Goal Setting, saving money

My Year of Intentional Spending (and what it really means)

You may have noticed that I wrote in one of my goals for 2019 that I was going to challenge myself to have a No Spend Year. What it should have said was:”Have a no spend on mindless stuff that doesn’t matter and doesn’t help me meet my goal year“. But that was too long. So I shortened it.

The Why

After spending the last six months decluttering my home while still spending money on stuff that I will probably declutter in 2019, I decided it was time to stop the madness of all of this spending on stuff that doesn’t matter and redirect the funds to things that do matter. This isn’t just about spending, however. It’s about appreciating the things I already have and being grateful for all that has come into my life already. That’s hard to do when I keep bringing more stuff in.

My inspiration to attempt this challenge came from a book I read last year. Cait Flanders’ book, The Year of Less, changed my way of thinking. It is a book about her year long shopping ban, how she changed her habits and discovered what truly mattered to her. I continue to read her blog as a source of continued inspiration.

To be clear, this challenge isn’t about deprivation. It’s not about sucking the joy out of every day. It’s the opposite. It’s about spending money on what matters most – my health and wellbeing, my husband, my family, my friends. In fact you may be surprised as to what I actually am able to spend money on with this challenge, which makes it very different from what a typical ‘no spend’ has been.

The Rules

What I will be spending my money on:

  • Regular bills
  • Necessary replacement clothing only
  • Food and eating out (limited because of my health goals)
  • Vitamins, medicines/medical expenses (of course)
  • Travel/Experiences
  • Gifting (but limited to special occasions)
  • Replacement of consumables – toilet paper, household products, make up (limited)
  • Haircuts/color
  • Home Maintenance
  • Paint and furniture for my new room
  • Charitable contributions*

*I may have missed something from this list, which I will add later.

I anticipate, based on my spending in 2018, that I will be able to save at least 10% more of our income, helping me reach my goal of 40% total savings. It’s amazing how much spending one can do in a year without really thinking about it.

I will do monthly updates to keep myself accountable. I’m hopeful that I can and will change my mindless spending habits, not only for 2019 but in the years to come.

If you would like to participate, or are doing something similar, please share! I would love to hear from you. 🙂



8 thoughts on “My Year of Intentional Spending (and what it really means)”

  1. I added up our categories of spending and was dismayed how much certain optional areas were growing the past two years….so, I also have a “deliberate” spending goal for this year. Similarly I’m not giving up haircuts and such, but am looking closely at how much we spend on entertainment and activities, clothing and a few other categories. Thankfully we don’t love going out to eat so that isn’t a huge drain, but finding free/low cost activities consistently is a bit more challenging because of where we live and the age of our kids. It wa smush easier wehen they were little! Clothes….I’ve started to use the at home dry cleaning kits, we already haunt the good consignment stores, and bought a few new needed things post holiday so we should be golden until a growth spurt…. Our goals with this money are to ramp up our investments significantly, we have two bigger vacations already booked as well as a required, significant home renovation….I’ll be reading for inspiration!

    1. Isn’t it amazing how quickly spending on the little things can add up? Your year sounds exciting with two vacations and some home renovation! Keep me posted! 🙂

  2. I really tried not to buy any clothes for myself (my weakness all year. I did great until after mom died then I bought a few, but much I just don’t need a thing for a long while. I have replacements for replacements do to speak.

  3. Hi Sharon. I’m doing much of the same thing you are ding BUT I want to do it for a whole year. I’m eliminating gift giving, hair color and charitable donations for now. I’m certain we have enough clothes for the upcoming year. A few maintenance chores. My two mini-vacations this year are already paid for. Mostly groceries, consumables and utilities are about all we should be paying for this upcoming year.
    Wish me luck!

    1. Wow, I couldn’t bring myself to give up hair color… lol…I’m too vain. My charitable donations have been going to my husband’s family – which I hope will slow down a bit. Hubby and I decided our next cruise will be somewhere different – The Baltic Sea, but that will take over a year to save for, especially with my other goals I’ve set. I know you can do this! I will be keeping track of everything I buy this year in a special notebook – Would love to see what you end up buying too! 🙂

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