I know some people were asking me about what ended up happening with that, and some were even excited to try it out themselves. If you did try your own no spend week, chime in on the comments section, I'd love to hear from you!
In the end, I would say that our no spend week was a success! We didn't "not spend" for the entire week, to be honest. But we did a great job of not buying food, not wasting, and just doing without in a lot of ways. It was a great opportunity to simplify our lives, and see exactly how much we *need*. We reached our no spend goal (which was really more of a low spend goal).
FIVE LESSONS WE LEARNED:
1) Living with less = freedom: When you live with less, it just makes you feel more free. In reality, it does free you up. Less stuff and less spending means more money to save, donate, invest, etc.
2) I want to simplify my life: This whole no spend week really encouraged me to simplify everything in my life. The objects in my house, the clothes in my closet, the way that I spend my time and my money and even our schedules. So far I am working towards purging our house (which is easy, it's small and we don't have that much) and simplifying our schedules.
3) I need to be more generous: I don't this the reason we simplify our lives is so that we can have more money. To me, that makes no sense. Isn't more money a bit of a burden, and doesn't more money just complicate your life more? I think freeing up extra cash just makes you more available to give freely, and that is what I am praying we will be able to do. Give, from a heart that wants to give. Spend less, so that we can be more generous.
4) I never want to have more than I need: Looking through my closet, I realized I have may too many clothes. More clothes than I could ever wear. More clothes that I don't even like to wear. Why not invest money in clothes that are good quality, that fit beautifully, and ditch the cheap and unflattering ones? Maybe I'll only own three dresses, but they'll be three dresses that make me feel fantastic. I feel the same way about houses. I look at our tiny little apartment, and it warms my heart. We have all we need. In a year, maybe we'll need a few hundred more square feet. We'll find that. But I don't want to buy a giant house with empty rooms. That is a beautiful feeling to have.
5) We all like a little extra. I read this blog post, and honestly, I hated it. I don't want stark white walls with no colour, no memories to fill the space. I think it's important to realize that we all like a little extra. Maybe you like having a closet full of clothes. Maybe you like going on expensive trips. Maybe you like having a big house to entertain people. That's okay. For me, I put disposables on my daughter too often, and feed her jarred food. It makes my life easier, even though there is a cheaper way. I like going to the drive thru when I'm in a rush, and trying to "break" that habit just causes me too much stress. So, we'll continue to spend money there, because that's where our extra goes. No need to judge or look down on people who like their "extra" a different way.
There you have it! Our first, but certainly not our last, no spend week! More to come on how we're simplifying our lives!
Let me know if you were inspired to simplify, and how!