Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of August. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.
3. No spending is hard work. You need a plan. Please tell us your game plan -- how do you plan to approach no spending for a month?
1. I am mama bear to 2 cubs. ds is 7, dd is 4. dh works a full-time job and a part-time job so that i can sah with the kids. we're homeschoolers, a single car family, and have 2 cats and a dog. this won't be my first time trying to have us spend less, but it will be the first time i am planning on being accountable to multiple people to help me stay in line.
2. as for why we need to reduce spending:
~ we have only $5.00 in our savings account. the only reason that is there is because we need to have at least 5.00 in the savings to have a free checking account. (our checking account balance isn't much better, but it is okay, because dh gets paid on friday.)
~if the above post wasn't explained well enough, we live paycheck to paycheck, and there is always at least one thing that doesn't get paid every month.
~ we have NO emergency fund.
~ we have A LOT of medical bills/debt, and we need to get it paid down.
our car(a 2001 stratus) is gonna be needing some work VERY soon, as well as just basics like new tires, brakes, oil changed and i don't know where the $ will come from to get that done.
~ i need to find a suitable curriculum for ds for this year. i should have already had it.
~i'd like for us to be able to start having a yearly vacation without using the "payday check cashing advance" type places.
~our whole family now needs dental work, and we still owe the dentist from more than a year ago from dh's last tooth pulling.
~we filed for bankruptcy in february of 05, and even with the reduced payments for our car, home(singlewide mobile home), cc bills, and the medical bills that were included in the bankruptcy, we still struggle to make that payment, plus our lot rent, utilities(we have internet and 2 cell phones), insurance(car only- we don't have it on the home anymore), groceries, gas, and medical copays etc when necessary.
~ we really need some new (to us) appliances. our washer will only wash loads of a few items at a time now instead of a normal sized load, our dishwasher went kaput a couple of months ago etc. our dryer is in bad shape too, but that's okay cuz i usually hang stuff to dry. the inside of our stove is also questionable now, the stovetop (nurners) are just fine though.
~ we want to start *some kind of* retirement program to help us save for fhe future, if necessary. (any suggestions on this anyone?)
3. goals/game plan:
~ see where the $ really is going. track ALL expenses, necessary and unnecessary. use this info to create a budget.
~ come in here and post every day. i think the accountability will be good for me.
~ go through and do a serious decluttering. instead of freecycling it right away like usual, try to sell some of it first. possibly trade for some homeschooling stuff for ds, and then dd. use the tp first, and then maybe try ebay for a couple of things that i think might sell for a good amount.
~ if trading doesn't work for hs stuff, figure out the best program to use for ds without spending an arm and a leg.
~keep using the asher that we have until it has its dying breath, should still be chepaer to do this, even factoring in the power and water biull than it would be to take the clothes to the laundromat using gas and $ while there.
~ think about purchases (other than food etc) for at least a full day before actually buying them, to give myself plenty of time to talk myself out of the said item(s).
~ when i do really want to buy an item, do price comparisons wherever possible.
~continue to plan meals and snacks ahead of time.
~ grocery shop no more than once per week, using sales ads from the other stores to compare when making shopping list.
~seriously plan to get some cloth pads for bladder leakage :embarrassed i have been using sposie pads like poise/serenity etc, and they are really pricey! eventually plan to have surgery to correct the problem.
~ we have just switched our first few lights over to the fluorescent compact bulbs, we stil have a long way to go, but we did the 3 most commonly used lights in our home so far. we'd like to try once at least every other month to replace 3 again, til they are all replaced.
i'll start being more diligent about unplugging things when not in use as well, sicne i have learned that even if thignsa aren't actually beign used, just having them plugged in uses some power. most of our things are on power switches, so it shouldn't be too hard to turn things completely off.
~ i plan to allow eating out 2X per month, and movies (drive-in purchase or rental) once a month. i would use the library too if we could find the hs book and get it returned, and the fine paid.
~ i also want us to start going to the community gym/pool, at 9-12.00 a trip(depending on if it is just me and the kids, or if it me, dh and the kids), because we really need the exercise, and this will be still be cheaper to do 2-3 X a month than what we used to spend on a y membership for the same amount of usage.
~ start doing swaps here on mdc again to get things we really could use and get rid of things we don't- but not if it means actually havign to buy stuff to make a package for someone. i'll just hope i actually get my package this time, unlike the last swap i participated in.
~ keep a running total of my no-spend (or spedning only within allowable items) days.
~ i'm also going to check into angel food ministries. my moms and sister already get these once a month. the problem for me is that the church that hosts it in our area is not really that local to me comparatively, and that it would require a lot of planning to go out and pay for the food, and pick up the food each month. also i wonder if the food you get is really gonna be much of a good deal, since i don't know if we'll use everything in it, or if it'll be stuff we typically try to avoid.