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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~January No-Spend Challenge~ We're at the finish line! How did you do? What will you do differently next month? Analysis time...
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~January No-Spend Challenge~ We're at the finish line! How did you do? What will you do...

post #1 of 784
Thread Starter 
This is a support thread to help you ~not spend your money~.

Everyone is welcome to join and you can start tracking your spending at any time. It doesn't have to be January 1st.

The plan is simple (although tough to execute):

1. Vow not to spend any money on unnecessary purchases.

2. Come on here everyday and record your spending.

We all record our spending in different ways. There are no rules. You record and update however you would like -- pick a way that will help you spend the least amount of money.


Please write an introductory message when you decide to join our thread. We would like to know:

a. Who you are

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

c. How you plan to get there

Good luck MDCers!! Keep that money in your wallet.

post #2 of 784
a. Who you are My name is Stephanie. I work FT, my DH works PT, we have a 2 year old and a 1 weeker. I'm currently on maternity leave with very limited pay, which is what inspired me to join this thread for January. (I hope it's okay that I post in Dec. haha.)

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) I'm going to take baby steps on this one. This month I'm aiming to not use a CC. I want to keep weekly limits of $25 on gas, $75 on food, $50 on extra/unplanned/misc expenses.

c. How you plan to get thereI hope to fill up on Sundays (which should cost under $20) with my debit card. I'm planning on taking $125 out in cash and using $75 for food and setting aside the other $50 for unplanned items. I also plan on only carrying one CC in my wallet as an absolute last resort (which I've been doing for the past few months and have yet to have to use.)
post #3 of 784
I have been working part time (6-12 hours a week) for the past two years and it was a happy balance for me. Due to current economic times the city is no longer funding the program I work for so I was laid off as of Dec. 21st. We have three kids and DH works full time.
I am going to try my very best to limit my purchases this year. I would like to pay off things that we owe including DS's braces and DD's Kindy tuition in addition to the few CC bills we have. I also need to rebuild our EF.
I have tried this thread months before and fail. Here's hoping I stick to it.

1/5 $32 food
1/6 $45 shoes for kids
1/9 $2 redbox rental $18 milk,drinks
post #4 of 784
a. I am a WOHM to two kiddos. I am a lawyer in a small small firm (me and one other guy) and we have come on hard times thanks to his hiring another employee. This has put the crunch on at home, and we are not resorting to cc's this time!!

b. In addition to not resorting to cc's, we are trying to pay off our current balances of $17K and get better positioned to handle any future financial crisis that might come our way.

c. We are starting slow on the no spend challenge, although we are going strong with Dave Ramsey and are already in the debt snowball...this is because we have sold many things in our house (thank you decluttering) and have been able to put aside cash. As far as the no spend, our goals are to have two days each week that are no spend. Absolutely spend no money on those days. Then the other five days we are not going to spend on unnecessary items, only budget items.

Here we go!!
post #5 of 784
I'm finally joining this after watching for many, many months.

a. I'm Lauren, mama to one three year old girl and thinking about TTC #2. We are currently in the planning stages of a cross-country move to take place in the next few months and trying to declutter.

b. We need to save as much money as we possibly can for our move, and pay for it all with cash. I also need to stop bringing unnecessary items into my home when I only have to pack them all up soon anyway.

c. Other than my tradition of Friday afternoon shopping at Goodwill, I would like to try to purchase nothing other than groceries and gas for the month of January. I'll allow myself one night a week to purchase something different for dinner, whether it be eating out or stopping at the grocery store for a specific meal. And I'm going to stop carrying around my credit cards!
post #6 of 784
a. I am Sarah, a new SAHM to Tess (2) and Lucy (3 months). We are just adjusting to our being a single income family and preparing for a move overseas.

b. We plan to have our last 2 credit cards paid off this year and our car paid off before we return from our overseas assignment in 3-4 years.

c. We haven't used our credit cards in about 6 months, which is huge for us! The plan is to knock out one cc with our tax return and then double up payments on the last cc. Then all of the cc money will go to the car payment, which will double our payment and therefore cut our payoff time in half. None of this will be possible without careful budgeting, though! I am also planning to sell all of the items we won't be taking with us to Japan to fund the inevitable moving costs.
post #7 of 784
I'm Maranda a sahm to 4 kids. My dh and I want to buy our 1st house this year and need to save up a down payment. We also want to pay off 11K in debt.
Our goals for January: save 1000.00 for our emergency fund, pay my sister in law 1500.00 of the 2k she lent us to move 2 months ago, and to limit grocery spending to 350.00. My dh gets paid 3 times this month so it should not be a problem to accomplish these goals. I want to limit my unplanned spending to 50.00 this month. If its not in my budget I'm not spending any money on it.
post #8 of 784
I'm back in! I missed December, but still did well for the month--we had a VERY homemade Christmas and I spent next to nothing on gifts for my 2 kids, about 12 nieces, grandparents, neighbors, and my hub.

Anyway, I think I started this challenge a whole year ago and I can't even tell you how much better our bottom line is looking! We are self-employed--and while still working a lot right, definitely trying to put as many acorns away as we can in case it gets slow!

I don't do number goals for these b/c they hang over my head and are counterproductive in some strange way for me. So my goal is always to just make a game of it and see how little I can spend. We'll be off to my dad's for a few days, but after that I am in! :
post #9 of 784
hi! so glad i saw this thread! my name is selena and me and dh have two kiddies (4 years and 4 months). we also just found out that we are indeed pregnant again so we're probably going to buy a house in the next few months, but i need to drastically cut our budget so i can keep staying at home.

my goals for our budget are: no spending outside of groceries, gas, and absolutely essential household items. no ccs for us anymore either!
post #10 of 784
Im in....
Im mom to 9 and I do inhome daycare for 3 more kids during the week. DH works every hard to support our family but times are tough and things are always stretched thin. Hence the daycare kiddies.

DH and I decided to do a NO SPEND for January. The kids are set, our pantry is very well stocked. We should only need produce, dairy and a few misc items from the grocery store.

DH works in banking and while things are going well for now, this industry/and his company/can change with no notice.

So my goal is NO SPENDING period.
post #11 of 784
I wanna join!

Personally, I only get $200/mo child support - but i don't need to spend every lil cent of that.

I found out in November that I am pregnant and quit drinking & smoking immediately. (yay!) so that frees up a lot of money previously spent on crap.

My goal will just be to not spend any money on stuff i don't need. I'm currently living with my boyfriend and we just planned a budget - but our relationship is still new and i don't feel completely comfortable giving him (strong, lol) suggestions about what to do with his money. So i'm just going to do my best to plan meals and stick with it, and save my own money - both in a personal savings for me (so i can eventually open up a retirement account) and for my daughters college fund.
post #12 of 784
a. I'm a SAHM to a 4 yo and 13 mo. I watch my niece 5 days/week,, but she's in school and I don't make much $. I also teach childbirth ed., but it's sporadic. Dh is primary bread winner and complains about my spending, which is mainly household stuff. We're living practically paycheck to paycheck and the stress is getting to me.

b. I would like to get ahead of our bills, pay off our overdraft (which is maxed) and start saving again. We have an EF, but I'd like to keep adding to it. Also, DH wants to take the kids to Disney next year and possibly buy a new carpet for our bedroom and I need a bigger vehicle, as we are outgrowing the current one. These are our long-term goals. Main goals are just pay for food, gas and necessities.

c. I have no idea how to get there!! No, really, I'd like to cut way down on our grocery bill. I need to go to the store ALONE. No lo's asking for unnecessary crap. Just get back to basics, I guess. Devise a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Also, I'm trying to live greener and stop purchasing "disposable" items (ie. napkins, paper towels, toxic cleaners, etc.)
post #13 of 784
a. I'm a SAHM to one lovely almost five year old little girl and 26.5 weeks pregnant with a new addition.

b. First and foremost I am trying to pay for my prenatal care and the birth without dipping into our modest savings. I need to save another $1300 in the next three months or so to accomplish that. That is a TON of money for us.

c. I really have to cut everything to the bare essentials. Of course I am finding the urge to shop for the baby very strong and oh so very hard to fight! I NEED to stay out of my trigger stores (Old Navy, Target, Kohls etc.) altogether.
post #14 of 784
post #15 of 784
i haven't finished one of these in months but i need to pay down debt! yesterday! i'm in.
post #16 of 784
Hi I'm Kim (captivatedlife ) and I'm married (sometimes happily.....) with an almost 2 year old. Somehow, DH and I got a couple thousand into debt. We were making it before I started working, but now that we have more money - we spend more money. So we are doing a pantry/freezer challenge for the month of January and a no spend for Jan/Feb and if the numbers work right, we can pay off the debt come beginning of March. :::::::

I am currently working full time and DH and I are thinking about having another little one (of course that's only if counseling works - and we're not planning on ttc til June but I am a planner. I also have a plan for if we don't stay together (am I morbid or what)) and we have no plan for me working past the second trimester. I had a misreable pregnancy the last time, and having 2 kids in daycare would pretty much break the bank. The cost of infant care is so high.

Sooooooooooooooo.... we're planning on spending wisely. We have gift cards which we are not includind in the no spend challenge (I know, we cheat) but we're hoping to spend as little as we can on those gift cards. We will also buy (some) fresh produce, milk and eggs during Jan. Oh - and ALL our credit cards are hidden. DH's and mine. Including the evil debit card. We each carry a blank check and we have some money at home if things get hairy!

If you've made it through my novel, thanks! Wish us luck.

no spending at all today
: eat from what I have on hand at home
only coffee/tea/drinks from home
Spend less than $30 on groceries each week. (Milk, eggs, fruits and veggies - if we have any left over then maybe some things like spagetti noodles, etc)
don't know yet. Thought it was cute!

Jan 1 :
post #17 of 784
Me again! I'm Lindsay, WAHM to three. We are saving for a down payment on a house or land to build a house on.

I actually stuck with it in December through all the gift buying and everything, and I didn't do *too* terribly. Hopefully January will be a little better.
post #18 of 784
a. Who you are

A single mom with two kids. I share custody of DS who is almost 4, and have DD (1) full-time. She is SN and I'm having difficulty with finding a job in between her numerous hospital stays.

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

To support myself and not rely on DD's SSI check to pay all the bills. I would like to start saving some money, even if it's only $10 a month.

c. How you plan to get there

I was looking for a job but it seems pointless if I end up working a crappy min wage job that will just fire me the first few times I have to call off because of DD. So I think I will go to school instead. Maybe do on-line course as much as possible. If I get financial aid to pay for school, I can take out school loans to live on. My mom does this and while she knows she is going to have to pay it back eventually, she feels it won't be an issue once she has a degree and the ability to earn a decent wage.

I'm already pretty good at not buying unnecessary stuff. I rarely spend money outside of bills and rent. But my one downfall is fast food. Yup, it's disgusting, but I'm addicted. We get more than enough food stamps each month and I absolutely don't need the fast food. But a couple of times a week I find myself going through the drive-through on the way home from an appointment.

My very first step to quitting is I bought a bunch of prepackaged stuff (compleats meals, little boxes of cereal, healthy choice shelf stable meals) that I sorted into bags...one for each day. So DD's next hospital stay, I just have to grab the bags and take them up to the room with me. I'll have no excuse running down to subway (they put it right in the hospital! evil!) and spending $5+ there each day, plus cafeteria food for breakfast and lunch. Her last hospital stay, I spent an average of $12 each day on food. Ummm...yeah, my car insurance didn't get paid because of that. :

And I need to plan better when we have all-day appointments. Just pack leftovers or something!
post #19 of 784
I'm in! I'm a SAHM to an almost 7 year old dd and a 4.5 year old ds. Dh and I have set some financial goals recently. We plan to pay off a loan of $6,000 by March, then start paying off our credit card (which we never use). The credit card has a balance of $7,000. We should be able to pay it off my summer. Both the loan and cc have a fixed interest rate of 9.9%. After that, we'll work on knocking out my car payment. Then we'll just have dh's car payment. We have two nice Subaru wagons that should last us a nice, long time.

We do have some money budgeted for extras, like dd's piano lessons and gifts that may pop up. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm trying to get our grocery budget down to $500-$600/month. I already mostly cook from scratch, so we'll see how that goes. We have a problem with nickel and diming our money away, so every expense other than groceries and gas are out.
post #20 of 784
1. Monique, single mother to a 4.5 month old son who is wonderful!!!

2. Trying to my credit card balance down as much as possible in just Jan alone and save about $500

3. Plan to cut out the purchasing of misc. items (clothes, deodorant, toothpaste). Just buy everything at once and that's all. Cut down on gas by filling up once a week and not going out of the house on the weekends; watching movies at home. no eating out. Save money by eating more meals at my parent's house. Prayer!
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~January No-Spend Challenge~ We're at the finish line! How did you do? What will you do differently next month? Analysis time...