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~December No-Spend Challenge~ End o' the month. How did you do? What will you do differently... - Page 2

post #21 of 428
I'm missmich and I'm back again for the No Spend Challenge. I did quite well in December. I'm so proud of myself. I want to keep doing the challenge b/c I really want to be debt free asap and I love to hear how others save money.

My main financial goal is to be debt free. My work hasn't been giving me enough hours lately so I haven't come up with a proper budget to pay it off yet. I just started to meal plan and find some new favorite meals.

I just picked up an occasional "babysitting" job and they seem to need me more then my "regular" job and it may turn into a part time nanny job soon. So my plan is to try and get in as much babysitting as I can and try to get regular hours with them. Then I can figure out a regular payment schedule/routine to pay off some debt. I'd like to pay about $300 a month if possible. That's my dream goal,but I don't think it's a reasonable goal right now. I'm going to continue to meal plan as well.
post #22 of 428
Hi there, I'm happyhats, and I need to cut out all this crazy spending. My husband and I are expecting our first any day now, and we've found ourselves yet again in a pretty crappy financial situation, due to our own mismanagement. My biggest goal is to continously be aware of my true financial situation and material needs. I'm getting serious about listmaking-every time I go to the store I want to have a list written so I can stick to it. I also want to come on here or write in a journal so I can keep track of what I'm spending and where. It's common sense, but we have spent sooo much less on groceries alone when I sat down, wrote a list, and thought about where I needed to go to get the best price before I walked out the door on shopping day.
post #23 of 428
Hi there. I am going to try and FINALLY stick with this challenge! I haven't been good at all about keeping track of anything the past three months and have given up in the first week or so.

Here goes:
a. I'm Justamama. I have two kids, a wonderful DP, and 3 crazy dogs. I work part-time and while I'm getting 30+ hrs/week now, that will change after the holidays and I'll be getting 15-25 hrs/week so we need to be prepared for the drop in income.

b. My goals are to have as much money stay with us as possible. We are in the process of filing bankruptcy but we can't file until we pay the rest of our legal fees ($1179 left to go). We are surrendering our cars to eliminate car payments and lower our insurance by almost a third. We just came up with $500 for DP an old car for work. Wednesday we are looking at a car for me, which will be $400 if we get it. So we need to accomodate for all the extra outgoing income by spending less. We also want to just have manageable expenses from now on and see money in the bank rather than just seeing it leave the bank! Part of this comes from not spending, to break the cycle of overspending that got us to declaring bankruptcy in the first place.

c. Eating at home. This is our biggest vice. Sure we always eat Taco Bell which is cheap, but those trips add up. I also tend to grab something at the food court since it's right next to the nursing room where I go to pump on my lunch break. I've decided to go with the choice of pumping in the bathroom next to our breakroom instead so rather than being next to Arby's I'm next to a fridge and microwave.

No late night trips to Wal-Mart. This is a bad habit of mine. DP and my father both work overnights, so my mom and I find ourselves going to Wal-mart late at night to occupy our time.

No impulse spending! If I see something I "need" I will put it back and wait three days.



Specific Goals:
Lawyer's Fees- $0/$1179 (no actual goal, just want to keep a running total SOMEWHERE!)
No Unecessary Driving Days- 0/20
No eating out days- 0/25
Christmas budget- $0/50
No frivilous spending days- 0/18
post #24 of 428
a. Who you are:
Kathy, WOHM breadwinner for DH, who is full time pharmacy student and DS, Seth 5 yo this December, and one babe on the way!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals):
We are currently 42k in debt. Nearly all of it can be accounted for by a home we purchased in 2005 which we could not afford, and sold in September to a tune of 20k cash loss.

It was my fault as I wanted so badly to be "normal," which I have never been good at but have always tried to accomplish. I'm chucking that idea, along with my debt, and hoping for a debt free, happy me existence.

c. How you plan to get there:
Right now, with our minimum payments, we haven't been able to work out a way to cover all of our expenses. My husband has been in charge of making all of the payments. My plan this month is to sort out all of our finances myself and set up a system to keep track of it, and look at any financial bleeds and figure out how to stop the unnecessary losses.**

** update: after perusing all of our expenses. I don't see how we can budget anything out. Our cars are paid for, we have cheap internet access, I do not carry a cell phone so my husband can have his, which he needs for his program (to the tune of 80 a month! It has access to pharmacy stuff). I cut out weight watchers and blockbuster already. So all we have that is extra is greencine (rare movies, and we reduced it to two movies out at a time), the internet, the cell phone and food. Eating out, as a family we do once a week. My husband does it during school. I will see how much money we can actually save if we cut that out.

My Goals
1. Get into every account and write down all passwords so I can continue to get into them.
2. Sort what money is going where and when. (DONE)
3. Come up with a workable plan wherein we stop coming into a negative balance each month. (IMPROBABLE)
4. Take lunch to work every shift.
5. No yarn (I've been good about that!)
6. Sort what DH would like to take to school for lunch and make sure it's available.
7. Keep Christmas spending/Seth's B-Day spending to a minimum. 150/150 and family 20$ each.

1. wanted to buy extra groceries, but instead made up my own "shepherds pie" with left over turkey, mashed potatoes cheese and veggies. it was good! i'm glad it was a no spend day for me. reed spent 8$ on food.

Key
No spend on anything
Necessary/budgeted spending
Unnecessary/unbudgeted spending
post #25 of 428
a. My name is Kristine. I am a WOHM with three daughters. I am currently off on my last month of maternity leave Things are tight since I have a very reduced income and was only back at work for six months between my last year long maternity leave and this one.

b. My main goal is too stop my excessive spending and build up some savings.

c. My plan:

1. Have 15 no-spend days in December
2. Come on here and record all spending
3. Keep a list of groceries and necessary household items on the fridge and when I go to the store ONLY buy what is on the list. If I forget to write it down it doesn't get bought.
4. Do more meal planning and reduce our grocery bills.
5. Go through my house room by room while I am still at home and declutter. Sell, recycle, donate or throw out all the stuff we don't need.

No Spend days 0/15
Groceries $0/$600

My Key:

- No Spend
: - Planned/Necessary Spending
: - Groceries
: - Unplanned Necessary spending
- Unplanned/Unnecessary spending
post #26 of 428
It looks like we have a good group who wants to make this all right. Welcome and again thanks to Prudence for running this all year and finally getting my butt on board!! We have an interesting mix of spenders since we have a few digging out of debt, others trying to be a bit more frugal and others like myself dying to see where the $$ goes each and every month!
post #27 of 428
Duplicate post!
post #28 of 428
And here we go!

Editing: I seem to be Christmas shopping today. May as well do it while there are Cyber Monday sales, I guess. I'm not buying anything unplanned. Just hate to have so much spending so early in the month. I'm splitting up my gift budget and flex budget to track more accurately.

Dec 1: $13 Etsy fees (sales based, so I'm OK with it!); $30 Smartwool socks for Mark's Christmas gift (again, fine with that); $25 mag subscription (Christmas gift for grandma); $25 gift card for a friend

Goals:
0/18 no-spend days
$13/$150 flexible spending
$80/$150 gift spending

Last month:
16/16 no-spend days
$330/$150 flexible spending
post #29 of 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
It looks like we have a good group who wants to make this all right. Welcome and again thanks to Prudence for running this all year and finally getting my butt on board!! We have an interesting mix of spenders since we have a few digging out of debt, others trying to be a bit more frugal and others like myself dying to see where the $$ goes each and every month!
:

Good luck to us all. I just keep looking at my kids to keep my motivation - I can only SAH if we keep things on budget.

First challenge of December....

DH was speaking to his sister on the phone last night and she asked what we/the kids would like for Christmas. So he puts me on the phone re: the kids and she said they had bought them each an outfit from Gap. So I said, really that's so generous please don't buy anything else. But she insisted that she wanted to get them each something they would be excited about to open when we see them so I suggested crayons/colouring books etc - the smallest gifts I could think of.

Anyway, way down the conversation she then started on about she and her DP's Amazon wishlists, which on checking are full of things outside of our very frugal budget. But DH says we should get them something off it each, since they buy for us and our 3 DC. AAAARGH! I do agree with him but as I said in my joining-up post, I don't have a budget for Christmas, I am just taking money out of my household/gas budgets by being extra frugal. To buy more for them than we planned to puts us in debt. What to do?
post #30 of 428
Dec 1st: (did I really write that?!?!) £77.34 groceries. All still sick :
post #31 of 428
a. Who you are:
Sarah, WHOM (until the end of the month) and full time PhD student.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals):
Ok, it's really important for me to join this month. I didn't do it last month because I had some surgery and I knew I wouldn't be able to stay on top of it. But my job ends at the end of this month and our income will be significantly less as of January. In fact, it will be nearly halved. I'm not looking for work because I am using this opportunity to work full-time on my dissertation. I have to finish it by May 2009. In the meantime, we'll be using money that I've saved to pay for DS' childcare. DH makes just enough to pay for our other living expenses, we hope <crossing fingers>! But I want to be diligent about our spending, just to be on the safe side.

c. How you plan to get there:
Here are my spending goals for December:

$300/$600 for food and fuel (withdrew cash on 11/29 for first two weeks of Dec.)
$50 for travel to visit my cousin, DS' godfather
$150 for food/decorations for our extended family holiday party
$50 for misc. home improvement/emergencies
$100 for futon mattress from IKEA
Pay off small CC debt this month (I don't want any debt carried over to 2009)
Pay last payment on our car!
At least 10 no spend days
Add minimum of $300 to emergency savings by end of the month
Less than $50 on unplanned/unbudgeted spending

Key
No spend day
: No drive day
Necessary/budgeted spending
Unplanned/unbudgeted spending
post #32 of 428
Dec. 1: Nothing so far!
post #33 of 428
Hi!! I have been lurking in this forum off and on and having just made our 2009 budget, I think being here and on this thread is a necessity!

a. Who you are

I go by Yarn. Luckily it's not the name my parents gave me but has thoroughly stuck for use online. I'm not particularly new to MDC but I don't post much. I have an 18 month old and I'm pregnant, due in May.

I don't go out much, so having only 8 or so driving days in a month is completely average for me, and the same for spending days. Oddly, in that respect I need to increase my shopping so that I send my husband out on the way home from work less frequently as I think his spending that takes the place of mine is not helping us.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and

We need to live on a truly pathetic amount of money per paycheck in 2009 to not go into debt and making that happen without adjusting our quality of life is going to take work.

Our debt (car and mortgage) is chugging along and we do save a little automatically each month. However, we have a tiny emergency fund and that hurts us as emergencies wind up on the credit card paid off over a month or two with interest, and that doesn't get us anywhere we want to be.

We have a lot of people to give to at Christmas. I do almost all of the shopping. My husband gets free gift cards using hotel points (from work), and I plan to make a lot of gifts this year inexpensively or from materials I already have. So, my personal spending goal for all our Christmas gifts this year is not to spend more than $50 out of pocket. What my husband does I can't control.

My goals for December:

1. Try to live on what I budgeted for next year per paycheck.
2. Spend no more than $50 oop for Christmas, and spend as little as possible of free gift cards so we can use them for our needs.

c. How you plan to get there

1. Plan meals, use coupons, and don't waste food. I hope to cut on wasted food by keeping a running list of what's in the fridge because I forget and looking in just isn't cutting it. Dress warmly and walk to the store. My grocery goal is to keep it under $200 and under $100 for everything else. I think this is very achievable because we have a ton of food in the house at the moment. My FIL is giving us a freezer for Christmas. :

2. Keep a running Christmas spending tally here. I will avoid last minute panic! I will manage my time and report here.

Grocery: $0/$200
Else: $0/$100
Christmas: $0/$50
post #34 of 428
My Goals
1. Half the month with no spend days: 0/16
2. Unplanned spending 5 or fewer days: 0/5
3. Emergency Fund funded/not spent from: $168.02/$168.02 added, 1/31 days with no spending
4. Pay off the next debt in our snowball: $0/$225 paid off
5. Tim Hortons 3 or fewer days: 0/3
6. Buy our freezer without credit and come in under budget


November 08 totals: 16 no spend days, 5 days unplanned spending, 1 Tim Hortons run; total $104.35 in unplanned spending

Key
: No spend on anything
: Necessary/budgeted spending
: Unnecessary/unbudgeted spending

December 1: tentatively giving myself this because I plan on getting latches and possibly groceries later this afternoon if my Mom can take us

ETA: I totally forgot about our Emergency Fund. We redid the budget for this month and took money left over from last month and reached our goals of $1000.00 in savings! :
post #35 of 428
Thread Starter 
Bought some groceries today, but I count that as necessary spending. Never mind that a big hunk of it was ice cream and chocolate cookies. A woman has got to eat.

We got some happy financial news today...because of paying off that whopping (it was huge) credit card debt over the past year our credit scores have gone up, so we refinanced our mortgage today at a much lower rate. Which will also lower our monthly bill. It will take a year to kick in but when it does that will be nice.

Like Dave Ramsey said, once we got that credit monkey off our back, things are starting to fall into place.

01..
02..
03..
04..
05..
06..
07..
08..
09..
10..
11..
12..
13..
14..
15.. Payday and Credit Card Payment Day

My Goals for this month:
1/20 No Spend Days
0/4 Let the Car Rest :
0/$985 Paid to Credit Card
post #36 of 428
Thread Starter 
Quote:
But DH says we should get them something off it each, since they buy for us and our 3 DC. AAAARGH! I do agree with him but as I said in my joining-up post, I don't have a budget for Christmas, I am just taking money out of my household/gas budgets by being extra frugal. To buy more for them than we planned to puts us in debt. What to do?
~~~DON'T~~~ go into debt to buy presents for your sister and her DP.

I know they would not want you to go into debt for that.

Buy them something that is within your budget. Buy them something that you can afford.

If it is not on their Amazon list, then it is not on the list. That is okay.

Your sister is not buying presents for your children because she "expects" you to then buy presents for her. She is buying presents that they CAN afford because they love your children. Don't feel like you have to match exactly what they bought.

You are on a different budget and your circumstances are different.

Your sister will understand this. She doesn't want you going into debt.

ETA: My brother has already spent $400 on my family this Christmas (I know what he bought and I know what it cost) -- I bought him a book for around $20.

He is a single man whose take home salary is four times what my DH and I earn in a year.

I am in the same boat you are in. I can't feel guilty about this because it is just not in our budget to match his gifts.
post #37 of 428
Thread Starter 
Alison -- I just read your update post in the November thread. You had a rocking month! Go girl!
post #38 of 428
I know you're probably going to laugh me out of this thread after my multiple previous failures, but I SWEAR I'm going to do it this month. My husband will only be home for 12 days the whole month, for one thing, and he's the one who always blows it.

Here goes. My goals:

10 no-spend days
20 no-eating-out days
$600 on groceries/household
post #39 of 428
Dec. 1st

$86.00 for gas (for the month)
$39.00 for shipping Christmas gifts
$0 extra spending


tomorrow grocery shopping....
post #40 of 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
I know you're probably going to laugh me out of this thread after my multiple previous failures, but I SWEAR I'm going to do it this month. My husband will only be home for 12 days the whole month, for one thing, and he's the one who always blows it.
welcome! Remember, even if you manage one no spend that you wouldn't have otherwise had, it's a successful month! Baby steps!

As for your DH, I know the feeling
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~December No-Spend Challenge~ End o' the month. How did you do? What will you do differently next month/year? Did you learn anything about your...