I’ve been trying to designate buy-nothing-days before they happen, so to speak – rather than leaving them to chance, I’ve been planning them into my diary. I’ve largely used days when I’ve been at work or at home all day for these.
One thing I’ve noticed as a result, is that I really get the desire to spend money when I’m bored, or sugar-craving, and mostly it’s about buying some food or a drink. I rarely want those things because I’m genuinely hungry, I am either doing it as a reward (I’ve worked so hard today) or as a pacifier and distraction (I’m so bored right now, I’d love some chocolate). Honestly, it’s been quite eye-opening. I’ve known for some time that I have the tendency to reward myself or cheer myself up with food, which is a terrible habit, but watching my spending has made it really obvious. After all, you don’t carry ‘reward’ foods with you, you have to go out and get them specially.
As a result, it’s been pretty tough. I get sugar cravings, and if I don’t have a some kind of chewy-bar on me I’m also usually really hungry by the late afternoon. And I am terrible when I am hungry, so that’s one to avoid! One buy-nothing-days I have often experienced thoughts along the lines of whatever, let’s just go buy x…. but I’ve mostly resisted them, and stuck it out. But it’s been rather sobering to realise how often I must have just given in to those thoughts in the past!
Overall I’m pleased that I have definitely made six buy-nothing-days this month. However it’s clear that if I’m going to break ten by June, I’m going to have to cut back in the random impulse food buying! I’m also going to need to take flasks of coffee with me on long drives to avoid service station coffee stops. The aim for March is seven days, so I’m going to try and plan ahead more, and see if that helps.