Sense & Centsibility Blog

The 1-Year No Spending Challenge: Halftime Update

lab dog with toy

As you may already know, I took on a self-imposed ban on purchasing new items. Even though you only read about it for the first time in July, this endeavor began on February 1 of this year. Since then, I accidentally made a purchase (a dog toy) that was immediately destroyed by my black lab, Lily. On the bright side, she still plays with the carcass.

Well, the past six months since I began this challenge have certainly been interesting. In one summer I lost two cars (beaters) to complete engine failure. I had attempted to fix one that cost me about $1000. That hurt considerably. I broke down and finally started shopping used cars a few weeks ago. To keep in the spirit of reduced consumerism, I started looking at the most fuel efficient used cars I could find. Long story longer, my wife and I purchased a new hybrid car. Despite the 0% financing, I still label this as a ‘major violation’. Although in my defense, with the finance savings, it is thousands cheaper than the two-year-old edition.

In the past two weeks I have also lost my shaver (which is a crucial item since I shave my head weekly) and the starter on our other vehicle. On top of this, our garage door opener appears to be on its last legs. I had to replace my shaver on Saturday, which was a $32 endeavor after the government took their cut. My starter on my other vehicle (not the new one!) went out in the parking lot of the store - if that isn’t karma…

Luckily, my cousin is a tow truck operator and he was able to give me the $40 employee rate. The next morning, I procured a rebuilt starter for the truck, which saved me about $43 and kept my investment at $84…or $124 counting the tow. I did the work myself to save a couple hundred more dollars and had it back on the road before the weekend was over!

not buying anything button

So I have had a couple of unforeseen issues that have forced me back to the stores. I will NOT allow this to deter me or use it as an excuse to end the challenge. The truth is I actually like NOT buying things. It is mentally challenging to work out my own solutions to my problems. I find useful ways to repurpose the junk in my garage and I have a far better eye for what is garbage - and what things still have some use or value.

What have you done to save and avoid spending your money? Share your ideas with us! Also, check out Ashley Hagelin’s blog, 4 Tips for a Successful Staycation, to save you even more money. 

Looking for some more solid advice to improve your finances? Call LSS Financial Counseling today at 888.577.2227 to schedule an appointment with one of our excellent Financial Counselors. We’re here to help you conquer your debt and achieve your financial goals. So don’t wait – take action today!

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Author Malcolm Johannessen is a Certified Financial Counselor with LSS and he specializes in Foreclosure Prevention Counseling.