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January 2011 No-Spend Challenge - Let's start the New Year off right! - Page 2

post #21 of 194

Its been a year or two since I've participated, but I need it this month!

 

a. Who I am

 

My family consists of me, DH, and our four kids, ages 7-11. 

 

b. Financial Goals

 

This is a going to be a tight month for us, with a lot of expenses.  My goal for this month is to stick to our budget, which will allow us to meet all of our obligations while also saving all of the income from my part time teaching job.

 

c. How I plan to meet my goals

 

I really hope the accountability of this thread will help to keep me on track.  I will continue to meal plan like I usually do, and I will not eat out this month-  at all.  I will stay away from stores as much as possible.  Instead of killing time at Target when my DDs are at gymnastics, I will go to the gym and walk around the track or lift weights.  I will focus on being content at home with my family instead of feeling deprived that I'm not out doing something "fun."

post #22 of 194

Hi! My name is Micah and I am joining for sure. I hope the OP doesn't mind me copying and pasting some things for ease..I'm being climbed by a toddler. ;)

 

a. Who we are We are a family of 4. I am a SAHM and DH is in the Army. My DS1 is 2 and my DS2 is 2 months.

b. Where we are going (your financial goals) We are both spenders. I tend to spend without knowing exactly how much we have left. I've been known to let us overdraw over stupid things. Our worst vice is drive thrus and eating out/ordering in. We are on the road a lot going to appts, etc. DS1 is autistic and his therapy appts have us going an hour or two for some things and 30 min for others.

c. How we plan to get there   Our budget is tight. I need to stay home and not go out. If I don't go out we can't spend money!

 

Goals:

*stick to the menu and cook at home.

*use the envelope system.

 

*reduce driving and stay at home more.
 

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

 

 

 

 

My key:

smile.gif  budgeted spending
thumb.gif true no-spend day
      eat.gif ate at home all day

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


Edited by mamabear0314 - 1/2/11 at 2:22pm
post #23 of 194

I'm in, too. 

 

a. Who you are
I'm a WOHM that to-date has brought in the majority of our income.  DH is a self-employed forester and work is unpredictable.  Our LO is 2 months old.  I decided during maternity leave that I couldn't bear to return to working full time, so DH and I agreed that we would make it work for me to go back part time.  I'll be starting a funded masters program in Jan. that will only be bringing in about half what I did before.  DH is hoping to ramp up his work and bring in more $$, plus we are switching to managing our finances together instead of having separate accounts, which will hopefully help us make better spending decisions.


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

My goals are to spend down the credit card balance from maternity leave (~$250), start putting $$ away each month for our property taxes so that it doesn't always come as a surprise each fall, keep what savings we do have and maybe even add to it this year, limit eating out to special occasions, try to find time to plan meals (maybe when LO starts taking regular naps!) and really commit to cloth diapering as much as possible (currently use disposables at night and sometimes when traveling.  We got some cloth wipes for xmas, too, so that should save $$).

 

Now that I'm going back to work, my goal is to pack a lunch every day and not run to the store for snacks or chocolate(!) when I'm bored (this will help me loose my preggo weight, too).  Also, since I'll be going into town a few days a week, not be tempted to spend $$, even if it's for the LO.

 

What we do already: limit utility bills to just local phone service, hang dry clothes, no cable, no TV, buy a lot of things used.

c. How you plan to get there

Pack lunches, plan meals, make big batches of things and eat on them for a few days or put some in the freezer, use cloth diapers as much as possible, refrain from spending $$ when I'm in town for work.

 

The purchases I know we'll be making: tuition, investing in cloth diaper stash (planning to buy used), and maybe a diaper bag (can't decide if I can justify the handmade one from Queen Bee Creations or not).


Edited by chelseaspring - 1/1/11 at 9:53am
post #24 of 194

I really need to do this in a big way. First timer here.

 

a. Who we are Me (SAHM), DH (works out of the home full time) and three daughters, 3.5yrs, 2.5yrs and #3 due in June.

 

b. Where we are going (your financial goals) My goal is to survive the month without floating money from my Mom. nono.gif

 

c. How we plan to get there   DH has been laid off and working contract jobs for almost two years. He was just hired back full time December 1st and with Christmas expenses we blew our budget big time. We need to learn to live on our steady (finally!!!) but reduced income. I need to stop buying convenience foods and we really cannot afford to eat out at all. :( I also need to avoid the spending that comes from "hey, I'm bored girls! let's go spend an hour wandering around target." B.A.D. !!!

 

January 1 - no spending!!thumbsup.gif

January 2 - $80 on groceries - budgeted but ouch! redface.gif

January 3 - no spending!! thumbsup.gif

January 4 - no spending!! thumbsup.gif


Edited by oneluvmama - 1/4/11 at 2:11pm
post #25 of 194

I would love to join this . . .

 

Who I am:  A single, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to 5 y.o. boy/girl twins. 

 

My goal:  We moved part-way across the country and bought a house this year.  I had been completely debt-free before, but ended up with $1700 in credit card debt after the move.  I would like to pay that off as a first priority.  I also need to save for a lawn mower. 

 

Steps I'm commiting to:  Right now, I'm writing down every penny I see.  I then want to devise a budget.  I also want to start cooking meals more. 

post #26 of 194

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1288441/very-nice-free-spreadsheet-well-suited-to-tracking-daily-spending

 

I think I am going to marry this spreadsheet. 

 

 

wave.gif  Hi, I'm Smithie. We had a good financial year in 2010 (I'm defining "good" as avoiding consumer debt and managing to put away some savings). I'm freaking out a bit because our long-term tenants' contract is expiring at the end of March. I have no idea if they'll renew or even if I want them to (unintentional landlords here!), and losing the rental income while continuing to pay the mortgage on the house as we wait to sell it is.... aaaaaaaaaaugh. It's a situation that would require a lifestyle change. Selling the house, however, would mean that we could pay off the mortgage on the much-much-cheaper house we currently live in and be... say it with me... DEBT-FREE. 

 

Areas of overspending in 2010 were food (almost 1k/month!!!), household services, and householdy stuff like clothing where you really do need to have it, but you sure don't need to spend a lot on it. 

 

Excuse me while I return to my new boyfriend, the Personal Budgeting Spreadsheet. It totals up your categories based on your daily spending log! Woot! 

post #27 of 194

Okay, I'm in again. I am Suse, happy homemaking mama to 2 DDs (7 and 4) and married to a terrific, frugal DH. We have no debt other than our massive mortgage. We have a good sized EF, and are saving for the girls' educations, as well as a new deck on our house. My goals for 2011: stay within my monthly budget, especially groceries and household items. Be frugal in our everyday spending (we don't eat out much or have cable, for example) so we can spend in other areas, like skiing (which is already paid for this year, but I can start to save for next year's ski passes, as well as Christmas 2011 now.) I'd also like to make an additional principal payment towards our mortgage at least 6 months of the next 12.

 

Goals for January: No clothes buying. Stay out of stores. Shop one day a week for groceries, rather than running to the store a few times a week. Do some decluttering in our spare bedroom/home office. Practice yoga at least one day a week. Happy New Year everyone!!

 

1/1

1/2

1/3

1/4

1/5

 

post #28 of 194

 

a. Who we are 

I'm a 37 year old working mom, married to a working dad.  I have a two year old son and a four month old daughter.  In exchange for childcare, we pay all living expenses for my MIL, which means we are supporting two households.  

 

b. Where we are going (your financial goals) 

I've spent years building a career and a lifestyle around this career.  I'm pretty amazed to find myself now wanting to SAH.  Our debts are managable on both our incomes and we live pretty comfortably.  Going to one income is going to be a huge lifestyle change.  We are currently trying to dismantle our current lifestyle.  Our mortgage is too much to manage on one income and we have some revolving debt.  I also have a massive amount of student loan debt.  So we are looking to either do a short sale on the house or get it rented, and then buy a new, much cheaper house.  We will be getting this house with my MIL.

 

c.  How we plan to get there

 

So my goals are to (1) get a good grasp on where our spending happens (2) deal with our house issue (3) find a cheaper house (4) stop spending money on things that are not needed.  Specific areas to cut back are (1) no online shopping (2) no clothes for me or for the kids (3) planning meals so food is not wasted (4) creating a spending tracker or getting on mint.com or similar (5) paying down debt as much as we can.

 

Thanks for starting this thread - maybe I need some peer pressure.

 

post #29 of 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by sssheri View Post

 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.


That is a great idea! I'm going to follow your lead on this. I get implusive when I want to buy something so putting it here before clicking "buy" will help me stop and think about if I really need it.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1288441/very-nice-free-spreadsheet-well-suited-to-tracking-daily-spending

 

I think I am going to marry this spreadsheet. 

 

 

That spreadsheet is awesome! I'm putting my stuff in and sending it to DH so he can track his spending. I think we both overlook how much the little stuff adds up.

post #30 of 194

Ok so DS has been wanting to take a sippy cup of water to bed but all of his cups leak. We have 3 dollars on a wal mart gift card but sippies are expensive. It's not budgeted. Should we get a new sippy for him? The drive to wal mart is about 15 min of driving too. I'm thinking we can stop on Sunday on our way to church maybe?

post #31 of 194

This is my first try at this, I need it to work so I think having some support will help!

A: Who I am: I'm a 27 year old SAHM of 3 (4 1/2 year old girl, 2 1/2 year old boy, 4 month old girl).

 

B: My Goal: My husband is on workers comp for an accident at work 4 months ago, (9 days before baby #3) and they are threatening to cut us off every week even though he's unable to ever do his job again. They won't retrain him either, saying that if he can be retrained, then he can go sit at a desk at his former company instead (which he's not trained for). We have savings but they stopped sending us enough to pay all our bills in Dec so its starting to be depleted. I'm going to start school ASAP as I don't really have skills to make more than $11 an hour, but I need to cut spending drastically in the meantime.

 

C:How I'll get there: meal planning, stopping the impulse shopping, selling some things we don't need.

post #32 of 194


a. Who you are
 

I'm Diana, WOHM to 15 m/o DS, wife to WOH DH. 

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
 

We had a good year in 2010.  I went back to work after a half-unpaid maternity leave, and we paid off our car early.  I have 1 student loan left with a tiny balance (around $1300), which we'll pay off with our tax money.  We do have the money in savings right now, but I don't want to deplete our emergency fund.  As of January, we'll be paying $200 extra in principal on our mortgage, allowing us to pay off the house 12 years early.  We want to move when the housing market recovers a bit, but we also need to revamp our kitchen and bathroom before we can even consider selling,

 

So...  I'd like to start saving for the bathroom reno.  It's a project we've wanted to do since we moved in 5 years ago, but we got sidetracked by having a baby and my career training.  I am getting a pay raise in February, and I'd like for that to all go towards our IRA.  Since we'll be living on the same income, we need to be a little more regimented about saving.  If we can put away $500 a month til May, plus save whatever's left of the tax return, we can start our bathroom remodel this summer.

 


c. How you plan to get there


We're sort of doing a half-assed version of Dave Ramsey's plan.  We haven't given up every little luxury in order to pay down our debt.  DH and I don't see each other much because of our opposing schedules (I work afternoons, he works midnights), so he will often come meet me for dinner in order for us to see each other.  Unless I'm working close to home, that usually means eating out.  I also have a Starbucks habit.  bag.gif  Other than that, we are pretty frugal.  I'd like to cook more, take my lunch to work more, and just stay out of the stores.  I need to take grocery shopping back from DH, or just go together, as he is much more of an impulse buyer than I am.  Also, we need to start saving more!  I'm hoping that the accountability this thread provides will help me as much as it did in November.

post #33 of 194

I would like to join although this won't be a true no-spend month for me.  My family is moving out of the country next week, so we will certainly be spending some money in travel expenses and setting up our new home.  But!  I really, really need to keep to the budget and be accountable for my spending.  So, if no one minds I'd like to participate as a "conservative, careful spender".  

 

 

 

a. Who you are

 

Ruth, mama to my three babes, wife to my love, moving to Sweden this month.  

 



b. Where you are going (your financial goals) 

 

Move and set up home while maintaing a budget.  We have about $2,000 of expenses to pay off as well.  We had to buy boots, coats, snow gear, luggage, etc for our move and this needs to be paid off asap.  

 



c. How you plan to get there

 

I have a notebook where I write down absolutely everything.  I am an anal money manager and tend to be very careful with money.  But this is a big move and expenses add up quickly while we are on the road.  I just need to be super careful right now.  

post #34 of 194

 

"Should we get a new sippy for him?"

 

With the $3 gift card plus change scrounged from drawers, sofa cushions, car etc., you will likely be able to afford that sippy cup on the way home from church without touching your budget. You can even put the coins through the Coinstar machine up front so that you aren't actually paying with change.

 

Note: I am dorky enough to find that kind of thing emotionally rewarding, but I have 1) been doing this a long time and 2) am not poor right now. If your situation is different and you would feel bad or ashamed paying with change like this, then yes, go ahead and buy the sippy cup with your debit card or however you normally buy things. The key is to buy JUST the sippy cup, not the sippy cup and 5 others "deals" you see on your way to the baby aisle. 

 

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

 

We are ringing in the New Year in this household with... stomach flu! Hooray! help.gif

post #35 of 194

 

a. Who we are Dh and I, both WOH full time. Five stepkids - the two youngest, 13 and 17 years old, stay with us every other weekend. We have three grandchildren ages 5 years, 20 months and 8 months. I include them because we help them out financially from time to time.

b. Where we are going (your financial goals) I quit last year's no-spend challenge several months early. I had been doing so well but then I started spending more than I wanted. Truthfully, it was mostly things I needed, clothes, shoes, some household items, etc., but since I was spending on necessities I also went ahead and spent on other things including more lunches out at work. Our goals are to continue building up our savings and continue working toward a 6-month living expenses fund. Also, I am embarrassed to admit that we have about another year to pay off on our car loan. I thought we were near the end but sadly, no.

c. How we plan to get there I still do not have a consistent, workable budget. Over the years I have tried one after another but abandon them because I get frustrated. I am trying one, however, from another mdc mama that looks promising. I plan to watch my spending again like I did early last year, look for deals if I do need something, be grateful and thankful for what I do have which is plenty, become more organized again in packing lunches and eating breakfast at home every day. We eat out twice a month but lately due to poor planning it had become more often. I am going to reduce my online spending (the frivolous part) and make a conscious effort to add to savings over and above our direct deposits already in place.

 

 

My key:

winky.gif  budgeted spending
thumb.gif true no-spend 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:

post #36 of 194


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"Should we get a new sippy for him?"

 

With the $3 gift card plus change scrounged from drawers, sofa cushions, car etc., you will likely be able to afford that sippy cup on the way home from church without touching your budget. You can even put the coins through the Coinstar machine up front so that you aren't actually paying with change.

 

Note: I am dorky enough to find that kind of thing emotionally rewarding, but I have 1) been doing this a long time and 2) am not poor right now. If your situation is different and you would feel bad or ashamed paying with change like this, then yes, go ahead and buy the sippy cup with your debit card or however you normally buy things. The key is to buy JUST the sippy cup, not the sippy cup and 5 others "deals" you see on your way to the baby aisle. 

 

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

 

We are ringing in the New Year in this household with... stomach flu! Hooray! help.gif



Thanks :) I'm not too proud to pay with change. ;)

post #37 of 194

I'd like to join.  To intro:

 

a. Who you are - I am a SAHM of a 21 month old boy.  My husband works full time.  My teenage brother is living with our family until my mother finds a new job (long story, but hopefully they will be settled soon).  

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) -- We're not doing badly, we have no debt other than mortgage and about $10,000 in savings.  But, month to month there isn't much wiggle room, and all the savings are from pre-baby days.  I want to stay home as long as I can, and so want to really focus on keeping our family financially secure so I can do that!

c. How you plan to get there -- Keeping things simple around the house and trying to keep spending low.  I'd like to also shop around for better rates on insurance, cable and other bills where I can.

 

Obviously lots more there, but those are the basics!

post #38 of 194

Key:

thumb.gif  no spend/ budgeted spending

irked.gif  unnecessary/ unbudgeted spending

hang.gif  hung laundry to dry

 

 

January Goals

no spend days  1/20

eating out  0/0

loads of laundry hung to dry  0/8

 

1.  thumb.gif  At the IL's out-of-state so no laundry done.

post #39 of 194
Jan 1: no spend!
post #40 of 194

1. thumb.gif

 

Key:

smile.gif  budgeted spending
thumb.gif true no-spend day
bag.gif bad bad bad

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