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Spending can be used as a short-term fix to cover up negative emotions or to feed a 'treat' mentality.
By doing the challenge over an extended period of time it is easier to cut down on unnecessary spending in the long-term.
Skills - Cooking - Money - Convenience - Food
You may also learn new skills, such as cooking, by avoiding spending money on convenience food.
During the early days of our financial turnaround, Sarah and I often did "money-free weekends," where we would simply go for a weekend — from the time we got off work on Friday until we returned to work on Monday — not spending any money at all. We lived on the food we had in our home and enjoyed free entertainment or the items we already had on hand.
Times - Week - Thing - Work - Friday
Several times, we extended this to a "money-free week," where we essentially did the same thing from getting off of work one Friday to getting off of work the following Friday. That longer period was harder, as it usually required some planning ahead for food, and we did make the strict exception of putting gas in our cars to make sure that we were able to commute to work.
Twice, I took on a "money-free month" — a 30-day version of this challenge. Here, the only exceptions were putting gas in my car and buying fresh foods. I could have done this without the fresh foods, but the latter half of the month would have involved a lot of canned and frozen imitations of fresh foods, so I decided that it was silly to make that choice. Basically, I just bought fresh versions of things I could have had on hand in frozen or canned versions. It turned out that this was much harder, and it was in those challenging moments that I learned a lot about my relationship...
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