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April No-Spend Challenge ~ We're in the home stretch...

post #1 of 378
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. Now is a good time to start.

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 378
a. Who you are
~Alison... mama to two fabulous little people with another on the way later this year. I own my own business and I need to really work to get sales up this month as much as possible.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
~We are DR people with a nice savings built up. We are looking to get our debt paid off now.

c. How you plan to get there
~Keep spending as low as possible this month, NO eating out except for two occasions which are already planned for. DP starts his new job on the 19th.

Goals for the Month of April
1. No unplanned spending: 0/30
2. No eating out that isn't already planned for: 0/28
3. Bring in extra money from my business: 0%
4. 300 items decluttered: 0/300
5. 13 days with exercise in them: 0/13

Key:
- No Spend
- Planned Spend
- Unplanned Spend
- All meals eaten at home
- Decluttered stuff out of the house
- Exercise
post #3 of 378
Hi, I'm just popping in to cheer you all on! I have been living on almost nothing for a long time but I finally found work so I will probably be buying some long-overdue things this month... like a haircut, soil enrichers for my new veg garden, a slotted spoon? (really need one of those, lol!) The recent move also necessitates some things since I was able to use someone else's before. Oh mercy, a mop! So sick of washing the floor on my hands and knees (the whole place is tile). And we have no rugs! There are just dozens of things that I've been putting off but I will still be taking my time to find them used or at least get a good deal. Hopefully by May the list of things will be manageable enough that I can pick up this thread again Good savin, mamas!
post #4 of 378
a. Who you are
~Tashia, newlywed (7/12/09!) and a new mama (2/02/10!) to Ela Rose. I'm currently on maternity leave but will be returning to work in May As a waitress I graduated from UCLA this summer (finally! I'm 28!) with a BA in Comparative Literature. Eventually I'd like to get a better job, preferably something at least pretending to be somewhat related to my degree. Or, you know, just not waiting tables. But for now I have a job and I'm just happy having an income.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
~Get out of debt! We've been "budgeting" for a while now, but this month we're serious about making and sticking to a realistic budget. It could take a few tries to figure out what that is, though.

c. How you plan to get there
~I think we're going to do DR. I have the book on hold at the library but I've been doing the snowball thing for a few months already. We're starting off with our highest interest rate, though, instead of starting with the smallest debt. Unfortunately our income is fairly variable, so it might take a while to get used to really living by the budget. We're going to start using envelopes for April, so we'll see how that goes. We don't really spend much. We eat out once, maybe twice a month and aren't big shoppers. DH has a bass guitar and likes to spend money on stuff for that, but we have an agreement that his tips are his to do whatever he wants with, so that spending shouldn't have any effect on our budget. We haven't been that great about tracking our spending, though, so I could be wrong about how much we've been spending lately on non-essentials.

Goals for the Month of April
Stick to the Budget! I'm new to this, though, so I'll be back to update as I figure out what I'm doing.

1. No unplanned spending: 0/30
2. 15 days at the gym: 0/15
post #5 of 378
a. I'm Jenn, SAHM to 4 under 6.

b. We're looking to have our $14000 in cc debt paid off by the end of this year and then want to move onto our Suburban (still owe about $10000 on that). We've been debt free before, but 1.5yrs ago, DS2 was hospitalized for 2wks and we foolishly put the med bills on our cc. We also bought our first home 2yrs ago, and the cc balance has just been creeping upward. DH and I sat down and outlined our financial goals and are now intent on meeting them. We also have a few home projects we want to tackle, and want to cash flow them instead of using that dreaded cc.

c. STAY OUT OF THE STORES!!! This is our big one. I've started meal planning again to combat our eating out habit, but we need to just stay out of the stores so we don't buy random cr@p. We use the cash envelope system, but have a tendency to just take out the cc if we go over budget. Not anymore. STICK TO THE BUDGET!! This is our other big issue. We HAVE to stick to it and make it work for us. I also would like to cut our utilities down so we have extra to throw at our debt/ savings. I re-evaluated my expectations for no-spend. I've decided that things like groceries and gas count towards no-spend as long as they are within our budget, anything OVER the budget I will hold myself accountable to. We food shop at least 4x/month b/c we're eating more fresh produce now and it's too discouraging to count a day as no-spend just b/c we picked up our much needed salad greens.

Key:
no spend/ budgeted spending
unnecessary/ unbudgeted spending
hung laundry to dry

Goals for April
no spend days 0/20
eating out 0/3
hung laundry to dry 0/10

This month is DS1 birthday and we will be having his first "friend" party and he has some high expectations so I'm going to try and meet them frugally We have gifts set aside for him already, so it's going to be the party prep stuff I need to pick up. We also have Easter which I think I have all I need for.
post #6 of 378
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post
I re-evaluated my expectations for no-spend. I've decided that things like groceries and gas count towards no-spend ... it's too discouraging to count a day as no-spend just b/c we picked up our much needed salad greens
I agree with you 100% there, Jenn. I take away my ONLY if I buy something frivolous that we could live without. Gas, groceries, clothes that are needed...those never show up on here.

I'm trying to curb my unecessary spending...not what we need to live!
post #7 of 378
Thread Starter 
a. Who you are
~Prudence...SAHM with three daughters.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
~We are financially in a good spot, BUT I want to be conscious of how and why I spend our money. I want to make sure when I buy something it is because I want THAT thing more than I want future security or something else that requires saving to buy. I want to be a saver, not a spender.

~I'm also trying to stay away from STUFF. I'm a minimalist and I just cleaned out our house of loads of clutter. I want to police my spending because if I don't bring the stuff in, I don't have to worry about clearing it out later.

c. How you plan to get there
~Coming on here and recording my spending. I want to see in black and white what I'm spending my money on this month, and I want the internet to see it as well...because when I post in a public forum I feel more accountable.

Goals for the Month of April
1. Staying OUT of the Stores 0/30...ooooh...could I do it for the entire month?? I think I can. I'm not counting grocery stores here...just "shopping for entertainment"
2. 0/20 No Spend Days
post #8 of 378
Prudence Welcome Back!!!!!

I missed the March thread so I haven't "seen" you
post #9 of 378
Thread Starter 
Thanks Kristine!
post #10 of 378
Missed March but have been doing very well with keeping our spending in check.

a. Who you are

~WOHM to 3 awesome girls

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

~ Our main goal is to just spend less so that we have a cushion.

~ I have been decluttering and selling lots of our baby stuff which has made me want less and less stuff in our house. Not buying things certainly helps with that. I have also been reading Simplicity Parenting which is motivating me even more to get stuff out and not bring stuff in.

c. How you plan to get there

~ Coming on here and recording my spending.

Goals for the Month of April

1. Keep "not" spending on non-necessities
2. Continue my decluttering and organizing
3. 0/20 No Spend Days
post #11 of 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitteh View Post
~Tashia, newlywed (7/12/09!) and a new mama (2/02/10!) to Ela Rose.
Sounds like me a year apart I got married on 7/10/08 and had DS2 on 01/28/09, so only 2 and 5 days different than you (plus a year). Very cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
I agree with you 100% there, Jenn. I take away my ONLY if I buy something frivolous that we could live without. Gas, groceries, clothes that are needed...those never show up on here.

I'm trying to curb my unecessary spending...not what we need to live!
This is me too.
post #12 of 378
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking about trying a "Not Buying It" approach (Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine) for this next month.

Trying to see if I could really go an entire month without going into a store.

I figure DH can go into stores -- he's not a shopper -- I can give him a list of anything that I think we HAVE to have.

Then I'm completely away from temptation.

Hmmm...pondering the logistics of this.
post #13 of 378
a. Who you are
Hi I'm Pax 30 (this month) wife of 9yrs to my amazing husband. SAHM/WAHM of a 7.5 yr old and a 4.5yr old. I provide childcare to a friend's child 2 days a week and I am paid $240 a month for it. I'm also a nurse but am currently not working in my field.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) Dh is currently on an extended business trip out of state. We are on month 5 of a 9mo trip. Its been long but the upside is that we should beable to pay off all (or most of) our CC debt this summer and put cash down on a new to us car for DH.

My goal this month is to stay with in my budget. The only thing I need to spend money on is a small table for my family room and homeschooling supplies. Oh plus food and Gas. I want to keep eating out to $100 this month.
post #14 of 378
a. Who you are
Misty. A stay at home married momma to DS 3.5 and DD 5 months. My hubby currently works at a temp agency making $9/hr and we're waiting on disability to go through (we applied yesterday, they called today to tell us they're already reviewing it, it's pretty cut and paste they just need to make sure that DH isn't lying and he meets the vision standard for legally blind)

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
Short-term goals: Get $500 in emergency savings. Then start paying back our debts. $2000 in cc debt, $900 repayment of a grant, $800 for doctor visit to confirm hubby is blind
Long-term goal: Buy a house

c. How you plan to get there
Hubby would never let me take away his cigarettes but other than that: no food purchases that Food Stamps won't cover, no spending money on anything that is not bills or gasoline or emergency. (we're well-stocked on toiletries, cleaning stuff etc.)
If I find that I "need" something in the mean time see if I can get it on Freecycle. And hello library and friends for books and movies...
0/30 days no spending
0/100 get rid of 100 "things" (yard sale or donate)
Get rid of paper clutter
Try to make an extra $100 this month (our bills just went up by $100 since we now have to make minimum payments on doctor visit and repaying grant)
post #15 of 378
A. Who you are
Kim, single mama to Griffin who just turned three. I am very low income, but live in a state with a lot of help for low income mamas, so I feel very fortunate.
B. Where you are going (your financial goals)
Even though I am low income, my bills are very low too, so my monthly income is more than twice what all of my bills are combined, and yet I still always end up a little short or scrambling at the end of the month. I would love to start actually saving and paying something on my student loans which are currently deferred.

C. How you plan to get there
Build in a spending plan. I think that trying to be absolutely no-spend is not a realistic way for me to get on the wagon. Maybe next month I can get down to zero (or close to it), but I think giving myself an allowance and not allowing any spending over that is a bit more realistic for me. Oh, and I am totally stealing the decluttering idea too from an above poster.

Goals for the Month of April
1. No unplanned spending above my weekly $20 allowance 0/30
2. No eating out that isn't already planned for: 0/30
4. 100 items decluttered: 0/100
5. Car left at home/take the bus/bike/stay home 0/5

Key:
- No Spend
- Planned Spend
- Unplanned Spend
- All meals eaten at home
- Decluttered stuff out of the house
- Car not driven
post #16 of 378
need to resubmit - sorry
post #17 of 378
a. Who you are - I am a WOHM with a hubby and a son. We adopted our son three months ago and accrued debt to do so, thus our reason for changing our lifestyle to pay off our debt as quickly as we can!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and - Our long term goals are to save money for a down payment on a new home, pay off all debt (beginning with credit cards), and cut up credit cards

c. How you plan to get there - Dave Ramsey plan, along with no spending months, strict budgeting, and frugal living

Goals for April:
1. Achieve 17 no spend days
2. Limit eating out to 6 meals/take outs for the month.
3. Spend less than $100 on eating out/take out spending for the month.
4. Earn at least $10 in cash or gift cards by completing surveys online.
5. Use windfall money ($8300 from travel insurance claim and inheritance) and budgeted money to pay off $8800 in credit card debt!!!!

Key:
- no spend day
- made a credit card payment
- allowed meal out/take out
- meal out/take out outside of planned $ and # of meals
- earned money/gift card from completing a survey

Totals for the month:
0/17 no spend days
0/$8800 credit card payments
0/6 meals out/take out
0/$100 money spent on meals out/take out
0/$10 money/gift cards earned from surveys

I know my goals aren't as ambitious as some others, but I am trying to grow each month!
post #18 of 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post
I re-evaluated my expectations for no-spend. I've decided that things like groceries and gas count towards no-spend as long as they are within our budget, anything OVER the budget I will hold myself accountable to. We food shop at least 4x/month b/c we're eating more fresh produce now and it's too discouraging to count a day as no-spend just b/c we picked up our much needed salad greens.
We've got a pretty tight budget and it's really important that we stick to it to make this work, but I agree with the above. DH and I talked about it and decided that food is the only category that we'll be totally fine with overages, so long as the money is actually spent on food and not something like wine or ice cream. But eating healthfully is important to us, so if we go over because we need to buy more spinach or salmon or something then so be it.
post #19 of 378
Who you are:
I am heather mother to 5 children. i am a part time RN, dh works part time teaching in person and part time teaching on line, and is going back to school for his PhD.

Where you are going (your financial goals):
technically we make more then we have going out, yet month after month we are so close to the edge it is scary. i am tired of being scared. i am tired of stressing about payday being 2 days away. i want to have money in my savings account, and i want it to stay there and i want it to grow. and i want to be able to take 3 months off when we have another baby and i want it to not be stressful and i want there to be money left over when i go back to work.

How you plan to get there:
i am not sure... hoping maybe public humiliation will make me open my eyes. realizing that no we do not need those darn organic cookies. that what i want in the future is more important then the instant gratification of buying something now. honestly it isn't that i buy huge things, it is all the little stuff that adds up and then when i look at it i am shocked.

Goals:
1. buy nothing not needed (ie except for food) for 30 days 0/30
2. save 10% of each paycheck (there are 3 for each of us, we get paid on the same week) 0/10%
3. no eating out this month
4. do the No Impact Project for April
5. get rid of 200 things 0/200
6. use no propane 15 out of 30 days 0/15
7. keep heat down to 61 all the time! 0/30
8. hang the clothes on the lines as often as the weather permits
9. save 1/2 of dh's on-line education in-come (he gets paid at the end of april)
10. come here everyday and fess up. lol

h
post #20 of 378
Thread Starter 
Quote:
hoping maybe public humiliation will make me open my eyes
Heather -- you realize that we will ~never~ do that on this thread, right?

We are all about support on the no-spend threads... no judgements, no criticism, just encouragement.

We're glad you are joining us!
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