No Spend Challenge, Running

Looking back and going forward: Day 14

Well I’m sure I’m like most of you, and didn’t win the PowerBall last night.  In fact I didn’t have a single number on my three tickets.  Bummer.  Oh well, you win some and you loose some; at least it was only $6.

I did spend a little money yesterday though.  Spent $25 on an entry to a race in May.  I am a runner and it is something that I am passionate about.  Luckily, running, for the most part, is free to do.  Just lace up your shoes and head out the door; that doesn’t cost you a dime.  But in order to stay motivated I do enter races on occasion.  I’m also one of the leads for our local running group, so I do make sure to partake in the races we are trying to promote people to join.  But in order to save money, I always take advantage of the early bird pricing.  Sometimes it can save you up to 40% off of last minute entries.  Plus it keeps me on track with my training knowing that I have a race in the future.  I’m not going to feel the urge to slack off if I paid money to participate in an event.  It’s a win, win situation.

So for day fourteen of The No Spend Challenge we are looking back at the last two weeks to see how far we have come.  What have we saved?  What have we learned?  Where did we make mistakes and where did we shine?  There is a list of questions on the page that will allow you to reflect on your personal challenge.  I was particularly drawn to question number four.  What have I learned about my spending habits so far?

I’ve mentioned before that I lost my job about a month ago.  It sucked the way it all went down, but not working at all or working less, was something I planned on doing in the future anyways.  It just came to me a little sooner then planned.  Because of that I have had to cut down on spending.  My husband has a great job, and we can afford to live off of what he makes, but I knew that in order to do so, I would have to make some small changes in our spending.  When I was working I could set aside a certain amount of money a month that was just “fun money”.  This was money left over after putting money in our savings and paying our bills etc.  I wouldn’t think twice about buying something on Amazon or buying little nic-nacks here and there.  And we never worried about eating out whenever we felt like it.

Now that I am not working and I have more time to do what I love, (photography, this blog, running and going to the gym) I find it even easier then I thought to NOT spend any extra money.  I find myself questioning whether or not this “thing” will make me happy or is something I really need?  I think because I was becoming more and more dissatisfied with my prior career, I was buying things to give myself that temporary feeling of happiness.  Now that I truly do feel happier, I don’t have any holes to try to fill.  I am spending my days the way I always wanted to.  I am doing things that I have always been passionate about that had slipped away from me years ago.

Everything has just stated to come together for me now.  I have learned so much about what true happiness looks like for me.  And surprisingly it doesn’t involve spending more money.  I am so grateful for the events that have lead up to this part of my life.  I am grateful for this challenge.  It’s given me so much.  A platform to write about, ways to save money, and a sense of community.  I always look forward to reading everyone’s posts and I get excited when I see the stats on my blog about my posts.  And the biggest gain is that:  it doesn’t cost a thing!

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