Back in June, before we left on our trip to Northern CA, I decided to try a “No Buy July” upon our return. I felt like I was getting a little spend-y on some things, particularly the ease of purchasing from Amazon, stopping to get coffees at Starbucks, and it felt like we started to eat out a lot. I’ve always found going cold turkey works best for me, so I wanted to try this as a way to reset.
The general rules for the month:
- Essentials only. Food & toiletries were ok, just about everything else was off limits.
- Home-brew coffee only. No purchases at Starbucks (or equivalent coffee shops, like Picasso’s for example).
- Limit dining out to when we didn’t have time to cook. “I don’t feel like cooking” wasn’t an acceptable excuse.
So, How’d I do?
I only slipped up once, buying a new Callaway golf hat on Prime Day. I had been looking at this exact hat for awhile and it dropped to nearly half price, so I snagged it for $15.
The only other non-essential I bought all month was a new Leuchtturm 1917 journal, that I am now using as my official Travel Journal. I had forgotten my previous travel journal got soaked during our trip to Colorado last year and was ruined. This replaces that one. I think of journaling as an important personal development tool, so I don’t think this was really a violation.
This one was harder. It is so easy, on a slow (boring) day at work, to take a break and run out for a quick pick-me-up.
In the end, I made 4 trips to Starbucks during July. Two of those were on “date nights” with Stef, which I am giving myself a pass on. A, because we don’t get the chance to go out all that much and B, $10 at Starbucks is a relatively cheap date.
So that leaves 2 slips, one on Friday the 13th and one on the last Monday of the month, the 30th. So close!
In the end, not too bad, but not a success either.
Before writing this, I assumed this would be the one I failed hardest at. Upon review I actually did pretty well. In total, we ate out 15 times during July. By my unscientific count, 5 of those were not me. For example, it could be Stef taking the kids out while they were on summer break.
That leaves 10 times, which may sound like a lot but doing a quick overview I think only 2 or 3 were “I don’t feel like cooking” meals. The rest were either planned, like dinner with my parents to celebrate my Mom’s birthday, date nights (2 more!) or a couple nice(r) family dinners out – Sugarfire and Qdoba.
Overall, the month wasn’t terrible. A few observations:
- It helped that we were out of town for a few days toward the middle of the month on our family trip to Arkansas.
- I also planned ahead and defaulted to eating peanut butter sandwiches when I didn’t have something prepared (or leftovers) to bring for lunch. Usually, days like these I would have caved and just went out for lunch.
- Limiting Amazon/non-essential purchases is the big win here. Those type of purchases can really add up, so I am happy with myself that I only “cheated” once, but on something I was going to buy at some point anyway AND ended up saving 50% of the usual price.
It’ll be interesting to see if this holds up through August. [Putting a note on my calendar to check in when the month is over…]