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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~August No-Spend Challenge~ We are tracking our spending and trying to save money! Come join us -- newcomers welcome
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~August No-Spend Challenge~ We are tracking our spending and trying to save money! Come join us...

post #1 of 344
Thread Starter 
I thought we could start this so people could sub and get keys and dates down... And I'm motivated

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 August 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 344
I'm Jessica, married to Chris who is deployed right now. We're expecting our first baby in mid-September. We're debt-free and saving (slowly but surely!) to buy a house. I'm also going to record my exercise on here.

No money spent: :
Necessary/planned spending: : (groceries, rent, etc.)
Unnecessary spending: (such as eating out or a splurge on yarn)
Exercise: :


1 : (groceries, stuff for baby, rent)
2 :
3 : :
4 : (household stuff & groceries)
5 : (power bill)
6 : :
7 (beautiful knitting book--demon smiley is not fitting, hehe!)
8 :
9 :
10 : (groceries) (lunch...oops!) :
11 : :
12 : :
13 : :
14 (more knitting stuff...oops )
15 : :
16 :
17 :
18 : :
19 :
20 : (baby stuff) :
21 : :
22 :
23 :
24 : (car insurance, phone/internet bill)
25 : (groceries)
26 : :
27 : (and yet more baby stuff! I just have a few more things to get...sigh)
28 :
29 : (signed up for online course)
30 :
31 : :
post #3 of 344
I'm in!

a. Who.... I'm Prudence. A SAHM with three daughters and a DH who is a teacher...which means no income during the summer. We live on savings during the summer -- which means a budget is mandatory.

b. Financial goals... To be a ~conscious~ spender. To really think about what I'm spending our money on...is this what we want to purchase? This toy or book or coffee or whatever...instead of financial security, instead of paying off our home early, instead of saving for college, retirement etc? Most of the time I decide it isn't worth it. This thread helps me keep my eye on the big picture.

c. How you plan to get there... Tracking my spending. Writing it out in black and white for you fellow MDCers to see. If I know I have to write it on here, sometimes I don't buy it. My goal this month is to go hardcore...ONLY buying necessities.

Good luck no-spenders!
post #4 of 344
Hello All! I'm a Stay at home mom, who wishes she could work, but can't unless its from home. I haven't been able to find anything consistent yet from home, but I am continuing to look for a telecommuting job that works. I am hoping to start babysitting special needs children in the next couple of months with a program that I found and am qualified for... but have to find clients and get signed up. I have two beautiful children and an amazing hubby who provides a consistent income, although our needs often outweigh what his company will pay him.

Our goals are to be free of debt and to get to a place that we can live as independently as possible, possibly with a farm and one of us working. Short term, I want us to make it through every month without our children seeing the effects of our financial situation. We aren't lavish people, but I want them to always feel secure that there will be healthy/tasty food on the table, a warm bed to sleep in, a roof over their heads, and clean clothes to wear.

To go to our long term goals we are planning to work together to live frugally, spending as little as possible to live a happy day to day life. We are cutting back on everything that isn't necessary, and are using our time and talents to help make ends meet so that we don't go into more debt. We will be working with family to help us reach our goal of owning a farm one day. Its a long story, but a good one.
post #5 of 344
a. Who you are - Ket! SAHM/Student to two girls (2yr/6mo). Right now we're tightening the belt, so to speak, because we have need of childcare starting in September and our debt has just skyrocketed due to installing a new fence for our livestock, therefor we need to pay it off.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) - Paying off debt. Actually right now my goal is to STOP going farther INTO debt. We've also got $400/month in childcare costs to start saving up for, and/or figure out how to cut spending in order to pay for it.

c. How you plan to get there - We're used to having extra money, so things like eating out a few times a week and buying things here and there are almost second nature. My plan is pretty simple: Cut grocery spending by $20 (to $100/paycheck from $120/paycheck) and stick that $40/month in savings. Also look for unneeded spending, be aware of it, and stop it. Eating out cut back to once per week, having 4 no-drive days per week, and stopping credit card use.

1. +$100 craigslist sale
-$3 DH for work snacks, -$9 gas - No drive!
2. -$7 DH, -$5 church
3. -$3 DH, -$55 Trailer registration, -$15 eat out, -$130 farm purchase
4. -$14 diapers, -$57 gas, -$55 household, -27 gas
post #6 of 344
We are *so* in for this month. And serious - NO unnecessary spending.

a. Who you are
I'm Lauren, SAHM to one little girl who is 3.5. We just moved to Southern California.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
We just want to keep our heads above water, for now. We have a house back in NJ that we're trying to sell - we are barely making our mortgage each month, and now we're on the other side of the country trying to make it while still paying this HUGE mortgage for a house we're not living in. So we just want to be able to pay our bills, which we can no longer do.

c. How you plan to get there
The plan is to cut all unnecessary spending for the month of August and see where we go from there.
post #7 of 344
a. Who you are: Bridget. Mom to Flannery and wife to DH. Part of a WOHM/SAHD team. Expecting 2nd child in late September, which will bring about unpaid time off.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals): My goal is to start breaking even. Long-term, we'd like to save for a new house, house repairs, etc. But right now we would like to spend no more than we earn.

c. How you plan to get there: This is where I need help! We are very frugal - free entertainment, no cable, pay-as-you-go cellphone, etc. I am hoping to list some things on Craigslist and possible Etsy (vintage items and maybe some of my precious beads). We do need to restock some essentials from Costco - don't want to run out of things over maternity leave.
post #8 of 344
a. I'm Stephanie.

b. We're trying to buy a house.

c. I'm trying to use the food that I already have (what's the point in moving it all) in order to lower my food bill. I'm trying to not eat out as much. For some reason I feel obligated to. I'm trying to not buy things on my badge at work. I'm trying to spend $500 total in discretionary spending (clothing, food, household, and anything that's not an expected bill). I find that if I don't get on the internet everyday I forget what I spend. It's not always possible to get on the internet. So if I don't spend, I don't have to remember what I spent, right? I'm also aiming for simple (in finances, as well as life) I either spent it or I saved it regardless of what it was on.


0/$300 Saved
0/$500 Spent
post #9 of 344
a. Who you are

I'm Pansophy! I'm new here and trying to get my financial house in order. I have a great DH and two great kids, DS almost 4 and DD, turning 1 in August.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

This month I have a modest goal: not end the month overdrawn. Sounds easy enough, right? I have somehow not been able to meet his goal all year. I'm applying for financial assistance and hopefully that will make a difference in how well I'm able to manage our meager income.

We're having a small birthday party for DD at my parents house; I already have the party supplies and will just need to buy food for the party.

c. How you plan to get there
Stay out of stores. Continue to be broke so I have no money to spend.
post #10 of 344

1. I am Rachel...I have three lovely kiddos 11, 8 and 4. I am soooo sick and tired of the mountain of debt that looms over our heads. It is crushing. I am ready to tighten my proverbial belt and get serious.

2. I have set a new 1.5 year goal to pay off our biggest credit card debt. I have a spreadsheet with the accrued interest added and if we stick to budget, will have it paid off entirely by Dec 2010! After that one is gone all the other debt will snowball and we should be debt free (except for Student Loans and Mortgage) by July 2011.

3. Plan to get there by working my tail off on Ebay (not so reliable lately-but I have set a realistic monthly profit goal, so it should work) and wisely spending hubby's income. NO EXTRA SPENDING!!! No eating out, only shopping off of a grocery list, planning menus and using as many free options as possible (Library, parks, backyard..) to entertain the kids.

I am ready.....
post #11 of 344
I am soooo sick and tired of the mountain of debt that looms over our heads
Welcome Rachel. I have been there. You can get out from under that mountain and joining us is a good start. You can do it.
post #12 of 344
a. Who you are

carrie. i work part-time and have two kiddos ds 4-1/2 and dd 1-1/2.

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

stay within budget and add $100 to savings.

c. How you plan to get there

track it here, baby!! last month (july) is my first month UNDER BUDGET!! in like forever. possibly ever! i know it was because i came here to record it ::
post #13 of 344
Hey all! I am back for August.

a. Who you are

Ruth, SAHM to 3 lovely kids.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

August is my month to be cc debt free!!!!!!! If I can stick to the plan (willsticktotheplanwillsticktotheplan) I can pay off the last horrendous credit card ($2000).

c. How you plan to get there

No spending! Keep to the grocery budget. Do not buy any more homeschooling supplies.


Pay off credit card 0/2000
Groceries 0/600
No sloppy spending!
post #14 of 344
Hi! I'm somewhat new to these 'challenges' (just started last month a little late...) sooooo we'll see how it goes:-)

I'm Jenny and I need to not spend money!!! On anything, except neccessities. My goals are: Only spend $150/week on all household expenses (groceries/tp/diapers/etc.) --- and to figure out how to get that down to $100 even. I need to learn to forage and use up everything that we have....but then again, I'd also like to build up a pantry and freezer, so we'll see how I work that out I'd also like the majority of my money in this arena to go to the farmer's market instead of the grocery store.
I plan on spending some money this month on 'stuff' and clothes for the new baby, and will only be spending at yard sales and such. I also plan on starting to buy clothes for the fall/winter for dd1 (and even dd2 if I find anything she needs) but only at yard sales.
IF, dh gets his bonus this month, all of it will be used to pay off debt, except for $100, which will go to dh and I getting a special date. So, if that happens, it happens, if not, oh well.

We are trying to pay off lots of our debts (and there is a lot, Dave Ramsey style. We are also trying to build a house -- out of pocket -- so we don't have a loan on it when we are done (or at least a VERY small loan).

So I need to be SUPER cheap!

Thanks for the motivation
post #15 of 344
Ruth -- : Glad to see you back. We missed you last month. How is your baby boy doing?
post #16 of 344

Oh yes...you can do this.
post #17 of 344


That is how much this family of five (one of whom is a baby and doesn't eat diddly) spent on groceries for the month of July.


That is a lot of money.

Especially considering that we have an expensive farm share that we paid off back in January and are getting the majority of those vegetables "free" right now...so that $936 is for things other than produce.

WHAT is going on?

I have to seriously sit down with our grocery receipts and figure out what I'm did wrong last month.

Our grocery bill for the month is usually in the $500 to $600 range.

And in August...it will be back there.
post #18 of 344
Hmmmm...could those $35 ribeye steaks from Costco sitting in the freezer right now be part of it? Bought TWICE this month. That's $70 right there.

Hmm....It is back to tuna fish for this family.

I need to go find that $2 meal thread and read through it again for inspiration.
post #19 of 344
Ok! I'm super motivated here--going to get up my key and dates so I'm all ready!

:: budgetted spend
:: no spend day!
: :: overspent, or non budgetted spend
: :: no driving day

post #20 of 344
Well this is my first time trying a "no-spend challenge", but I think I'm up to the task!

a. Intros!! I'm Kate, WOHM and I have a lovely family of 4 (my kiddos being 3 & 6 months).

b. Well we have a lot of CC debt and trying to get out from underneath it. Right now we have been able to stick to our monthly budget (only going over by $50-100) because something always comes up (house, babies, too darn tired to cook!!!) The budget doesn't have any saving aspect to it right now, so the goal is to be able to not spend or splurge on non-essentials and see where we end up at the end of the month, hopefully with some extra $$ to be able to save for xmas, CCs, retirement (HA!) and etc...

c. For this month - goals: (I hope I'm doing this right!)
max # of time family gets take out (normally this is like 4): 2 :
Splurges (typically several through out the month): 0/3 :
On budget:
Overall Montly goal - Have $100 extra bucks to set aside for Savings/CC or etc.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~August No-Spend Challenge~ We are tracking our spending and trying to save money! Come join us -- newcomers welcome