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~April No-Spend Challenge~ We're tracking our spending and buying only the necessities. Come...

post #1 of 424
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 April 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 424
We are aggressively paying off debt. IF we can stick to our budget of living on less than half of DH's salary, we will have money leftover at the end of each month AND be able to pay off our debt by Christmas. It's our goal for that to be our family's Christmas present.

This does not include car payments. We think if we can pay off our debt by this Christmas, we can pay off the car by next Christmas. I know that's very long term but this is our goal.

We each have spending money so I won't list that stuff here. Only groceries and other budgeted stuff.
post #3 of 424
a. Hi, I'm Jenny. SAHM to one lovely five year old little girl and about to burst pregnant with our new addition (due 04.03.09!)

b. My main goal right now is to pay off the wood pellet stove DH insisted on purchasing last fall. The balance is currently on a credit card whose 0% interest ends in July.

c. No recreational shopping. This should be relatively simple to accomplish once baby arrives. I think my bigger issue will be resisting the urge to get take out every night. I need to come up with a bunch of easy & healthy meal ideas.
post #4 of 424
Joining again. I really like seeing where my money goes.

4/1 - 0$ spent
4/2 - 0$ spent 30/1000)
4/3 - Car payment 280$, Gas/Car - 16$, Grocery- 6$ : (90/1000)
4/4 - Tolls -5$,Gas- 10$ (we have a new baby neice though so its all worth it
4/5 - Tolls- 5$
4/6 - Target/Dinner - 12$ : (130/1000)
4/7 - Grocery- 25$ Gas- 2 0$ Pool league (dh) - 5$ : (175/1000)
4/8 - Grocery - 180$ y: (200/1000)
4/9 - Cell phones - 180$ Car ins- 80$
4/10 - Grocery - 40$
4/11 - Dollar Store- 20$, Target- 30$ (Easter supplies), and CVS- 6$ = I'm proud of how much i got, for how little i spent,(I usually spend double that or more) the kids easter baskets rock! I'm so excited for them to see them tomorrow.

- No spending whatsoever
- Planned/Budgeted spending
- Not planned, totally unnecessary spending
: - 1000 minutes of exercise
post #5 of 424
I'm coming back and hoping for a badge-free month!

I've completely reworked the budget/finances so I'm hoping it helps. I'm trying to us DH's pay as our flex money (food/gas/extras) which is going to be 100% in cash. I'm not sure if I'm going to "allow" the extras as necessary fun stuff or not, so for now it's getting recorded. That leaves my pay for the bills. Whatever is leftover (from my pay) at the end of the month goes into the savings account.

I'd like to keep the groceries under $300 this month. I really need to take my time at the store and go before we run out of things so I'm not doing a quick run after a stressful day (this usually leads to grabbing whatever).

My ultimate goal is no eating out. I guess it's not very good for us anyways. But, I'd be happy if it ends up only being 1x a week.

3 : DH Pay
10 : DH Pay


No Unnecessary Spending $0

Unneeded $0

: $300 left in the budget.
post #6 of 424
I'm in! :

Doing this last month was so helpful, we were actually able to go the entire month without overdrafting, which is a freaking miracle. I also read a really interesting book: The Complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt. She has the usual ideas, but a fresh spin.

My goals for this month are:
1. : at home 25/30 days.
2. no drive) 3/30 days.
3. Keep savings IN savings.
post #7 of 424
i'm in! i'm carrie and last month was my first try at this money tracking thingy. i spent a lot more last month than i normally do (after thinking i was going to kick butt!) so i know i'm going to do better this month!

0/600 groceries
0/100 pantry stocking
0/50 spending money

0/20 no spend days
0/10 budgeted spend
0/0 non-budgeted spend!!!!
0/27 get outside :

post #8 of 424
be back tomorrow
post #9 of 424
a. Who you are

Van. Single mom to 2. Geology undergrad and researcher in now two labs. Exhausted woman.

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

I want to get myself current and simplify over and beyond.

c. How you plan to get there

No spending money. At all.

My goals:

0 spending days
0 eating out

I know it is a lofty goal, but one must be lofty when in poverty
post #10 of 424
Hi, I'm Carolyn and this is my first time posting on mdc in eons. I'm recently (as of November) unemployed (had worked part-time from home for 7+ years). We knew that I'd be unemployed and had paid down all our debt except for student loan and house. The plan was for me to be home with my youngest until she started Kindergarten in the fall. We are now moving on to plan B because plan A got a little screwed up. You see, I'm (surprise!) preggo. So now we are learning to really live on JUST a teacher's salary. My goal for the month is to have less than $20 in unbudgeted spending and to keep groceries under $400. I'd also like to have 20 no spend days and zero eating out days.

No spend :
Budgeted spend:
Unbudgeted spend:
post #11 of 424
a. Who you are

I am a WAHM 28 hours a week, with 3 kids in school and a toddler who will be 4 this month at home. DH works outside the home.

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

1. To toally stash my check and just live off DH's.
2. No unplanned spending (I have a coffee pod on order, and DH will be getting a CD player for his work car - for the commute - it was our treat out of the income tax return we popped in our savings account.

c. How you plan to get there

1. Get a grip on grocery spending.
2. Check out our phone bill, our cable bill, and our cell phone bills to see if we can cut it down.
post #12 of 424
I am joining up, but will be back later to post goals. I'm in the middle of re-arranging the furniture in my living room right now!
post #13 of 424
a. Who you are - I'm Kara, mama to Jillian, Max, & Lucy and married to Chris. My weaknesses are Waldorf toys and yarn

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) -
Longterm, we have a HUGE amount of stupid debt and Chris and I want to be Debt FREE before Jillian starts college so that she won't have to live with Sallie Mae Student Loans like we are : We'd also like to build up a good Emergency Fund.

Short term
, this month is going to be super tight for us with license plates due, home owners association fees due, and we're hosting Easter for 10 people, which I'm excited about but it will be a challenge to pull off as frugally as possible.

c. How you plan to get there
Chris and I sat down at the beginning of the year and made a budget. We've been tweaking it along the way. I've gone over in a few categories, like Christmas/Gifts (some of that will be refunded through some rebates I'm expecting to get back) At the end of March we did a huge Bakery Thrift Store run, freezer stock up, and picked up our Angel Food boxes, so the pantry is FULL :

Hopefully sticking to the budget, Chris working some overtime, and me really committing to NOT SPEND ANYTHING NOT ON THE BUDGET - no yarn, no toys, no knitting patterns, no little extras, no fast food - will put us in the green for the month, despite the challenges and extra expenses. Ideally, this will even give us a little extra for the Savings

My Budget (not including bills & debt repayment)
Grocery/Household = $190 (includes Angel Food April order and factors in my FULL pantry)
Clothing = (I went over in March, so no extra funding. Any $ that goes here has to be earned through re-sale of the old clothing) Earned $4.30
Homeschool = $30 (I went over in March by $15 so ...) $15
Christmas/Gifts = (I went over in this category last month - see a trend? LOL but expect some rebates to refund this category) no funding

3/30 -
3/31 - Pay Day
4/1 -
4/2 -
4/3 -
4/4 -
post #14 of 424
Back again for another month. March was soooo long. I spent a lot, but at least I know where all my money is going. We did much better with take out than we have done in a while so I am happy with that. Really gotta watch the food/household budget. I think I am going to have to restrict myself to one trip to the store a week and be very careful what I buy from the co-op this month even though there are some really good sales… I am going to add an exercise goal since it will help me manage my stress and therefore hopefully stop me from some stress related spending.

Planned April Spending:

: & household items $600
Unbudgeted/Unnecessary Spending:
Budgeted/Necessary Spending:
No Spend Days: 15
:At least 30 minutes exercise: 30
Spending $ - $50
Gas: $100
post #15 of 424
Hi, We did our first month in March and over all it didn't turn out so badly. We had our ups and downs but over all I was impressed.

Here is the breakdown as of today:

5/31 no spend days
166.96 in unbudgeted/unnessary spending - :
4215.98 in budgeted spending : WE PAID OFF A CAR :
190?/ in GAS
316.68/320 in Groceries
BIL kicked in 97 for groceries (not in total)
MIL paid for 54 of groceries that we bought for her (not in total)
Taking this into account we were about $30 over budget for Groceries for the month.
581/200 added to saving

This is the first month in many that we have not taken money out of savings I realized that my grocery budget may be a little low for a family of 4 eating mostly organic. I think that I will be upping the amount to 360 and we will see where we end up. I am giving us a total of 150.00 for eating out for the month and that is it! When the money is gone there is no more

Our goals for APRIL!!!
0/360 for groceries :
0/150 for Eating out :
0/8 no spend days :
0/200 for Budgeted spending
I am planning for additional spending for
- DS's 2nd Birthday parties (one in PA and one in MA)
- In laws visiting (two dinners out that will not go against the eating out budget)
- Garden Supplies $50 for seed starting supplies, etc
We would like to pay off our Discover Card (the portion that is accruing interest)
Pay extra on CAR S to hopefully pay it off by 9/09.
Add to savings

I am sure that I will come up with more as the month goes along.
post #16 of 424
I'm Amanda and have been participating in these threads for a few months. I spent WAY too much in March and am setting my goals again for April.

$500 for all food and household
$50 for dining out
$100 for kids/clothing

We have 3 kiddos and I am 19 weeks preggo with #4. I have been packing on the pounds, so I'm setting an exercise goal for this month also. 20 days of walking!

Thanks for the inspiration mamas.
post #17 of 424
Ok I'm trying this again. I start out well, then just quit. But I have to get my grocery spending under control and way down so here goes.

I'm Allyson, dh and I both woh full time and we have 2 little boys.

I'm planning 3 grocery trips this month max and hoping to keep it under $300. We don't usually spend a ton on just stuff, but the last month or two, its gotten wild. We typically eat out once or twice a month and that isn't a huge deal so I'm not worried if we do that and if we don't, great.
post #18 of 424
Yesterday and today, stayed on weekly budget for groceries. We hope to not have to buy anything else for a week except possibly milk.

We cut our Netflix and Gamefly back also. (this is our entertainment)
post #19 of 424

:0/20 No Spend Days
0/20 Decluttering/Organizing Days/30 minutes (NOT cleaning)
:0/5 Library Days w/ boys
: 0/4 books
:0/20 knit at least 15 minutes
:0/28 eat at home
0/10 add things to CL
0/5 update blogs (months behind)
:0/10 Let the Car Rest Days
0/30 Exercise at least 30 minutes
post #20 of 424
a. Who you are

Smithie, dh, ds, dd and dd2 due in May! We moved closer to family and started a business last year (our dream!) and are now living on two minimum-wage salaries and some income from our rented-out house back in WA.

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

  1. Live within our income month-to-month (doing pretty well with this one so far in 2009)
  2. Get our monthly take-home pay to where it actually should be (just went through the agony of tax-withholding-tweaking, so come April 15th we'll see where we're really at with that plus the stimulus-related changes)
  3. Start saving again once the paychecks are at the right level
  4. Pay off mortgage in WA before our ARM resets in 2011

c. How you plan to get there

Find ways to be supercheap in certain spending areas without feeling deprived. My big ones so far this year - food costs and kids' clothes.

My April food challenge will be the big Passover meal I'm cooking for the family - can I keep it from busting my food budget? I believe that I can! It kind of depends on what dh decides to eat this month, though. Hopefully he'll be on a bean soup kick. He is an eccentric eater.

In the general household category: I will also need to purchase tickets for my trip home in late June with the kids. And the dog needs his teeth cleaned. (The kids need their teeth cleaned, too, but they have insurance.) We just hired a mower because dh told me flat-out that he will not mow the lawn, ever, in 2009. I am 33 weeks pregnant, so that $70/month will just need to be planned for.

To help compensate for all these costs, I would REALLY like to see my utility bills go through the floor - April in SC should be a no-heat no-AC month! I am also canceling my Ancestry.com membership. I am hoping to think of other recurring costs to decrease or eliminate.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~April No-Spend Challenge~ We're tracking our spending and buying only the necessities. Come Join us! Newcomers Welcome!