Leonie’s No Spend Diary

Read the details on this experiment here!

18 Jan 2019

  • My kids decided they wanted to have their own business by selling beaded bracelets. All our beads and beading supplies are in storage until we get our next house though. Instead, we went to the cheap shop and my kids spent their pocket money on beading supplies.
  • I bought 3 art canvasses as it is one of my goals this year to experiment with larger artwork, and I didn’t have any left. I don’t want to limit my creativity in any way, I just want to make sure I use what I have when I do have it.
  • Before we left we went to Muffin Break for a quick snack. It was pretty crap. Probably should have just waited until we got home.

22 Jan 2019

  • So far, so good.
  • Temptations so far: I watched “Destination Wedding” and was convinced by its verbose dialogue that it was based on a novel. I loved it so much that I wanted to buy the book just to enjoy it again in a different format. I was totally going to buy it on Kindle! Turns out it wasn’t based on a book though, so temptation averted this time.
  • I also realised I hadn’t considered how I’m going to handle audiobook purchases. I do have 20 credits available on Audible, plus a bunch in my library I haven’t read yet. I’ll add them to my library of to-reads here.

23 Jan 2019

  • We went to Big W today to pick up a pair of shoes for my eldest kid who is blooming like a wildflower. I managed to do what was up until now impossible and NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE. Didn’t look around wondering “what else we needed”. Just knew we didn’t need anything. Got the shoes and went home.
  • Was home a bit earlier than usual, and took the time to make phone calls I’ve been meaning to make for months and months, including to cancel a newspaper subscription. I feel like I’m getting closer to the top of things after not feeling like that in a long ass time.

24 Jan 2019

  • I finished my list of unread books I have to read today. 223 – and that’s not including the vast quantity in storage. Holy moley! At my current rate of reading, that’s 2 years supply just there.
  • Consequently, I cancelled my Kindle Unlimited subscription. I really do NOT need any more books!

31 Jan 2019

  • One of my kids started a new school this week. Her school fees cover all supplies so there isn’t much we had to do there. We did have to pop to Big W to grab a couple of school-ish things like new swimmers as she has grown out of her last ones. But in the spirit of No Spend, I didn’t look around the shop, trawling for something to buy. AND I was actually organised enough to use a gift card from some cashback offer thing. Usually I’d forget about them completely, but the Spirit of No Spend is alive in me… even when I do have to buy something!
  • The new school recommended a couple of books for parents to read. I’ve been musing on the best way to read them – whether I hunt for them at the library or see if the school has copies. Usually I’d just run straight for my computer to put in a giant Book Depository order, but now I’m actually considering things a bit more consciously. Woo!

18 Feb 2019

  • It’s amazing how quickly things just become habit now. I don’t buy things for the sake of it. I wait for there to be an actual legit need… one that we can’t do without.
  • My kid asked me to buy a couple of books the other day from a series she loves. Usually I would jump all over buying it because I LOVE BOOKS and I LOVE KIDS LITERACY – so much so we have a bedroom converted into a library to store them. Instead, I told her she had options: she could borrow that particular book from the library, request it for her birthday next month or use her own pocket money. She decided to buy one herself with her pocket money, and request one for her birthday. She got the books she wanted AND started exercising her own money problem solving skills. Win win!
  • The other day, my husband needed to get new shorts. As per my No Spend details here, my experiment doesn’t apply to him. He’s super fiscally conservative anyway and buys very little. Anyways – he found a pair of shorts he wanted. They were on sale, cheap + exactly what he wanted. BUT they came with a companion t-shirt. It was a tacky graphic cartoon t-shirt, the kind he wouldn’t wear. But I TOTALLY WOULD. What’s more – it was on my list to buy before I started this experiment… I was planning on getting a couple more tacky shirts as my old ones are about 5 years old and are starting to look fairly worn. I was holding off from getting them for as long as possible… but I scored one! For free! So for now, I’ve got a stack of horrific Christmas t-shirts to wear along with a new cartoon one and I couldn’t be more delighted. #classylady

1 March

  • I’ve had a stressful week with various middle-aged life things converging. I ended up stress shopping… I went to a little independent bookstore and bought three small books for my kids and a packet of artsy postcards for me. It was interesting to notice that urge to release my stress through buying something. My bookstore buy only ended up being about $50 – a usual bookstore buy for me is $100-$150. So that’s some kind of win!
  • I have a photoshoot coming up and find myself looking in clothing stores, believing I need new clothes or something ridiculous. I already have clothes that I bought JUST for photoshoots and conferences. I can just re-use them again.

12 April

  • I haven’t been checking in because no-spend has become… well… normal. Not something I need to think about ordinarily. Which is a GREAT change!
  • I am SO enjoying reading the books I have instead of buying more. I have learned SO much. It’s honestly been one of the best things I’ve done in years.
  • I’ve also started using what I have for art making – magazines and paints and collage paper. It’s been so fun, and my eldest kid has become a huge collage addict with me. The joy of not needing anything but what we have!
  • Things I have bought recently: a packet of pencil grips for my kid that her teacher recommended. Nit shampoo and combs because  I JUST GOT MY FIRST INITIATION INTO NIT WORLD AFTER 9 YEARS OF PARENTING.
  • I did however do an impulsive spend. I was feeling super PMS-y which is unlike me… I ordinarily don’t have period pain or hormonal mood swings. I went on a walk to get a smoothie with my family, feeling all this PMS action, and walked past a clothing store that was closing down. It was one I’d noticed before, and saw it was clothes I like to wear but can be harder to find – cotton and bamboo, bright colours, flowing styles. And there was peculiar feeling inside my PMS-ridden state: I JUST WANT SOMETHING NICE FOR MYSELF DAMMMMIT. I WANT TO FEATHER MY NEST! I WANT SOFT THINGS! I ended up buying three dresses marked down to $20 each. I’m happy with my purchases, and I’m also amazed at how hormonal-induced it was. Is this a thing? Do chicks buy more if they are PMS-ing?

25 May

  • We bought a new house on acreage! It’s been a goal for a long ass time (since we left our last acreage home four years ago).
  • In the moving process, I packed up all my books, and lived off my Kindle for a while. I ran out of fiction books to read, so I started finding free ones to read on Kindle. Then I splurged and actually paid for some and they were a lot better quality. So I bought and read a bunch.
  • Now we are moved in, I’m looking around and seeing how much stuff we have, and I feel overwhelmed + I REALLY want to continue and deepen my no spend experience. There’s so much we have that isn’t used, and I don’t want to keep buying, buying, buying.
  • This feeling is deepened even more by the Australian election results. I feel worried about the climate crisis and the environment. And I feel like sustainability and using less is a big part of that.
  • Our new home is on one and a half acres, and is partially self-sufficient. It is almost completely powered by its own solar panels, collects all its own water and has a grey water system set up to water gardens. Plus there’s a vege patch, and a herb patch. There’s pawpaw trees, a banana tree and a lemon tree. I’m excited to do even more. Home truly is where the heart is.
  • Next up: I want to get back to cooking almost all our meals again. And eventually getting to a point where we are creating meals from our own garden produce.

30 June

  • I’m completely out of fiction novels now, which I read to relax before going to sleep. I’ve decided to get a Kindle Unlimited subscription (they are $13.99 a month here in Australia). So far I’ve read some decent ones and some crap ones. I’ll try it out and see how it goes over time. I’d rather pay more for quality reads if I need to.
  • I’m happy I’ve got my book collection down to just one tiny bookcase, and I’ll keep reading my way through it.
  • I’m decluttering a lot of my finished books. I’m trying to find good new homes from them… I think at the end I’ll have divested them by selling off some, giving away some and donating the rest. Even though I really enjoy having physical books, they are a pain in the butthole to know what to do with when they are done. Plus, the environmental cost of making them and distributing them. I’m wondering if this experiment will push me back towards Kindle again.