December Buy Nothing Challenge Week 2 & 3 and conclusion. Week One.
It was pretty smooth most of the second week until I had a difficult day and ended up eating at a fast food drive thru for $8 and spending $3 at the Dollar Store for craft materials to make me less sad. I also forgot to cancel a food box, so that showed up the last day of week 2 and posted to my account for $24.
That food box straddled week 3 – which I am calling the week of cabbage. Since I was trying to keep my food budget as low as possible I purchased some items in bulk – including a 5lb bag of shredded cabbage for $3.99. I figured it’s a green that eats well raw or cooked, so it would be versatile.
I didn’t realized exactly how much cabbage 5lbs is – especially when you are one person! I cooked it 6 different ways, and made some raw salads with it. I ate it for 2/3 meals – the 3rd meal being meals from the food box with the exception of one time I did curbside p/u for my mom and I while we were work shopping (thrifting for stuff to flip.) I realized if we were shopping for work stuff, I should be able to write off the meal. That meal was my only OOP costs this week aside from my super small grocery shop that included the cabbage. I posted many, many cabbage recipes to Instagram and many ugly food pictures (sunshine, I miss you so).
During my week 3 business shopping I did buy one thing for myself. I broke the BUY NOTHING with real clear intentions for an item that I’m super excited about and I hope will help my health. This little sitNcycle.
I’ve been using it for a few minutes here and there throughout the day and am hoping to find a way to set up a work station with it so I can do it more. I will put my health first, always, even during a no spend challenge. $10.
Coffee continued to be free during this time due to bonus points from card/app bonus, hoarded stars, and gift cards. I purchase one coffee and it lasts up to 3 days. So I go 3ish times a week and drive thru for my trenta pumpkin cream cold brew, no vanilla.
Then on the cusp of week 4, a miracle happened. Someone used my Chase Sapphire Preferred referral link . That referral bonus posted and was $200! It’s $750 for the person who signed up. I transferred the remaining funds to hit my $225 ABLE fund goal, did a dance, and ordered a pizza! FORGET YOU CABBAGE!
Thus concludes the BUY NOTHING challenge. Was it successful? Did I achieve my goal? Yes – if that is the definition of success in this instance. Did I actually BUY NOTHING? No. I broke it at least once every week. But I was more mindful, more intentional, and I just paid more attention. Did I make different choices? Absolutely. Any number of times I would have spent money I did not. I learned a lot – how much harder life used to be. How much better it is now. What challenges still exist. How I measure success has changed, and only through paying attention this month did I realize this. It’s not necessarily about winning any longer, but learning.
Past Tami would have attacked here. “You didn’t REALLY do the challenge. You bought something each week! You suck. You can’t even do this… you blah blah.” Pour on the shaming. This challenge was a practice in grace and kindness. Did I do it perfectly? No. But did I do it? Yes. Did I learn during the process? Yes. Did I grow and accept that I do not need to follow any one’s rules but my own? Yes. Whose opinion matters? Just mine. Did shaming fall from my first response to barely on my radar? Yes.
Does that tiny voice still live in the back of my head, jumping up and down, telling me how I did it all wrong, and everyone is going to tell me I failed and blah blah blah? Yes. The difference is it is much quieter, and: I don’t care what it says. If you could have any idea how long it took to get to a place where I could say that AND MEAN IT. I don’t care that not everyone thinks I succeeded at this. Their opinion is their experience of me, and not my business. AND I ACTUALLY BELIEVE IT.
Was this challenge a success? Yes. Unequivocally, yes.