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No spend *year*! - Page 3

post #41 of 85


We had a year on the Compact in 2007 and it was awesome for us! We need to have a no spend year, but I don't know how realistic that is for us ... so we're taking it on a month by month basis

We ditched cable for the $10 netflix sub instead and we use our library often (our library is pretty awesome). We don't eat out or go to concerts anymore and we don't do much else that costs money for entertainment, so that is our monthly "fun money" allotment. To us, it is worth it.

We do buy some books still, but we're homeschoolers so I really consider that a MUST (but I do my best to find them second-hand or to check the library first)

Basically, with a few exceptions here and there, the only things we can continue to purchase new are - Food, Health & saftey items, undies, and raw materials (like things for household repairs, or yarn, material, felt, etc for making our own clothing, toys, etc)

I'm sure this will be a fluid process for us and will probably look a little different every month ... it is a journey, after all, and a personal one at that, so while I doubt anyone's year looks exactly the same, it will be nice to have the comraderie for support and inspiration
post #42 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BookGoddess View Post
This is such a great idea. I would love to commit myself to a year of no spending but I might have to be with you in spirit for now. I'll read about all your successes and temptations as the year progresses.

Would you consider it a "violation" to buy from garage sales or thrift shops those items you said you wouldn't get"? Just curious...
You can be with us in spirit.

As far as garage sales/thrift stores go, everyone must make up their own mind about it. I personally feel it is a violation, since the goal is to not buy anything but essentials. My secondary goal is to reduce clutter in my house. Obviously everyone's needs are different and if you find something your family *needs* at a garage sale then get it. Like if you are looking for a specific item. But most of what I have found at garage sales are things that are great, I can use them, but I don't really need them. I mean, up until I found it at the sale I was doing fine without it.

There are lots of things I think I need. We really could use another sofa. Our current one is a flimsy wooden framed number from IKEA that has a block under part of it because the kids jumped on it and broke it. I would love a wooden or metal framed futon sofa, and if I saw one for $25 at a garage sale I would be hard-pressed to turn it down. So I just don't go to the garage sale in the first place. It's a mental exercise to spend less and really think about what I *need* vs. what I think I need. Do we really need that sofa more than we need to put money into savings? No. Could we do without it and still survive? Yes.

Part of my mental strength came when last week, we saw an ad in a magazine for a charity called Smile Train. Those kids are born with facial problems (cleft lips and palates) and they are so very poor that they can't get them fixed. It affects their social standing and their whole life. We decided that in addition to adding to our own savings account we will be saving up $250 to pay for a surgery for a child through this charity. I thought of the sofa (I found a nice one the other day, only $300, would have been a good replacement for our current one) and then I thought (a) it would have to go on the credit card and that's no good and (b) that could pay for a surgery for a child in a developing country. Many of those kids live in shacks and are happy for a soft place to sit and a bowl of food to fill their stomachs. So, do I really need a new sofa this year? The current one is fine as long as we keep the block under the supporting beam. And even if that one totally broke this year we can sit on pillows or something. Maybe next year I'll get that new sofa, but this year I won't.
post #43 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I just updated my blog. Please share your blog URL's so we can support each other! I can't wait to see how much we all save this year!!
thanks for inspiring me to start one! i've made a couple of posts and just started it yesterday. i'm going to use it to track my spending, debt reduction, my meal-planning (or lack thereof), my dogs' and rabbits' health, etc.

how do i do link-thingies in my blog? i'm using wordpress. :

forgot to add, i have not spent anything since saturday. and i'm willing to buy "illegal" stuff at Goodwill or yard sales IF i have the money left over from an allowed category. for example, if i need a "new" pair of jeans, i can buy that with the money that i allowed for spending on dd's Goodwill clothing if i have any left or save up out of that category. no taking another category's money.
post #44 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meandk0610 View Post
thanks for inspiring me to start one! i've made a couple of posts and just started it yesterday. i'm going to use it to track my spending, debt reduction, my meal-planning (or lack thereof), my dogs' and rabbits' health, etc.

how do i do link-thingies in my blog? i'm using wordpress. :

forgot to add, i have not spent anything since saturday. and i'm willing to buy "illegal" stuff at Goodwill or yard sales IF i have the money left over from an allowed category. for example, if i need a "new" pair of jeans, i can buy that with the money that i allowed for spending on dd's Goodwill clothing if i have any left or save up out of that category. no taking another category's money.
That's the great thing about this idea-- we can all learn from each other. I don't use a budget system because in the past I just was not able to stick to it. I didn't overspend, but I just found it hard to keep track of things even with the envelope system. I am planning to use cash only for groceries once our out of town guests leave. We have two Celiac people in the family and it's hard to estimate how much we will need from week to week. I just use common sense and try not to buy a bunch of junk. Grocery shopping has not been a big overspending problem, it's the other stuff that I don't need like at Target that gets me in trouble. I would probably, if I used your system, use the extra cash to buy something other than jeans-- I would probably blow it. Better for me just to quit cold turkey. It's also good that right now I have enough clothes and so do the kids. It would be harder if I really did need a pair of jeans.

Off to read your blog now . . .
post #45 of 85
Checking in...
post #46 of 85
HI! I would love to join. I was just blogging about this very thing last night. My motto for this year is "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do with out." My vow this year is to stop all unnessary spending. And thing we do buy this year (IE gifts, clothing) will be second hand. I will not set foot in Target again this year (egads!).
I do have 5 children and we homeschool so at times it might be a struggle. LOL but I have been thinking alot about waste, alot about our heavy footprint, and how I want to decrease that as much as possible. :

good luck mamas!

h
post #47 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Oh...and I am calling ours "Low Spend Challenge for 2009".

I think that will freak dh out less.


Ok.....and me too.
Low spend - I like that

I think that is where we are ... there are some things I know that we will need for homeschool, and we'll celebrate birthdays and holidays, but I will do my very best to a) not be excessive b) find second-hand or indie sellers/sources or c) make it ourselves

The many sales going on at some of my favorite places aren't helping right now ... but I am resisting!

How's January going for everyone else so far?
post #48 of 85
Thread Starter 
I posted on my blog, it's going well so far. I had some "near misses" with putting things in the cart and then taking them back out again. But in the end I didn't buy them so it was okay. Phew! I took dd to the mall playground, and next to it was the bookstore with 75% off sale tables. I did not even look! So far I have only bought walking shoes and some new socks. I had planned to buy those for health reasons-- to exercise and it was necessary. I feel very empowered! I watched my friend at the mall fall for the 75% off table at the bookstore and I just kept thinking how proud of myself I was for not buying those things that I was not planning to buy anyway.

How's everyone else doing? What are your goals this year (ie what will you do with the money saved?)
post #49 of 85
I'm there with you. My goal for this year is to pay off the bulk of my consumer debt so I can focus entirely on saving and paying off student loan debt next year. I have until July when my student loans come out of forbearance to put a big dent in it. So, for the next six months, my goal is no unnecessary spending. And if I absolutely feel the need to treat myself/us, then I have to sell something (yarn, books, etc.) to replace the money I used.
post #50 of 85
Thread Starter 
I just got back from Target. I hope I didn't blow it.

I got a bike pump because our old one is broken and the kids want to ride their bikes. THis falls under health/exercise, right?

I got a cheap clip on reading lamp for dd2's bed so she can read with the main light out before they fall asleep. I had bought one for dd1's bed before the no-spending started, and dd2 has been having jealousy issues about it. By the time I had purchased the light, a cheap extension cord, and two low energy bulbs (dd1's bulb is too hot and bright), it was over $20!

I got a pack of glue sticks for dd2.

Also cat litter (which is necessary).

How did I do? Not so great, huh? But how can I get around the things I bought? At least I did not even venture into the huge 75% off winter clearance clothing section which is usually how I get my clothes. I don't need clothes. Saw some other cute things that I didn't buy.
post #51 of 85
I really need to do this!!! I'm going to think about this today and seriously think on what is 'essential' and what is not. I've already been thinking about having a thrift store fast. I spend way too much at thrift stores, going to try to stay out of them. Even if I get a great deal on one thing we needed, I end up picking up 10 more that we didn't need at all Magazines are another biggie that add up.

I'll be back
post #52 of 85
I've been following this thread since the beginning. We're doing a bit of a no spend year, ourselves, I guess. At the beginning of the year, I set up envelopes for all "extra" purchases - gifts (including xmas), books, meals out, movies/entertainment, clothing/shoes, etc. $600 for the whole kit and kaboodle. So, I haven't totally cut out these things, but I've given myself a very small, very strict budget for them all. All other money goes either toward rent/bills/gas/groceries/prescriptions/pets/son's allowance, or it's put into savings. That's it.

We've bought all our non-consumables used for years, but I have a habit of browsing thrift stores for fun and buying what catches my eye. I also have a habit of bringing home books every week or so from the used book stores. So, this ought to cure me of that. In fact, I haven't shopped the thrift stores or the used book stores since last year!! Yay, me!

One of the things I was worried about was clothing. I lost a bunch of weight in 2008, and I've just been swimming in my clothes. I gave myself a very meager allowance for clothing, but I don't really want to spend any of it yet - I mean, it's only January, and son is growing like a weed, so I'm sure I'll need to spend most of it on him. Anyway, I was cleaning out the garage yesterday, and I came upon a bunch of clothes I wore 15 years ago - and they fit! I was able to restock my closet! Sometimes, it's good to be a pack rat. :

So, I guess this will be an adventure, of sorts. We'll see how it goes. Sending everybody good no-spending vibes! :
post #53 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
How did I do? Not so great, huh? But how can I get around the things I bought? At least I did not even venture into the huge 75% off winter clearance clothing section which is usually how I get my clothes. I don't need clothes. Saw some other cute things that I didn't buy.
Sounds like you did pretty well to me. The lamp was gotten to keep the harmony among family members. I'd say that's a necessity.

The bulbs are a safety thing.

The cat litter - well, you gotta have that!

And steering clear of a clothing clearance at Target deserves some sort of award, I think!
post #54 of 85
Tangled Hill how cool about the clothes!! And I am the same way about thrift stores!
post #55 of 85
Checking in. We are doing pretty good.
post #56 of 85
i had to pay for an ebay item i bid on before starting the challenge, but that's it. so far, so good!
post #57 of 85
Here is my list:
1) No magazines
2) No clothes or shoes for me (except a few new bras and undies when we get our tax refund, that's it and I really need those)
3)No books (will borrow from the library)
4) No movies or cds unless hubby asks me to buy one (not trying to convert him, I need to work on ME lol and we have Netflix anyway)


I thought I had more on the list but am drawing a blank now. I am going to try and have as many 'no spend' days as possible this year!
post #58 of 85
Thread Starter 
I am a failure!! :

Okay first of all I'll pat myself on the back for not getting some things I really wanted to. Like the Nick and Nora flannel PJ's that I have been admiring all season, marked down from $25 to $6. I did not buy the cute undies that were $3 each, and instead bought some 75 cent ones of the same brand that were on clearance because they had Christmas stuff on them. I needed new undies, sorry. I mean, like half my collection is old maternity undies and my youngest just turned 5 yesterday. Lots of other victories, although it's very hard because SIL is still visiting and likes to shop and I have to drive her.

I am also not going to buy replacement glasses for all the nice ones that my 8yo dd has broken by putting the dishes away too roughly. If we have to we can drink out of mason jars until the end of the year, or yogurt containers if it comes to that.

So today we went to a yarn shop, my first time at such a place. I went there just to look and to maybe find a pattern for a cardigan for dd for next year for school. It's not usually cold enough for a coat or jacket here, but a good wool sweater for they playground is necessary. I ended up buying a pattern for just $5. Not bad, right? But then some yarn for it for $15 because I don't have that color at home that would meet the uniform policy. And then . . . .

I can't believe I did this-- I needed some cicular needles for the project. I'm a semi beginner and don't have the right size needles, so instead of buying 2 or 3 sizes to see which one would work best for the project, I bought a full set of needles. For $45. OMG I failed big time!!! I was lamenting this to my SIL as I rang up the bill and the clerk said it could fall under the "clothing" category because I did say I would only buy clothes for her, since she's the only one who needs new clothes. Also it could fall under "health" because it's cheaper than therapy. I guess you can justify anything. Anyway, if I were to buy her a wool cardigan it would probably be more expensive than knitting one, even with the supplies, right? (Someone make me feel better here!)

We also had the unexpected expense of my little 2yo nephew getting hurt and we had to take him to the ped and then for xrays. We got away with paying $150 total for both. They don't have insurance because they are from out of country. They will get reimbursed at home with their own insurance plan, so we will get that $ back eventually, but it will probably be awhile.
post #59 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma View Post
I am a failure!! :

Okay first of all I'll pat myself on the back for not getting some things I really wanted to. Like the Nick and Nora flannel PJ's that I have been admiring all season, marked down from $25 to $6. I did not buy the cute undies that were $3 each, and instead bought some 75 cent ones of the same brand that were on clearance because they had Christmas stuff on them. I needed new undies, sorry. I mean, like half my collection is old maternity undies and my youngest just turned 5 yesterday. Lots of other victories, although it's very hard because SIL is still visiting and likes to shop and I have to drive her.

I am also not going to buy replacement glasses for all the nice ones that my 8yo dd has broken by putting the dishes away too roughly. If we have to we can drink out of mason jars until the end of the year, or yogurt containers if it comes to that.

So today we went to a yarn shop, my first time at such a place. I went there just to look and to maybe find a pattern for a cardigan for dd for next year for school. It's not usually cold enough for a coat or jacket here, but a good wool sweater for they playground is necessary. I ended up buying a pattern for just $5. Not bad, right? But then some yarn for it for $15 because I don't have that color at home that would meet the uniform policy. And then . . . .

I can't believe I did this-- I needed some cicular needles for the project. I'm a semi beginner and don't have the right size needles, so instead of buying 2 or 3 sizes to see which one would work best for the project, I bought a full set of needles. For $45. OMG I failed big time!!! I was lamenting this to my SIL as I rang up the bill and the clerk said it could fall under the "clothing" category because I did say I would only buy clothes for her, since she's the only one who needs new clothes. Also it could fall under "health" because it's cheaper than therapy. I guess you can justify anything. Anyway, if I were to buy her a wool cardigan it would probably be more expensive than knitting one, even with the supplies, right? (Someone make me feel better here!)

We also had the unexpected expense of my little 2yo nephew getting hurt and we had to take him to the ped and then for xrays. We got away with paying $150 total for both. They don't have insurance because they are from out of country. They will get reimbursed at home with their own insurance plan, so we will get that $ back eventually, but it will probably be awhile.
think of it this way - now everyone in the family can have a new sweater.
post #60 of 85
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meandk0610 View Post
think of it this way - now everyone in the family can have a new sweater.
: That is one way to look at it I guess! I'd better start knitting to make my new toys worth it.
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