No Spend Challenge

Cha-cha-cha-changes: Day 21

Day twenty-one of The No Spend Challenge is our weekly reflection day.  I think reflection days are my favorite days.  I enjoy looking back and reviewing how I have grown, what I need to learn more about and what works that I should continue with.

For example, yesterday was a great day for me.  I didn’t spend any money and even though I don’t have children, I still made some great progress on my own journey.  I actually re-vistited my teenaged years.  Early last year, my parents came for a visit (they are from Phoenix).  When they came they brought the very last bit of my personal items from my bedroom back home.

I moved out to Austin almost 12 years ago.  I took 90% of my things with me, but there were a couple items that just wouldn’t fit and weren’t of great importance for me to have in here.  One of these items was a plastic filing crate.  It was mainly filled with my teenaged years mementos.  Everything from poetry I had wrote, to term papers and old assignments as well as my collection of Rod Stewart clippings and school newspapers.  Back in the late 90’s when I started to collect these items, I’m sure they had great value to me, but for the past 12 years they have sat in a closet in my parent’s house and for the past 9 months they have been sitting in my garage.  So after listening to more of Marie Kondo’s book, I decided to tackle them once and for all.

At first it was fun; looking through everything and being reminded of my high school and college years.  Then I really had to sit back and ask myself why had I held onto this stuff for so long?  I probably could have easily thrown the whole tub out without even going through it.  I did go and pull out all my poetry that I had wrote over the years.  (One day I hope to share some of it here.)  Pretty much everything else went in the recycle or trash.  My husband thought I should hold onto my extensive collection of Rod Stewart news clippings, but for what reason he could not answer me.  I will always love his music but I don’t need those clippings to know that.  (I did keep two concert tickets though.)

After cleaning out that tub I went up stairs and went through one more tub that I had gone through serval times in the past year.  Each time taking a little bit more out.  This time I took enough out to fit the poetry I had saved.  Altogether, I got 4 tubs down to 2 (and considering I used to have 6), this was a great accomplishment.  As more time goes by I’m sure I will empty most of those as well.  I know Maria’s method is more of a cold turkey method but I have made great progress and I feel I have narrowed down everything to only things that bring me joy or things that are necessary to keep.

So I think the biggest thing I learned from doing all of this, is that just because I threw out a lot of things from my teenaged years, doesn’t mean I still don’t have those memories.  Those items did not define me.  They served their purpose back when I needed them; when I was transitioning from being a high schooler to becoming a young adult.  But, now in my mid 30’s, they no longer served a purpose.

As for the rest of the week, I think I did pretty well.  I did buy a couple things on Amazon, but I used a gift card from Christmas.  And I choose the “No Rush Shipping” so that I could receive $1 credits towards eBooks.  And as I mentioned earlier in the week I did go a little over board with grocery shopping but come next week I will be able to buy a lot less (probably just produce)!  I also sold a bunch of books, so when I decided to buy one, it didn’t cost me anything.

Actually now that I think about it, I think my relationship with books is the one that is the hardest to change!  I have two cook books coming from the Amazon gift card (and I opted for the $1 credits towards eBooks). I sold a bunch and bought another as I mentioned.  And I am currently reading two books and listening to one (free) audio book!  Coming from someone who hated to read as a kid, this is so funny to me.  I have no idea where my attachment to books and reading has come from.  Very interesting what you learn about yourself when you really start to focus more on your day to day life and the little things that we tend to over look.

I hope everyone else’s week went as well as I felt mine did.  Look at it this way, we are more then half way done; with only one week left to go!  I know for myself, I will be applying a lot of what I have learned to the rest of the year and beyond.  It feels good to create new and healthy habits!



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