on. Prior to this experiment, I didn’t really have a budget which made it easy to spend more than I wanted.
So from today on, we each have $50 a week to spend on entertainment. This gives us $100 total when we go out together which should make it pretty doable. The key will be conscious spending instead of going all out. It’s easy to drop $50 at the bar when you are not paying attention to what you are buying. At the same time, we often go out to eat and spend less than $25 when we only order one drink. So watching what we spend will be the key to success.
This Concludes The Experiment
All I can say, is that this experiment was worth it. It made me realize a lot of things that I have forgetten and has not set the path for better spending. I would recommend trying this simply because it helps you realize where all of your money goes. Even if you do not make it the full 7 days, you will still learn a lot from not spending.
PS. Tune in tomorrow for a very important post about growing a mustache for kids!
Photo Credit: stuartpilbrow