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August Spend-Less Challenge: Heating up our Savings!

post #1 of 131
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 July 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 131
Thread Starter 

Feeling to eager to start the August challenge, and I think many of our regulars have Gone Camping, so I fired up the new thread for August.  I'll be back to post in a bit!

post #3 of 131
Thread Starter 

a. Who you are

 

A homeschooling mom of two girls, 8 and 6yo.  We live on a dead end road surrounded by forest in rural WA.  Both dh and I are self-employed.  DH is a gardener, and that means seasonal work.

 

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

 

Still just trying to make it through the off-season without dipping too much, having room for gymnastics (recreational), riding 2x a month and other fun expenses, saving for our next car, health insurance (fingers crossed), and money to finish our house so we have more room.

 

c. How you plan to get there

 

Well..... stop spending so much.  That's the theory, anyhow.  Try harder to fit extra, seasonal work in during dh's off-season so winter is not such a crunch (with negative income, plus 2 birthdays and more, Christmas, higher utilities.....) and be on a better footing next year.  We are planning on doing drop-in gymnastics for a while to keep them in, but not spend so much, at least until I can be sure we can afford the lessons.

 

Our house in town which we were unable to sell almost has enough set aside in savings that we can start pulling a small but regular profit from it.  Hopefully get it sold in no more than 5 years, assuming the current (awesome!) tenants don't want to rent for longer than that.

 

 

Feeling much more energetic about August!  I overscheduled June and July, and even though August is busy, it feels far more open and manageable than the last 2 months.  I'm soliciting help from the girls to bake more bread and treats, to reduce our electric bill and water consumption (on a well, so the 2 are tied together).  The garden is starting to burst with more veggies than we can manage, and we finally have enough laying hens to start giving away eggs.  Finally!  They owe me a few thousand dollars, which is what I figure we have spent over the last 4 years (though they haven't shirked entirely, offering a fair number of eggs now and then, plus a goodly amount of manure for the garden.

 

OK... I've posted far more than I was expecting to.  The grass season is officially OVER and I am feeling reenergized (or is it the caffeine?)

post #4 of 131
Thread Starter 

The more optimistic and motivated I am, the more dude-icons I use.  Lots of dude-icons this month.  I'm going to be using a star-type system to rate how frugal my day was.  Here goes!

 

1  orngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.gif A 3-star frugal day.  No spend, eating homemade beans, berries I gathered and veggies from the garden.

post #5 of 131

Thanks for getting us started, SweetSilver. 

 

a. Who you are

 

I am Ruth, mama to my 4 kidlets, wife to my spectacular, hard-working husband. 

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

 

We are living a crazy life right now.  Four months ago, we uprooted our life, sold our house, moved across country to the town of our dreams and are reorganizing and revamping the way we live.  We lost money on the house, so we are saving a huge percentage of our income for a down payment on a new place.  We plan on buying again next Summer, so this is our year of saving every penny.

 

c. How you plan to get there

 

August is tough one.  Dh is out of town for 2 weeks this month for work.  We have 2 small camping trips planned and one longer when after dh gets home.  Camping is cheap and fun entertainment for our family and we love it.  And we have to grab it now before school starts and the rainy season begins. 

 

I have money budgeted for camping, and a little for school supplies and new shoes for the kids.   The kids also need new rain gear and coats and I don't know that I have enough for that.  I need to start looking around for deals now, so I don't get caught spending retail. 

 

 

 

post #6 of 131

Getting August started!  Planning on a thumb.gif kind of day.  Plenty of good food in the house.  I am starting to check out coats for the kids.  Looks like there are some good options that are not crazy expensive, so maybe I won't be spending as much as I thought.   There are a couple of thrift shops in town as well and we may swing by there today as well.  I have had terrible luck with my local thrift shops.  Very picked over and over-priced for old, worn stuff. 

 

 

August 1 -- thumb.gif

August 2

August 3

August 4

August 5

August 6

August 7

August 8

August 9

 

 

August goals:

 

Stick to the grocery budget

School supplies

post #7 of 131

bag.gif  I'm back.  I flaked the last 2 months blush.gif

 

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.

 

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.

 

~  STICK TO THE BUDGET!!  The big costs this month: my adult leader registration for our American Heritage Girls troop, our troop's spaghetti dinner mid-month, and   I'm also starting to plan Christmas gifts and holiday crafting, hoping to make everything from stash materials.

 

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

 

Our days are super stressful lately with a teething 6mo old who's hitting milestones.  She's not sleeping, needs to be held constantly (but fights the sling), and is making mama want to pull out my hair wild.gif  I'm overwhelmed with daily life and my bank account is reflecting it.  In the past, my coping mechanism was to spend.  The last few years I've managed to get a grip, but this past month (primarily this past week), I really blew it.  I had a "coming to Jesus" meeting with myself this morning.

 

 

Key

happytears.gif  No spend/ Budgeted spend

nono.gif  Unplanned/ unbudgeted spending

 

1.  happytears.gif  Really wanted to order out for dinner, but pulled together muffins for me and the kiddos and egg salad for DH.

post #8 of 131

a. Who you are

I'm Micah, I used to do these things all the time but I've been slacking the last few months. I have new motivation because I'm getting divorced. Oddly, we're having to share finances until March and he still wants me in charge of the money until then. headscratch.gif

 

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

I have to budget for the cost of the divorce..pay off the van..repair the van..register the van in Tx..inspect the van..get moved..etc. Lots of stuff. If I have anything left over after all of that I want to buy some clothes and homeschool supplies to set us up for next year as well as putting some aside as I can.

 

c. How you plan to get there

Not buying anything unnecessary and utilizing the military food pantry twice a week for food. (It's not for "poor" people, it's just for military families and they always have too much food so I don't feel bad.)

post #9 of 131

Key

thumb.gif  No spend/ Budgeted spend

eyesroll.gif  Unplanned/ unbudgeted spending

treehugger.gif Did something thrifty at home

 

 

1.  eyesroll.gif Ended up spending $ while out with a friend because we didn't anticipate being out beyond lunch time and my kids were starving! $15

          The AC is out in my van so when we got to the store we were all so hot and sick that we got drinks asap.

          What I will do to keep this from happening again: Always pack snacks and water when we go out. I will make muffins this weekend and freeze them to throw in a lunch box as we leave the house as well as sit our gallon water bottle by the door so I remember to fill it up.

post #10 of 131

IN!  i'm back from Camping and ready to save some money.  biggrinbounce.gif

 

Thanks for getting us rolling again, Sweet Silver!

post #11 of 131

02  thumb.gif

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05  $160  clothes for an already overdressed daughter

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10  $90  Athleta

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Edited by Crunchy*VT*Mom - 8/11/13 at 3:12pm
post #12 of 131
Hello August!
I am Bruna, Mother to my baby boy and partner to M. My financial goal this month is to live within our means, while not stressing over our small budget.
Our major project right now is completing our rebuild of a 30 foot wooden boat that will be our ticket to getting out of the city life and in to the wild. I want to keep my eye on the prize this month!
August is about baby boy and I soaking up the Summer days: being out in the neighbourhood, tending our little urban garden plots, simple, lovely togetherness.

How we get there, August edition:
1) Continuing to record all spending, until next payday (Aug. 20th approx.) after which I can see how much I spend paycheck to paycheck, and use that info to design a budget.
2) Take a few shifts to supplement income, and save this money to pay off credit card debt if possible; if not possible this month, no problem.
3) Support M in riding his bike to and from work (2 hours ride each way!) by having prepared a hearty breakfast, lunch to pack and night time snack ready when he gets home.
4) Food Bank 3 times per month to supplement.
5) Shopping at the non-profit grocery store often, shopping daily at the local markets with an eye for the deals and eating from the home pantry.

Key
Budgeted Spend nod.gif
Thrifty or Frugal Behaviour bouncy.gif

Happy August Spend-lessing Everyone!
Edited by bruna - 8/1/13 at 9:22pm
post #13 of 131

1. $12.25 Meals and snacks nod.gif

post #14 of 131

I also disappeared for the last couple of months, but I’m back and ready!

Who you are?

Stay at home mom



Where you are going?

We started on the "becoming debt free" journey in December 2012 and in July 2013, we officially declared ourselves free of all non mortgage debt! In those 8 months we paid off 17k worth of debt and saved up/paid cash for a much needed appliance.
While it's freeing to be in this position, I'm not nearly as relaxed as I thought I would be. I think it's due to a hefty mortgage still hanging over our heads.. So the next goal is to pay off the smaller portion of our home loan and further reduce our debt burden. After that's accomplished, we'll tackle the larger portion of our mortgage bit by bit. This is going to take several years to pay off, but it will be worth it in the end.

 


How you plan to get there?

Strict budgeting again. Watching my grocery spending like a hawk because this is where we usually screw up.
 

post #15 of 131

Hello, I'm Maria I've also been mia the last few months!  I'm Mama to 2 girls and I started working more in Dec.  We are working on saving for retirement, Christmas and a decent vacation next year.  Dh's car will be paid off with the next payment!  We are also in the midst of doing repairs on our home.  Work has become very slow and I'm nervous about what the future holds...So I'm trying to tighten things up now...

AUGUST

1 Filled up car with gas

2

3

4

5

6

7

post #16 of 131
Thread Starter 

The more optimistic and motivated I am, the more dude-icons I use.  Lots of dude-icons this month.  I'm going to be using a star-type system to rate how frugal my day was.  Here goes!

 

1  orngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.gif 

2  orngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.gif  Another 3-star frugal day.  No spend.  Berries, beans and garden veggies, eggs from our hens.  Extra work (even bringing the girls for a bit).  Depositing money in the bank.  Just waiting on the next Visa bill to see where we are.

post #17 of 131

Oh I bought stuff today...but it was groceries and clothes that the girls will need for school.  I consider that necessary spending and don't count it against myself.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

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post #18 of 131

1. $12.25 Meals and snacks nod.gif

2. $200.00 Boat Moorage

    $40.00 Gas and Spending Money For M

    $5.00 Yogurt  nod.gif

post #19 of 131

Key

thumb.gif  No spend/ Budgeted spend

eyesroll.gif  Unplanned/ unbudgeted spending

treehugger.gif Did something thrifty at home

 

 

1.  eyesroll.gif Ended up spending $ while out with a friend because we didn't anticipate being out beyond lunch time and my kids were starving! $15

          The AC is out in my van so when we got to the store we were all so hot and sick that we got drinks asap.

          What I will do to keep this from happening again: Always pack snacks and water when we go out. I will make muffins this weekend and freeze them to throw in a lunch box as we leave the house as well as sit our gallon water bottle by the door so I remember to fill it up.

 

2.  thumb.gif

post #20 of 131
Thread Starter 

The more optimistic and motivated I am, the more dude-icons I use.  Lots of dude-icons this month.  I'm going to be using a star-type system to rate how frugal my day was.  Here goes!

 

1  orngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.gif

2  orngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.gif  

3  orngbiggrin.giforngbiggrin.gif 2-star frugal day.  Staying home.  DH is bringing home a handful of groceries.

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