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~August No-Spend Challenge~

post #1 of 129
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 August 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 129
Thread Starter 
a. Who you are -- My name is Prudence and I'm a SAHM married to a teacher. We have three small children. That info right there should tell you that I have to be ~very~ careful with money.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) -- actually we are in great financial shape because of this thread. Thank you fellow MDCers! We recently refinanced (as in... today) to a 15 year mortgage so we are on the way to paying our house off. We have no debt. My goals are to pay off this house and save up enough to pay cash for our next car.

BUT....I have a bigger goal that transcends dollar figures.

I want to be conscious of how I spend my money. I want to be aware of what I am spending and buying, no more knee-jerk purchases because I see something cute at the mall. I want to be methodical with my spending and when you pry money out of my clenched fist, it is because I ~~~really~~~ want that item. I'm a bad impulse buyer and I want to change that.

c. How you plan to get there -- tracking. Coming on this thread and writing down what I have bought that day really does make me think. I hesitate to buy things because I know later I'll be writing it here. This works for me. If this works for you, please join us.

My goal for August = to have 20 no-spend days where absolutely no money leaves my hands. Wallet locked in the filing cabinet kind of days.
post #3 of 129
Thread Starter 
August 2010

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My Goal:

0/20 No Spend Days
0/5 Let the Car Rest Days
post #4 of 129
I've been falling short of my goal every month. We REALLY need to get our spending in check b/c we've been dipping into our snowball

a. I'm Jenn, SAHM to 4 kiddos under 6, homeschooling 2 of them.

b. We're really trying to pay down our CC debt, and we're doing okay at it, but I'd like to be more aggressive with it. In order for that to happen, we have to seriously curb the spending. It got a WAY out of hand last month and July is going to require some serious squeezing. Our BIG goal is to be debt free other than the mtg w/ a sizable EF, but that will take a few years.

c. Staying out of the stores is key. PLANNING is also pretty important for us. DH has been working long hours so I've been keeper of the budget and master grocery shopper lately. I need to plan better so we can start cutting spending. I'm also trying to counter our AC usage by hang drying the laundry. I met my goal last month and pretty much hung all our laundry. I have a list of home improvement projects that need completing and I'd like to get 2 of them done this month. At the end of the month we're going on vacation w/ my extended family and I've budgeted as well as I can for it (including a considerable buffer).

Key:
no spend/ budgeted spending
unnecessary/ unbudgeted spending
hung laundry to dry
completed home improvement project


Goals for August
no spend days 0/20
eating out 0/0 (this is not including our vacation)
hung laundry to dry 0/10
home improvement projects 0/2
post #5 of 129
Joining in this month!

a. Who you are
I am brymommy and I am a SAHM of 2 wonderful little girls. One who just turned 2 and the other whom is turning 5 this month!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)We have just refinaned our mortgage and free'd up some extra money.This month is pretty $$ heavy for us with some preplanned activities, we are starting anyways. We are going to finish saving our baby EFund and we are going to save for when DH is in school early next year for 2.5 months. After that we would like to put money away to take our girls to Disneyland. And start seriously thinking about retirement investing and a larger long term emergency fund (we have $$ that could be used if something were to come up before however).

c. How you plan to get there Believe it or not but I am going to stop worrying so much about the money. We are going to plan it better and try and live as much in an envelope system as possible. Dh gets his allowance in envelopes and our baby EF is in one and our DL Vacation fund as well. I would also like to move to groceries and restaurants to be in envelopes as well. We do however need to eat out less and make more meals at home. One of Dh's activities that really interferes with this is coming to a close in a couple days and this will be a lot easier for us to do.

My goals this month are (might add more as we go):

10 no spend days
10 no drive days
4 dinners made at home a week
$200 of Baby EF saved

and we do have some big days where we have some preplanned spending like a vacation we have coming up those will just have to be
post #6 of 129
a. Who you are: I'm a homemaker. I have six kids, 20yod, 18yos, 13yos, 4yos, 2yos, 6mos, plus my cousin who is mentally disabled. My dd got married in June so I no longer have to feed her and her fiance.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals): My dh is in ministry so we need to budget carefully already. With the way the economy is going I'd like to get as lean and mean as possible in case of pay cuts.

c. How you plan to get there: I'm preserving as much food as I can this summer. We're installing a monster clothesline this week. I live in the basement in the summer and will live upstairs w/the woodburning insert this winter. We are trading labor for organic free range chickens and have found a local beef source.

August 2010

01..DH and sons building a chicken coop and I'm at home. No spending!
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My Goal:

0/20 No Spend Days
post #7 of 129
a. Who you are I'm a mom of one 1yr old boy, recently laid off from work.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) My husband and I have planned out a budget for monthly expenses. The goal is to live off of my husband's income and not rely on my unemployment, as it obviously won't be there long term. It's very tight, but the only way to keep from going into debt. We have no credit card debt and have one car paid off. The other car will be paid off in about 2.5 years. Our biggest financial challenge is our house. The mortgage plus seemingly endless amounts of repairs are a huge headache. At the moment, we're really just trying to keep our emergency savings and home, while also staying fed and clothed.

c. How you plan to get there We were already living fairly modestly, but were not careful about all those extra little expenses. I was shocked at how quickly they add up! This is our first official month sticking to a precise budget. We're trying to cut out close to $1000 a month (scary!). Simply being home cuts out some costs right away like gas, clothing, and convenience items that were necessary when I was too busy to breathe. We've cancelled one cell phone (my son has food allergies, so the other is necessary for emergencies), downgraded our Dish to basic, and downgraded our phone/internet to basic. We are doing an envelope system for food, diapers, toiletries, etc. I've started doing a lot of cost comparing between stores so I can plan my shopping better to reduce trips and save on purchases. Precise meal planning is another biggie. I'm also going to reduce my driving to cut back even further on gas costs. Luckily, we live next to a big park which means lots of free entertainment for the kid. At the moment, we are trying to refinance our home to get a much lower interest rate and free up some more cash each month. It's all a bit overwhelming at the moment, but we figure it's easier to deal with all this now then end up with a lot of bills we can't pay later.
post #8 of 129
a. Who you areI'm Nina, mom to Libby (soon to be a preschooler in every sense of the word!) and Elliot, our sweet baby who is just crawling. I am on mat leave right now so I really should not be spending money!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

I need to STAY ON BUDGET this month and hoping to put $100 on my CC. In some ways we are in very good financial shape - we are doing well paying down our mortgage and car and my CC is less than $1500. We put money each month into savings, retirement, and college funds and we are well insured. On the other hand, to keep things copacetic I have realized that I can't buy anything. I have been putting things for the household that I know we can't afford on my CC and it has to stop. We were not on a tight budget for a year and a half in between buying our home and DS's birth but it is time to realize that I am not entitled to such modest luxuries as swimming lessons for DD , clothes that aren't secondhand , birthday gifts for family , wine , the farmer's market , organic food , and basically anything else. Our bills are already pretty low since our place is small and we share a car and have no cable. The COL is very high here and there is a lot of wealth and it is hard to watch as virtually everyone I know seems to have more than we do. We can't really cut back on savings because we are planning to buy a bigger home in the next couple of years. We are currently living in a 700sq foot apartment with two kids .

c. How you plan to get there
I am tracking every dollar as it leaves my pocket this month. I have a spreadsheet and rarely use cash so I'm good to go.

Aug. 1: $25.50 movies. I know this is a bad start but DH came back yesterday after being out of town for a month and I have a babysitter Date night is non-optional. Hopefully he pays for dinner.

0/$475 Household
$25.50/$75 Frivolity
post #9 of 129
Thread Starter 
August 2010

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My Goal:

1/20 No Spend Days
1/5 Let the Car Rest Days
post #10 of 129
a. Who you are
Turquesa, thirty-something, SAHM to DD (3) and DS (1)

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)


PAY OFF OUR MORTGAGE! Never in my adult life have I known the feeling of never having to pay every month to live somewhere. What an exciting prospect. I just crunched numbers and realized that if I really haul and add to the principle, we're getting close....

c. How you plan to get there


They say that a penny saved is a penny earned. But actually, a penny saved is SUPERIOR because it isn't taxed. I'm going to at least lurk in the pantry thread to figure out how to make dinner with what I have on hand. I'm budgeting for a chest freezer for leftovers and farmer's market surplus. I'm hanging all clothes on the line. And finally, I'm actually going to DO the no-spend challenge this time!
post #11 of 129
a. I'm Heather, SAHM to 3 kids plus one on the way.

b. My goal this month is to stay on budget this month. We've got a lot going right now so I'm just trying to stay on track. We are currently finishing our lower level and should be close to finished this month. I've got all 3 kids heading to school in a month and need school supplies and some pieces of clothing. DH is traveling a week out of the month and we have visitors 2x this month.

c. If I stick to my budget I think I can do it!

$0/$7500 lower level remodel
$0/$250 bday party
$0/$300 school clothes/shoes and supplies
$0/$300 spending when guests are here (state fair and misc. spending)
$0/$100 gas
$0/$300 groceries
10 no spending days
post #12 of 129
August 1

$0/$7500 lower level remodel
$0/$250 bday party
$0/$300 school clothes/shoes and supplies
$0/$300 spending when guests are here (state fair and misc. spending)
$0/$100 gas
$0/$300 groceries
1/10 no spending days
post #13 of 129
I'm Vicki, mom of 4 girls, I have done this challenge in prior months and got away from it for a bit and I find myself really needing the support here!

We HAVE to build savings back up and pay down some credit card debt. Nothing huge, but we have taken several vacations lately, purchased our homeschool curriculum, and spent 3 weeks visiting family. So it is time to cut out all unnecessary spending for awhile!

My goals--Pay an extra $500 on the credit card this month and get $500 in savings by the end of the 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 frugal-ness.

Extra's I know I will be buying this month-
4th grader's Curriculum ($350)
Blood work for 1 dog ($35)
School Supplies ($50)
New Bra for me ($30)
Birthday Gift for dd ($100)


My key:
No Spend
No Driving
Budgeted Spending/Necessities/Thought Over Purchase
Unnecessary Spending
: Exercise Day
post #14 of 129
A> I am Jenn, homeschooling mom of 6 year old Flora. My husband Ron is on board.

B> My financial goals are modest - I hope to end August with all my bills paid and with some $ in savings.

C> I plan to do this by putting us on a gas budget, eating from our pantry and garden (and farm stands) and tracking all our spending. I want to do 10 carfree days (easily doable, dh works close to home and I don't drive), and 20no spending days.

Also, we are gleaners and this is a great time of year to take advantage of fruit trees in the wild and dumpster diving. We dd regularly and sell our finds to consignment shops, I hope this month not to spend our profits. It also helps that there are a lot of free summer activities now - the beach, bike riding, parks, outdoor concerts, outdoor movies etc. The library on rainy days.

So far, we spent 24 bucks today on dinner out. Not a great start but I didn't realize I was doing this yet.
post #15 of 129
a. Who you are
I am Beth, a SAHM to a 5 y/o and a 2 y/o. I work about 5 hours/month from home, we home-school. My DH has agreed to a no-spend month (although it will be hard to reign him in!).

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
We have no mortgage or car payments, but we have a few thousand in CC debt. We would like to pay that off in the next two months and build an emergency fund, and save money for a new truck for DH's work.
c. How you plan to get there
Hopefully this will be the beginning of many no-spend months. I plan to cook all meals at home for the next month, stay home more-no thrift shops :-(, and keep the big picture in mind. I want to raise financially savy kids so they need to see DH and I walking the walk!

August 2010
1)$20 at Target (didn't realize we were doing this yet) spent it on dog food, band-aids, and part of a baby gift.
2)$30 groceries
3)$0
4)Dh spent $10 at Goodwill (and I didn't even go with him!)
5)$25 school supplies, DH spent $10 on flowers for our anniversary even though I told him not too (I guess this isn't such a no-spend month so far!)
6)$0

Ok. I haven't been here enough lately. We have had some unexpected car trouble and dr. visits. We've been paying cash at least and still paying down our debt. I need to get back to tracking every day.
post #16 of 129
I've been falling short of my goal every month. We REALLY need to get our spending in check b/c we've been dipping into our snowball

a. I'm Jenn, SAHM to 4 kiddos under 6, homeschooling 2 of them.

b. We're really trying to pay down our CC debt, and we're doing okay at it, but I'd like to be more aggressive with it. In order for that to happen, we have to seriously curb the spending. It got a WAY out of hand last month and July is going to require some serious squeezing. Our BIG goal is to be debt free other than the mtg w/ a sizable EF, but that will take a few years.

c. Staying out of the stores is key. PLANNING is also pretty important for us. DH has been working long hours so I've been keeper of the budget and master grocery shopper lately. I need to plan better so we can start cutting spending. I'm also trying to counter our AC usage by hang drying the laundry. I met my goal last month and pretty much hung all our laundry. I have a list of home improvement projects that need completing and I'd like to get 2 of them done this month. At the end of the month we're going on vacation w/ my extended family and I've budgeted as well as I can for it (including a considerable buffer).


Key:
no spend/ budgeted spending
unnecessary/ unbudgeted spending
hung laundry to dry
completed home improvement project


Goals for August
no spend days 0/20
eating out 0/0 (this is not including our vacation)
hung laundry to dry 0/10
home improvement projects 0/2

1. Not off to the best start. Spent some $$ at WalMart. Went to get budgeted items and bought *more*. *SIGH*
post #17 of 129
a. I'm Kirstin, mom to a 4-yo and a 1-yo. I've been participating in these threads for a while now, and always find them to be very helpful in terms of making me more conscious of what I spend and why I spend it.

b. Where we are going- I currently WOH 12-24 hrs per week. My short-term goal (in the next 18 mos) is to pay off our car loan early, in order to give us more leeway in our budget so it's not so critical that I work so much. Long-term goal is to go back to PRN status at work, which only requires working 2-3 shifts per month.

c. How we plan to get there- Staying on a tight budget. If only I could rein in DH's spending, that would make it soooo much easier... At least control my end of it, though.

8/1- MAJOR stock up this morning - $257 groceries/ household, $39 gifts, $12 homeschool items, $3 calendar for me, $42 gas, $33 trampoline net part,
8/2- staying home today to can/freeze veggies and clean house!!

August goals:

Groceries/household- $257 / $500
Gasoline- $42 / $120
Kid spending (clothing/toys etc) $33 / $60
Homeschool items/activities $12 / $20
Gifts $39 / $50 (Lots of bdays/new babies)
Me fun money $3 / $40

No spend days 1 / 20
Hang clothing out to dry 0 / 8
Work in garden/ put food up 1 / 10
Finish a project 0 / 2
post #18 of 129
I'm in. Thinking about how this will look for our family this month.
post #19 of 129
My key:
No Spend
No Driving
Budgeted Spending/Necessities/Thought Over Purchase
Unnecessary Spending
: Exercise Day

1st- $160 Groceries/Consumables
2nd- $60 more Groceries (after being out of town for 3 weeks I found more things we were out of)
post #20 of 129
I'm joining this thread. We are in the Getting Out of Debt group and are working on paying off cc debt, line of credit & car loan, and on doing more with less in general! Oh and I am the WAHM half of our family, my partner is the SAHM half, we have 2 little girls.

I am trying to majorly reign in our grocery money and personal spending.
Here are my goals:

Groceries: $400
Personal spending: $30
Eating out: $40
Clothes, shoes etc. for family $100

Trying to:
Put $300 on our ccs
Save $150 for Christmas

Aiming for 20 no spend days!

Oh and we are having a garage sale on Saturday (I love 'em) and I that money will be used to pay off more debt & rebuild our EF.

(I also want to take a vacation this month.....sigh...but I really don't see that happening right now!)
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