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November No-Spend Challenge ~ Come check in, it's time to get started saving money!

post #1 of 1133
Thread Starter 
This thread is a support thread to help you ~not spend your money~. Everyone is welcome to join (we would love to have you) and you are welcome to start at any time. It doesn't have to be November 1st.

The plan is simple (although very tough to execute):

1. Vow not to spend any money on unnecessary purchases.

2. Come on here everyday and record your spending.

3. If you think that you absolutely MUST buy something, come on here and tell us about it first. Sometimes taking the time to come on here and post before you buy something will help you not buy it.

4. Provide encouragement for your fellow non-spenders and try to talk THEM out of buying things.

Good luck Ladies!! Let's have a strong November!!! Keep that money in your wallet.

ETA: Our no-spend threads tend to get very long...if you are new and considering joining us you don't need to read the entire thread (unless you want to). Just read the first three entries and jump right in. Start your no-spending today!
post #2 of 1133
Thread Starter 
Some caveats...

*Groceries, utilities, clothing for you and your family, transportation...these things are necessary. You don't need to record things like that.

*Only YOU can determine what is necessary. We are a non-judgemental group.

*Record whatever will cause YOU to spend the least. If you feel guilty about coming on here and fessing up -- then this thread is working perfectly.

*Don't get discouraged if you spend -- our goal is PROGRESS not PERFECTION. We all will spend this month...let's admit that up front...Our ideal is no-spend...but we'll be happy if you just spend less.

Please don't take an all or nothing attitude. You will see progress if you stick with us...I promise you that.

*If you have time to read everyone else's post and do personals, hurray! That helps our thread do its job...but if you don't have time, then just post your tallies. We have plenty of successful no-spenders who do only that.
post #3 of 1133
Thread Starter 
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 November. 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?
post #4 of 1133
Thread Starter 
1. My name is Prudence and I'm a SAHM with two daughters.

2a. Our mortgage is over 50% of our income. We bought a house that is too big for our budget. A mistake that we can rectify by living frugally, well within our means. This means watching every penny.

2b. Our not-large house is stuffed to the gills with stuff stuff stuff. I don't want to buy more stuff -- I want to pare down what I already have. And for me this means learning NOT to buy things just because I want them that instant. I want to learn to enjoy what we already have.

3. My game plan:

- Come on here and post everyday

- Carry precious little cash in my wallet...if I have to come home and get money to buy something, usually I change my mind and don't buy it

- Stay O*F*F the internet shopping websites diaperswappers and ebay

- Drive the car less. Gas = money. I tend to forget that and I want to stay conscious of this.

Goal to beat my previous records:

May= 19 no-spend days and $265 frittered away
June = 19 no-spend days and $394 in frivolous spending
July = 15 no-spend days and $580 in frivolous spending
August = 19 no-spend days and $451 in frivolous spending
September = 22 no-spend days and $103 in frivolous spending
October = 20 no-spend days and $203 in frivolous spending
post #5 of 1133
Thanks for starting this once again Prudence!

1. I am Michelle, a WAHM (most of the time) to one son.

2. The amount of stuff we have is sickening to me, so we cannot get more. We eat WAY too much take out, I drink WAY too much coffee (in and out of the house) and I spend on convenience stuff WAY too much. I want to sell this house and buy a new one, but it will be in a more expensive area so we have to save!

3. The Plan: When I leave the house, I spend money. I can't seem to go out without buying a coffee, even if I've made some at home for the road. So, I have to stay in as many days as possible.

I've created a budget for the first time, instead of just recording spending.

I plan to eat from the freezer/pantry as much as possible to minimize the grocery/takeout bill. I need to bring food/coffee to work, and lots of it.

Specific Goals:
11 no drive days
17 no spend days
$50 mad money (for coffees, lunches, etc.)
$300 groceries
$200 take out/restaurant
$134.02 entertainment (trying to create a zero balance budget, hence the $.02)

The $200 take out is high if we only get food out once per week and the entertainment budget is just to make us feel like we have money to go out. With a 10 month old, we don't go out anyway, so hopefully the extra $ will be saved or used for Christmas and DS' bday.

Our budget has NO room this month - if we spend above these, it goes on CC or out of savings, what very very little we have left.

sorry so long...
good luck everyone!!!!
post #6 of 1133
forgot to sub.
post #7 of 1133
1. I am Emily mom to Jackson, 17 months. I just found out i am pregnant with #2 and we are thrilled! I'm a part time nurse

2. I am here because we got ourselves in to a BIG hole over the summer and early fall, DH gets paid on Halloween and then we should be totally caught up on all the bills. But, we don't want to fall into that trap again, and we need to save money for the baby and all that comes with it!

3. My Plan;

DH and i sat down yesterday and made out a budget, giving a line to everything. so I have $250 a month extra for myself including gasoline and $400 for groceries a month (DH has $340/a month b/c he uses twice the gasoline i do) and we have a joint $150 entertainment budget
My goals are:
$75/week grocery 0/4
only fill up the tank 1/week 0/4
pack lunch everyday for everyone 0/48
less than $10 spent eating lunch out
once a week with my son 0/4

Good luck everyone!
post #8 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
LuAnn, SAHM/WAHM/student mama to almost 8MO DS, wife to DH, veteran challenge member and very low income...

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of November. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.
Nothing left to spend. What's left has to be saved for the oil bills, tuition, savings, and DS--though we don't have enough left for all of them, that's the ideal.

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?
No unnecessary spending.
Utilities, rent, groceries, tuition, fuel oil, DH's $60, and DS's rug, pics and Winter clothes for sure, + savings for upcoming oil and EF.
Christmas present for DS, DH, sis and BIL, and friend if money allows.
post #9 of 1133
Hello fellow no spenders. This is my first time here and I really hope it helps. I honestly just don't know where my money goes sometimes. I work part time as a nurse, and Dh works full time, but we haven't been able to save anything. DH and I don't go out that much (with a toddler) and don't really live an extravagant lifestyle by any means, we just have gotten used to being pretty relaxed with our money and it really needs to stop.

What motivates this change is the fact that we do not own a house, nor are we able to come close to putting a down a payment. We live in an area where housing and rental prices are hopelessly inflated, but I love it here, so we would like to try and stay. My dream is to own a small house with a back yard for our 21 month old son to run and play in. Right now we are in a city apartment and have no backyard for him. If I save like crazy for 1 year, we may have a shot. It may take 2 years.

I spend a lot on groceries. I am committed to continuing to shop at our coop, which is a bit pricey, but always organic and worker owned, etc. I just need to focus on more bulk food, less packaged food. And overall cooking simple meals from scratch. But I did join a CSA, and that, I hope will be inspiring me to cook more.
Ok, and another thing. The on-line shopping habit NEEDS to stop. No more hyena cart: No more gymboree : No more pricey waldorf toy shops :

And I cannot shop with my mom or my best friend anymore! They encourage me to spend!

Thanks for the support
post #10 of 1133
This is my first time here.

Quote:
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
My name is Crystal, momma to 4yoDD, partnered for almost 3 years, newly pregnant and due June 08. We live in a small 2BR apt that is stuffed to the gills with crap. We make enough money to survive, in theory, yet somehow barely seem to be actually surviving. We alternate which bills to pay which month depending on what is being threatened to get shut off. We have significant debt and past bills that we are simply ignoring. :

Quote:
2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of November. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.
a- we need to survive paying our most basic bills, and then
b- we need to start climbing out of our hole, and then
c- we need to start taking on our ignored debts, one at a time.

Quote:
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?
*sigh* I'm the spender in our family. I'm heavily depressed and currently unmedicated, and my "feel good" is to spend. I feel like I need to have little treats, that I deserve them. I buy books, go out to lunch, get fancy schmancy coffee, that sort of thing. Books are really the only THING That I buy, the rest is more experience-spending. Lots of eating out.

And now I'm pg, so when I want Indian buffet, I want it NOW!!
post #11 of 1133
1. I'm frog. I live with my partner, turtle, and our passel of cats. Currently, I am the sole breadwinner.

2. I am the sole breadwinner, and it's not really enough for us to play as much as we like to play.

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?
  • Pack lunches every work day
  • Pack food for trip to meet new niece
  • Trade for or make as many holiday gifts as possible
post #12 of 1133
Hi everyone!! I definitely lurk around on this thread a lot but I figure I would actually post this month. I am currently working PT from home and am pregnant with my first child. My fiance does tree removal and works full time (between 30 and 40 hours a week depending). We currently live with my parents while we wait for our boss to figure out where our permanent office is going to be, then we will move as close as possible to the office, even though I work almost totally from home.

We are spending 700-800 a month on gas right now (just for DF to get to work) but since we don't pay rent/utilities/food it balances out. We just need to stick to our budget to try and have a little in savings and to be able to start buying stuff for this baby, like diapers. DF gets only cash (no cards) because he can't be trusted to not do stupid things, since I have no car during the day I just need to stay out of online stores!!!!! DF gets 150 a week for gas and 25 for whatever. Sometimes he does stupid things and needs a little more but we are working on that. Sorry this got really long... my goals for this month:

Keep DF under 200 a week cash: 0/4
Eat at home: 0/28
No online shopping: 0/30

I think that is it for this month... at the end of every month we move anything over 200 into the savings account... I would like there to actually be something to move this month!!!
post #13 of 1133
My goals for this month-

eat out no more than once a week- 0/4

write up the dinner menu and grocery list every week- 0/4

Cancelled our World of Warcraft accounts, saving us $30 a month!
post #14 of 1133
I have had my eye on these threads for awhile and I am now ready for the challange! Thanks : )

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I am Grace, I work out of my home as a professional photographer, but am on maternity leave until January. We just had our 4th baby on Saturday. I have 3 older children who are 7, 5, & 2.5.

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of November. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.

We desperatly want to move into a larger home that will have more room for our family as well as a seperate working area for me. We can TOTALLY do this if we stop wasting our money on little things. We make plenty of money but never seem to save any. Specific goals - to have $500 in savings every month to go towards a downpayment on a new house.

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? Lower grocery bill, lower eating out bill, put together a budget and do NOT buy anything outside of the budget.
post #15 of 1133
1.

Hi! I'm Mysticpi, not a momma yet but hoping to save some $$ to help TTC in about a year!!

2.

I'd like to save some money so that my partner and I afford to buy some spermies!! We also would like to save for a downpayment on a house for when we do have the kiddos.

Also, I know that we should be able to save every month but the money somehow disappears... hmmm... I need to keep track!

QUESTION: I am wondering how you guys budget savings into your budget. Should I just say all extra $ goes to savings or should I set an amount and give myself some wiggle room for error? (and how much wiggle room?)

oh, and ANOTHER QUESTION. How do you keep track of expenses that don't happen every month? Take clothes or gifts for instance when some months I may not spend any and others overspend.


3.My plan for the month

- Keep track of what we spend this month. I've revised our budget and am committing to actually use my excel sheet to write down expenses (I usually give up after a few days!)

- Keep groceries/household to 300$--I need to figure out why we spend so much money on food/household stuff since we don't eat meat and I eat two meals a day at work.

- Keep eating out to 100$

- Pack lunches for myself and my partner
post #16 of 1133
1. My name is Heather. I'm a SAHM to ds (3yo) and currently only one foster child (3mo fd). We live in NJ--the NYC burbs where it's very expensive for EVERYTHING.

2. We just paid off every debt we had except the mortgage in June. Now we're taking on approximately $28,000 for house renovations (including replacing all of our lead-covered windows). We can't take it out in a HEL/oC because it puts us in a very uncomfortable position with the equity in our home... and that's okay. But I want this debt paid off asap.

I don't really spend a whole lot unplanned and unnecessary. But I have to get back into the swing of things with managing our money. I went on strike in late July and haven't touched anything since. Thankfully, everything's on auto-pay and I took care of the few things that weren't, but seriously--I haven't tracked my budget in 3 months. If you knew me IRL, your jaw would be on the floor hearing that.

Like happyhippiemomma, I have a "feel good" rush from spending. I just went a month unmedicated for my insulin disorder so they could run some tests on me. The insulin problem IS my depression problem (it's a chemical imbalance) so I'm only now starting to get back on my feet mentally. I need to really get it together in alot of ways--not just money.


3. My plan...

* Get back on my budget--which includes envelopes.

* Move fd's clothing stipend into an envelope, too... and STOP BUYING HER CLOTHES and trying to use the excuse that I have to use up her money (because I have undoubtedly outspent her money)!!

* Finish my holiday shopping list and stick to it--no "extra" cute stuff.

* Sell at least 4 items from the house on eBay (at minimum, get them listed).

* Do a Pantry Challenge (off to start a thread for that if there isn't one)

* Start purging and organizing the house--because there is PLENTY of untapped and unused stuff that I'm going to need in the next few months... if... I... could... juuuust.... FIND THEM!

* Print out the objectives of The Compact and put them on the bathroom mirror, the fridge and the car dashboard.
post #17 of 1133
Hi everyone, I'm Dana SAHM to two - ds (5) and dd (2). Right now we have no budget and really no idea how much we spend a month. I have gone crazy lately with internet shopping: We have SO much stuff and the kids closets are packed with clothes - I just need to stop.

I decided to do this challenge because we moved to a new state this summer and we plan on redoing pretty much every room in our house. If I keep up my shopping we won't be able to afford this. We also need a budget and to start saving regularly. DH really doesn't spend too much. He eats out for lunch quite a bit and has a bit of a commute, but other than that his only purchases our for our projects.


My plan is no internet shopping (w/ one exception. I've picked out my neices christmas presents and I'm waiting for a sale. But I have a gift card which should cover most of the cost).

Buy no clothes for the kids or I - no matter how good a deal something is.

No co-ops, or diaperswappers, or hyenacart.

15 no spend days.

Oh, and follow WW at least 20 days in November. I paid for a 3 month membership and rarely count points

Adding tallies - after checking others posts:
No credit card use 0/29 (1 day needed to finish christmas shopping)
No paypal use 0/28 (need to pay shipping for oct coops)
no spend days 0/15
no clothing shoes bought for kids and I 0/30
followed ww 0/20
post #18 of 1133
mysticpi, those swimmers aren't cheap. turtle and I have been down that road, as well. PM me if you want to talk.
post #19 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticpi View Post
1.

QUESTION: I am wondering how you guys budget savings into your budget. Should I just say all extra $ goes to savings or should I set an amount and give myself some wiggle room for error? (and how much wiggle room?)

oh, and ANOTHER QUESTION. How do you keep track of expenses that don't happen every month? Take clothes or gifts for instance when some months I may not spend any and others overspend.
When we had money, all extra went to savings. I'd pay the bills, see what was left in the checking account and transfer all but the spending money we'd need until next payday into savings.

This is only my first month with a budget, so I haven't figured out how to do extras. What I did this month was list all the necessities and the amounts for them, then divide the remainder into the more "flexible" categories (entertainment, eating out). So, if I needed to buy shoes this month, I guess I'd give myself an amount to spend and then lower one of my extras. Or I'd buy it with my mad money, if that was feasible.
post #20 of 1133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
My name is Grace, I'm a university grant specialist in Austin, TX. Live w/ my partner and our pack/pride (currently at 2 dogs, 3 cats).

Quote:
2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of November. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.
I am trying to pay down debt, while at the same time taking on a greater share of my partner's and my joint expenses. November is going to be a particularly tough month, due to Christmas shopping and paying for plane tickets, as well as paying for the vacation we're taking at Thanksgiving. It's going to be important not to spend any more than necessary.

Quote:
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?
Last month, I cut up my old credit cards and transferred everything to a new 0% card. I now only have two active cards--the 0% one, and my oldest ever one, which is tied to my checking acct. for overdraft protection. I don't plan to use either card for anything EXCEPT plane tickets in November. I also plan to stockpile as many Christmas gifts as I can from thrift stores (I've started this already), and to give myself a cash allowance at the beginning of the month for all frivilous spending and stick to it. I haven't decided yet how much that allowance should be, though.
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