Q1: Mo' Money Less Stuff


Alright everyone, it’s time to update you on the first three months of no shopping and my spending “rules”. This is more of a personal post so bear with me, but read to the bottom and find a link to a raffle to win something good!

Current Feels

Right now, at the close of the first quarter of 2019 I’m feeling good, but feeling the urge to shop…big time. With Spring on the horizon here in Chicago it has me thinking of all the things I “need”. I’ve got some bachelorette parties and weddings coming up which would usually have me heading to my computer to shop. I’m thinking of utilizing Rent the Runway for a few pieces for the upcoming bachelorette party, I’ll share my choices on Instagram!

Some unexpected life events have made it a bit harder for Sam and I to tackle some of the savings goals we have- but that is exactly why I’m wanting to take more control over spending/shopping. You never know what life is going to throw at you and you need to be ready! One thing I’m really lacking is an “emergency savings” fund. You might remember me referencing The Financial Diet book a few months back, the authors highly value emergency savings over all else. I’m working to use any savings from my no shopping towards an emergency savings fund as well as debt payoff.

Food & Dining is our highest spending category (category via Mint). No surprise here! We buy a lot of groceries and spend a bulk of our money sourcing quality ingredients. This is something that is important to us and likely won’t change, but just wanted to share that with you all!

Review of Rules

1 . No shopping for ONE YEAR for myself (gifts for others excluded but purchase frugally). The only thing I purchased clothing wise was a new pair of running/ workout shoes. I actually donated 2 pairs of old shoes when I purchased my 1 new pair. (I’m trying out the ON Cloudflyer shoes)

One BIG purchase I made was a new laptop! In reality I should have been saving for a bit before purchasing, but my old computer was about 10 years old and was really starting to fail me. Luckily I chose to get a refurbished Mac and I also received some Apple gift cards from Christmas so those both helped reduce the price for me a bit.

2. No online ordering miscellaneous items . I ordered a few items online that were not available in a store nearby. We also ordered a bathroom shelf from West Elm that we had been wanting for a while that was on sale! During Q2 I’m really going to try to tighten this up as much as possible because I’m always shocked at the amount of packaging that is used to ship things.

3. No manicures/pedicures unless in a wedding  (I don’t get facials or any other treatments so not including those here.) I’m scratching this rule! BYE! This is a small piece of self care that I don’t feel too bad about. Especially because I work in an environment where I’m working with clients and using my hands a lot, when they are manicured I feel a bit more put together/ professional. I try to seek out places that are a bit more mindful about the products they use, but that is a challenge!

4. Lunch: bring my lunch at least 4 days per week This is going well! I’ve only slipped a few times where I had to buy my lunch 2 days of the 5.

5. Other meals: Only eat out once per week (unless it’s a special occasion or pre arranged date) I have not been strict about this at all! I’ve learned eating out is something Sam and I love to do on the weekends and living in Chicago, there are SO many places to try and experience. During the week we usually don’t eat out unless we have a special occasion or a work dinner. On the weekends we might eat out about 2-3 times depending on the weekend and what we have going on. (We consider eating out even running to Chipotle or Sweetgreen, anything not made at home is “eating out”.)

6. No coffee out unless I BYO mug (once per week max) This one is actually easy for me. YAY! I’ve become somewhat of a coffee snob and I honestly prefer making my coffee at home and bringing it with me. (Right now I’m obsessed with Stumptown)

The Financial Gym

l was really excited when The Financial Gym reached out to me to try out their services! The Financial Gym is a personal financial services company that takes a fitness-inspired approach to their clients' finances. By working one-on-one with a Certified Financial Trainer, they teach their clients how to make smarter money decisions that add up over time to reach their life goals. (They work with individuals and couples!)

My trainer Victoria is so great! We’ve had two video calls so far, and one regular phone call. We established a budget and a plan to meet my goals, and TFG has an online portal similar to MINT, so Victoria can see my spending and keep tabs with how I’m doing. She is flexible, and positive, and open to changes. So far so good!

In honor of Financial Literacy Month, The Financial gym is offering a raffle to win THREE free months of Financial Training. Click the button below to enter! Thanks for reading!