We are over the 3 week mark in the spend challenge. So far so good. A few things have shifted during this money experiment. I thought I’d share what Mark and I have been discussing, how our relationship with money has shifted in such a short time, and what the future looks like.
After the first week Mark created a simple budget sheet for us to tally our weekly spend amounts. After I asked if anyone wanted the excel spreadsheet for themselves I had quite a few YES responses. If you want to try your own budgeting you can use the Spend Challenge sheet and set your weekly amount, we chose $100 so that is what is currently in the spreadsheet.
I think the lessons we’ve learned and how we are thinking about money is different, we also both have VERY different salaries so I think this could influence where we are at in this process. I decided to interview Mark and get his opinion as well. Obviously I have been on this money journey for a while and looked at a few different topics and am always curious to learn more.
Tijana’s Spend Challenge Check In
I think I mentioned in my initial article how in a short time I already had a better relationship with money and there was a freedom in being able to spend $100 per week.
5 things I’ve learned in 3 weeks
- Having a set amount to spend every week released the guilt I felt around spending money.
- I’m more conscientious of what I purchase and how I spend my money.
- I don’t spend even close to $100 per week. The items I purchase I actually need or want for a specific purpose.
- I’m not simply buying things to spend the $100, which I totally thought would happen.
- Mark is really pushing me to use this money for personal expenses, for example our recent May long trip, we used our weekly spending money. At first I was upset and felt like he was taking this whole spend challenge next level, but afterwards I felt really good.
Mark’s Spend Challenge Check In
I mentioned in the first article that this spend challenge was something I wanted to do for myself to help set a budget and also know the max amount I could save every week. After I spoke to Mark about the idea he was FULLY on board.
5 things Mark has learned in 3 weeks.
- I’ve been asking myself, do I truly need this or truly want this? It’s teaching me the value of a dollar. For example a $3 coffee, do I really need it or want it or am I spending the money because everyone else is?
- Never really been on a budget or needed to budget, that it’s teaching new lessons. I’m really embracing the delayed gratification and working towards something. What am I willing to sacrifice in order to reach my goal.
- Taken stock of my bank account and where my money’s going. Is what I’m spending my money on meaningful to me.
- It’s kind of fun. Nice to check in with Tijana to see how we are each doing every week.
- Even if I go to zero or into the negative, I’m only in debt to myself. I like the way we are doing it with the spend sheet. I can’t spend extra and not be accountable, because it carries into the next week.
Although our relationship to money is very different. I’ve been a contractor pretty much my entire adult life and Mark has been in a union career for 10 years now. I think what we are each learning from this spend challenge is valuable. I have less guilt around money and actually have the desire to save. Mark realized with a spend limit each week he can easily breakdown how much he can save, which has created a positive shift. Plus for our relationship its opened up an even bigger discussion about money, life and our future.
Whether you are able to set a $20 or $50 or $100 limit each week, I would HIGHLY recommend trying out a set budget and challenge yourself to follow it for a set amount of time. What has started out as an experiment will be a lifelong journey for us now.