I’ve talked a lot on this blog and in my free course and program about not spending money unnecessarily and how to be a “minimal spender”. I’ve always been pretty good with money but it wasn’t until a year or so ago that I became a real minimal spender!
When my husband and I made the decision that I would quit my job and pursue this little blog you’re reading we knew that we would have to cut back a little in order to do it. The thing is we were already on a pretty minimal budget. But we cut back a few more things and called it good.
Then six months later my husband essentially did the same thing I did and quit his job to pursue another job for less pay but was what he really wanted to do with his life.
When that happened we decided that if we didn’t want to spend all of our money every month and if we wanted to continue to save for a house like we’d been doing, then we needed to cut out all unnecessary spending. That meant, no clothes, no coffees to go, no new electronics, no shoes, etc. All of it went out of the budget! (You can see the difference in our budgets in my posts $1700 budget and my $1300 budget.)
Do you know what changed when we did that?
I mean sure we couldn’t go out and buy something whenever we wanted, but our overall life stayed the same. It was kind of weird of it didn’t really change. Turns out, money didn’t affect our happiness really, imagine that! ;)
The next year and a half life went on as usual, we were able to save money, live a full life and pursue what we love instead of being tied to a job we hate. All because we gave up spending unnecessarily.
So today I’m going to break down how we did it, things that helped us keep the goal and tips to help you get there!
How My Husband And I Stopped Spending Unnecessary Money
1. We stopped putting ourselves in the lion’s den (stores).
When we first decided we were going to stop spending money I didn’t go out to stores often. If I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spend any money there I just avoided being tempted. I also didn’t want to put myself in a position to be sad or mad about not being able to spend money.
Before we made this transition I would often head out shopping on a day off or to kill time. I wouldn’t necessarily need something but I’d inevitably find something to purchase and even if it was a good price it still wasn’t necessary. So when we decided we weren’t going to spend any extra money guess what I didn’t do. Go to those stores. Though now I’m at the point where I can go to stores without feeling sad or mad or jealous of other people spending money, in the beginning I wasn’t there. So I stayed out of the lions den until l could face the lion a not break.
If you want to stop spending money unnecessarily, don’t put yourself in a position where it’s not easy to do so.
2. We learned to be okay with being different
Once I could go into the “lion’s den” and not feel bad or be persuaded to buy something then I had to learn how to be okay with being different from everyone else. It’s not always easy being the one who isn’t spending money. Sometimes you can definitely feel left out. But the key is to learn how to be okay with being different. Stand strong in your decision to stop spending money and be okay when others around you are doing it. (Because no one wants to hang out with someone who is just complaining about not being able to spend money. Don’t be that person.)
Once I got to that point then it allowed me to be with my friends and help them pick out what they wanted to get or just look at stuff without feeling sorry for myself or just wishing I could buy it. I learned to enjoy the experience with the people instead of with the store and I was okay being the only one not heading out with a bag.
Really it’s just great life advice: Be okay being different and you basically are free to do whatever you want in life!
3. We had a BIG FREAKIN WHY
Okay, here comes the real talk. Not spending money can have its hard days. There are definitely times I played the comparison game and wish I could go out and make my one bedroom apartment look like an Instagram post. On those hard days or moments the biggest thing I did or my husband did for me is remember our BIG FREAKIN WHY! Why does it have to be so big and all caps? Because it’s that important! Our “why” is what called us to this lifestyle in the first place and what will call you. It’s the reason you started so it will be the reason you continue.
Our BIG FREAKIN WHY was quitting the jobs we hated and trying to make a full time income doing something we love! That’s a big why my friends! When I was having those days or moments where I wished I could just go shop, I would remind myself that if I wanted to live that lifestyle I could, but I would have to go back to a regular job to do it. That pretty much snapped me out of any feeling sorry for myself moments.
Have a BIG FREAKIN WHY my friends and it’ll carry you through the season.
4. We focused on our goals instead of anything else!
I’ve mentioned this before but it still rings true and I think is so important to mention. When I stopped going to stores and spending my free time shopping for fun I filled my time with better things. When Pinterest started not being fun because I couldn’t really buy anything I stopped wasting time on there and started working towards goals that would get me to where I wanted to be.
It may sound silly if you’ve never sat back and thought about it, but we spend a lot of time spending money. Once I took the spending money act out of my life, I realized not only was I having more money but I had more time. What you choose to do with that extra time is up to you, but for my husband and I, we spent that time working and chasing after our goals. I spent that time here on this blog and creating my program. I spent that time reading personal development books and even working out-sometimes. ;)
Focus on things that will take you to where you want to go in life, not buying things that are keeping you where you are at.
5. We would remember it’s a season.
Now don’t get me wrong. We will probably always be minimal spenders no matter how much money we make later on. But, as far as never spending unnecessarily, that will eventually change. There will eventually be a time where I buy clothes again, or some home decor or maybe even a tv. But as of now, that’s not in our plan and that’s okay.
Right now is the season of choosing pursuing a passion over buying new things and though it is hard sometimes, it’s a season worth going through!
If you are struggling financially, trying to get out of debt, a job or just trying to minimize your budget, cutting out your unnecessary expenses is probably the answer for you. (I also have a free course that talks specifically about cutting back your expenses in order to quit your job but what I talk about in the course regarding money can be applied for any situation. If you are interested in that you can learn more about it here.)
I’d encourage you if you’ve never tried getting rid of unnecessary purchases to try it out for a month. See how much you did or didn’t miss the buying high and see how much you saved as well. Both might surprise you.
I hope me sharing our story and tips encourages you to go against the norm of money and do something that will help you in life and push you farther towards your goals, financial and otherwise!