It’s February. Time for a new challenge! I leave next month on my first “real” vacation ever (more on that later) so I’d really like to buckle down in February so that I can pay all my regular expenses early in March before I leave.
The goal? 28 days, $0.
I will still pay my utility bills, mortgage, student loan and credit card payments because the goal is to get ahead, not behind.
But aside from that? Nada.
January 31st preparations looked like this:
- fill up car with gas, pray over tank
- check grocery staples
- check other mandatory stock (laundry soap, toilet paper and mouthwash)
Now really, you may ask, what’s the point?
Simplicity for one. It’s getting easier to stay under budget but I’ll be combining a number of techniques to motivate myself to non-spending.
Savings for another. Instead of buying things I want I can honestly focus on the money I’ll NEED to cover bills. February marks the first month of a reduced work schedule and thus paycheck. My healthcare costs didn’t go down and neither did my tax rate.
Sharpen skills. Often times substitutes are readily available in my own house. I can absolutely use another brand of lotion or a bar of soap instead of liquid. I’m just spoiled.
My first priority right now is to find the type of work I need to accomplish my career goals. Because I’ll not be shopping I can spend more time at home researching and out in the community networking.
Tactics I’ll use
Buy book: Right now I track all my spending in a pink moleskin diary. Every penny I spend goes in here and I can go days at a time without spending. In lieu of recording all those random purchases I will track what I wanted to buy on this list.
Count my blessings: quite literally take a tally of what I own and evaluate what I need.
Cleaning: when I think about going to the store to pick up another one of this or that I’ll first have to clean what I already have. Dust my bookshelves. Wipe down cans and boxes in the pantry. Put away all of my clothes.
- Achieve a true “no spend” month
- Organize the guest room closet & paint
There’s a reason I have no pictures of the other side of my guest room: it’s a mess! Now that I will be guest free for a few weeks I want to pull things out of the closet, organize and purge and then prime and paint the closet to match the rest of the room. Once the closet is organized again then I can use the room to pack for vacation.