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Here’s to another no spend month challenge fail! I struggled with even writing this post because of how bad it was, but I promised that I’d attempt a no spend year, and that I’d document the journey, even when it’s an utter failure. With that being said, check out how my no spend August turned out to be one of the spendiest months yet!
No Spend August
Or -hemorrhaging money August. Both names work. Man, I spent a ton of money this month! And the sad thing is, I didn’t even really buy anything. Where did it all go?
I’ll tell you where it went. Travel. I spent all the money during my no spend August on travel. So much money! I spent four hundred dollars on a hotel for Fincon (worth it?) and five hundred dollars on plane tickets to Los Angeles.
I was hoping to use my airline miles for the LA flight. Technically, I have enough for the round trip fair. But of course, American Airlines can’t be cool and let you book on any flight using their miles -oh no. You have to use their special system for booking with miles that gives you access to the least desirable flights – and the better flights cost you tons of miles. I should have known better. So, instead I paid for my plane tickets the old-fashioned way -with Travelocity and cold hard cash (and by cash I clearly mean credit – is it even possible to buy plane tickets with cash?)
Another huge chunk of money went to some bill stuff. I had to renew my home warranty for my house in Savannah (so worth it though) and pay the property taxes on the house in Pennsylvania. That’s another two thousand dollars that was gone.
I know these bills don’t really count against a no spend month, but it’s hard to give up such a large chunk of money at once, especially when you just spend tons of money on travel in the same month. Logically I know it doesn’t count, but psychologically it hurts.
The sad thing is that I barely spent any money on eating out during my epic fail of a no spend August. I stuck to my rule of two dinners out per month. The first one was definitely worth it – I took my boyfriend out to dinner for his birthday. The second time was just laziness on my part. I didn’t want to cook anything for dinner so I splurged and ordered a pizza. It was the first time I’d done that in months! And, the twenty-dollar pizza lasted me through four meals, so that’s kind of a bargain.
To be totally fair – I did spend a little extra money eating out during my trip to Savannah. On the plus side, I budgeted two hundred dollars for it and I spent way less than that. I stuck to cheaper food options while I was there, and had close to a hundred bucks to spare! I’d call that a frugal win!
The worst part about my epic failure of a no spend August is that I hardly spent any money on having fun. Ok, maybe I spent ten bucks on having a few beers with my buddies in Savannah, but that was it! I spent thousands of dollars while being a homebody! How does that even happen?
Ok, maybe that is less than honest. I also spent about a hundred bucks at the PA Renaissance Faire. I’m not sure if that counts as fun (although I had a blast!). The main point of our visit was to do some market research for when we quit our jobs and work the Ren fair Circuit! We wanted to see what kinds of crafts were selling well, what markets were over-saturated, and how the card readers put on a show to get customers. This stuff is all vitally important to making out future lives successful.
To be brutally honest, I really spent most of the money on future fun. FinCon is in September, and my LA trip is in October, but booking that stuff at the last minute probably isn’t the answer. I think FinCon can also be considered a business expense -it’s going to be my first one so I don’t really know what to expect, but I’m hoping to do a ton of networking and learn things that will improve the blog game (I definitely need that!).
The LA trip was all about fun. I’ve been planning this trip for months, I even mentioned it in my original post about my no spend year challenge! The first trip to LA this year was the unplanned fluke, but I needed that.
Was My No Spend August a Failure?
Now that I’ve written it all out, I can see that my no spend August wasn’t as big of a failure as I originally thought. Yes, I spent tons of money. However, most of it was on bills that don’t count against the no spend month, and things that I had already budgeted and accounted for at the beginning of the year. The only real splurges were the Renaissance Fair and eating out in Savannah, and those definitely were not the high-ticket items.
No Spend September
I already know that I’ll be spending extra money at FinCon, but like I said above, that’s been planned for a long time. Other than that, I’m hoping to stay the frugal course in September, and not spend all the money! We shall see how that goes!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.