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September No-Spend Challenge: FALL-ing Back into Good Money Habits

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

I haven't seen a no-spend challenge for awhile, and I really don't want to wait until October.  Let's just jump right in!  Who's with me?

 

----------

 

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 Septmber 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 32
Thread Starter 

Who I am: Turquesa/Laura, a 30-something married SAHM to 3.

 

Financial Goals: To rebuild our fully-funded emergency fund to cover 6 months worth of expenses.  We had to dip into our fund to buy a bigger car for the new baby, so our savings account is in remission.  shy.gif

 

How I plan to get there:

 

1. The toughest will be the meals.  I'm not as talented as a lot of moms at doing home-cooked meals when there's a small baby needing me, and our budget has taken a hit because of it.  (I do some baby-wearing but don't always feel safe around heat and grease).  My crockpot just may become my best friend this month.  I'm going to shoot for 5/7 days of cooking and hope that leftovers cover the other two.

 

2. 30 minutes of crafting per day.  The me-time is essential, but it will also help me get ready with some hand-made Christmas gifts.

 

3. My only other goal, at least while I get back into the frugality habit, is to continue hanging clothes on the line, weather-permitting.

 

 

Key:

 

orngbiggrin.gif - No spending or budgeted spending only.

whistling.gif - Unbudgeted spending.

eat.gif - Cooked dinner!
hang.gif - Clothes on the line.

knit.gif - 30+ minutes craft time

 

 

September 16:  whistling.gif . . . . but that's what inspired this thread, right?

post #3 of 32

Oh do I need this!
a. Who you are ; Sundaya, a  40 something SAHM of 2 little ones

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) Working on BS 3. Battling complacency. We relaxed a bit after finishing BS 2, and then there were all the expenses that were put off while repaying debt. Trying to get our intensity back again. We have a 96 vehicle with 150000 miles on it that will need replacing, so we are working on a sinking fund for that. We also have a 22 year old house with a 22 year old HVAC and water heater- all other major things fell apart and were replaced already. So, we need a sinking fund for that. And a FFEF. Just a bit of change should cover us...um. not. We have more ahead of us than we paid off in debt, and only one income now.

 

c. How you plan to get there.

1.  Get back to being focused on not. spending. money. My littlest is 14 months now. There was way too much relaxing on the money outflow, and not enough tracking, and we've been spinning our wheels for the last 6 months since I quit my job to be a SAHM. On paper, we can put away a minimum of 400 a month. In reality, it's just fallen through our fingers. I want that 400, and I want the money from extra shifts that DH picks up, to go straight to our plan. I'm trying to cut our grocery costs in half, and then will work to lower them more after that. I've inventoried what we have, and will attempt to live off of that as long as possible. Making more from scratch, and trying to be creative and put off going to the store as long as possible.

2. Lowering our electric bill. I'm so-so on hang drying, as it's not allowed in our neighborhood. I try to hang dry inside. One of my planned spending things is to find a drying rack. I have one, but with cloth diapers, it's almost always in use, leaving no space to hang much else. Shirts do go over a shower rod on hangers.

3. Set dates for when we want the next goal accomplished. It helps us to know there is a light at the end, so to speak. With debt repayment, as hard as that was, at least, we knew when we would be done. So, we've set March to buy a new (to us) vehicle, and hopefully have it all saved by then. If not, we will finance for 2 years max. But, I'm trying to keep my motivation by remembering how much I hate to have a payment and how much I hate debt.

 

Turquesa, a small baby killed my frugality. Well, not really, I guess compared to mainstream America, but our expenses were not set up for it. A crock pot was huge for us in getting back to things. Also, simple meals that I could throw together, and food prepping during naptime. But, I have one less, and it was so hard to juggle. Good luck!


Edited, because I really should never post before my morning coffee has had time to slosh around in my brain  :)


Edited by sundaya - 9/17/12 at 3:41pm
post #4 of 32

Hi, I'd like to join.

Who I am: orangemomma - WOHM part-time, 40 something momma to a teenager and a toddler.

Financial Goals: For this month and probably October, it's DR's pre-baby step 1 - get current on all of my bills. I just read his Total Money Makeover and am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Right now the only way I can get current on one bill is to let another go a month. Not good.

How I plan to get there:

1. I have to make new arrangements for repayment of one of my student loans - I will never get current at the present amount. I need to go on line and switch my repayment option.

2.I will change my rate plan on my cell phone to one with a small number of talk minutes - have never gone over in talk minutes - just keep going over in texts.

That's all I can think of for the moment.

 

Today I spent 90 cents on postage stamps - I guess I could have paid one of the bills on line and saved 45 cents.

post #5 of 32

I never stick with these.  I really suck at it.  Even when I don't spend, I end up forgetting to update.  *sigh*

 

I'm Justmama and I am a single mom to 3 girls.  We live in a very tight budget anyway but we are going to be spending a small amt more in housing each month starting in mid-October so I'd like to get prepared for that.  Also, gas prices are rising and winter is coming.  I am feeling the pressure to get our finances under control as much as possible.  

 

My goals this month are to line dry every load again like I was instead of falling back on the dryer, rest the car one day per week, spend only on groceries and bills under Oct 1 except for the package I already have waiting to go out tomorrow morning and have committed to mailing.  It should be only a few bucks though.

 

 

Today I'm off to a great start!

 

Oct 17: no spend

post #6 of 32

9.17 Walmart 47.00. 

        10 for shoes for DS (planned) DONE with kids clothes shopping for the winter. Yippee!!

         10 for hang dry contraption (planned)

         7 for heavy cream, to stave off going to another store for a while longer (planned)

         20 for pyrex, 6 pieces with lids (Not planned)   :( 

9.18 Wholefoods  20.00

       milk, produce, chicken, to keep us going for another week with what we have at home. Very proud of myself for going into WF with 2 kids and only spending 20. That brings me to a total of 429 for the month for groceries, and my goal for the month is 550, so I really need to stay on task to make that goal. August was 1250....not sure how that happened, and it kind of makes me sick. I was even trying to cut back :( 

 

Orangemomma. I was overwhelmed at first with the plan, also. It does work, though. Hugs and good luck to you.

post #7 of 32

sundaya - thanks for the kind words and cyber hugs! And WOW on getting out of WF with only spending $20 - I try not to ever go in that store as $$ seems to fly out of my hands when I do !

 

 

Will update later with any spending - have to take DS to buy new dance shoes before he attends class.

 

Spent $42 on dance shoes - this was planned - and as a nice surprise shop owner gave us a discount - I had expected to pay $50.

Had to get gas for car - spent $10


Edited by orangemomma - 9/19/12 at 5:09am
post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post

I never stick with these.  I really suck at it.  Even when I don't spend, I end up forgetting to update.  *sigh*
Quote:

And yet.....you're still here, aren't you? Honey, we all suck at these! I do these challenges, if nothing else, to commiserate with other struggling mamas. redface.gif
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Sep 17: Went $30 over budget on kids clothes. line-dried, cooked, and crafted!

Sep 18: TCBY stop. line-dried, cooked, crafted.

I can't get those bloody smilies to work today!
post #10 of 32

Oh my gosh, do I ever need this!

 

Who you are: Jessie, 31-year-old mom to two little boys (Jasper, just turned 2, and Liam, 2.5 months old). I work three days/week outside of the house.

Where you are going: I'd like to create a decent savings account in case of emergencies, eliminate our debt (other than mortgage and student loans), buy a new car (well, a new to us car eyesroll.gif) that actually fits both car seats and the groceries, and get to a point where we aren't so stressed about money all the time. Anything that's left over (ha!) goes towards our wedding next fall. We've got the house and the two amazing kids, and now we want a (very inexpensive, DIY) wedding! love.gif

 

How you plan to get there: My biggest weakness is the impulsive little purchases (Starbucks, a cute shirt for one of the boys, etc) that add up SO quickly! I barely realize I'm doing it. (Hey, I'm only spending $4 on a latte, that's not a big deal. Oh, but it's the 15th time I've done it this month...whoops...) Cutting those little purchases out will make a huge difference. Also, only grocery shopping with a list, and ONLY buying what's on the list. We spend a ton of money on groceries with no plan of what we are going to make for meals in the upcoming week, and a lot of the food goes bad before we get around to using it (I know, I know. It's painful to even type that.) so meal planning will be a huge part of the plan as well.

 

This seems like a good start (baby steps!) so here's hoping. Good luck everyone!
 

post #11 of 32

9.19 $48 for groceries. Not only did I go over budget by $18, but I was hoping to put off going at all for another 3 or 4 days. :(

I have a (already paid for) meat CSA on 9/22, and a (already budgeted) produce CSA on 9/24, so I'm hoping to get by on the $20 that I've left myself otherwise for the month. That means I have to stop going to the grocery store every single day. We have enough meat in the freezer that, with the addition of the meat CSA, it will get us through middle of next month, Technically, it's very doable.

post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post

I never stick with these.  I really suck at it.  Even when I don't spend, I end up forgetting to update.  *sigh*
Quote:
And yet.....you're still here, aren't you? Honey, we all suck at these! I do these challenges, if nothing else, to commiserate with other struggling mamas. redface.gif

love.gif  Thanks.  I needed that.

 

 

 

And I just realized that I wrote OCTOBER 17th.  Hmmmmmmm.  More sleep needed????  

 

SEPTEMBER 17th, no spend

sept 18th: no spend

sept 19th: $4.26 for candy at the pharmacy for myself and my 4 year old.  *sigh*  I was having a bad day and I caved.  I did however put back 1 other unnecessary item so it was a small victory.

post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tis_unnatural View Post

Oh my gosh, do I ever need this!

 

Who you are: Jessie, 31-year-old mom to two little boys (Jasper, just turned 2, and Liam, 2.5 months old). I work three days/week outside of the house.

Where you are going: I'd like to create a decent savings account in case of emergencies, eliminate our debt (other than mortgage and student loans), buy a new car (well, a new to us car eyesroll.gif) that actually fits both car seats and the groceries, and get to a point where we aren't so stressed about money all the time. Anything that's left over (ha!) goes towards our wedding next fall. We've got the house and the two amazing kids, and now we want a (very inexpensive, DIY) wedding! love.gif

 

How you plan to get there: My biggest weakness is the impulsive little purchases (Starbucks, a cute shirt for one of the boys, etc) that add up SO quickly! I barely realize I'm doing it. (Hey, I'm only spending $4 on a latte, that's not a big deal. Oh, but it's the 15th time I've done it this month...whoops...) Cutting those little purchases out will make a huge difference. Also, only grocery shopping with a list, and ONLY buying what's on the list. We spend a ton of money on groceries with no plan of what we are going to make for meals in the upcoming week, and a lot of the food goes bad before we get around to using it (I know, I know. It's painful to even type that.) so meal planning will be a huge part of the plan as well.

 

This seems like a good start (baby steps!) so here's hoping. Good luck everyone!
 

 

Congrats on the upcoming wedding!  That's a fun goal to save for!!!!

post #14 of 32

Hello Mamas, it's nice to gain strength from each other, to commiserate on our successes and set backs.

 

a. Who you are - Surfacing, age 36, mother to 3 little paprikas, and wife a very frugal dh

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) - Pay off $22G worth of debt we accumulated while I was off my FT job for an extra year unpaid. Pay off add'l $18G worth of car payments sooner rather than later to free up cash flow. THEN (because we drained our $10G that I saved during my unpaid mat leave) build up savings safety net again. There is some talk of my job being axed in the next couple of years so I want a bit of a safety net. Continue the RESPs for the children and occassional contributions to my godson's savings account.

c. How you plan to get there - cutting unnecessary costs (switching cell phone plan to pay as you go), small increase in my biweekly car loan payments will take 2 years off (!!?!?!?!?), looking for lower interest rates if I can get them for debt, make hallowe'en costumes and Christmas gifts (as is reasonable), cook and eat at home, hang some clothes to dry, stop buying daily coffees for $2 each and buy $0.25 from coffee pot at work instead, sell some extra clutter and apply to principal of car.

 

Dh has taken over our grocery shopping and it's a good thing too because he certainly gets the better deals.

 

I suck at daily updates here too but at least being part of it makes me think and be mindful of my spending.

 

Strength and persistence for all!


ETA - Got some great news that we qualify for childcare subsidy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That will save us $700/mo.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHH Yayayayayayayayy!!!!!!!!!!! That means we can pay off our debts sooner. :o)


Edited by Surfacing - 9/20/12 at 3:39pm
post #15 of 32

a. Who you are - I'm Jen, age 28, haven't been on MDC in years but I remember fondly the days of studying the home management boards when I was pregnant with my first child!!  She is now 4 and we have a son who's 20 months.  I am a SAHM and my dh is an owner in a sandwich shop franchise.  I read Dave Ramsey about 4 years ago, we paid off a little debt here and there and then got into a lot MORE (we went to Costa Rica and England on credit cards in 2010 because each of our best friends wanted to do destination weddings... big YUCK but trying to have no regrets.)  Dh finally read TMMO and got on board with me this year while we were paying off our car and it has changed things so much for the better!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals):  at the moment we need to rebuild our emergency fund from some unexpected medical expenses.  We are at $600ish and need to get back to $1000.  Then we have approx $10,000 left of credit card debt and maybe $500 of dh's student loans.  I REALLY WANT THIS TO BE PAID OFF ASAP! 

c. How you plan to get there:  selling DSLR camera I don't use - $450.  cut grocery budget down, get back to couponing, drive less, DON'T GO INTO TARGET, line-dry clothes (thanks for that idea), make gifts, eat and drink less, shop goodwill.... i have done all these things before but wasn't super dedicated.  My #1 goal is to learn how to be gazelle intense without feeling so deprived.  We live in a much better apartment in a nicer part of town than we used to, that REALLY helps me not feel so isolated.

 

I am actually on day 10 or so of no unnecessary spending because I really blew all my "extra" cash at once at the beginning of our last pay period.  We just got paid again today so I will call this the true day one because I have the money to spend, but don't want or need to!!

 

post #16 of 32

9/18 - no spend

9/20 - $20 unbudgeted for gas :( but we did save on the museum admission that we visited by checking out a pass at the local library - saved $10 that way.

9/21 - paid bills due - budgeted for.

 

jennykilbo - no Target for you either? I just LOVE Halloween and they seem to have some good decorations every year - I am going to have to stay  completely clear or else my house is at risk for more cute ghosts and blinking orange lights etc...  Seriously, these things are not in the budget for October so I will see how I do with it.

post #17 of 32

orangemomma!  i always say - I know why they call it target, they are targeting ME!  AGH!! 

 

maybe you guys could make some cute new decorations out of the old ones to satisfy the urge??  repurpose sheets or clothing to make fun costumes?  or light some candles and read halloween stories every night in october.  if your kids are old enough to be interested then you could read up on wikipedia the history of vampires, haunted houses, witches.  I think it is so important figure out a free way to indulge in something related to what you KNOW you love!!
 

post #18 of 32

9.20 $22 for groceries. Why, oh why can't I just stay out of grocery stores?

9.21 no spend, hung laundry to dry

9.22 no spend.

Oh, Target....all those bright lights and pretty colors...I can go in for toilet paper, and come out spending $100. Bad bad place for me.

 

Orangemomma- I'm trying to go with what we have for Halloween, also, other than costumes for the kiddos. What about baking something fun?

 

Surfacing- what a relief the childcare subsidy must be! That's a LOT of spare change!! Yay!

 

Stay strong ladies!!

post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Target is the bane of my frugal existence. Blech! Thrifting for Halloween this year!

I'm off to a bad start, ladies!

20th: Coffee shop stop, hung clothes, crafting
21st: $30 over grocery budget. Cooked, clothes, crafting.
22: No-spend day. joy.gif
post #20 of 32

9/22 $30 gas to the car

9/23 no spend

 

turquesa - cyber hugs - sorry for your rough start. Keep with it!

 

jennykilbo  and sundaya - thanks for the Halloween suggestions. What I have decided so far is to get some Halloween books from the library and search them for free ideas. Secondly, I've decided to get the decorations out earlier this year so that if I feel I need to replace something (notice I tell myself not to ADD to the collection - just replace what's broken) I will have time to thrift for the replacement decorations.  I am also going to look on ebay for costumes - at least for the little one :)

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