It's so beautiful in the month of June. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are chirping. It's my very favorite month of the year. So it is a wonderful month to kick off my Intentional Spending Challenge.
If you don't know what I mean by intentional spending yet, re-read these two posts:
So this month I am challenging both you and myself to think about every purchase and decide whether you really need to buy it or not. I listed what I believe are the 4 categories that I intentionally spend on the most: housing, healthcare, food and transportation.
You don't have to limit yourselves to just these four. I know that June is the month of weddings and graduations. People start to go on vacation or plan for one. There are birthday parties that your children will get invited to or summer picnics, potlucks or cookouts that you will be invited to.
I don't want you to think twice about spending on a healthcare emergency. Just do it!
But I want you to spend your money intentionally, not on impulse. Impulsive spending will sink your dreams and goals and you will never get ahead.
I want you to think about every purchase this month and decide whether it is a need or a want. For Ex: Is that dinner out a need or a want? Am I spending too much money eating out every month and that is why I can't reach my goals? Can I make that dinner more delicious and cheaper at home?
Do I need to stop at the drive thru at Tim Horton's for coffee? Can I brew my own and bring it in a to go mug? Do I really need that gum, candy, or magazine at the check out?
Can I hang my laundry inside or outside and save some dollars on my electric bill this month? Can I keep the A/C off today? Can I survive the heat with fans and strategic curtain pulling or by opening the windows if there is a nice breeze?
Can I buy the same OTC drug generically and still get the same results? Can I buy my prescription the same way? Will I save money mail ordering my prescription rather than picking it up at the drugstore?
Can I make repairs on my home or property myself?
Can I do the same on my car? Can I do my research and get the same coverage on my auto or homeowner's policy cheaper by switching companies?
Do I need to drive the car today? If I need to run errands, can I wait until I can do a lot of errands at one time? Do we really need to go for a Sunday drive when we could go for a bike ride or walk instead?
Do I need to go see the first run movie and pay an arm and a leg for tickets, popcorn, or soda? Can I watch a movie I haven't seen on TV or Netflix and make our own snacks?
Can I make my own food from scratch? If I don't have an ingredient for a recipe, what can I substitute or can I leave it out?
If I need to give a gift, can I make it? Do I have to spend $100. - $ 150. on a wedding gift? Can I make a gift for less that the couple will love?
I want you to ask yourselves these questions and ones like them starting today and every day this month. Question every penny that you are spending. Is the purchase a necessity or a want? Am I spending my money intentionally or on impulse? How can I do this cheaper with out sacrificing too much quality?
If you will join me this month in doing this and tracking every penny that flies out of your wallet, I think you may be surprised at the results at the end of June. You don't have to have a fancy spreadsheet to track it. Just take a small notebook every place you go to and write your purchases down.
Hopefully by doing this challenge, you will see where your money is going and why. And then you can make the changes necessary to make your debt get paid down faster or your investments go up. This is the single most important challenge that you can do to get on the path to your dreams and make your net worth healthier and healthier.
I will be posting every day this month that I have to make these choices and let you know my thought processes starting today. So look for a post tonight.
So please join me and start on your path to financial independence. It's the best thing that you can do for you and your family!