The Happiness Project Experience - August
It’s finally here - August! I’ve been looking forward to this month since the beginning of the year. I already had several ideas for goals and also knew I would be able to accomplish some of my 19 for 2019 resolutions! August is the month of money - and as a fledgling adult, I have a lot to accomplish.
I set out to check off the following things:
Do a No-Spend Month
Put away my debit card (use my credit card instead)
Read Tapping into Wealth, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, The 30-Day Money Cleanse: Take control of your finances, manage your spending, and de-stress your money for good, The Latte Factor: Why You Don't Have to Be Rich to Live Rich, and How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any
Start selling college textbooks
I knew from the beginning of the year that I wanted to take some time for a no-spend month. When I found out that August was the money month, I figured I would do it then - so here it is - on the top of my list. I decided that the only things I could spend money on were gas, groceries, and business expenses.
The month went great! I loved getting to see what usual mindless expenses take up space in my wallet. It has made me reassess some of my biggest spending areas - like eating out - to see how I can be more intentional about it going forward. I can now check this off of my August list and my 19 for 2019 list!
The second thing that I decided to tackle was the problem of my credit card use - which is the opposite of most people’s. Since I got my first credit card over a year ago, I have used it for very few purchases. It has sat in my wallet, seriously underutilized. I think part of that goes back to being told most of my life of the perils of credit cards and being scared that somehow they would ruin my life. But thanks to dozens of podcasts and books, I’ve been able to realize that they really can’t - unless I let them. And thanks to those same sources, I knew how to do avoid that.
I knew that the real key to me actually overcoming that fear was hurtling right over it. I put my debit card away in an inconvenient (yet accessible place) to prioritize using my credit card - and I did. Another success for my August and 19 for 2019 goals. Also, this will be another thing to carry into the months ahead - while integrating my debit card back into my life.
And third… I checked off all the money books on my list. The full reviews are in the Books of August 2019 post. Trust me, they ran the gamut - from the best money book I’ve ever read to one that I think everyone should avoid.
Finally, I decided to get rid of some of my college textbooks. It’s not that I wanted to keep them for the last year, but since I moved out right after graduation, they weren’t something that came with me to be continually haunting me. When my mom finally gave them to me and they began to take up space in my bedroom I knew I needed to take action.
I decided to try and tackle this for three reasons actually - first to make the money I could as part of the money month (and I did make some - tiny score!). College textbooks are expensive - and I was excited to make back any little bit of money I could!
Second, I knew I needed to do this because selling stuff online is, quite honestly, a massive waste of time. I didn’t do it to waste time, but to prove something to myself and to gain a personal anecdote. As an organizer, I deal with people all the time who want to sell their stuff to make money. But, as I tell them, most of the time that just isn’t worth it. Unless they are selling a designer piece or some furniture, they probably won’t get a good return on investment. Even college textbooks, which you pay a pretty penny for, are pretty hard to resell!
The third reason is kinda stupid, but I wanted to check this off of my long term, post-college, to-do list (yes, this is an actual list that I have). Even though I haven’t sold all of them, or taken the ones I decided not to sell to Goodwill, I’m getting close to a nice big checkmark.
Personal finance is definitely something I read and learn a lot about, so it was fun to have a month focused on it. And I’m excited to carry all of this month's lessons into the future.
Until next time,