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Week 3 has come and go, and we’re finally on the final week of the No-Spend Month challenge. And wow, has it made a difference. If you’re just tuning into this series now, I recommend going back and reading the other articles in this series;
- Challenge: Can you Survive A No-Spend Month with Me? – Where I introduce you to a No-Spend Challenge and what it’s all about.
- Challenge: A No-Spend Month – Week 1 – A 1-week update where I talk about my struggles with fast food and what’s helped stop that bad habit.
- No-Spend Month Challenge: Week 2– a 2-week update where I talk a little about my struggles with decision fatigue, how it affects my impulse shopping, and what has helped.
This week’s challenges…
I was pretty lucky this week that I didn’t struggle with too many things. A lot of that has been due to extra work, which is starting to wear me down a little. I’ve been working 8-hour shifts, six days a week the last three weeks, and this past week, I had a few shifts where I had to work extra hours as someone was out sick.
Here’s a little glimpse of what my life is looking like right now;
- A half-hour drive each way to work (it’s usually 20 minutes, but the snow has been bad this week.)
- Trying to write for about an hour every day (I want to do it full-time one day, and in order for that to happen, I have to do it as much as possible.)
- Taking my dog for a walk or playing fetch with her for at least 15 minutes every day, so she gets some activity.
- Odd jobs for my other side job (about 3 hours a week right now, but that’s starting to pick up.)
- Still trying to find time to unpack. Yeah, I moved on February 1st, but with how much I’ve been working, I’ve had four, maybe five days off all month, two of which were taken up by doctor appointments in a city two hours away.
Needless to say, I have been insanely busy, and unfortunately, it is starting to take a toll. Being tired is just like being decision fatigued. It makes it harder to control your impulses. So when I went grocery shopping this week, I would up buying a few extra things that I will need at some point but weren’t essential. I also made the mistake of going into the dollar store.
The shopping this week…
I started off at Giant Tiger. They had the best sales of groceries this past week. For those of you who don’t know what Giant Tiger is, I think I’d describe it as a mini, amazing Target. It’s got a little bit of everything, and it’s way classier than Walmart.
Heck, I buy one pair of $7 flip flops there every summer, they’re the only shoes I wear all summer (lets be honest, the only shoes I wear from April until it snows), and I haven’t broken a single pair. Sorry, I digress. Needless to say, I love me a trip to Giant Tiger!
Well, this week, for some special reason, they offered me a $5 gift card, but it could only be used on home items or clothing. So, I bought some mats for the bathroom (I’d been using one of two towels I’d found so far) and a rug for the entryway because, with all the snow, it’s been trekking in a lot of water. On the plus side, I did say no to the winter boots that were on sale for only $10.
I bought those items and stocked up on a few dirt-cheap items, such as bags of noodles (the good brand), for $0.66 each, bacon for only $3 a pound (I don’t know how much bacon goes for where you are, but it’s typically $6-$9 here right now.) I needed toilet paper, as well as other pantry staples I just hadn’t gotten yet, such as baking soda and powder, pepper, cinnamon, lentils, and other great deals.
When all was said and done, I’d spent $121.70 – much more than I wanted to spend.
The one thing I really needed that they didn’t have, though, was cloves. Really random, I know, but there is a reason behind it. Did you know that mice hate cloves? If not, there’s your interesting fact for the day. I don’t really know what it is about them, but mice hate them.
Me living in the country now in the middle of winter, well, I started seeing mouse poop in one of my cupboards. I cleaned it, and there was more the next day. This is the part where I should mention that I’m squeamish and really don’t want to deal with dead mice. So, I needed cloves to keep them away. Giant Tiger didn’t have any, but there was a Dollar Tree right next door, so I went in and checked.
If I was smart, I would have only gone to the food aisle and left when I didn’t see it. I also would have just brought in the $5 bill I had in my purse instead of bringing in my whole wallet. I did neither of these things. At this point, I’d gone over my budget already, so when the little plants, soil, and mini pots called to me, into my basket they went.
They did not have cloves.
My last store was the grocery store.
Finally, I drove 5 minutes down the road to a nearby cheap grocery store. I found a big bag of whole cloves (not ground, unfortunately). It was only $3.49, so I purchased it and was on my way. At this point, I knew I’d made a mistake with the other spending. This time, it was the only thing I even looked at in the store.
Since I put the cloves out three days ago, though, I’m happy to report no mouse poop anywhere!
Here are my totals for week 3 of my No-Spend Month:
- February 22nd -$59.07 on gas (on my day off this week, I had to drive two hours for a doctor appointment, so lots of gas)
- February 24th – $121.70 at Giant Tiger
- February 24th – $15.70 at Dollar Tree
- February 24th – $3.49 at the grocery store
- February 26th – $213 on my car loan
Total Spent This Week: $412.96
How did you do on your No-Spend Month?
Are you following along with me? How has your spending been the last three weeks? Have you cut back? Are you finding success? What have been some of your biggest struggles? Let’s discuss it in the comments!
About Chloe Morgan
Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea.