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May No-Spend Challenge ~~ We're tracking our Spending and Saving Money -- Come Join us!

post #1 of 209
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 May 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 209
I've been lurking on this thread for months now and decided to join in!

Who I am~I'm a SAHM to two great kids

Where I want to go~I want to stay within our budget for food and household expenses which for months hasn't happened. So I want this month to be the start of something new

How I plan to get there~STAY AWAY FROM TEMPTATION and find another source for "getting out of the house"

I'm going to start on our last payday since that's how I budget~

4/23-went away for the weekend budget $600, spent $400
4/24-
4/25-
4/26-groceries budget $105, spent $51.
4/27-
4/28-gas $38, dinner out with DH to a fancy place. We won dinner for 2 just pay the gratituity-$30. Still within budget
4/29-
4/30-charity donation $25
5/1-Girl Scout event-$24
5/2-breakfast out with friends-$14, water ice $10
5/3-gave DD $6 for school book fair, groceries budget $105, spent $122 , $7 household stuff Target
5/4-
5/5-
5/6-DH spent $60 at sporting event
5/7-DH spent $40 at Rite Aid
It was looking like I was going to finish the week with money leftover to put into savings, but it's not going to happen. Spent all of budgeted money for the 2 week time period. I budget in 2 week time periods not the whole month at once. But at least I stayed within my budget which hasn't happened in quite awhile.

Next two weeks~
5/8-spent $20 groceries
-spent $13 on birthday gift for a party DD went to. Went over my budget because Michael's wouldn't take my coupon
-$40 gas
-$60 gifts for DD's birthday in a few months since the local toy store was having a one day sale.
-$30 on Mother's Day outing for my mom.

Feeling like I spent waaay too much money so far in this pay period and it only started yesterday.
post #3 of 209
I'm Vicki, mom of 4 girls, I did this challenge last month and have done it in prior months also.
My goals--Short term goals right now, get $500 in savings by the end of the month. Pay cash for 1 vacation this month.

How I plan to do this....
Not eating out!! Once or twice a month for DH and I to have a date night
Buying necessities and really thinking about purchases outside of necessities (will wait 24 hours for anything over $10).
Having at least 2 no-drive days a week.
Stay out out of the stores!
I will also count gas or groceries as no spend, as long as it is budgeted for, and not junk.
Get on MDC often, that really seems to help fuel my frugalness.

My key:
No Spend
No Driving
Budgeted Spending/Necessities/Thought Over Purchase
Unnecessary Spending
: Exercise Day
post #4 of 209
First let me say... I can NOT believe it is already into May. Holy carp this year is flying

a. Who you are
~Alison... mama to two fabulous little people with another on the way later this year.

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. I want to stay out of Tim Hortons and our not eat processed junk food like chips too. We are doing a major diet overhaul and cutting out processed food is a huge part of that.

Goals for the Month of May
1. No unplanned spending: 0/31
2. Prepare all meals at home or in the home of friends or family: 0/31
3. Stay out of TH and don't eat processed food!: 0/31
4. 300 items decluttered: 0/300
5. 13 days with exercise in them: 0/13
6. Bring in extra money from my business: 0%

Key:
- No Spend or Budgeted Spending only
- Unbudgeted Spend
- All meals eaten at home
- Ate out at a restaurant or ordered food in
- Ate at Tim Hortons or ate junk food
- Decluttered stuff out of the house
- Exercise
post #5 of 209
This challenge really opened my eyes last month. I'm in again, hopefully with a little more success!

a. pbjmama sahm to 2 preschoolers

b. we are almost cc debt free. i want to start working on saving more now. and maybe going to a semi-cash system?

c. track my spending! don't eat out as much...maybe I can do 2-3x this month?

Goals for the Month of May
1. Think before I spend
2. exercise a minimum 2x a week
3. Do a freezer meals day
4 List the things I want vs. need and give myself a cool off period before I make the purchase.

My concerns for this month - 2 birthdays, mothers day and my anniversary. I already bought ds bday presents @ 75% off after Christmas. I don't need anything for my bday but it is a big one and I would like to celebrate by going out at least. Mothers day...maybe I will ask my dh to make a fancy meal instead of going out then we can splurge for our anniversary?
post #6 of 209
a. Who you are
Jewellz-See siggy.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
Hubby got fired three weeks ago but hasn't been paid since Jan because FMLA leave, been living on tax return-which is gone, disputing with union against work, work came back with wanting to go into arbitration, hubby has to decide if he wants to or find a new job. Losing health insurance tomorrow. Plus I'm due to have baby girl May 22nd. No money coming in and bills are not being paid. Birthday for son on the 1st but it's taken care of and no other important dates to spend on.

c. How you plan to get there
Going to shop at home first for groceries-we have full freezers and a pretty full pantry so that will help.
Try not to spend any money except for food which includes trying to not spend the FS money in the first week-mostly because of stocking up on bulk stuff.
Need to start using the cloth diapers again.
Figure out how to pay bills.
Gotta get hubby to figure out about unemployment, health insurance, finding a new job or going into arbitration.


My key:
no spend day=
unnecessary spending= (should be easy since no money AT ALL)
no driving=
eat at home=
Used cloth diapers=

Goals:
1. Only go shopping/errands 0/12
2. Stretch out FS money=$0/$514
3. no eating out for lunches this month 0/0
4. major clean (and keep clean) 1 room per week, getting ready for baby's arrival 0/4

So we'll see how it goes.
post #7 of 209
New month, clean slate. I met most of my goals last month, this month will be a little tougher b/c we're going out of state for Memorial Day weekend and we tend to spend when at my MILs. We also have my little brother's b-day party this month, he'll be 5, and DH is having surgery on his hand that we just found out about yesterday. We're also saving up for 2 summer vacations.

a. I'm Jenn, SAHM to 4 littles under 6, 2 who are homeschooled.

b. We're looking to have our $13,000 in cc debt paid off by the end of this year and then want to move onto our Suburban (still owe about $10,000 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'm going to try and reign in our grocery spending, too, to apply the extra to our short-term savings goals.

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

Goals for May
no spend days 0/20
eating out 0/2
hung laundry to dry 0/10
post #8 of 209
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.

~ To continue to reduce clutter and keep new clutter from entering our lives. May is a big birthday month for us (dh, dd2 and myself all in the span of a week) but dh and I are going to go out for dinner and for dd2 family are chipping in for the wooden fridge she wants so should be only one, maybe two new items coming in from her birthday

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 especially breakfasts and lunches
2. Continue my decluttering and organizing
3. 0/20 No Spend Days
post #9 of 209
a. Maggie- mom to three and soon to be single mama

b. Get current on all bills and start an emergency fund

c. I am going to think about every single purchase, cut any extras, take extra work. My mother is also moving in when my STBX moves out which will help with bills.


No spend
Planned spend
Unbudgeted spend
Eat at home
post #10 of 209
Who you are:
Kate, WOHM to 2 boys and DH my super SAHP. We are spenders not very good savers. Impulse buying and fast food are our weaknesses.

Where you are going (your financial goals):
Trying to knock down 17k in CC debt with this thread and the DR thread. This has helped us track and be more accountable with ourselves about spending habits.

How you plan to get there:
This month is all about getting back on track from impulse buying and fast food. We want to start our snowballed CC payments, instead of using the $$ for something else which comes up. We have to get some holiday items, a birthday present and garden stuff. We are also decluttering to keep the energy of the house flowing in the right direction.

Key:
= No Spend
= Budgeted Spending
= unplanned spending
= unplanned emergency spending

Goals:
Eat out (dinner or lunch):0/2
Groceries: $000/$500
Extra for CC: 0/$200
No Spend days: 0/20
Bike to Work Days: 0/20
post #11 of 209
Who you are
Amber, a homeschooling SAHM with two little girls and a tag along dog called Limerick.
Where you are going (your financial goals)
This month we are starting to put as much money as possible towards the car payment. Our goal is to have it paid off in one year. I also want to save as much as possible so that I can get my husband the homebrewing supplies he has been wanting for Fathers Day this year.
How you plan to get there
-stick to only mandatory budgeted spending items
-eat at home or bring from home

= unplanned/unnecessary spending
= budgeted spending
= no spend day!
= eat all meals at home
= exercise
post #12 of 209
I also face the fast food problem that many have mentioned. Its not the food, its the convenience! So today I bought bread for the first time in a long time and I'm going to make pbj sandwiches instead of doing fast food!
post #13 of 209
who: eiruaL, mom to one, PT teacher.

what: save for potential move out East over the summer (and first month's rent, tuition, etc.).

how: plan purchases, ease up on the convenience foods while out and about.


THE PLAN:
un-budgetted spending xxx/150
moving-fund savings xxx/700
post #14 of 209
I am in this month! Love no-spend challenges.

I am Ruth, mama to 3, homeschooling my little people, gardening my back yard, living the good life with dh.


This is the month for me to pay off the credit card! I owe $1259.


The budget is written and tight. Dh is totally on board to pay off this debt, so as long as we stick to the plan, we'll be free of the cc. But that is the hard part, right?

Looking forward to a great month!
post #15 of 209
Who you are
I'm Jenny, homeschooling SAHM to my 6 year old dd and my 1 year old ds.

Where are you going (your financial goals)
Well, we've been dealt a few financial setbacks in the past few months. We have considerably less money coming in every month. I am hoping to just tread water for the time being. No new credit card debt and no taking money out of savings.

How do you plan to get there

*More involved meal planning. I usually just have a general idea of what I'll be making. I want to be more detailed and see if that helps with our grocery spending.
*Stay out of the stores. It is getting warm out now, so I am hoping to play outside more and shop less.
*Make more of an effort to declutter. I've been slacking off the last couple of months. I really need to get back into the crap trenches. If for no other reason than to confront myself with the stuff I've already bought and don't really have places for.

$0.00 Frivolous Spending
0/20 No-spend days
0/31 No purchasing clothes for my kids days
0/15 Loads of laundry line dried
$0.00/$500 Groceries & Household
post #16 of 209
Who You Are

Smithie, SAHM homeschooling mom of 3

Where You're Going

Thanks to the tax return, I paid off some principal on the mortgage - we're now where we want to be for the time being. For the rest of 2010, I want to avoid debt and pay for all travel and other makes-life-worth-living expenses with cash that I've saved above and beyond my checking account "cushion" that is, in reality, part of my EF.

How You Are Going To Get There

Well, I'm sitting on my lawn holding a yard sale as I type this! Seriously, we need to spend a reasonable amount on food this month and avoid a birthday excess. I am planning a no-gifts party with our two playgroups invited, and my goal is to spend $100 total on gifts for the three kids (one of whom is turning 1, so it's not like she's expecting much).
post #17 of 209
a. Maggie- mom to three and soon to be single mama

b. Get current on all bills and start an emergency fund

c. I am going to think about every single purchase, cut any extras, take extra work. My mother is also moving in when my STBX moves out which will help with bills.


No spend
Planned spend
Unbudgeted spend
Eat at home

------------
I am shopping for groceries and home supplies today, but I am taking a list and sticking to it!!!!! Wish me luck!
post #18 of 209
a. Who you are- Kirstin, mom to 2 kiddos.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)-
-I am going to homeschool my kids (and possibly have another kid or two), which will be a lot more doable if I can work PT only (evenings and weekends). I am also finally accepting the fact that my being a SAHM as I would like is just not going to happen unless DH gets a steadier job- so in the meantime I'm thankful that I have a meaningful job that I love.

c. How you plan to get there
In order to do more than just scrape by, we need to:
-Sell house in town, to reduce mortgage payment by half.
-Redo our mortgage in the next year- most of our tax refund went to the principle.
-And track spending to reduce unnecessary purchases!

We have had problems since Jan with DH barely getting any hours at work (and with getting stuck with all kinds of unexpected medical bills due to DH's employer losing our health insurance), so I have picked up FT hours at my job and won't be back down to PT until June. The maddening thing right now, with me temporarily working FT hours and DH working less hours and doing a lot more on the domestic front, is that we spend a LOT more money when we have our typical roles switched like this. DH spends quite a bit more on the same amt of groceries, due to not shopping sales like I do. Clothing goes in the dryer because we're both too exhausted to hang it on the line, so electricity usage is higher. I buy my lunch at work more than I would like to. Things like that easily add up to an extra $300 or more a month, just due to a more hectic lifestyle. Needless to say, I am REALLY looking forward to cutting back my hours next month!


--------------------------------------------------------
1- $40 bday gift for DS! $14 book for me.
-------------------------------------------------------
Groceries + household- 0 / 500
Kid items- 0 / 60 (planning to stock up for the next year at yard sales)
Blow money for me - 14 / 40 (includes work lunches)



Expected expenses:
DS bday + party- 40 / 80
Gardening- 0 / 30
post #19 of 209
I'm Vicki, mom of 4 girls, I did this challenge last month and have done it in prior months also.
My goals--Short term goals right now, get $500 in savings by the end of the month. Pay cash for 1 vacation this month.

How I plan to do this....
Not eating out!! Once or twice a month for DH and I to have a date night
Buying necessities and really thinking about purchases outside of necessities (will wait 24 hours for anything over $10).
Having at least 2 no-drive days a week.
Stay out out of the stores!
I will also count gas or groceries as no spend, as long as it is budgeted for, and not junk.
Get on MDC often, that really seems to help fuel my frugalness.

My key:
No Spend
No Driving
Budgeted Spending/Necessities/Thought Over Purchase
Unnecessary Spending
: Exercise Day

1- --$124 Groceries
post #20 of 209
Goals for the Month of May
1. No unplanned spending: 1/31
2. Prepare all meals at home or in the home of friends or family: 1/31
3. Stay out of TH and don't eat processed food!: 1/31
4. 300 items decluttered: 125/300
5. 13 days with exercise in them: 0/13
6. Bring in extra money from my business: 0%

Key:
- No Spend or Budgeted Spending only
- Unbudgeted Spend
- All meals eaten at home
- Ate out at a restaurant or ordered food in
- Ate at Tim Hortons or ate junk food
- Decluttered stuff out of the house
- Exercise

May 1: x 125 (thanks to Freecyclers around here again! May is off to a great start!)
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