Tag: updateonlimitedspendingchallenge

Books, and more books, plus some e-courses: Update on the limited spending challenge

So it is that time again–for a check-in on my year long limited spending challenge.

In case you’re new to the blog, here is a brief recap–I decided at the end of 2020 that instead of trying to do ‘no-spend’ months (and splurging), I would ‘limit’ the spending and items would fall into one of two categories: needed and splurges.

I did really well in January on the challenge, and then slowly started slipping since, and hopefully May will be the last ‘major’ sliding month for the year.

So yes–I splurged. On what? Well–mainly books, I think I mentioned it last year (or maybe in 2019) on a book review–I’m an impulsive book buyer. So the books I bought were:

2021: Webmaster Series by Dr. Andy Williams

A couple of books on SEO

Hope River series by Margaret McHeyzer

The Guardians series by Victoria Paige

25 ways to work from home by Jen Ruiz

Wildfire Hearts series by Savannah Kade

Bad Karma Special Ops series by Tracy Brody

Linear Tactical series by Janie Crouch

Authentic: How to be yourself and why it matters by Stephen Joseph

The Lt. Kate Gazarra series (books 1-3) by Blair Howard

Guardian Hostage Rescue Specialist series by Ellie Masters

So, I think that I have enough books to get me through the rest of the year, in addition to the books I splurged on last month, all the free ones I downloaded in March & December, plus the pre-orders I still have set throughout the year.

I also bought a couple more e-courses as well. While I stated at the beginning of the year that I was aiming at not purchasing any other e-courses, I did buy one or two earlier in the year (there is an copy writing course I’m going to be starting soon). Also once I created my ‘personal/professional development board game’, I decided that I wanted to get a couple of art history courses if possible (as it is a subject that I’ve always been fascinated with and any books I have on the various subjects are currently in a storage unit). In addition to those courses, I found several others that could be beneficial moving forward as well.

So the e-courses I recently purchased included (and they’re all from Udemy):

How to Awaken & Connect to Your Spiritual Higher Self

Learn Bioinformatics from Scratch (Theory & Practical)

How to become a freelance editor

Kick start a freelance editor & proofreader career on upwork

Art history: prehistory to the renaissance

From Caves to Cities: Prehistoric art history

Gods & Kings: The Art History of Mesopotamia

Ancient Art of South Arabia: The Himyarite Kingdom

Olmec Art

Islamic Architecture

Computer Vision Masterclass

Luckily I purchased all these courses during various ‘sale’ periods (so they were only $9.99-11.99 a courses in stead of $99+). The goal is to now try to bounce between some ‘professional development’ courses and some ‘personal development’ courses throughout the summer.

I realized that I spent way more money that I meant to during May, and therefore am aiming at a totally limited spending month (only pre-orders and my automatically monthly order from Amazon). I’ve figured if I make use of the time management app Self Control, I can stay off Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon during the day, and that is usually when I ‘splurge’–mindless scrolling though social media.

This is the ‘experiment’ for June anyway–stay off social media for majority of the day, and then have a ‘plan’ in place for teh rest of the time and start reading the books I’ve bought and working through the e-courses I’ve bought.

I realized when I started this challenge, I wasn’t going to be perfect, and I have ‘slid’ a lot in terms of book buying–but recognizing the signs is the first step, activating the self control app is the second step, and then the third step is going to be ‘creating’ check-sheets for being on Facebook (responding to comments, commenting on posts, posting in certain groups), to help limit the ‘social media’ time that way.

Here is to June being a much better (and money controlled) month in terms of the limited spending challenge.

If you’re an impulsive book buyer–who are a few of your favorite authors? If you buy e-courses, what sites do you use for continous learning?

No Comments financesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development ChallengesReflectionsUpdates

Still impulsively buying books–April ‘limited-spending’ challenge check-in

So it’s time for the fourth check-in on my yearlong limited spending challenge.

A brief recap: I decided at the end of 2020 that instead of trying to do ‘no-spend’ months (and splurging throughout teh month), I would instead ‘limit’ the spending. This would be by dividing things into either the ‘needed’ or ‘splurge’ categories–allowing me to acknowledge that I may have forgotten to buy something and allowing me to buy it (say dog treats, personal hygiene items and so forth).

So how did I do in April? Well, I splurged on books again towards the end of the month. I think that part of the splurging was due to seeing that I wasn’t going to have any ‘new’ books download until basically mid-month. So instead of choosing from the hundreds of unread books on my kindle–I bought more.

Splurging on books has always been a problem for me–I like to read, and a book (or series) sounds interesting, I wither will purchase just the first book (and go back and buy the rest later), or go ahead and purchase the entire series. Then the books will sit within my digital to-be-read pile until I get around to reading them.

So what books did I end up buying at the end of the month? They included:

The Hellfire series by Elle James

The Triple Canopy Series by Riley Edwards

Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino

How to be Your Own Genie by Radleigh Valentine

Adventures of the Soul by James Van Praagh

The Magic of Unicorns by Diana Cooper

Quiet Influence by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler

Creativity Rules by Tina Seelig

Morality Bites series by Ramy Vane

I also bought the rest of the following two series (I had the first two or three books of each): The O’Neils and Hidden Cove Firefighters by Kathryn Shay.

So in addition to all the free e-books (purchased in March and back in December), plus other e-books I’ve splurged on I think that I have enough e-books to get through that I shouldn’t be purchasing any that haven’t already been pre-ordered.

I’ve also realized that by hitting on the various ads for different series on Facebook, I’m allowing my inner critic/imposter syndrome to derail me from the tasks that I had set for the day. Scrolling through social media, amazon, and various other sites while it can be beneficial every so often has actually become detrimental to my ability to stay focused on the tasks at hand (such as research, writing rough drafts, editing, and so forth)–to where I’m actually going to start using various ‘time management’ apps, that will hopefully help me with both time and money management.

While the overall goal for May is to limit the spending–I’m going to say that I’m aiming for only two spend days–the one splurge day I already had, and then the one large amazon order that I’m going to be placing either today or tomorrow.

What are some apps that you use to help with both time and money management?

No Comments financesLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal Development ChallengesReflections

Three months into the limited spending challenge

So it’s that time again for a monthly update on how I’m doing with my yearlong limited spending challenge.

This is the challenge I decided on at the end of 2020–instead of trying to do ‘no-spend’ months (and end up splurging to no end)–I decided that I would just try to ‘limit’ the spending.

January saw me off to a great start; February, the road bumps started; and now–I think that while I hit a few more road bumps I’m doing okay.

So while I splurged again on books–majority of them were free, as I had gotten an email (or two) from a couple of authors I follow that had a link to numerous free books (one-day only deal). I think that the only book I got that day that wasn’t free was only $2.99.

I did buy several professional development books, that will be added to my to-be read in 2021 list:

The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler

The Freelance Introvert: Work the way you want without changing who you are by Tom Albrighton

Copywriting made simple: how to write powerful and persuasive copy that sells by Tom Albrighton

The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify your strengths and create success on your own terms by Beth Buelow

In addition I also purchased another professional development course on copy writing that I will slowly be working through over the next few months.

Mid-month, I purchased a birthday present for my niece, and then did my one large order from amazon that included some essentials along with a few other things (index cards–for flash cards, an index card holder & divider and a couple of books on spirituality).

So looking forward to April–I have five to seven books either already pre-ordered or will be pre-ordered once the link comes up. I think there may be one, possibly two that might have their downloads push back (but that has happened several times already). I alos have already placed my one large order with amazon (and hopefully shouldn’t have to reorder anything), and then will have my small monthly shipment at the end of the month.

So, while I haven’t done as well as I did in January–I think that I now can recognize the road bumps and possibly just move around them without spending the extra money (though buying books to read is never a waste of money as far as I’m concerned). Since I’ve purchased a couple of additional personal/professional development books–if I feel like I need any more I will need to have written and posted at least three reviews on personal/professional development books that I’ve read this year.

My overall goal for this challenge is to prove to myself that I can make it through a month (or longer) without having to purchase things to keep me ‘occupied’–and I’m slowly working my way towards that view. I know that it won’t be a perfect road, and that I will go ‘oh, new book-buy’ every so often–but I’m getting better, and that is one of the mantras for the year: “Progress over Perfection”.

No Comments financesLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesReflections

Limited Spending Challenge Update #2: Acknowledging the splurge

We’re into March–which means that I review how I did for February in terms of my year-long limited spending challenge.

I decided that instead of trying to do ‘no-spend’ challenges (which I usually failed at, since I have a large impulsive spending habit), I would try to a ‘limited-spending’ challenge.

The main difference: I was labeling things ahead of time as either needed/necessary or splurge purchases.

With that being said–February was a splurge month in terms of books.

We had a period of really cold, chilly, and snowy weather where I was only going outside briefly with the dogs. I spent most of the time inside and curled up with my Kindle. So instaed of making headway through the numerous books that I already had on my Kindle–I splurged and bought several more books.

After finishing one of the books that I had pre-ordered: ‘Blackout after Dark’ (Gansett Island #23) by Marie Force, I went back and ordered the last seven books of the Quantum series (I already had the first one), since a character or two made a ‘cross-over’ in the book.

I also bought and read Catalina (The Alders #10) by Avery Gale, and then went and re-ead the first nine books, read the ShadowDance Club series (numerous characters were mentioned throughout the Alder series; and I bought this series back in December), and then bought and read the Masters of the Prairie Winds Club series as well.

The only series that I haven’t finished (that I bought last month) has been the Quantum series–and after I finish the book I’m currently reading, I will probably start that series.

I also bought several items for my pagan/Wicca altar as well this month. Those items included two small statues and crystals (both rough and smooth). While I like the look of the altar, I’m thinking of possibly getting one more statue (just to have it look symmetrical), and possibly another crystal or two.

The altar looks a little ‘cramped’ but that is because I currently have it on a small shelf, and also have basically all the stones out—I haven’t decided which ones I like best, so I have them all out (probably not the best idea–but that is how I roll). Since the area is cramped an d not the best for also trying to do card readings, I will be moving items to where I do my card readings and then back to the shelf/altar when I’m done with them.

So besides buying numerous books, I also had several pre-ordered as well and those were:

Call You Mine (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #4) by Claudia Buroga

Inked Persuasion (Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Securing Jane (A SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series Novella) by Susan Stoker

Blackout After Dark (Gansett Island #23) by Marie Force

Crew (Anderson Billionaires #5) by Melody Anne

Rocky Mountain Forever (Six Pack Ranch #12) by Vivian Arend

Submission Impossible (Masters & Mercenaries Reloaded #1) by Lexi Blake

Rory (Hope City #7) by Maryann Jordan

I’ve realized that over the past few weeks that sometimes it is better to do a little bit of splurging instead of trying to not spend the money–I usually end up spending way mor later than I initially had planned on.

The other thing I’ve realized over the past month or so–at times my inner critic/imposter syndrome views money and food in the same light–trying to avoid spending or eating something usually ends up with me either overspending or overindulging in something later. I’m slowly working on striking a ‘balance’ in both areas, but I also realize that I’m an impulsive shopper (especially online) and that is a habit I also need to work on curbing.

As I head into March, I know that there will be at least one additional ‘needed’ purchase (a birthday present for my niece), and then my large Amazon order (which will have Chaos’ flaxseed and omega-3 pills in it)–but no e-book splurges.

Looking at the list of books that I have on pre-order for both this month and next month–I can safely say that I probably won’t be splurging on books. After I finish reading my current book, then the Quantum series, plus a few others that are pre-ordered this month, I will be rereading the Fatal series by Marie Force to be ready to read the first book in the spinoff series: State of Affairs that comes out on April 20th next month.

So–while there were splurges in February, I’ve splurged worse last year and therefore I’m not going to ‘beat’ myself up over the fact. This is a year-long challenge and there will always be slight setbacks in any challenge. The ‘winning’ aspect is acknowledging that you slipped, and trying a little harder next month not to continue slipping backyards–but start sliding forward.

No Comments financesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentReflections

One month into the limited spending challenge of 2021

So, I’m one month into my year long limited spending challenge.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have tried numerous minimal spending challenges over the years–so work, others didn’t. Last year, I tried to do the no-spend days, stretched into hopefully no-spend weeks, and then hopefully a no-spend month. Throughout the year, I only managed to get in a no-spend week here and there.

My problems were two: impulsive spending on e-books, courses, and games; plus personal/professional development where I did buy a course here and there that were pricier than most.

I decided then this year, I would look at things differently.

Instead of trying for a ‘no-spend’ month and failing–I would simply try to limit the spending, by having items fall into one of two categories: needed/necessary or splurge.

Bills have always been automatically considered ‘necessary’, and are listed out at the end/beginning of months. I tally my running debt, transfer money, and schedule payments.

I also decided that I wasn’t going to cancel all my book pre-orders that I had for 2021–I did cancel a good portion of them, but not all.

With having the two categories: needed/necessary and splurge, it makes decision making a little easier.

So how did I do in January?

There were a couple of necessary purchases throughout the month: stamps, snacks (human and canine), personal products, and then two mini-splurge purchases.

Those mini-splurge purchases included some items for making jewelry (namely getting some chains for necklaces). I currently consider this a splurge–because I’m not constantly making jewelry. It is a hobby, that I am hoping to spend more time on during the current year.

The second mini-splurge included a e-course bundle. Now, I know that I stated that in order to get another e-course I needed to answer a few questions:

Is this a course that can help me figure something out either personally or professionally? Answer: probably. It is a five course bundle on developing a coaching business. While currently not a direction I’m thinking of going in–I couldn’t say no to the price of $11.99 for five courses.

Is it related to another course I already have? Would it complement it?

Answer: yes, I have several courses on entrepreneurship, and it would complement basically all of them.

Is it something that I should be focusing on this year, or can it wait a year?

Answer: maybe, but didn’t wait. The main reason is that the bundle wasn’t going to be offered again, and while each individual course was going to be offered–five courses at that price would have run me about $60–I got all five for a fifth of the price.

So, two splurges when I usually would have done a lot more throughout the month. The needed purchases tallied up–but that was because of them being fairly large orders. I’m hoping to only do necessary/needed orders hopefully every five or six weeks (that way there is a month or so when not as many orders are coming in).

In terms of the books that I had preordered for January they were:

Caught by the Wolves (Alpha Claimed #1) by Milly Taiden

His Broken Heart Antidote (McKnight Family #4) by Anne-Marie Meyer

His Romance Coach (McKnight Family #5) by Lucy McConnell

Shielding Jayme (Delta Team 2 #4) by Susan Stoker

Pushing up Posies (Grim Dating #1) by Eve Langlais

Shielding Riley (Delta Team 2 #5) by Susan Stoker

Barriers (Anderson Special Ops #3) by Melody Ann and John Henley

Captured in Ink: A Montgomery Ink, Boulder Novella by Carrie Ann Ryan

You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, and Design Your Dream Career by Ashley Stahl

You Turn is my current non-fiction read, as I just finished up Burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski last night (review hopefully within a week).

So for my first month on the limited spending challenge, I’m proud of the fact that there were no impulsive e-book purchases, only a single e-course purchase, and a limited number of other purchases. While I may never totally embrace the textbook definition of minimalism–I’m defining it on my own terms and will continue to do so throughout 2021 and beyond.

No Comments financesLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentReflections