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April No-Spend Challenge ~~ April Showers bring May Flowers, May Flowers bring ~ SAVINGS ~

post #1 of 138
Thread Starter 

This is a support thread to help you not spend your money.


Everyone is welcome to join and you can start tracking your spending at any time. It doesn't have to be April 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 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 138
Thread Starter 

a. My name is Prudence and I lost my way in March.  But I'm back for April and I'm going to keep that money in my bank account.

b. Financial goal = Saving money for the summer.  My husband is a teacher and doesn't get paid in the summer, so we have to save ahead to make it through.

How I plan to get there:

 

Come here everyday and record on this thread. 

 

Keep my eye on the prize...which is a peaceful summer not worrying about money.

 

SOS.  Stay Out of Stores.  It is cheaper for me to order online and pay shipping for our needs than for me to venture into a store.  Because once I'm there, I spend extra.  I'm a compulsive shopper and I know this about myself.  So just staying out of the stores saves us money. 
 

post #3 of 138
Thread Starter 

My goal = 20 no-spend days

My progress so far = 5 no-spends thumb.gif

 

01  thumb.gif

02  thumb.gif

03  thumb.gif

15  $220 clothes

16  $200 living room rug

17  thumb.gif

18  thumb.gif

19

20

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22

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28

29

30


Edited by Crunchy*VT*Mom - 4/18/13 at 6:53pm
post #4 of 138

a.  I'm Jenn, homeschooling SAHM to 6 kiddos.

 

b.  We're on track to being debt free.  We've been s-l-o-w-l-y progressing on it, it seems as though each time we take 2 steps forward, we also need to take 3 steps back irked.gif But we're pressing on.  I would LOVE to have our CC debt paid off by the end of the year, but I'm not sure if that goal is too lofty or not.

 

c.  We're still working on controlling our spending shy.gif.  Our plan for the month:

 

~ STAY OUT OF STORES!!  This is our biggest $$ suck.  Our family can NOT go into a store for just 1 thing, we end up spending at least $100!!  We've been doing really well keeping this under control and we're going to continue to work on staying out of stores.

 

~  Cooking at home as much as possible.  DH and I need to sit down and re-evaluate our food budget.  Costs are going up, our kids are getting bigger, and I think I've been in denial about how much we *really* need.  More gardening will get done this month as long as the weather cooperates.

 

~  STICK TO THE BUDGET!!  This month we have DS1 and DD3's birthdays.  I've already bought DS1's gifts, and I need to knit DD3's gifts.  We also have a Cub Scout camping trip at the end of the month and still have some equipment left to buy.  There are also 2 large purchases to be made this month, our homeschool curriculum (the publisher offers 20% off this month) and summer sandals for the kiddos (5prs of Keens total).

 

~  BE AWARE!!  We just need to be more aware of where our money is going.

 

Frugal Goals for April:

20 No Spend Days  thumb.gif

3 knitting projects completed (DD3's birthday gifts)  knit.gif

Build a new garden bed for the strawberry plants due to be delivered  flower.gif

Plants greens/ lettuces in the garden  greenthumb.gif

Start seeds under the grow lights  coolshine.gif

 

post #5 of 138

a. Who you are:

 

Homeschooling mom of 2 girls, 6 and 8, living in rural PNW.  We are almost a year into living at our new house on our old property.  We raise chickens, but still paying a lot for infrastructure for them and *still* buying eggs (last year's flock was for the girls to show at fair, and none are laying right now!)  We are planting up our new garden for the first time this year and thoroughly enjoying our time spent here.  DH is a professional gardener, so his work is seasonal.  Winters our spending outpaces earnings by a lot (this season we spent $9000 over our earnings!)

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

 

Now that work is picking up pace, we need to save what we can so that next year we don't have to dip so severely into our savings.  That's the current goal, though there is also: save for a newer car, make enough to afford health insurance for dh and I, and to keep pace with their gymnastics and other activities.  We would like to finish the daylight basement and connect it to the upstairs.  


c. How you plan to get there:

 

Not spend.  But it's not that simple!  We agreed to pay for another screen door and a load of gravel for the driveway.  Stuff like that is forever cropping up!  However, we have no family birthdays until fall, except my own, utilities are down to practically nothing until next fall.  Income is up.  We successfully refinanced the loan on our rental in town (our old house we were unable to sell) and are clearing almost $400 a month for, which is going first into a savings account where we want to accumulate about $5000 before paying ourselves.  We also want to refinance the personal loan we took from MIL.  We are paying on a 20-year loan, and we want to re-fi to a 30-yr.  She doesn't charge us anything, so this loan won't cost to re-fi.  The girls will be taking 3 months off gymnastics this summer, saving me about $170 per month.  Some of that will be replaced with swimming.  

 

Our single largest "bill", however, is our mostly organic grocery budget, so I need to track that in this thread.  It used to regularly be $1100 or more (just food, not household stuff) and recently spiked to $1400 in January, letting me know we are not out of the woods yet.  I've only made my target once since I've started these challenges, but I'm also keeping track of my weekly averages as I go, so by the end of the year, I'll have a reasonable idea of what we spend.

post #6 of 138

thumb.gif April 1

 

DH is stopping by the co-op today.  We had 3 No-spends in a row, so I'm feeling good about starting the month/week off with a grocery trip.  

 

This month's grocery target seems like it's going to be extra hard to reach.  I never reach it, but I'm still going to try.  There always seems to be stuff I buy that I didn't really need!  headscratch.gif  It includes food and normal eating-out.  Most of last week's bill for the Azure Standard order gets shuffled into this month, and after subtracting that from my 4-week target gives me only $161 per week.  If I get within $10 of that, I'll earn one of these dudes:  banana.gifcarrot.gif

 

It would be nice to consolidate my spending.  Last month I made a lot of extra trips for forgotten items, and I'm sure buying more than I needed as a result.  Not to mention losing my most coveted dude-icon: jammin.gif

 

*********************************************************************************

 

This week's target: $161

Spent: 39.26

 

4-week target: $740

Spent: $132.26

 

Each dude-icon represents one day of the month:

 

thumb.gif= Conscientious spending


Edited by SweetSilver - 4/1/13 at 5:01pm
post #7 of 138
I haven't been around in awhile but March was actually a pretty low spend month for me. I worked a lot too which sometimes leads to over spending for me.

During April I will be working a lot and the boys are playing a lot of baseball so my goal is to make good food choices rather than picking up food all the time.

The weather is still cool so I am using up my soup fixings this week - I already made a red lentil coconut curry soup for tonight.

Also this week the kids are on spring break so I am trying to do some fun free stuff - tomorrow we are hiking with friends and Wednesday we are going into the city to see the Cherry Blossoms.
post #8 of 138

I'm Megan.  I'm a single parent to 3 kids.  We are very low income so things are always tight but I'm here because I always nickel and dime myself and it needs to stop.  I plan to stay out of stores(which I really  implemented hard about 2 weeks ago and am holding strong to), spend my time focusing on my garden/yard now that the weather is nicer, and to put the $25 I make every week in before-school care for one child into my  "change jar" for a small savings acct.  I also plan to do at least one frugal thing per day to keep our financials on track.  I'm horrible about updating on a daily basis so I'm going to really try to make it my mission to be accountable here which will help.

 

 

Allowable spending:

-groceries

-gas(I have 1 child to drive to school and pick up daily)

-borax to make laundry detergent

 

 

 

 

4/1: no spend: walk to marine biology center for free activity(got caught in a downpour on the way back that was pretty funny), planted sugar peas seedlings in the garden.

 

4/2:


Edited by justmama - 4/1/13 at 4:23pm
post #9 of 138

a. Who you are

 

I'm Ellen, WOHM to DD (9) and DS (7).  


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

 

My financial goals seem to change frequently.  I'm currently on the "pay down my student loan as quickly as possible" path.  I have $35K in student loans, but no other debt.


c. How you plan to get there

 

I did great last month until I had knee surgery and did some online retail therapy ;)  This month I'm getting back on track.  Some of that retail therapy included a bunch of things my kids needed for summer, so I shouldn't have to do much spending on other needs this month.  I plan to put any extra money I have this month toward my student loans.  Based on online projections, it looks like I'm going to have to owe about $450 out of pocket for medical bills (which will come out of tax refund money).  I'm hoping there aren't any other claims that come through.  I will also have physical therapy costs that will amount to $50/week.  I paid today for this week and next to keep my spending days down ;)  I'm going to stay on track with meal planning and will plan better for food when I go see my boyfriend (which is another part of how I ended up with less no spend days than I wanted last month!)  He's the kitchen manager at a vegan restaurant and doesn't keep a whole lot of food at his house, so it was tricky last time I went up there!  This time I'm going to bring stuff from home that we might need and make him meal plan with me so I can get whatever we might need at the store before I go up there (he lives an hour away or the food thing wouldn't be an issue!)

 

4/1:  budgeted spending thumb.gif $100 physical therapy, $72 groceries

post #10 of 138

Key

thumb.gif  No Spend/ Budgeted Spending

irked.gif  Unplanned/ Un-budgeted Spending

treehugger.gif  Did something frugal

knit.gif  Worked on knitting

greenthumb.gif  Gardening work done

 

1.  thumb.gif  treehugger.gif  greenthumb.gif Planted spinach and spring lettuce seeds.  Started more tomato seeds.  Hung 1 load of laundry.  Opened the windows and aired out the house.

 

 

Frugal Goals for April:

1/20 No Spend Days

3 knitting projects completed (DD3's birthday gifts)  knit.gif

Build a new garden bed for the strawberry plants due to be delivered  flower.gif

Plants greens/ lettuces in the garden  greenthumb.gif

Start seeds under the grow lights  coolshine.gif

post #11 of 138

So fell off the wagon when baby was born last month. Trying again!

 

Key:

No Spend/Paying Bills thumb.gif

Budgeted Spend eyesroll.gif

Unbudgeted Spend irked.gif

Did Something Frugal at Home treehugger.gif

 

So we are paid biweekly, I'm going to split my goals up. 

 

**0/7 No Spend/Budgeted Spend Days**

**$0/$130 Grocery/Diaper Budget**

**$110/$220 Gas**

 

March 29: eyesroll.gif Gas

March 30: thumb.gif

March 31: thumb.gif

April 1: irked.gif Movie for DH

April 2:

April 3:

April 4:

April 5:

April 6:

April 7:

April 8:

April 9:

April 10:

April 11:

 

 

**0/8 No Spend/Budgeted Spend Days**

**0/$280 Grocery/Diaper Budget**

**0/$220 Gas**

 

April 12:

April 13:

April 14:

April 15:

April 16:

April 17:

April 18:

April 19:

April 20:

April 21:

April 22:

April 23:

April 24:

April 25:

April 26:

April 27:

April 28:

April 29:

 

post #12 of 138
Thread Starter 

Welcome Megan!

post #13 of 138
Thread Starter 

Everyone else is also welcome...but I know all you folks well already.  love.gif

 

You are the regulars.

 

Where is Ruthie?

post #14 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

 

Where is Ruthie?

 

Prepping to move cross country this month!!

post #15 of 138
Thread Starter 

Good luck with your move, Ruth!!

post #16 of 138

I don't know *when* it's official, I just know she said April.

post #17 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

Everyone else is also welcome...but I know all you folks well already.  love.gif

 

You are the regulars.

 

Where is Ruthie?

 

 

Hello Lovlies!  Thanks for thinking of me.  We move Wednesday and without giving too many details (it being a big wide world here on the web) we are moving from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific.  I am out for a bit, but will be back with moxie in a couple of weeks after we land in our new home.  

 

Good luck to all of you and see you soon! 

post #18 of 138
Thread Starter 

Yesterday I went through our house and made a big ole' list of all the cleaning supplies, lightbulbs, batteries, etc.  that we need and was planning a trip to a home goods store to buy these things...when I remembered my mini-goal of not spending this week.

 

I'll save my list for next week and see if we still "need" those things in seven days.

 

I have to make a game out of this for myself or else I start feeling deprived. 

post #19 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

Yesterday I went through our house and made a big ole' list of all the cleaning supplies, lightbulbs, batteries, etc.  that we need and was planning a trip to a home goods store to buy these things...when I remembered my mini-goal of not spending this week.

 

I'll save my list for next week and see if we still "need" those things in seven days.

 

I have to make a game out of this for myself or else I start feeling deprived. 

I've found that making myself wait to buy things that I think I NEED generally dispels the need to actually buy them at all.  Good luck--once you do that enough, it will begin to feel like second nature to you!  I've begun to feel pretty confident in that regard lately (despite my little online shopping binge at the end of last month ;)).

post #20 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

My goal = 20 no-spend days

My progress so far = 2 no-spends thumb.gif

 

01  thumb.gif

02  thumb.gif

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

10

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12

13

14

15

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