These first three weeks of No Spend September haven’t gone quite as well as I’d hoped, though I did manage to get in a few fun free things (yay European Heritage Days!). It’s been interesting to see what I justify as “needing” and will try to adjust my mindset accordingly.
So far, bringing my lunch to work has worked out really well. However, the intern we had all summer left, and someone new arrived in the team, and both events meant team lunches. I still had some lunch tickets left from August that I used, so I think I’ll still be able to save all of September’s for groceries.
I went out to bars twice this month, once for the departing intern, and once for my company’s monthly happy hour. I suppose I didn’t really need to go for the intern, since we had the team lunch, but I did order a cheaper option rather than my usual cocktail. The company happy hour has a deal with the bar that gets us 2 drinks “free” so in theory that was a no spend evening. Except I needed to use the bathroom in the train station before going home, and it cost 1.10€ which is a little ridiculous, to be honest. Most are 50 cents. So next time, definitely going at the bar, even if I don’t really need to.
I also bought a candy bar at the train station, since the happy hour snacks weren’t quite as hearty as I expected. I need to start keeping homemade snacks in my purse like when I was pregnant, since I also bought a few candy bars at the machines at work. I probably shouldn’t keep cash on me at all, since I’ll spend it if I have it, but it feels dangerous to have nothing at all, in case of an emergency. For example, once the trains were all canceled because of an accident, so I had to take the bus, and it’s 5 euros. What if I hadn’t had that money in my wallet? I would have stopped at an ATM, missed the first bus, gotten home even later, which is not exactly a disaster . . . But I can easily imagine a situation where it could be (usually involving bébé).
Speaking of bébé, he has cost the most this month, since I bought tons of clothes for him. Which is justifiable, but could definitely have been put off until next month. He’s growing, but not that fast! I was picking up groceries, and there’s a new store nearby, so I thought I’d just take a quick look, and suddenly it was 100+ euros later . . . I got rid of what doesn’t fit anymore last weekend, so I guess it seemed like his drawers were a little empty and I panicked.
Kids cost money, but not always in the way you think. The need for abundance is much stronger now that he’s here. Before, if there was no food in the fridge, no big deal, we’d order pizza. Now, if there aren’t at least five extra containers of applesauce sitting on the counter, we’re convinced he’ll starve. The same idea for his clothes. He has more than enough, but he goes through at least two outfits a day, so the drawers are quickly empty and we start to worry he’ll go out in the cold in just his diaper. I know it’s a normal, if somewhat illogical, reaction, and while he’s young I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Once he starts wanting things and asking for things, hopefully I’ll be able to say no. So perhaps I need to try a little harder now, while he’s still young, to get into the habit. First step: just like grocery shopping, always go into a baby store with a list and stick to it!
Planning is really the key. Knowing how I acted this month should help me plan better for the next few months.