For a lot of people, January is a no-spend month.
Since I’m not participating, I thought I’d share what I’m doing with my money this month.
I’m spending it.
Da dum tss!
That is actually true, of course. I am also implementing three small changes this month that seemed notable enough to mention at length. None of them involve being ultra frugal, and I’ve already eaten out once this month. Still, my money looks different. Take a peek:
Money Exercise 1 – Write it down.
I’m writing down every last penny. There is actually no different than what I do every month. My husband and I both use manual spending trackers on our phones that allow us to punch in the purchase amount and tap a category. At the end of the month, we compare (app) notes and dump it all in a spreadsheet. It’s pretty hands-on already.
Still, I wanted to try something old school. I balanced a checkbook up until my 30th birthday a few years back, so I’m no stranger to putting pen to paper to do some basic math. But I’ve never actually recorded my spending in this fashion. With all the research on the power of handwriting, I thought I’d give it a whirl.
Money Exercise 2 – Make more money.
As far as personal finance advice goes, make more money is both infuriating and inevitable. Frugality just can’t cut it on its own. But telling people to make more money is a lot like telling someone to exercise more or eat less. Sure, it’s the right thing to say, but it’s entirely different to actually do it.
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So this month, I’m doing THE THING that all the money people say to do. I’m trying to make money every day. And I’m not counting interest or dividends. But I would be lying if I didn’t disclose the fact that some days are already a stretch.
Like yesterday. Where the only thing I could think to do was make $0.75 for taking a photo on Job Spotter.
Don’t worry. I won’t spend it all in one place.
Money Exercise 3 – Spend more.
This exercise is related to my goal of prioritizing myself a bit more this quarter, and it’s also a direct challenge. I was given a wonderful Christmas bonus for some freelance work I’ve been doing, and it came with one string: spend this on something that brings joy or fun to you and your family.
A few years ago, that money wouldn’t have even hit my account, and I would have been running for my keys to go pedal to the metal to the mall. Now, though, it’s tough. I’ve conditioned myself to save, even when it ruins periods of rest and gives me saver’s remorse after traveling. So this could honestly end up being the gift that keeps on giving if it teaches me how to enjoy spending without guilt again.
Final Thoughts on a Spending January
I don’t know how any of these money exercises will go. I’m not sure if I’ll learn lessons or quit halfway through. I do know money will come in, and I know money will certainly flow out. Whatever the results, I promise I’ll share.
So Tell Me…What are you doing with your money in January?