It’s No Spend February! Traditionally once a year our family takes a month to evaluate our spending patterns and consumer behaviors. Sometimes this takes place in January, other times in February.
We specifically choose the winter months because we are already spending more time at home. Taking a month’s break to purposely evaluate what we want, what we need and what we can wait to purchase gives us space to make use of what we have and save money for the things we want.
Over the years, we’ve learned as a family and as individuals that sometimes we think we really want or need something in the moment only to realize: we don’t really need it, we have something at home that can be repurposed to achieve the same result or help us decide what we really need, we can wait and we can and should price compare.
The following are the “rules” we used to give us structure for the month.
We can spend money on necessities, such as:
- rent or mortgage
- insurance (car, home, etc.)
- other fixed expenses (for us this is Netflix, Roku and iTunes)
- presents for those outside of our family
We avoid spending money on:
- dining out (lunches or dinner)
- clothes shopping
- trips to the movie theater, amusement park, museums, etc.
- coffee shops (see dining out)
- Amazon purchases (we do make heavy use of the save for later feature)
The rules have also evolved over the years to become dependent on the month and allow for oddities such as an unexpected car repair or celebration. As three important events occur for our family in February, we plan ahead or use gift certificates if the No Spend month will be in February.
For us, a no spend month boils down to: is this a want or a need.
If it is a need, then that’s the end of it. If it is a want, then we wait and if it is something we can live without for the month, we reevaluate if it is something that can wait longer.
One of the best things that happens this month is we get to really evaluate how we use our resources in both time and finances. We have conversations about our home and what our next big and small projects should be.
We also use the time to declutter and go through what we already have. We donate items, sell items and enjoy the less cluttered space.
If you’ve never taken a break from spending and focused on what you spend, where and why, you should consider taking a break if not for a whole month for a few days or weeks.
I expect if you do, you will be as surprised as I always am at how much money you save and the clarity of what are wants and needs for us.
Here’s what I have used in the past:
Thank you very much for considering me for the position of [position] with the [Organization]. After careful consideration of the responsibilities and time requirements [or other two elements that may not make this a good fit] as indicated in the interview, I would like to withdraw my application for the job. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to interview me and to share details about the position and the mission and goals for the [Organization]. I wish you luck in finding the right person for the position.
How you respond to the interviewer or recruiter asking for more information is completely up to you. I’ve provided additional detail in some instances and not in others. How you respond depends on what the interviewer or recruiter is asking and if ensuring the relationship needs to be positive (because for example, the community is small and you might run into them regularly, the person is very well known in the field or you might be interested in another position with the company in the future).
If you get a burned bridge response and you don’t need to keep the relationship positive, count your lucky stars you did not continue in the process as the company has revealed quite a bit about how they work with employees.