or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~~September No-Spend Thread~~ We're in the HOME STRETCH....you can do it Mamas!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

~~September No-Spend Thread~~ We're in the HOME STRETCH....you can do it Mamas! - Page 2

post #21 of 413
a. Who you are- Kirstin, mom to two. I WOH PT and we are just getting started with homeschooling.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)- We want to get debt free so that we can afford to have me go back to working per diem (ie mostly SAHM) within the next year or so, and so we can maybe afford to have another child at some point without going totally broke! We would also like to be foster parents eventually, but we want to be financially stable before we do this.

c. How you plan to get there- Short term- coupon, meal plan, be creative, buy used etc, and pay double payments on car loan in order to get it paid off in ~14 mos. Long term- continue being frugal in order to pay off this house early, and sell the other house which is nothing but debt weight around our necks at this point (we are currently renting it for less than what it costs us).

Yay! I'm so excited to finally be PT at work again, bc this means that I finally have the time/energy to cut coupons, hang laundry etc! I was FT for most of the summer and the extra $ injection was nice, but it seriously was costing us a lot of money due to my being too tired to put out the extra energy that frugality seems to take!

Goals:

Groceries $147 / $500
Gasoline 0 / $120
My fun money 0 / $40
Kid clothing 0 / $40
Homeschool 0 / $10 (lots of free fall activities!!)
Gifts 0 / $20 (1-2 bday gifts this month)
Money paid to car loan!! 0 / $500
No spend days 0 / 20
Hang laundry out 1 / 10
Unplanned spend
: Exercise 0 / 10

8/30 - $147 groceries
post #22 of 413
Checking in although I am still working on my goals for the month.

I want to set a goal of two meals out this month but also want to be realistic. Dh and I downsized to one reliable car with our move and so my hope is to do all my errands once a week. This will eliminate my impulse shopping and give me time to do some serious meal planning with the grocery store flyer. I'm just not sure what a realistic food budget will be for us. We did a lot of eating out prior to having a baby and I never really had the time or need to shop the sales. Any suggestions for meal budgeting for a family of two plus a nursing infant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
What does DINK mean?
DINK stands for "dual income, no kids." That was our life up until May so we have to make some serious adjustments to our lifestyle now that we are on a solo income with a child.

I'm pleased to read everyone's goals and be inspired.
post #23 of 413
a. Who you are: New SAHM to 2 little ones. Our health insurance is now over 1000$ a month on DH's plan (instead of under 200 when I worked) plus of course we lost my income.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) We have a good nest egg but it is going to be a massive challenge to stay in the budget and not spend it down. For now I am focusing on that, rather than trying to find PT work increase our income a little.

c. How you plan to get there: I overspend on groceries and household stuff typically. Mostly treats at the grocery store (that I could make myself instead) and who knows what for the household stuff.

Planned spending: I am going to be buying a big rubbermaid tub in the next few days. And we are going camping over Labor day which will involve spending some money. And I am taking the car into the shop tomorrow. But DS's b-day gifts have already been purchased. Woot!

Goals: don't buy anything else for DS's bday.
2 grocery trips with NO treats.
1 meal a week that uses up the pantry.
Stay in household and Grocery budget. (50$ and 400$).
post #24 of 413
a. Who you are I'm Sarah, a SAHM to four year old twins.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
My world was rocked almost two weeks ago when I found out my husband hadn't paid the mortgage in six months and was overdrafting our checking account and going to payday advance places to try to cover his tracks. I have taken over the finances and we had to declare Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to stop the auction of our home. SO, needless to say we are on a very strict budget while we try to recover from this. We'll have to make our first payment to the trustee in late September, plus we'll have some costs associated with making the trip to court, getting a sitter for the kids during court, and DH's counseling. I haven't made any decisions yet about the future of my marriage, I'm trying to recover from the shock and stabilize our lives for the sake of my kids.


c. How you plan to get there
--I already cut our cable/phone/internet down to save about $80, I'm shopping for better car insurance quotes, and I've sold some things on craigslist to have some cash on hand.
--I'll be doing one huge shopping trip at the cheapest store around, then one trip a week for perishables like milk, and buy my produce at the local farmer's market rather than the CSA we've had for the past few years.
--No more trips to Starbucks, lunches out, etc.
--No buying things we don't absolutely NEED, seems like a no-brainer but is hard for me.
post #25 of 413
In. Back later to post.
post #26 of 413
a. Me: I'm VM, mom to DD3 and DS5, wife, copywriter, homeschooler

b. Where I'm Going: We want to move in 2 years to our dream location. To do that, we need to pay off some bills - one large loan, one small loan, medical bills. We are drowning in medical debt right now, and we're slowly plugging away at it. More will be forthcoming as DD is due for surgery this month, and I have a slew more tests coming up, a couple of procedures, maybe some treatment.

DH has an excellent salary. We'd like for me to pursue a career change to project management. That won't happen if I'm working at the rate I have been. I need to prep for certification and do other things. We'd hoped I could stop copywriting and focus on PM work exclusively, but the medical bills are killing us! Technically DH makes enough to cover them, but we just haven't been good enough at sticking to our budget.

c. Goals -

1. Eating Out - I want to do a "mostly" no eating out this month. Nadia, we are closer to your figures for eating out than many I see here. We will be going to lunch with DH on Fridays. That was a deal we made before we started homeschooling, but I do want to do that as cheaply as possible. Other than that, I'd like a no eating out month. We did it in January, and it saved us tons of money.

2. Plan Ahead - I have an endometrial biopsy on the 15th, which I've heard is painful and can cause severe cramping and bleeding. I need to plan the meals for the 15th and 16th since I don't think I'll feel like doing anything those days. I also need to get the kids' homeschool work prepped and get a couple of mom-free art projects set up. Otherwise, I'm sure we'll spend on entertainment.

3. Emergency Fund - I want to put $700 into the emergency fund this month.

4. Bills - I'd like to set up a schedule for medical bills, contact everyone about arrangements (hate doing this!), and fill out the deferment forms for my student loans. I'd also like to wipe out at least 2 of the medical bills.

5. No Spend Days - Yeah, I suck at these. I tend to spend little bits here and there. Let's be reasonable and say 10 no spend days for the first month.

Key -
- No Spend Day
- Planned Spending
- Worked on a Goal

No Spend Days - 0/10
post #27 of 413
I don't think I've ever finished one of these no-spend months! I want to but then the day to day starts happening and I completely lose focus. But here's to trying again!

Today we are going to the fair so all bets are off, but I am planning on bringing our own food and maybe just buying a couple of things for snacks. Mostly for the health of it. Plus it's still August so it doesn't count!

Oh, I'm Sara, DP Adam. Kids Cody 5 and Ethan 20mo. I sahm and Adam works, lately out of town every week so he is gone during the week. He gets money for food so that saves some, but he is making really good $$ at this job and it is only going to last for a little bit. So I'm trying to save all that extra. The only real debt we have is DPs motorcycle and our mortgage. We haven't decided if we're going to sell the bike yet or not but he does agree that we shouldn't have purchased it in the first place.

Goals: I want to go back to a cash system for the month and really try to stick to it. Only for groceries and fun money. I just really want to see if we can do it. Food out is limited now due to dietary restrictions so we should be able to curb that.

Here we go!
post #28 of 413
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltlmrs View Post
Last Christmas I ended up buying a bunch of stuff because of poor planning. I need to figure out what I'm going to make and make it!

- Get to bed on time and wake up early (I've actually found that when I'm more rested I end up spending less money, go figure). Read/study more (there are so many things I could be doing other than spending money!!!)
I need to reign in the Christmas spirit myself. I tend to buy a bunch of stuff at the last minute because I'm worried the day won't be "special" enough for my children. I need to focus on the things we DO during the holiday, not just the present opening on Christmas morning. I really would like to pare that back. What things are you planning to make?

re: being rested. I spend money when I'm cranky and tired too. I hadn't realized it until you wrote it, but I think you are onto something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumpkin_Pie View Post
I have attempted these threads so many times in the past and always fall off the wagon.

30/30 not use the a/c (my apartment is obscenely hot upstairs)
I think of you as highly motivated, Kim. The fact that you keep getting back ON the wagon is a sign of that. We all fall off. Regularly. It is part of the process. You get an A+ for keeping such a good attitude in a difficult situation.

re: a/c...maybe you should make that 25/30 days because it is goign to be CRAZINESS hot these next few days...then September will kick in. 5 more days of coolness won't change your bill that much, but it will save your sanity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nadia105 View Post
I'm sure I will think of more, but I need to start kind of small or I will throw in the towel
ALWAYS a good plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMike View Post
I really need to get us back on track. I had a miscarriage in April and have been very depressed. As a result, I let my house go to crap and I have barely cooked meal since then.
Jenn -- {hug} I'm sorry to hear that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spatulagirl View Post
I will need to be more organized. I also want to do more knitting, homeschooling and decluttering to keep me busy. Also more park dates with friends that are fun and free.
Decluttering. That is one of my goals too. I want to use some of my newly found shopping-free time to put a hand on everything in this house and truly decide if we need to keep it. I want some SPACE.
post #29 of 413
Hi, I am JudiAU. I am married to DH (full time student), I work full time, we have 3y DS and a 1y DD.

I am disgruntled with a lot of things in my life. I have no idea what I am spending my money on other than that I know that I spend a lot frivolously. I don’t know what my budget is. I am joining this month so that I pay attention to my spending and think about my expenses. I think my weaknesses are unnecessary food shopping, expensive high quality take out when I am tired, books and toys for DS, and fancy clothes and diapers for the baby but I am not even sure. I also want to consume less generally, from a green perspective. I want to focus more on my kids and making some beautiful things with them. I want to focus on how many wonderful things are in my life every day instead of dwelling and gritting my teeth over what I don’t have. It is all very muddled and I think the key in part is better understanding our finances. I’d like to focus some of my “consuming” energy on not consuming. I’d like to not spend $100 at the farmer’s market and an additional $75 at Whole Foods AND an additional $50 at Trader Joes on Sunday and then have no idea what to eat on Tuesday. Or at least know why. Also, we have too much waste from food/energy/packagin, etc. I need less waste.

I was very poor in college. I paid my own tuition, paid my own living expenses, and paid off my tremendous debt when I graduated. I’ve been self sufficient for a long time. But I got to used to a certain way of living that we can’t afford anymore. I need to use some of those long forgotten skills to get my spending under control.

Long term goals: live in a house with a backyard, rented or purchased; have another child; become a SAHM for five years, or at least work far less
Short term: bring my lunch to work at least three times a week (14 times in September); I would like to exhibit enough discipline this month to purchase no toys or books or clothes, other than some known clothing issues. The clothing I need to buy needs to be inexpensive and not from the I-Know-What-Brand; make a delicious meal out of our very well stocked freezer at least twice a week (9 times in September); eat a vegetarian dinner twice a week (9 times in September); choose to enjoy an upcoming frugal vacation without a shopping spree in advance;

How to get there, I have no idea? But knowledge = power, right?
post #30 of 413

Joining for the first time

a. Who you are

Hi I'm Julia, a part-time WAHM and mama to one with one on the way

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

We bought a home in April, a fixer upper and since then we have been throwing money into the house and have had a slew of guests that has kept us from contributing anything to saving for the past several months. We've also been irresponsible, eating out a lot because of my morning sickness and just plain old shopping for stuff we don't need. We would like to get a 10K cushion in the bank as soon as possible, right now we have 3K. This is going to mean sticking to a tight budget so that we can put 1k in savings every month. We are also paying $450 a month to our midwives, which is pretty much my entire month's pay without taking out SS and MC (I'm an independent contractor)

c. How you plan to get there

We are not going to but anything this month. We have two sets of guests coming, and they have been warned that we are not able to spend money on anything. We are not going to eat out at all. Not once. We are going to cut out treats like sparkling water. And the biggest thing, we are not going to spend any money on the house this month. Our car registration is due this month to the tune of $245, so we are hoping to be able to pay it out of our 'shopping' budget in order to put 1k in savings at the end of the month.
post #31 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by cody'smomma View Post
I don't think I've ever finished one of these no-spend months! I want to but then the day to day starts happening and I completely lose focus. But here's to trying again!
I was just thinking the very same thing! I really need to strap myself into one of these and hang on for dear life! This month is going to be hard because we have a crazy number of birthdays, one last short vacation, school and activities starting back up, a ton of running around, family visiting...but I think I will try to do what I can and hang my head appropriately when I can't.

Who I am: Melissa, a SAHM and homeschooling mom of two.

Where I'm going: After many years of hard work, we reached our two HUGE financial goals--paying off our debt and quitting my job--near the end of last year and the beginning of this year. Now I really want to shake loose of my freelance gig and not feel guilt over doing it, and I want to save to completely renovate our kitchen, increase our college savings, and add to our measly retirement savings. I'm so proud to have reached the point that we have, but I still live in fear of the future, and I hate that!

How I plan to get there: My biggest point of loss is wasted groceries. I'll open a package of chicken and fit all but one piece in pan, so I'll put that piece in the fridge with good intentions and then find it there two weeks later. I'll get unusual greens with my (pricey) veggie box and need to research how to use them...and find them there two weeks later. I'll buy ingredients to make a nice, complete meal, and then when the day comes, I'll be too wiped out from freelancing or schooling or whatever and take the kids out, then never make the meal. It's so wrong! I need to stop doing that. We've already curbed the eating out pretty well. Now I need to get a better handle on the wastage.

I need to menu plan, remember to thaw things in time, make sure I have ingredients...just plan ahead better. I also want to sell some things I have hanging around. It's hard to fit that into my days, but it could bring me a few hundred dollars. And I need to plan ahead for snacks and drinks better--even a trip to the park seems to end up costing me money in bottles of water and snacks to tide us over on the trip home.

I don't have any concrete goals for this month because it's going to be a crazy one. I need to buy at least five birthday gifts, one housewarming gift, and three cards. I'll be spending some money on vacation (no real kitchen in the hotel room, need to pay the rest of the bill above deposit) and paying some activity fees (Girl Scouts, soccer). This month I'll just be practicing frugality and monitoring my spending. I think I'll make this thread my home page!

ETA: Actually, I do have one. I just stocked up at Whole Foods, so I'm setting my grocery spending goal for the month at $200, and that includes $138 for my two organic fruit/veggie boxes.

-----------------

9/1:
9/2:
9/3:
9/4:
9/5:
9/6:
post #32 of 413
Ok, here's my setup: since it's my last month before we have our baby (and it could even make its appearance in September with no problems) I have high hopes.

9/1: Today... does not count. But we did use one of our
9/2
9/3
9/4
9/5
9/6
9/7
9/8
9/9
9/10
9/11
9/12
9/13
9/14


Key:
No spend!! ---
Planned spending ---
Unplanned/out of budget ---
***
Worked on writing projects ---
Worked on crafting/homemaking projects ---
Went to bed with a company-ready house! ---
Planned dine-out (1/4) ---
Unplanned dine-out ---
post #33 of 413

Another first-timer

Who I Am: I'm Dianne and am new to the boards. I have been lurking in the Frugality and Finances section a lot lately and decided it was time to jump in. My husband and I are expecting are first baby on September 16th. Due to complications, I've been on sick leave since June 2nd which meant I went on reduced pay much earlier than expected.

Where I Am Going: I would like us to get through my maternity leave (12 months) without compromising our savings and debt repayment goals. We have no credit card debt but do have a line of credit that we have used as we have been renovating our house (we bought a foreclosure for cheap and have been slowly fixing it up).

How I Will Get There: I spent the month of August tracking every single dollar that came in/went out of our bank account. I have also created a spreadsheet that shows all of our planned spending (including transfers to our savings accounts) through to the end of August 2011. My goal is for us to keep our unbudgeted spending as low as possible.

I know that this month is going to be rough so I thought I should come here for some accountability.

This month I would like to have 10 no-spend days ().

I would also like to limit eating out to 10 times. I know that with the baby coming that we (especially my husband when I am in hospital) will need to eat out more than normal so I don't want to disappoint myself by aiming to low. Hopefully this figure is high and I will be pleasantly surprised at month's end. I have made arrangements in our budget to accommodate for these added expenses.

Key:
No Spend Day:

Tracking:
No Spend Day: 0/10
Dining Out: 0/10
Groceries: $0/$290.00
post #34 of 413
a. Who you are: Misty, SAHM of a 4-year old and a 10-month old.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals): My goal is to finally get our heads above the water and then (further in the future) get out of debt and be financially stable

c. How you plan to get there
BABY STEPS! lol. First start by not spending anything unnecessary this month and saving every penny I can. Also, try to find some side jobs this month that I can do with the kiddos...
post #35 of 413
So I totally thought of this thread today as I strung up my clotheslines (aka cargo straps for my car that I string together and cinch onto my fence around my tiny yard) and cranked up my solar clothes dryer. I briefly thought about running the dryer for the sheets, as they are sooooooo hard to hang without getting dirty. I did drag one tiny edge of one in the sandy dirt in my yard, but I just left it there and am going to brush it off when I go out to get them in a few minutes. I just love the feeling of clothes dryed on the line in the partial sun (under a tree ). It is supposed to be sunny all this week, so I am thinking of washing all of our blankets and hanging them over the fence to really air them out before winter.

Oh, I might be out some cash-o-la tomorrow on the first. A crown broke off my tooth tonight and I have to go get it fixed. The receptionist at the dentist said that it might be covered under their five year guarantee, as it is only four years old, but she's not sure. Crossing my fingers!

Also, I should have income by this time next week! Wah Hoo!!!!! I think I will have a job by then, I have two sort-of job offers on the table currently and am waiting to hear more details and make a final decision.
post #36 of 413
a. Who you are

I'm Jen, a graduate student and working mother of one. I moved from the Pacific Northwest to southeast England a year ago and am finally getting used to the incredible COL increase. Moving expenses, visas, taking too many trips just because we can, flights back to the US... they've really done some damage to our savings and now we need to rebuild what was lost and prepare ourselves for the future, a few more years of graduate schooling, and possibly another child.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

Replace lost savings--about £10k. I don't have a set timeline for this yet because we've gone so overboard with our spending that I'll be happy if we can just save £500 this month. That's my bare minimum, and I hope we can make it. Fortunately we're debt-free except for my student loans, so if we can establish a six-month regime of saving regularly then I'd like to start paying off the high-interest student loans and then attacking the low-interest ones.

c. How you plan to get there

Eating out only 2-3 times a month, not including work lunches, and start packing as many sandwiches and leftovers for lunch as possible. A few months ago we hit our peak in the eating out department--over £900 spent on restaurants. IN ONE MONTH.

No shopping. We're all set on shoes and clothes for the winter, so I just have to drill that into my head. Also, I looove decorating the house and even though I'm not quite happy with it yet, I need to learn to be satisfied and keep the bigger picture in mind for now.

Monthly allowances for me and my husband. We aren't going to be using an envelope system, so we have to be extra vigilant about keeping up with our personal spending. Kind of experimental--may need to change our methods if this doesn't work.

Other, big ticket things that don't necessarily relate to day-to-day spending but definitely to the monthly budget: we're going to sell our two cars and get one family car (his is a two-seater, mine's falling apart). Because of the way British insurance works, this will save us a TON of money.

Goals for September:

15 no-spend days
0 unbudgeted purchases (hope this isn't too optimistic--have to aim high!)

Woof. This might be hard. Good luck everyone!
post #37 of 413
a. Who you are I'm Nina, currently SAHM to a 3yo girl and 9mo boy. This is my last month of mat leave and due to some regrettable spending in June & July I have a CC balance and the budget is tight. Just trying to get back on track!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
Keep spending to $500 for food & household goods.

Save $ for condo board cash call for October

Stay on track with savings plan to eventually pay off car, get ahead on mortgage, save for new down payment for home with backyard.

c. How you plan to get there
Last month I would have hit that $500 if it hadn't been for a major spend on kids' clothing. However I started with a full pantry and a coupon for $50 free food from a delivery service, and this month I have an empty pantry and no freebies. Bring it.

I'm going to Costco to stock up big time and try to keep grocery trips to fresh food only. No organics No treats No eating out. No new clothes for work Yes coupons. Yes reading flyers and trolling sales. Yes budgeting for upcoming cash call, anniversary, month of two kid birthdays, holidays, and paying off my CC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
a. Who you are I'm Sarah, a SAHM to four year old twins.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
My world was rocked almost two weeks ago when I found out my husband hadn't paid the mortgage in six months and was overdrafting our checking account and going to payday advance places to try to cover his tracks. I have taken over the finances and we had to declare Chapter 13 bankruptcy in order to stop the auction of our home. SO, needless to say we are on a very strict budget while we try to recover from this. We'll have to make our first payment to the trustee in late September, plus we'll have some costs associated with making the trip to court, getting a sitter for the kids during court, and DH's counseling. I haven't made any decisions yet about the future of my marriage, I'm trying to recover from the shock and stabilize our lives for the sake of my kids.
s
post #38 of 413
31. $86.47 groceries (under budget!); that's the only thing I accomplished today, though

September Budget & Goals:
$86.47/$350 food
0 eating out days!
$0/$60 miscellaneous expenses ($30 haircuts; Ladybug needs onesies and pajama sleepers for winter, I need fall shoes; DH's dry cleaning - need to keep reminding myself so that I don't think of the $60 as fun money...)
$0/$300 gas
post #39 of 413
31. $2 admission, $1.50 ice cream, $1.50 coffee, $4.75 meat on a stick, $3 bus fare, $22 ride wrist band

Didn't do too bad at the fair. Brought our own food so did well there. However I bought my son the wristband for unlimited rides and he ended up only wanting to go on a couple. So lost money there, but how was I to know? I bought the band last week at a discount and last year he wanted to go on several rides so I figured this year he would go on more, but he did not.

1.
2.
3.
4.
post #40 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
I think of you as highly motivated, Kim. The fact that you keep getting back ON the wagon is a sign of that. We all fall off. Regularly. It is part of the process. You get an A+ for keeping such a good attitude in a difficult situation.

re: a/c...maybe you should make that 25/30 days because it is goign to be CRAZINESS hot these next few days...then September will kick in. 5 more days of coolness won't change your bill that much, but it will save your sanity.
.
So, I went to take the a/c out of the window tonight because it just doesn't seem to work all that well anymore thinking maybe it was time for a new one next year, and guess what? There is a FILTER on the dang thing! I have owned this a/c for about 5 years now and have never cleaned out the filter. Feeling pretty idiotic right about now. I cranked up the a/c cooled off the bedroom and am determined to only use it in fan mode for September. I could not believe the crud that came out of that poor thing. It seriously didn't even blow much air in fan mode anymore and now it CRANKS.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~~September No-Spend Thread~~ We're in the HOME STRETCH....you can do it Mamas!