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January 2011 No-Spend Challenge - Let's start the New Year off right!

post #1 of 194
Thread Starter 

(I didn't see one of these posted yet, so I decided to start one.  The verbage below is gratefully attributed to Crunchy VT Mom.  smile.gif)

 

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 January 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 194
Thread Starter 

a. Who we are We are a single parent family with 4 children and one WOHM mumma.

b. Where we are going (your financial goals) My savings took quite a hit (it was more of an annihilation) in 2010, and I also got behind on my bills.  I plan to be caught up on all bills (including the ubiquitous Student Loans) and have at least $1,000 in my savings account by the end of 2011.

c. How we plan to get there   My budget is tight, but it works if I stick to it.  If I plan meals/grocery shopping, turn down the thermostat and the water heater when we don't need them to be on (i.e. during the day when no one is home and at night while we're sleeping), bring my lunch to work, and do all those other little thrifty things that add up, I will meet my goal.

 

Goals:

*stick to the grocery budget - this mostly means planning meals, adhering to the meal plan and NOT eating out or ordering in.  It also means bringing my lunch to work, instead of paying $5 or more for a sandwich downtown.  (I got a cute little lunch tote for Christmas, so that should help me stay motivated to bring my lunch.)

*use the envelope system for "non-food" items (hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies, et cetera)...when the envelope is empty, that's it for the month

*reduce the bills that are not "fixed" - water and power are the biggest targets; I think my phone bill (LANline) is probably just about as low as it can possibly be (local phone service only...no long-distance or other features)
 

*posting my spending (or, I hope, my LACK thereof) every day will also help by keeping me accountable.

 

Bring on 2011!

 

 

My key:

smile.gif  budgeted spending
joy.gifunder budget
thumb.gif true no-spend
  eat.gif brought my lunch from home

treehugger.gif  no drive day

teapot2.GIF turned down water heater when not needed

sleepytime.gif turned down furnace when not needed

greensad.gif over budget
irked.gif unexpected spending
bag.gif ooops! I fell off the wagon...

 

 

1 January: thumb.gif   treehugger.gif   sleepytime.gif
2 January: thumb.gif   treehugger.gif   sleepytime.gif

               

3 January:   smile.gif     a pear, 2 string cheeses and a fruit leather for my daughter's school snack: $2.50

                   smile.gif     haircut for my 2nd son: $14.95 (paid for with Mall gift-card)

                   smile.gif     cologne for birthday gift for my 2nd son: $57.00 (mostly paid for with Mall gift-card)

               joy.gif  5 long-sleeved T-shirts for my daughter: $20.00 on clearance (paid for with Mall gift-card)

                  irked.gif     dinner for 3 at food court: $12.05 (mostly paid for with Mall gift-card)

                  bag.gif    tin of C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve at Bath & Body Works: $5.00 (paid for with Mall gift-card)

                 eat.gif   teapot2.GIF   sleepytime.gif

 

I am kicking myself for buying dinner and the salve.  If I would have thought about it, I could have bought my daughter the little Playmobil set she wants for Easter instead.....All told, the entire trip to the mall cost me $9.00 out of pocket, so it wasn't catastrophic.  I just feel that I could have planned a little better.

   

4 January: smile.gif box of cookies, a pear, Odwalla smoothie, 24-oz container Greek yogurt, 1/4 lb dried cherries, 1 bottle ketchup, 1 jar almond butter, 1 lb box spaghetti noodles, 1 jar cherry jam, 2 lb bag grated cheddar cheese, 4 tins sweetened condensed milk (for my youngest son's Spanish class cooking project), 16 oz container sour cream, 4 limes, 1 head garlic, 5 lb bag oranges, 3 lb bag onions, 12 oz fresh blueberries, 4 avocados, 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms, 1 bunch fresh basil, 12 oz fresh raspberries, 1 packet tortillas: $84.57

                 smile.gif 100 oz bottle of Tide with fabric softener: $11.99

                eat.gif    treehugger.gif   teapot2.GIF   sleepytime.gif

 

5 January:   greensad.gif  water bill: $84.69 (but that amount is for 2 months, so it's actually not that bad.  The monthly budget amount is $50, though, so I'm sad that it's more....)    HOWEVER....phone and water bills are now officially caught up (next ones are due in February), so I'm very happy about that! thumbsup.gif

                    irked.gif focaccia bread: $7.50 (I just couldn't get motivated to make the dough for Refrigerator Rolls last night, so I had to buy bread for tonight's dinner....)

                    smile.gif postage: 40 cents

                  eat.gif    treehugger.gif   teapot2.GIF   sleepytime.gif

                 

6 January: irked.gif 2 bottles lime fizzy drink, 1 bag cookies (for potluck lunch at work): $7.37  (if I'd remembered that I was supposed to bring cookies, I could have made them at home......)

                  smile.gif 6 packets Ricola cough drops, 8 toothbrushes, 1 gallon colour-safe bleach, 25 lbs dog food:$41.46 (Costco)

                  smile.gif 1 box dishwasher tablets, 1 bottle facial cleanser, 5 bars hand soap, 1/2 oz bottle lavender oil, 100-count bottle L-lysine tablets, 1 box bunny fruit snacks (for my daughter's school snack), 3 boxes granola bars (also for my daughter's school snack), 1 bunch parsley, 3 6-oz containers Greek yogurt, 1 box crackers, 3 LARA bars (for my desk at work), 3 lbs vegan margarine, 2 bottles lemon juice, 2 boxes veggie bouillon cubes, 1/4 lb dried pineapple, 3 1/4 lbs sushi rice, 1 jar Veganaise, 8 lbs course sea salt, 1 head cauliflower,1 lb shallots, 1 large knob ginger, 3 boxes yogurt tubes (again, for my daughter's school snack....I'll be glad when she's too old to need a snack at school!), 1 lb portabello mushrooms, 5 oz baking chocolate, 1/8 lb nutritional yeast, 1 jar blueberry jam, 2 6-oz containers vanilla soy yogurt, 3 lbs seitan: $141.79

                 eat.gif   teapot2.GIF   sleepytime.gif

 

7 January:

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31 January:


Edited by kathirynne - 1/7/11 at 8:09am
post #3 of 194


Can I join? This will be my first go around, and I'm not sure how well I will do, but I want need some accountability in my life for spending right now.

 

a. Who we are It's me (woh), dh (wah), DS( 15mos, so sah), and dd (in uetero).


b. Where we are going (your financial goals) Hoping to sah after this kiddo is born, so we are trying to live on DH's salary. This means spending more mindfully!

c. How we plan to get there   My main issue is eating out. I'm not counting dh in this challenge, just my own spending (especially during my lunch hour). I want to start bringing my lunch, and stop wandering target just looking for something to buy during my lunch hour. I also want to curb eating out, which means more eating at home. DD is all set to make an appearance at the end of this month which might blow a hole in that for a few weeks, but aside from that, I want to be on track!

post #4 of 194
Thread Starter 

welcome texmati!  We're glad you're joining us.

 

Eating out/ordering in is a big budget buster for me, as well.  You and I can cheer each other on for every "I didn't eat out!" victory.

post #5 of 194

I'm in.  I haven't done one of these for awhile, but Christmas is over, no bdays until March so we shouldn't be spending anything extra other than bills and food.

 

a.  Me (wohm), dh (full time student), ds1(8) and ds2(4)

b.  Just to not spend unnecessarily. 

c.  By keeping track of what we're doing and having to post here everyday.

 

post #6 of 194

I'm going to give it a try.

 

a) Me (SAHM), DH, two 6-year-olds and a 2-year-old.

 

b) For me, this is a clutter goal and a financial goal combined. I want to stop the flow of "things" into the house and build some savings at the same time. The only non-food/consumable "things" I need to buy are clothes one and two sizes than the bigger kids wear now, so...

 

c) I want to keep track of what I'm spending and what I'm buying, and I want to be held to account both for spending money and for accumulating more "things."

post #7 of 194

Mattemma sahm to 2.Dh is a driver with a modest income. Will try not to use my credit card(just paid it off!) and spend only $100 cash weekly on food and supplies.Will record all bills and daily spending.Will put aside $25-50 weekly into savings.The more we stay home the more NO SPEND DAYs I will have,unless ofcourse I am paying bills online! I already know we will be home this weekend,and all bills are paid for the moment.Best wishes to all!

 

1-1 NO SPEND DAYthumbsup.gif

1-2 NO SPEND DAYthumbsup.gif

1-3 NO SPEND DAYthumbsup.gif

1-4 Tire repair(nail) $18, Food $100, Pizza $6, Savings $100, Mega lotto $3

1-5 Cell $110, Garbage $45, Dog license $30, School Pizza $12, Credit Card $100

1-6 Marcs $7, Gas $23


Edited by mattemma04 - 1/6/11 at 9:39am
post #8 of 194
I'm in!

Goals:
+ I have rent, electric, gas, food, car gas, car insurance, internet/phone (one payment) and car payment. I'm going to try to keep all my spending just to those for January! I'm going to try paying for food with cash instead of my debit card. I would do the envelope system but to reduce paper usage all our bills are paid online.
+ Have car paid off by the end of the year. We're going to use our taxes to make a triple payment in January. If we keep doing 1 payment a month it will be paid off in February 2012 but I want us to be done with it as soon as possible.

Key:
orngbiggrin.gif Nothing spent
shy.gif Budgeted spending
greensad.gif Splurge
jog.gif Exercised

1: shy.gif 640 rent
2: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (walked to church)
3: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (hoop)
4: orngbiggrin.gif
5: shy.gif $65 at Costco, $47 at Sunflower Farmer's Market...we had a looot of stocking up to do! Whew...
6: shy.gif $35 gas jog.gif (bounced on bed, hoop)
7: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (hoop)
8: orngbiggrin.gif
9: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (walked to church)
10: orngbiggrin.gif
11: orngbiggrin.gif
12: orngbiggrin.gif (went grocery shopping but my mom paid for it)
13: orngbiggrin.gif
14: orngbiggrin.gif
15: shy.gif $15 on gas, $19 at Home Depot
16: orngbiggrin.gif
17: greensad.gif $60 (spent some of my Christmas money on a compost bin and a new wallet...does that count since it was Christmas money? smile.gif)
18: orngbiggrin.gif
19: shy.gif $40 @ Sunflower, $30 on gas
20: orngbiggrin.gif
21: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (went on a walk)
22: orngbiggrin.gif
23: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (walk to church)
24: shy.gif $7 at post office (I sold some stuff on Etsy so I was paid for it. So does that count?) jog.gif Walked 2.6 miles to post office and back smile.gif
25: shy.gif $18 at Chipotle (date night!)
26: shy.gif $40 on gas, $34 at Sunflower Farmers Market, $15 at Rancho Markets (I caved and bought a tortilla press smile.gif) jog.gif Walked around the block
27: orngbiggrin.gif
28: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif (walked to park & back)
29: orngbiggrin.gif
29: shy.gif $30 toilettries and other stuff (hubby's body wash, lighht bulbs, glass bottles, boring crap like that), sent car payment off (335), car ins. auto payment (73) jog.gif
30: orngbiggrin.gifjog.gif
31: shy.gif $3 needed some more cheese and a bell pepper for tonight's pizza
Edited by jimblejamble - 1/31/11 at 4:00pm
post #9 of 194
I'm in! We are mega-in-debt. My plan is more like a 5 year plan. My largest debt is my mortgage, with credit card debt and school loans tying for second.

a. Who you are

I am a part-time WOHM and graduate student. See my siggy. smile.gif

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

Financially, I want to aim to put absolutely nothing on a credit card and to always pay more than the minimum payment. This includes building a savings of at least $1000 (which we currently have none) for an emergency, normally vehicle-related, purchase. We will be losing government aid due to me and DH increasing the hours we are currently working, so hopefully we'll still be able to hold onto medical care because neither one of us gets benefits.

c. How you plan to get there

By doing what I do best, organizing!! I've already set up an excel spreadsheet and am very aware of our debt. It's nice to see all the bills chipped away each month. I will come here to be held accountable. smile.gif
post #10 of 194

I'm Megan, a 27 year old SAHM.  My DH works 2 part-time jobs.  My LO is 18 months old.  I'm really trying to pay off our non-mortage debt.  For January, I hope to only pay bills and groceries.  We eat out way too much, so I'm hoping I can cut that out in January, with the exception of my dad's birthday on the 26th and maybe one time to a restaurant in a neighboring city I won a gift card to.  It's really hard because when my mom, sister and I get together we usually eat and shop.  It's only one month though, right? I can do this!

 

ETA: I am on WW, and that's a weekly fee, but right now that's essential for me.  And it's honestly not my problem... shopping and deal websites are what cause most of my over-spending.
 

post #11 of 194
Ambishop19 - shopping and deal websites cause your overspending? For me, it's education. For example, I spent at least $1000 on doula training only to throw it to the wayside after my miscarriage. eyesroll.gif And I can justify it...that's what makes it so hard. Nobody would tell you not to get an education because it's too expensive, right? My plan now, after completing my MPH (only 4 more credits) is to find someone to pay for my medical school (ahem - National Health Service Corps) as a means to make school no longer a financial weight. I'm with you on the WW, though I just have a $10/month gym membership and am careful with what I eat. Eating out is nowhere as big an issue now as it was when I was working full-time.

 

post #12 of 194

Yeah, I know I've made bad decisions that are only my fault.  I understand the education thing too.  My undergrad (past first year) was paid through grants and scholarships, but it's a degree I can't do much with.  So there is a good chance I'll be getting student loans for a Masters once my kid(s) are a bit older.  However, my husband had a "scholarship" that you pay off through teaching, but he didn't end up teaching.  We had to pay back $8K.  We could have paid the minimium for however long, but decided to use the first time homebuyer's credit we got to pay it off.  We could have put that on the principal of our mortage, and still had some for savings and a small vacation or something.

post #13 of 194

Who we are- Me, DH, DD (5), and DS (1). Dh works FT, and I WOH part-time. I am dropping my hours to PRN at the end of January. Which will be good for our family, since me working nights has made family life quite chaotic, but not so good for finances, as I make close to 50% of our income! I plan to work at least one 12-hr shift per week, and I'm also beginning w/ some wah opportunities.

 

Where we are going- Short term- we need a new roof this summer, BADLY. As in, shingles look shredded. We also need to pay for an appraisal and refinance, as our 5 year loan will be up this fall. We have about $3k left on our car loan, and I would like to get that paid off before the refi, but I'm not willing to raid our savings to do it.

 

Long term- homeschooling, ability to afford a mostly sahm, foster parenting eventually (we want to be more financially stable first).

 

How we plan to get there- Tracking spending to evaluate needs vs wants. Buying things used/clearance, or not at all. Planning ahead for spending in order to spend less. Increasing income too, I hope, as DH's work is doing much better than it was a year ago, and I am hoping to make some side money with the wahm gigs.

 

post #14 of 194

a.  I'm Jenn.  Pregnant, SAHM to 4 littles under 7yo, homeschooling 2 of them, trying to keep my sanity from day to day.

 

b.  DH and my financial goals are to be debt free.  We were on track at the beginning of 2010 to get it done, but then we let life get in the way.  We are now newly committed to putting every extra penny we have towards our debt (credit card and truck payment) or saving for our homebirth in April.

 

c.  * STAY OUT OF STORES!!!  This is our biggest culprit in spending.  We step into a store and BAM, we've spent $100 easily. 

     * Cut our electric bill by hang drying as much laundry as possible.

     * Trim the food budget (or stay within it) by meal planning.  I have a hard time with this, and I'm not really sure why headscratch.gif  This should also keep us from eating out, the other major budget sucker.

     * DH and I are committing to the Compact.  We're going to take it month by month, but hopefully we'll stick to it for the whole year.  We really have ENOUGH and there is no reason for us to keep adding cr@p into our lives.

     * I've signed up for the 2011 in 2011 Decluttering Challenge and the 52 Projects Challenge.  The decluttering challenge will put things in perspective of what we have and what we actually *need*.  The 52 projects challenge will get me to use up the matrerials I have instead of going out and buying more crafting/ sewing/ knitting supplies.  Hopefully, both will help us hold onto our money tighter.

 

 

Key:

thumb.gif  no spend/ budgeted spending

irked.gif  unnecessary/ unbudgeted spending

hang.gif  hung laundry to dry

 

 

January Goals

no spend days  0/20

eating out  0/0

loads of laundry hung to dry  0/8

post #15 of 194

...


Edited by ltlmrs - 7/2/11 at 7:50pm
post #16 of 194

 

a. Who we are In-the-process-of-divorcing Single Mama, DD (3.5) and DS (15 mo).

b. Where we are going (your financial goals) I will likely have extraordinary expenses this year in the way of mediation, court and lawyer bills, due to this hellish divorce process. I work part time and am relatively low-income now, without STBXH, and need to come up with a new budget and new habits. I already have about 3k in credit card debt (thankfully my joint cc's with XH have been paid off), 10k left in student loans, and would really just be satisfied with not going into MORE debt. I've accepted that I may only be making minimum payments this year, while trying to get us on our feet. I've never done this on my own before, and I need to practice some self-discipline and make sure I don't get into the habit of buying things when I feel sad or lonely. 


c. How we plan to get there  I will come up with a budget, which will change often over the next few months since our living situation is shifting a couple of times. I will not go out to eat or buy coffee out. I will not shop on Amazon or buy things on sale. We really don't need anything, except more money. 

 

My key:

smile.gif  budgeted spending
joy.gifunder budget
thumb.gif true no-spend day
      eat.gif brought my lunch from home day

greensad.gif over budget
irked.gif unexpected spending
bag.gif ooops! I fell off the wagon...

 

 

1 January:
2 January:

3 January:

4 January:

5 January:

6 January:

7 January:

8 January:

9 January:

10 January:

11 January:

12 January:

13 January:

14 January:

15 January:

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24 January:

25 January:

26 January:

27 January:

28 January:

29 January:

30 January:

31 January:

post #17 of 194

I really need some accountability so I'm in!

 

a. Who we are: me (contractor in Iraq) + DH (living with friends until I return)

 

b. Where we are going (your financial goals): Right now I make really good money being a contractor, but I'm in Iraq away from my DH and DD (who lives with xh) so obviously this has got to end sometime. I'm planning to leave May 1st so that means I only have 9 pay checks left, then nothing-and I'm a little freaked out by it! We've been able to pay off most of our debt, just still have big stuff-car and student loans. And we have virtually no household belongings-only a bed and a W&D, plus our clothes :) So, our main goal is to save, save, save and save some more. We will be moving cross country upon my return and want to purchase a town house, triplex or quadplex, so we can live in one unit and rent the others to help pay the mortgage.

 

c. How we plan to get there: Actually sticking to the budget I've created and stop buying unnecessary junk! As soon as I get paid I pay all the bills then transfer money to savings, but I leave way more "extra spending money" in the account than we actually need to be spending, yet we always manage to spend it, lol! So now I'm going to transfer as much money as possible to savings and leaving bare minimum in the checking account for emergencies. My DH is horrible with budgeting and keeping one, so he has 4 credit cards with low limits: one is for gas, one's for food (both grocery and eating out), one's for personal care, and one's for entertainment. Those are all he "gets" to use and the balances are paid at the beginning of each month-it's actually really helping him learn how to plan ahead for expenses at the end of the month instead of spending all his money when he first gets it. Yes, it sounds like an allowance but this is the only way it seems to work for him.

 

My key:

 

smile.gif budgeted spending

thumb.gif no spend day

irked.gif unplanned spending

 

I think I should really be able to stick to this. I get bored a lot and end up buying junk online that I just don't need. Hopefully this will help navigate away from that online shopping cart :)

 

1/1: thumb.gif

1/2: smile.gif

1/3: thumb.gif
 


Edited by TrishWSU - 1/3/11 at 2:35pm
post #18 of 194

a. Who you are: Me- 30 yo WOHM mom (teacher), Dh- 29yo grad student on the job search for next year, ds- 3 month old darling

b. Where you are going (your financial goals): Since ds birth I have been addicted to buying things for her and really irresponsible with money in a way I never have been before. I have just come off of unpaid maternity leave, so money is tight. 

c. How you plan to get there: I will not buy anything extra this month except for 1 pair of winter boots at a discount store (we just got a lot of snow and I only have clogs to wear), and I will pay the baby music group I signed us up for. If I feel like there is somethinig I "need" I will post it here first and think about it for at least 1 week, maybe 2.

post #19 of 194

a. Who you are

-- 30-something student mama to 4 growing boys (11, almost 10, 7, and 4), wife to wonderful Hubster, mistress to a microbusiness (knit designer).

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

-- In school working towards my second degree BSN/MSN, and aiming to do so without any student loans, planning to take the IBCLC exam in July (which will cost about $1500 total between the exam fees, books, and classes) and planning to buy a bigger house than our current home within the next 12-18 months so looking to pad the saving we've already got and grow as big a downpayment as we can

c. How you plan to get there

--strict(er) budgeting, moving to an envelope system for groceries and personal discretionary spending, forgoing our annual vacation and joining the No Spend Bandwagon! :D

 

My key:

smile.gif  budgeted spending
joy.gifunder budget
thumb.gif true no-spend day

greensad.gif over budget
irked.gif unexpected spending
bag.gif ooops! I fell off the wagon...

 

Jan 1: $148.53 (groceries) smile.gif

Jan 2: thumb.gif

Jan 3: groceries smile.gif , bag.gif digital photo brushes ($5.50)


Edited by Knittin' in the Shade - 1/3/11 at 4:52pm
post #20 of 194

My husband should be amused that I joined this!

 

A:  Who I am:  29, SAHM of 4 children ages 1 month to 10 years. Married with single income for 10 years!  I love a knitting, crocheting, sewing, cooking, gardening.  That is where my money goes!

 

B:  My Goal:  To stop spending on items that cause CLUTTER.  Manage the grocery bill and try to stop going thru drive-thrus. 

 

C:  How I plan to get there:  Giving more thought to purchases, using up craft stuff I have, staying out of stores.  Stick with writing a weekly menu and shopping for that.

 

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