Who doesn’t like a good challenge? A challenge that gets the gears in your mind turning. One where you have to play mental mind games to achieve your goal. Am I losing you, stay with me here.Challenges are supposed to be hard otherwise it would not be a challenge. When I came across the 2018 Spend Nothing Challenge at the blog Count Down to Tranquility, I thought I’m in.
Our family lives in a 4 bedroom 3 bath McMansion filled with clothes, furniture, TV’s and everything else imaginable. Sometimes I will do a 360-degree spin, just to soak in all the worldly possessions that are cluttering our home. It is hard to believe that in a little over 10 years, the time we have called this our home, we have slowly filled up every bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen with stuff. Piece by piece, trip by trip to Target and Costco we have accumulated more than we need. More than we can even put away.
Spend nothing rules
Spending nothing all year would be impossible, right? Because we have to eat, sleep, and go to work. You know the hamster wheel activities. And those items require some money.
This challenge, for me, is about cutting out all the discretionary spending in my life for one year. Let me say this is my challenge and not my families. They think I’m crazy to begin with. My wife was quick to say, “I’m not doing that”. I let her know she was off the hook, this time.
My wife pointed out that I need a new pair of jeans. I told her it was too late. The 2018 Spend Nothing Challenge had already started. I don’t anticipate needing a new phone or vehicle in the next year but these would be items not included in the buy nothing challenge. I plan to keep track of my savings from the buy nothing challenge and detail those savings in my monthly wrap-up posts.
According to a North Dakota State University study from 2010. The average family spends 3.8% of their income on clothing. For a household income of $100,000 that would be $3,800 per year. Now I don’t think our family spends that much on clothing but to be honest I have no clue what we spend on clothing in a year. I have never really been a big spender on clothes. Most of my clothes are over 10 years old. Some from even as far back as college.
I am a Registered Nurse by trade and am fortunate that my work wardrobe consists of 8 pairs of scrubs. On my days away from work, I have 2 pairs of jeans that I rotate. Several t-shirts and couple jackets. I own one pair of dress shoes but rarely wear them. I wear tennis shoes 99% of the time.
This is where most of my discretionary spending goes. I have 2 hobbies, running, and fishing. My wife purchased a new pair of running shoes in December. Usually, I get a new pair of running shoes every 6 months. Not this year. Those shoes purchased in December going to need to last 12 months. I need new running shorts but those will also have to last. Nothing a little needle and thread won’t be able to fix.
As far as fishing, I will refrain from any new fishing gear purchases. Generally, most of my fishing is done in the summer for Pacific Northwest Steelhead. Trying to not spend money on fishing is going to be really hard for me. But like I said this challenge was not meant to be easy. Cutting hobby spending should save me around $500 dollars this year alone.
We live such an amazing time in America. The stock market only seems to go up. Home values have steadily increased since 2008. Family incomes are rising and with that comes lifestyle creep. Cheap and easy credit abounds everywhere. Avoiding lifestyle inflation is very difficult and is a silent killer to a family’s budget. It is challenges like this that make you think about what you really need in life. Sure you can make a solid argument why you deserve almost anything. But do you really need It?
So far, bloggers joining me on this challenge are:
So there you have it, my 2018 Spend Nothing Challenge. Am I crazy? If you have any feedback leave a comment. Let me know what you think.