Sunday, March 22, 2020

Week Three of My No-Spend Month

It's my goal as a minimalist to make all aspects of minimalism feel more accessible. It's certainly not a lifestyle for everyone and that's perfectly fine. However, I love the benefit minimalist living has on my finances, and I wanted to keep sharing how my No-Spend month is going, week-by-week. Here's week three!

Week of March 15-21

Last week was difficult but I realized a few things that I could apply to this week, the rest of the no-spend month, and to life in general. I realized that when I get to be creative, I feel good. I realized that when I make myself slow down and concentrate on everything from putting away clean laundry to chopping veggies for dinner, that I enjoy the time spent being focused and intentional. I'll be applying creativity and intentionality into as much of this week as I can.

Day 15: A third lazy Sunday eased me into the third week of the no-spend month. I watched TV and enjoyed fresh pots of tea through most of the morning and early afternoon and just enjoyed having no pressing matters to attend to. Over coffee mid-morning, I worked on a meal plan for the week aimed at using up any foods we have on-hand. I've tried to do very minimal grocery shopping this month to make use of the excess foods in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. After a lunchtime snack, I got dinner going in the crock pot. Once that was sorted I watched a bit more TV and then finished up the blog post about Week Two of the no-spend month.

Day 16: I took the day off work for a much-needed mental health day. I brewed a few pots of tea throughout the day to help relieve stress. My customization window on my Imperfect Foods box opened, so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon picking produce and meat and thinking about what kinds of meals I could make for next week. The highlight of the night was a healthy dinner followed up by a cup of maple syrup-flavored tea.

Day 17: Back at work I was kept busy until just after 5pm. Having things to do at work definitely makes a no-spend month easier. Once home, I did a couple of quick chores and got another healthy dinner going. I've gained a real appreciation for taking time to prepare and cook healthy meals which really helps to improve my mood as I wind down after work. Over a gin & tonic at the end of the night, I totaled up my grocery spend for the month so far, which I plan to report in the final post for the month.

Day 18: I worked half the day at work, and then started two weeks of work-from-home for social distancing given the coronavirus outbreak. I took the time today after work to call my best friend, which instantly relaxed me after a full work day. After the call, I cooked up another healthy dinner and watched TV with the husband while we ate. The night was still young by the time we finished with dinner and I realized I hadn't done a good job of updating this post with a summary of what I did each day. Oops! Once I caught up, I started making a meal plan for next week using the various meats and produce I picked out on Day 16. I ended the night with a big mug of tea and chatting with friends on Discord.

Day 19: I spent the day after work cooking a healthy dinner, watching some TV while we ate, then treated myself to some self-care. After a face mask and a shower, I started winding down for the night with a book and a Discord chat with a friend. It was a pretty uneventful day save for being busy with work.

Day 20: Working from home I decided to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning. Work was very busy all day. A while after I clocked out, I made a healthy dinner of rice and shakshuka to make use of some pantry and fridge items. I spent some time decompressing by listening to music and chatting with friends. My night ended with playing with the dog then reading a book. Social distancing started to wear me down so I didn't have energy for much all evening.

Day 21: I started off the morning baking a batch of peanut butter cookies. After a while I got a big batch of homemade pulled pork going for dinner. Feeling isolated because of social distancing I wanted to fight off depression by writing a positive letter to myself about my goals and my supportive friend group. Baking and cooking took my mind off of some of the social distancing. Beyond that I watched a whole lot of TV and chatted with friends on Discord as they were available. I ended the night watching a movie with the husband, then read a few chapters of a book.

This week was emotionally difficult because of starting the effort of social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak. I did my best to cook and bake with intention but it was hard to only be able to talk to friends online. However, I didn't spend any money so it was another successful week to count for the no-spend month.

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