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~~ Be Mine, Sweet Savings ~~ February No-Spend Challenge! All Welcome!

post #1 of 144
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 February 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 144
Thread Starter 

a. Who you are

 

I am Ruth, and yes, you have seen me here before.   I swear I live on the no-spend challenges.  I am mama to my 4 kids and wife to my hard working man.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

 

We are saving for a house and have about half of a down payment on a moderate home in my town. 

 

c. How you plan to get there

 

This month stinks.  We have a big tax bill due.   I knew we would have a bit because of the move and job change.  Dh got paid a bit extra last year when he cashed out his vacation time.  We didn't pay taxes on it at the time, so need to pay them now.

 

We have one birthday this Sunday and have plans to go to the aquarium to celebrate.  Dh has about 2 weeks of work travel.  That's a mixed bag...I buy less food for the house, but he spends a bit on the road.  He gets reimbursed for most everything, but there will be some small expenses out of pocket. 

 

And I am going to track our food more carefully this month.  It is just ridiculous that I can't get our grocery budget under $1000. 

 

Good Luck MDCers!

post #3 of 144

a. Who you are

Jenn, homeschooling mom to 6.  I'm a SAHM, DH works long hours and goes to school part-time.  I'm a regular on these threads, some months I'm really active, some I just check in now and again.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

Long term goals are to be consumer debt free (credit cards and car payment), have a 6 month emergency fund, and save enough to fund at least 2yrs of community college for each of our 6 children.

Short term goals are meeting small steps towards the long term goals.

 

c. How you plan to get there

~ We are in a Spending Freeze for February (it worked pretty well for January).

~ STAY OUT OF STORES, brick and online!! This is our biggest $$ suck.  We did REALLY well in January, now we just need to keep up the momentum.

~ Cooking at home as much as possible.  Eating out is our 2nd biggest budget blower :irked  It almost always happens when DH is home (either on the weekends or when he telecommutes 2 days/ week).  He likes having a more formal "lunch", where as the kids and I can make do with a more snack-y type meal.  I finally found a wheat & egg free bread recipe that I think will work for sandwiches.  Now I just need to get in the habit of mixing it up regularly.

~ STICK TO THE BUDGET!!

~ I'm trying to maintain our food budget. It's been slowly creeping up.

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

post #4 of 144

a. Who you are

My name is Stephanie. I haven’t done a no spend challenge in a very long time(almost a year :blush). I am a single parent to a 3 & ½ year old boy. And I am going through a divorce, it’s for the best. I am currently a full time student and just got laid off. I just recently submitted paperwork to get my phlebotomy license so I can start looking for work. I am on food stamps, cash aid and getting a little unemployment right now which helps out so much. I am grateful that I have a place to stay that is rent and utility free.

 

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

 My February goal is to try to pay as much as I can on my credit cards ($1650 balance total). And also start putting money into an emergency fund ($53 saved so far).

 

c. How you plan to get there

Stick to budget, try to sell all my fabric, use ibotta app more, and find a phlebotomy job.

post #5 of 144
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post
 I finally found a wheat & egg free bread recipe that I think will work for sandwiches.  Now I just need to get in the habit of mixing it up regularly.

 

 

Ooooh!   Care to share?  I can do a decent wheat free bread, but when I make it without eggs, I just get a big, tough cracker. 

post #6 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
 

 

 

Ooooh!   Care to share?  I can do a decent wheat free bread, but when I make it without eggs, I just get a big, tough cracker. 

:yeah

post #7 of 144

a. Who you are

Mostly SAHM to 3 little ones and wife to DH. I work part time still but hope to spend more time at home once we can get further ahead in our goals.

 

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

Our big financial goal is to buy a home of our own. We're hoping to accomplish this goal this year or next so I need to save a down payment and a little extra savings to do this. Short term goals are paying off debts - medical bills for the littles plus paying down my student loans. Immediate goal: finish $1000 EF. 

 

c. How you plan to get there

Stop the nickel & dime spending that eats away at the budget. Big goal to help save and help my health is for me to stop smoking! I also want to plan out a good budget and stick to it. While tracking spending this month I'll be able to see where every little bit goes and hopefully get a better grip on our budget. Taxes will hopefully show a refund that can be a large chunk towards getting started on our goals.

post #8 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
 

Ooooh!   Care to share?  I can do a decent wheat free bread, but when I make it without eggs, I just get a big, tough cracker. 

This is the recipe I use. 

I use ground flax/ chia as an egg replacer:  1Tbsp ground flax/ chia seed combined with 3Tbsp boiling water, mix thoroughly, let set about 5 minutes.

I also replace the xanthan gum with psyllium husk as per the creator of the recipe, www.glutenfreegirl.com

 

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/01/05/gluten-free-crusty-boule

 

I have done it as a boule, but the recipe in the book (Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day) says it will work in a loaf pan for sandwich bread, too.

post #9 of 144

I swore I wasn't going to do the challenge this month, but our last Visa bill was encouraging.  It was relatively low, and it still had some Christmas and birthday purchases on it, plus two gymnastics payments were posted in the same billing period.  So, not so bad!  Birthday season is OVER, Christmas is OVER, and the only thing I expect to pay for in March is extra gas for being a cookie runner for our Girl Scout troop.  It's going to be a lot of gas, too, even though I am sharing the work.

 

I want to see how low I can go in February.  I got a little spendthrifty a couple of days ago, purchasing a couple of dresses from the thrift store to replace squeezy old ones, a couple of meals out, and (finally) a pair of "public" yoga pants.  When you do yoga at home, this gets set aside as a low priority.

 

Oh, I'm Sarah and I'm a homeschooling mom of 2 girls.

post #10 of 144

a. Who you are

 

I am a stay at home mom to three. We are a family of five.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

 

First is to pay off our loans and medical bills, then to start a savings account.

 

c. How you plan to get there

 

We are working on cutting our extra spending down, and tracking what purchases we do make, to be better able to plan for what we really need to buy.

post #11 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post
 

This is the recipe I use. 

I use ground flax/ chia as an egg replacer:  1Tbsp ground flax/ chia seed combined with 3Tbsp boiling water, mix thoroughly, let set about 5 minutes.

I also replace the xanthan gum with psyllium husk as per the creator of the recipe, www.glutenfreegirl.com

 

http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2010/01/05/gluten-free-crusty-boule

 

I have done it as a boule, but the recipe in the book (Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day) says it will work in a loaf pan for sandwich bread, too.

 

Thanks for sharing this! Do you bake it in a big Le Creuset too? I don't own one, so I'm wondering if I can just use a regular pot. 

 

I'll come back later to post into the challenge.

post #12 of 144

a. Who you are

Sahm to 4- ages 6-13  Single income, high col area, used to living comfortably the past 8 years or so.  That is about to come to a crashing halt!

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

Become aware of where our money is going!  Only debt is our mortgage but we are coming into a very hard spell where our income is going to be reduced by 80% for several years, before recovering to our original level.  

 

c. How you plan to get there

 

I first want to learn where our money is going!  We are both pretty frugal so being on the same page has helped us remain debt free.  Feb is the month to track all the spending and then we can figure out where to cut.  

 

I don't think I'll post daily, but do a weekly recap.  I do like reading how other families work it all.  (Thanks for the info crazyms)

post #13 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
 

a. Who you are

Sahm to 4- ages 6-13  Single income, high col area, used to living comfortably the past 8 years or so.  That is about to come to a crashing halt!

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

Become aware of where our money is going!  Only debt is our mortgage but we are coming into a very hard spell where our income is going to be reduced by 80% for several years, before recovering to our original level.  

 

c. How you plan to get there

 

I first want to learn where our money is going!  We are both pretty frugal so being on the same page has helped us remain debt free.  Feb is the month to track all the spending and then we can figure out where to cut.  

 

I don't think I'll post daily, but do a weekly recap.  I do like reading how other families work it all.  (Thanks for the info crazyms)

You're welcome :)

post #14 of 144

Key:

No spend: :joy

Budgeted spend: :thumb

Unbudgeted spend: duh.gif

Ate at home/Packed meals: :eat

Made extra $$: 2cents.gif

 

Feb 1: :joy2cents.gif made $55 from selling fabric, made $1 on Ibotta app :eat

 

This day went great! Had to run to the store to get Milk, thank you WIC! So far so good for the month of February!

post #15 of 144

a. Who you are

I'm Melissa, a homeschooling, very-part-time WAHM to two kids.

 

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and c. How you plan to get there

I did better in January than I have for the past several months, so I'm happy with that. But I still need to do better. For a variety of reasons, DH's paychecks will be very small for the next 6-8 months. We'll have my small monthly paycheck as well, and a tax refund to bolster our small savings, but I really need to cut down on spending. Thankfully, the kids received some money and lots of gift cards for Christmas, so they'll be able to satisfy some of their own needs and wants for a little while! My main goals for February are as follows:

 

• Stop small but significant budget leaks--for example, library fines, food out because I forgot to plan ahead and pack something, 99-cent Kindle books, etc. :eyesroll

 

• Generally tighten up and conserve where we can--for example, remembering to turn off lights and turn the heat off before we leave the house, turn off power strips, etc.

 

• Meal plan more effectively and control food waste while still eating within the parameters of a healthy diet for all of us (I'm eating to control some health issues, DH is eating to lose some weight, and I need to feed the kids more healthfully in general). 

 

• End the month with more no-spend days than spending days.

 

Good luck, everyone!

post #16 of 144

Quiet day at home today, making snacks for the week (paleo granola, yum!), so no spending. AND we had a family dinner at my grandmother's and we got sent home with the leftovers, so hooray for free food :thumb

 

ETA: I did run out after posting and bought some Airborne for DH and some Zicam for me and DD8. Hopefully we can try to end this never-ending cold mess that we have going on, and DH is trying to avoid actually getting it! This came out of our allotted "personal care" budget though.

 

Key: 

No unplanned/unbudgeted spending: thumb.gif

Unbudgeted spending: irked.gif

Ate at home all day: yummy.gif

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

No-unbudgeted-spending days: 0/28

 

2/1: yummy.gif thumb.gif Cold meds: $28.

2/2: 

2/3: 

2/4: 

2/5: 


Edited by melissel - 2/2/14 at 7:10am
post #17 of 144

We are a family of 7. My husband works full time out of the home, my five kids are homeschooled and I work full time hours - on call, doing home visits all day at least two days a week, plus I am out of the house multiple days a month, spontaneously. 

 

We have no consumer debt, or personal loans. We rent our home, and bought our cars outright. No student loans. After struggling for the last six years, we are just now getting to a point where we can pay our living expenses, on time, and even have "extra" beyond necessities. 

 

I need to hang around here to see how other people are managing their finances on a daily basis. And find a simple way that works for me. 

post #18 of 144

a. Who you are

I'm Leah, SAHM of two amazing girls and wife to my hardworking sweetheart.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)  

We are working on several simultaneous goals: start saving for retirement, work on an emergency fund and college savings for the girls.

c. How you plan to get there

Reduce our spending as much as possible. We were already pretty frugal, not many things to cut out of the budget, but now I'm trying to see if we can reduce the amount for some of the categories like Groceries/Dining Out, Utilities,etc.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

partytime.gif - No Spend Day

:down  - Budgeted Spending

bag.gif  - Unnecessary Spending

gloomy.gif  - Unbudgeted but Necessary

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

February 1 -- :down Bought a smaller table and a dresser for our new (much smaller) apartment. We also ate out bag.gif $5.72

 

Not the greatest start but we sold our old big table and used the money towards a better fitting one from Ikea, so overall we hadn't spent too much.

post #19 of 144

Hello (again) 

 

I'm momma to two - we unschool and I am mostly a stay-at-home-mom but I do freelance write (most my money goes towards books, damn Kindle!) This month we are going on vacation (Disney, squeeee) and my goal is to not spend so we can save for our trip. We are leaving in three weeks, and I want them to be very low-key and I don't want to spend unless I must! There are some purchases I need to make (bathing suits for kids) but I don't want to do any EXTRA spending. 

 

1 - Did okay. Went to gym (membership payed for) did spend $20 on dinner. It was out first time at this particular gym and I was very shocked at how affordable the dinner was (considering how much food we got + the fact that it was all organic)

2 - Today I plan on getting a cake from bakery for DH's birthday.  

post #20 of 144

No Spend :wink

Budgeted/Necessary Spend :o

Unnecessary Spend :irked

 

02/01: :irked $6.30 on dinner on the way to work. I *have* to remember to start planning ahead for food away from home :(

02/02: 

 

 

I'm working on our budget for Feb now. I already paid some bills on Fri so now I have to double check my budget and see what else needs to be done for this month. After looking at everything though I think I really need to focus on grocery budget this month. I think I can make some real changes here if I work hard on it and meal plan so that's my new goal!

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