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~March No-Spend Challenge~ The Day of Reckoning...how did you do? What did you learn? What will...

post #1 of 636
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 March 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 636
you dont miss a beat! ill bbl for intro!
post #3 of 636
Oh, I need to be on here. I hate myself for it, but I need to be on here.

Hi, I'm Sara, and I'm of the compulsive shopper persuasion. I also am guilty of using retail therapy, like tonight. I often feel the need to get out of the house with DS and I often go to Target or another retail place.

My goal is to do NEITHER this month. I have an allowance, and I'd like to save some of it for crafts for the new house we're hoping to buy in April. As a main budget goal, we need to be saving $ for the new house (it's a fixer-upper) and for eliminating our debt. I'd like to have 15 no-spend days, and less than $150 in frivolous $.

$9.99 for black yoga pants to replace the ones with a big hole
$12.00 for a snood I've been saving up for
: $20 for a sweater and socks that I'll wear but don't really need
0 :, 2 , $20 :
post #4 of 636
Okay, I pretty much failed miserably the February thread, and burnt out quickly. But I am in it this time! I have not been out anywhere or spent anything other than groceries for the past three days. I need to find another way to relieve my boredom at times, so I am trying to be present in it and just feel it instead of running out to do something exciting.

Okay, so I am attempting to be a good steward of our money, and I am leaving it at home unless I have groceries to get or something like that.

Here are my smilies:

no spend or budgeted spending
non-budgeted spending

So far:


post #5 of 636
Back in the game! I had some fun in February, but I'm recommitting for March.

You're probably tired of hearing my details by now, but I'm Lindsay, WAHM to 3 little ones, and we're saving for a down payment on a house.

Our goal is to save $25K in 2009, and we're almost 1/3 of the way there already! :
post #6 of 636
Yep, I need to sign up for this. I'll start on March 1 for sure. We're going to Disneyland at the end of the month and I need to save every penny for our trip! And you know... food... and other things... boring things
post #7 of 636
a. Who you are
SAHM of 4 (3 at home).

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

i want to budget $100 a week...for food and incidentals. i think i can do this IF i really stick to it. i participate in February and think i did much better than usual but there is always room for improvement.

c. How you plan to get there

$100 week for food and other incidentals

$12 for raw milk (we just dropped one gallon per week, saving $32 a month)

gas on the card but no unnecessary trips and consider carefully the trips we do take (we are in a HS'ing group and really dont like missing it).

NO new clothes the boys until spring and carefully determine what they need. i suspect nothing but clothes are so tempting, esp. since we live really close to a HA outlet.

Use library more (been doing this lately alot more). If its not on paperbackswap or library, wait for it. Add it to bday wish list (in april). i have too many books on my TBR list anyway.

No more museum/childrens museum passes for the year. Use library's free or very low fee passes instead.

Meal planning. and use coupons. Plan meals around sale items.

Atttend more story hour classes at the library.

No Spend :No Drive:Unexpected Spend
Spent but only on budget items
0/20 No Spend Days
0/20 Decluttering/Organizing Days/cleaning/30 minutes
0/10 Library Days
0/4 books
0/15 knit at least 15 minutes
0/28 eat at home
0/10 add things to CL
0/7 update blogs (months behind)
0/10 Let the Car Rest Days
post #8 of 636
I'm on mat leave and mama to one little boy. My mat leave pay is very tight but it's worth it to be home with DS for this first year of his life.

I joined the Feb thread for the first time and it was great. In fact, this thread and the F&F board has changed my spending and has lead my DH and I to really look at our finances and create a home budget so that we can save up for trips to visit extended family this summer so they can all meet DS.

In addition to our family trip, here are my personal goals:
- make sure we only spend $100 a week on groceries
- be 100% committed to using cash and leaving the cards (especially debit) at home
- continue to make extra student loan payments
- stay close to home & go to the library

March may be difficult because I'll be going to London for two weeks with DS, but we're staying with family friends so hopefully I can still keep my spending down. I've also already been to London so it's not so much a tourist trip but more a trip to hang out with an old friend who is also a SAHM right now.

I haven't perfected my smilies yet, I need to look at Feb's tread to see what I liked about other people's systems.
post #9 of 636
I'm in for March.

I'm Liz, SAHM by day and nursing student by evening/weekend.

I have a extraordinary 2 year old DS, and a pretty cool DH who is a teacher.

My financial goals for month are:

23/31 days: necessary spending or no spending (groceries, gas, copays, etc)
8/31: days: unnecessary, but budgeted spending
0/31 days: overbudget, frivolous spending

I'd like to cook dinner 25/31 days.
I'd like to eat dinner at home 29/31 days.
I'd like to complete my grocery pricebook by the end of the month.
I'd like to come under budget by $100 this month. This is a toughie, because our budget it pretty trim.

I changed my smilies from previous attempts because I had this as my true no spend days and would get so disappointed when I had to buy gas or a gallon of milk or something. I think this will be a better psychological set up.

Let's not get into the fact that similes seem to effect my emotional well being.
post #10 of 636
a. Who you are
Smithie, SAHM of 2 with one more due in May.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
"Live within our drastically reduced means" was my first goal, and in February I met it without too much trauma. Re-use, repurpose, improvise, borrrow - rah! I am loving it!

My goal now for March is "squirrel away cash so that upcoming financial outlays do not hurt our checking account." My biggest goal is $668 remaining on our annual commitment to the Temple building fund. I thought it was 1k over 3 years - turns out it's 1k every year FOR three years. Ouch!

c. How you plan to get there
  • Stop throwing away $$ on food - $500 for ALL our eating costs this month, groceries AND eating out!
  • More no-spend days - I have many low-spend days, but NO-spend is good discipline and makes me focus on what is important to me, which is NOT buying stuff, but enjoying my family.
post #11 of 636
I'm Kas, pregnant with my first (a son) My DH is away doing military training. We'll be able to be back together sometime in May...I'm kind of in charge of a lot of financial things while he's away. Hopefully, by the time March really gets going, he'll have internet access again and I won't have to worry too much about it. Although, I've gotten used to it in the past couple of months.

We're in step 2 of the Dave Ramsey plan. So, we're trying to pay down our debts. (about $18,000 combined) We also need a new car in the very very near future.

Honestly, I'm a compulsive shopper by nature. So setting "no spend" goals each month has been really helpful. We want to get all of our debts paid off as soon as possible...so I'm trying to attack it heavily.

Frivolous Spending: :
Necessary Spending:

3/04: :

Month Totals:
: $4.42
post #12 of 636
a. Who you are

Jamie, SAHM to Owen and another due in October.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

We're working on saving $1000 for baby step one from Dave Ramsey's book. Since, we're almost there our next step will be paying off our credit line.

c. How you plan to get there

I've made a budget that we need to stick to. I have some questions about it and might start another post about that. Some of our bigger spending areas are:

eating out
snacks etc. at the corner store
tim hortons

We're also putting a bunch of things up for sale, our car, one of our older trucks, cloth diapers, clothes stuff like that that will give us extra money to reach our goals.

-no spend/budgeted spend day
-spent when I shouldn't have
post #13 of 636
Thread Starter 
esp. since we live really close to a HA outlet.
oooh...that would be lethal for me...
post #14 of 636
Thread Starter 
1. My name is Prudence and I'm a SAHM with three daughters. I track my spending because coming on here every day keeps me accountable.

Giving myself an icon on this board rewards me like a gold star did back in kindergarten. I love to see no-spend days all lined up.

Granted, : getting an icon each day is not nearly as rewarding as actually spending money -- the shopping and the find and the buy is a HIGH for me -- but it is something.

2. Financial goals: To be content with what we have. Our family is finally in good financial shape, but we live in a neighborhood FULL of Joneses. And we're not keeping up.

For example:

One of my neighbors, Neighbor A bought something last month and told another one of my neighbors, Neighbor B not to tell me. Because Neighbor A knew I would be jealous and she knows we can't afford it. What the....???? Of course, Neighbor B turned around and told me. And...as predicted...I'm jealous (and a little pissy...)

We CAN afford it, but we are choosing to save our money instead of spending it. I'm trying to learn to be at peace with this decision and react calmly instead of...well, instead of getting angry.

3. My plan to get there: Post on this thread every day. Come on here and get as many no-spend icons as I can. When I'm not out shopping, I'm a lot happier. If I don't see it in a store, I don't know that I need it. I'm setting it as a goal for myself to stay out of the stores for a month. I want to spend my time this month loving on our home...cleaning it, organizing it, thinking about all the things we do have and playing with my children and my baby.

Concretely...I would like to have 20 no-spend days.

Gas=Money...so I would like to drive the car less. I fail miserably at this goal usually, so I'm aiming pretty low. Let's say 5 no-drive days. That is usually all I can handle.

Good luck this month Ladies!!! I'll be on here every day rooting for you :

My previous months:

May 2007 = 19 no-spend days / $265 in unecessary spending
June = 19 /$394
July = 15 /$580
August = 19 /$451
September = 22 /$103
October = 20 /$203
November = 19 /$456
December 2007 = Fell off the wagon
January = 20 /$216
February = 21 /$190
March = 24 /$189
April = 19 /$402
May 2008 = 22 /$206
June = 27 /$23
July = 20 /$274
August = Fell Off the Wagon
September = 15 /$790
October = 18 /$909
November = 20 /$360
December 2008 = 20 /$611
January 2009=14 /$504
February = 18 /$164
post #15 of 636
Coming back to set my goals for March.

12 no-spend days (up from a goal of 10 last time)
16 eat-at-home days
$700 or less on groceries/household expenses
$250 or less on eating out
$2000 to savings

- no-spend day
- only necessary spending
- planned unnecessary spending
- totally blew it
post #16 of 636
Back again. February didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. : for March!

a. Who you areStephanie. I'm a FT WOHMama to 3 children (I say 3 because DH counts.)

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) We hope to buy a house before the end of the year. We need about $3,000 to get this goal completed. It's an insane amount of money in the time frame for our income.

c. How you plan to get thereThis month I'm focusing on not eating out. Not ONCE! Last month I was trying to bring lunch to work every day. I accomplished that. I don't have the time to waste money buying lunch if I don't bring it so it's really not an issue. Not spending money on my badge. I think I need to set my goal at $0. Allowing myself some money let me open the door to lose control.


No Unnecessary Spending 0/20

: 0/300 Savings

: $0 Badge Spending $0 Spending Total
post #17 of 636
Don't start without me!

Hi I am Amy and I SAH. MY DH and I do not carry any debt w exception to our mortgage. I am joining again for the fellowship. I didnt particpate last month and I was still able to track pretty well what I was doing.

Goals this month (this also included Lent, a good time to reflect)
Groceries under $400 for the month
$500 to the emergency savings fund ($1450 more to reach our goal of 5K)
Keep the MC/Visa under $600 for the month for each of us. We pay it off entirely each & every month but we put about $2500-$3000 on it monthly.

this month I have:
-no known expense that needs $ put aside so far! OF course that is when TSHTF as we all know!

-Costco run. I have a list of items we will be running out of within the next few weeks. I am really good about sticking to my list too! It will be about $100 or so expense. $69.53

-Frontier Order. This will be about $100 or so too. Just a little over!

One thing I do is stockpile, plan with bulk but I use up my supply and then buy more. Sometimes I wait to use up other things first instead of wasting which helps spread out the budget a lot.

So welcome to the new people and Welcome back to the old timers and those who have partipated and it made a difference- even if it meant just a few bucks, hey its a start! Let the no spending begin!!

Key of the Method of my Madness:

no money left my wallet or bank account:
deposited money for savings :
messed up
planned spending
eat from what I have on hand: :

1 church donation and grocery
2 & :
3 & :
4 $21 for sushi at moms night out; groceries delivery $41.02 = $221.96/400 for the month
5 payday/mortgage due; car insurance due
6 & :
7 woman seminar $40 worth every penny.
9 & :
10 grocery run-$49.71
11 produce deliverd $47.90
12 DH Mc due; lunch w friend $30.06; costco run $69.53
13 & :
14 & : resale, bought dd1 clothing for summer $88
15 church, family time $17
16 well it took 16 days, but grocery run $29.98
17 & :
18 produce delivery!
19 deposit $80.00; grocery $26.58; breakfast out w friend $10.08
20 payday & fell off the wagon again!
22 my mc due
23 bills to pay, groceries, gas in car
24 & produce delivery
25 $100 to 529 funds
26 & :
27 & well not really but not planned spending but nice night out
28 & :
29 & :
post #18 of 636
Who you are Holly, SAHM to Jack, DH is active duty US Coast Guard.

Where you are going (your financial goals) We have been living with my parents for the last year, trying to pay off debts we aquired during our first year of marriage. Now we have almost paid off all of our credit cards, except THE BIG ONE. We have a couple grand still on that one, then one year on the car payment. DH feels that we can now look for an apartment. : My goal is to prove that I can keep to a budget so that we know we can survive when we move back out on our own.

How you plan to get there Well, we are a one car family, so I will try to keep my grocery trips planned, and not buy anything not on the list. I also plan to make use of a sale at the fabric store and make a few things for myself, as all my pre-preg things are too small. (I am tall so sale shopping is difficult and time consuming for me.)

no out-of-budget spending
ooops I made an impulse purchase
: don't ask
post #19 of 636
a. Who you are
I'm Jenny, SAHM to one lovely little five year old little girl and 35 weeks pregnant with a new addition. Two weeks until I'm term! Eek!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
Oh, I'd be thrilled to just pay all of our bills on time and pay the pellet stove off before we owe interest on it. Those are quite lofty aspirations at the moment.

c. How you plan to get there
No shopping or eating out at all. I am pretty close to that already but it's still not cutting it. I need to look at our budget and try to find places to trim more fat.
post #20 of 636
27-, today will be planned budgeted grocery shopping
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~March No-Spend Challenge~ The Day of Reckoning...how did you do? What did you learn? What will you do differently next month?