At the tail-end of my recent vacation, I made a big decision. I am suspending all home spending for September. Yep, that’s right. I will not be making any home related purchases for 30 days. That might sound crazy for a home blogger, even crazier for a home blogger in the middle of a basement finishing project. Crazy, maybe, but I am excited to take on this challenge…and I am already 3 days in.
Why A Home Spending Hiatus?
Why I am doing this? I had a lot of time to think on vacation and as I thought about how I have been spending my spare time lately, I just felt kind of gluttonous. I was out buying new things for my home, while I had a bunch of projects half finished or not even started. Sometimes I was shopping just for a get away, a mommy break, even though I did not need anything. Deep down I felt like I was just rushing around from one thing (or store) to another and not enjoying what I already have.
I feel a compelling need to get the value out of purchases I have already made, whether it is supplies for a project or a new furniture purchase still sitting in my garage. I have plenty of supplies and projects to complete over the rest of the month without making any additional purchases. I may not have any big room reveals, but I can certainly make a significant dent in my backlog of projects.
We also have some big purchases we want to make for our basement project, but I feel my ad hoc spending derails us from our bigger home goals. Little purchases here and there really can add up. By restricting spending for a while, I think we will be able to save up and plan for the bigger things.
The Ground Rules
I set some ground rules for myself to establish what a home spending hiatus means for me. Basically, I am stopping all discretionary home spending.
Here are the things I am NOT going to spend money on for the 30 days in September:
- Home Decor
- Home Center purchases (Home Depot, Lowes)
- Craft Supplies (which I primarily buy for home decor projects)
Of course, there are a few exceptions where I will spend money:
- Normal home related bills (gas, electric, cable, water)
- Emergency home purchases (something breaks and needs to be fixed)
- Gas for the lawn mower (our association would balk if we did not mow the lawn for a month)
Instead of Home Spending, I will be Planning and Saving
What am I going to do instead of shopping? Window shopping, of course…kidding, well partially. I will definitely spend time over the next month planning my projects and spaces, hence some minimal online window shopping. By taking a step back to fully plan some of the new spaces in our basement, I can consider all the purchases we want to make and not let small trivial purchases steer my designs off track.
During this time, I will be saving money. Seems obvious right? Well, the money is not saved in my opinion until it is in the savings account. I will be aggressively cranking up the amount I transfer to savings in the month of September. Some of this money will help us later when we are ready to purchase basement flooring, kitchen cabinets, and bathroom fixtures.
Maybe the most important thing I will be doing, is finishing up all the projects I have started and abandoned for one reason or another. Instead of starting new things, I am going to focus on finishing what I already started. My current laundry/craft room is drowning in “works in progress”. I don’t want to move a bunch of half-finished projects to my new studio. I plan to complete all projects that don’t require any additional purchases. If I don’t have all the things I need for a project, it will have to wait until the hiatus is over or I will have to find a creative alternative to finish the project.
I hope this exercise helps me love my home more. I hope it brings out more creativity. I hope it helps me and my family appreciate the beautiful things we already have in our lives. I hope this spending hiatus let’s me refocus on the most important things in life, which aren’t things at all.
I will definitely share all the projects I complete, but I also plan to do some periodic updates on the spending hiatus. On one hand, I assume this will be easy, but on the other, I know it may be hard at times. I want to share the ups and downs with you. At the end of September I will do a full recap of how the month went.
Have you ever imposed a spending hiatus on yourself? Were you successful?