One of the fantastic boss ladies I follow on social media, Kat Schmoyer of Dear Sweetheart Events, is entering into the Contentment Challenge for 6 months. This challenge was originally created in 2013 by Nancy Ray to serve as a way to “fast” from all unnecessary spending (among some other faith based ideals).  As 2017 starts, one of my major goals for the year is to cut back on the extra stuff we have in our home (clean out closets, room, shelves + donate items!) so I figured a challenge like this was a great compliment to my other goals for the year. I’m completing this challenge for 6 months and wanted to share my guidelines for this challenge! It’s been neat to see all the wonderful ladies (and men!) completing this challenge  + their own personal guidelines. 
My guidelines for the challenge​:
​1) No buying clothes that I don’t need for 6 months. I got sucked into LulaRoe fast and hard near the end of 2016! While I LOVE my LLR clothes, I don’t need to be in 20 groups and hosting parties every week. This is also part of the reason I’m cleaning my closet – I’ve traded out a lot of my clothes for LLR versions and I’m so happy but don’t need to hold onto everything!  I will replace undergarments and/or sports bra as needed (running shoes too) because that’s the healthy way to be. 

2) Ryan and I will still have our weekly/biweekly date nights ​because it’s something we love and already budget for. However, I will do my best to not eat out otherwise without a gift card or special occasion (i.e. family/friend birthday). I have a bad habit of driving through a drive-thru when I’m alone on the way home from somewhere because I like to munch in the car. 

3) No more picking something up “just because”. When I’m at Target, or Kohl’s or the bookstore, I always manage to find something I “need”. It’s usually a few dollars so I just toss it in and don’t think about it. But those extra items really add up! 

4) Make a list + stick to it for the grocery store! This is going to require me to really plan out my shopping trips on the weekend when I have more time and to meal plan. I’m famous for going “I think I’m out of that” because I fail to have a solid system in place. So let’s find that system and stop buying extras of everything! (I’m also going to try to reduce how much I buy on a weekly basis anyway and try to only get fresh foods every week… instead of keeping my extra supplies for “one day”)!

5) I may purchase a race ticket every other month if the right race arises. Since being healthier and running more are part of my 2017 goals, I’m anticipating buying race tickets. However, I will not go crazy picking super expensive races, races far away or buying tons of new gear for it! 
6) If/when we travel, because we are traveling to San Diego, VA Beach and PA at some point this year (hopefully the OBX too!), I will set a budget for spending (eating out, travel between locations + souvenirs). We WILL stick to this budget!!!

7) No candles or specialty bath products for 6 months. I will still pick up my usual shampoo as needed but I have PLENTY of bath supplies so I don’t need to keep buying them. Same with candles.

8) No more buying from Shutterfly just because I get a coupon. They seriously get you! They send you all sorts of codes for free items (which is great for gift getting!) but eats my wallet away because I just HAVE to get new coasters, I just HAVE to have more cards. GUYS, I DON’T! I WANT to print my pictures. I want to show them off, don’t get me wrong. My goal for this challenge will be to place an order every other month (ONE ORDER!!!) for pictures from the previous two months (if needed!). This is not a must, this is if I would like something printed to change out the frames on our walls. (Only exception, address labels because those suckers really are better to grab on sale!). 

This isn’t a rule, but I’d like to keep a log of all purchases made a month – so we can really review how much of our money is going where. I’m going to hopefully make a chart so I’ll share it with you all! I love my computer spreadsheet but I think making a visual list for a month or two of this challenge will help me compare/contrast numbers better! Ryan and I already budget using the documents my father designed, which I LOVE and I allot our savings so that we know what it is we’re saving for! I’m hoping this challenge will really help me focus in on how we spend even more than I already know. I think this challenge will help remind me what those bigger goals are, why they’re important and that getting rid of stuff + spending less will make us feel better overall.

I hope you if anyone feels inspired to complete the challenge with me that you’ll share your guidelines + let me encourage you! I’d love to be accountable with you!
Happy 2017!
Pictures thanks to Rosie Omar
contentment challenge 2017

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