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February No-Spend Challenge -- How did you do? What will you do differently next month? What... - Page 6

post #101 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityChic View Post
Well shoot, I got to work and realized I forgot my lunch. Now I am going to have to go get something. Ugh.

My DH keeps a spare lunch, of sorts, as backup, just in case.
post #102 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm Heather and I'm a stay at home mom of two kids. I really blew the budget in January and I NEED to do way better.

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

We have several large extra expenses coming in the next few months. We have a $700. CSA payment in March, a $1500 dollar trip to take the kids to see their grandparents in May. They haven't seen the kids in more than a year. We also have $1500 dollars in expenses suddenly demanded for an event w/my in-laws ( that was supposed to cost us nothing that I can't get out of.

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?

I plan to use an envelope system for necessary purchases, not eat out and use up my pantry backlog.

GOALS
No Spend Days - 22/29
Eating Out - 0/29
Grocery/Household Budget=$250.00
Pet Supplies = $100
Misc./Personal = $100
Gas = $150.00 (dh commutes)
EXCEPTIONS
Valentines day weekend away = $200
Joining YMCA = $78
Birthday Gift = $25
post #103 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*Jaime View Post
My DH keeps a spare lunch, of sorts, as backup, just in case.
I should do this. What does he keep around?
post #104 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by CityChic View Post
I should do this. What does he keep around?
mine does too. i got him those tuna meal packets, yk comes with mayo, relish, crackers. not the most frugal, ecological, etc, but he'll eat it. is eating it today.

clif and kashi bars are another "in case" item he has.

nak
post #105 of 1040
Thread Starter 
My DH does the same thing. He has those Indian Meal packets that they sell at Costco (he's vegetarian). He has spinach paneer and chana dal ready to go.

Most of the time he takes leftovers, but on days he forgets he's got the backup Indian food.
post #106 of 1040
Thread Starter 
Goals:
22 No-Spend Days: 1/22
10 Let the Car Rest Days: 1/10
29 Fast-Food-Free Days: 1/29

01..

Okay, off and running.

We are having an icy snowstorm in Vermont today...no school for the kiddos. That is making it easy for it to be a no-drive day and having kids around all day is making it hard to internet shop -- so off to a great start!
post #107 of 1040
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It's not cheating if you plan your spending/driving, right?
Nope, not cheating. We're not expecting you to be Ghandi...especially your first month.

Most of us set goals of not-spending for a certain number of days each month...there are some gals who can no-spend every single day of the month, but they are the exception. We're thrilled if you get 50% of the month no-spend.

There is no cheating here. If you spend, we forgive you. FIDO Forget about It and Drive On. Try harder next time.
post #108 of 1040
2/1~$11 in clothing (much needed undergarments for girls), $20 for bday gift, $44 in groceries (budgeted), $51 in budgeted haircuts for dh and ds.

grocery spending $44/$250
clothing spending $11/$100
haircuts $51/$45
gas spending 0/$125
eating out 0/2
bday gift spending $20/$35

What a way to start the month.
post #109 of 1040
Hey ladies! Missed you all in January, what a rough month that was. But after we got to the 15th it was easier and things have improved. Now to keep it that way!

So we have our tax refund in hand and we also did a debt consolidation loan. We don't actually have that much debt (about $6k and half of that went to sears for the washer & dryer we need and tools for the Mr). So the loan will give us a lower monthly pymt to just 1 place vs 4 and lower interest rate and will be paid off by next year rather than who knows when with the non combined debt. Anywho...so this month will be a little spendy since we always use our refund to buy items we do need and to have a little fun, especially since the Mr will be gone most of the next 18 mths.

Soo with that I hate to post what today's spending will be as mr is headed to Seattle to get us both a mac laptop. Something we had been planning and wanting for over a year. Other items will be a new set of bunkbeds and 5 new mattresses as well as a bed for us. I don't think I am going to record those totals, they are necessary but still a spend.


Feb 1.

Legend
--
frivolous/unnecessary spend
--necessary spend
:--no spend

Goals for the month
  • stick to the list we made for needed items to purchase with tax refund
  • Sell or freecycle items we are no longer using and taking up space in our home
  • place at least $1k of refund into savings as a safety net.
15/29 no spend days
20/29 no drive days
post #110 of 1040
Double post. Maybe MDC should look into spending a little more :
post #111 of 1040
Since we are iced in, I know how today is going to end so, I'll post now.

Feb 1: Paid rent, charity, 529, Auto Insurance. All necessary (in my book), non-discretionary spending. Placed $300 in savings. No car use (my car is not a sled ). Dinner is being prepped, so there will be no takeout.

So, is today a no-spend day or a spend day, but a completely good one? I'm a little confused...if you spend, but it's something like rent/insurance/etc where you don't have any wiggle room, it doesn't count? But, things like groceries, or household items, or something like that that you NEED but have wiggle room is a "good" spend? And then you have your frivolous spends, right? Help me out all y'all veterans.

1/19 no drive days
?/19 no spend days
1/24 no eat out/take out days
$0/275 on groceries
$300/1493.7 into s/i/Is
$3000/17924.40 into s/i/Is for the YEAR
post #112 of 1040
Can I just say how jealous I am of everyone who can do the no drive days? I work 6 days a week so I am lucky to get one no drive in a week :

Quote:
Originally Posted by CityChic View Post
I should do this. What does he keep around?
He keeps ramen noodles. Not the healthiest choice, but all he needs to add is water, toss in the microwave, and it is good.
post #113 of 1040
Technically, I spent this last night, but I decided it would count as February, since it came out of Feb's budget. Spending so far:

2/1
$37.76 groceries (out of $50 for this week)
$400 rent

So, not a no spend day, per se, but only necessities so far. I do have to stop at the store later and get some stuffing mix for Sunday, and a toilet brush, toilet cleaner, liquid measuring cup, and a plunger. My goal, though, is to get ONLY those things--for me, that's challenge alone!

Goals for Feb:
$37.76/$200 grocery
$0/$50 household
$0/$20 personal
$0/$40 gas
0/10 no-spend

Right now, I'm strangely excited. I expect by the end of the month, the novelty will have worn off

ETA: Damn it, I want a legend like everyone else

: = Unnecessary
= Unplanned, but necessary
= No spend
= Necessary/planned
post #114 of 1040
1st:
$900 rent
$16 at McDonald's for lunch (1 of my 3 budgeted meals out)
$150 for textbook deposits for my homeschooled son.
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
7:

Today we had to pay $150 in deposits for my son to switch from unschooling to a correspondence school. It was totally unexpected but necessary since he has chosen this educational path. We will get the money back in June but I have to list it as spent for now. Talk about a budget-buster.

On the other hand, I parked in front of Tim Horton's this morning to get my coffee and remembered it was February 1st so I drove home and made my own coffee.

I promised the boys McDonald's last week so I am considering that a budgeted expense and one of mny 3 allowable meals out this month.


19 No spend days 0/19
$600 in Grocery spending 0/$600
$200 Miscellaneous $166/$200 ($150 unexpected textbook fees)
3 Meals eaten out 1/3
$50 Personal spending 0/$50
3 tanks of gas 0/$250
4 Playgroup drop in fees 0/$20
NO! Toys, video games, movie rentals 0/$0



: Absolutely no spending
Budgeted spending
Not budgeted but necessary
: completely unnecessary or over budget spending
post #115 of 1040
Already spending today, but it was planned. DH & DD are going to a Chinese New Year celebration, and we are going to do carry out for dinner afterward. That's okay by me; we did pretty good last month. Plus, this will be dinner for tonight and tomorrow.

Already, I've made a big dent in the postage budget.

Tracking:
0/15 - No Spend Days
0/19 - No Spend + Budget Days
$14.57/$50 postage/swap budget
0/2 thrift store trips
0/5 fast food meals
Go to the family's investment guy

- budgeted spending
- NO spend
- sold something
- Ooops! Unneccesary and outside the budget

2/1
post #116 of 1040
I think I will join in this month. I am also following DR's TTMO. I had pretty much a no spend Dec/January, so I think this should be easy considering I have NO extra money in our budget for ANYTHING!!! It is really very scary! So I guess it is easy if the money just isn't there beckoning.

My name is Heather and I am a full-time WOHM to Maia who is 11 mo today.(would love to be a SAHM mom but just not financially possible unless we win the lottery).

So my goals are:
$0/$300 Groceries
1/29 no spend days
0/6 no drive days (weekends), that may change if I go to the gym or grocery shopping.


We do have some planned expenses for car inspections/repairs and to finish up renovations in my DD's room. But that money is either coming from our sinking funds account or our emergency fund. I need to drive an hour and half later in the month for a no charge Infant photoshoot I am doing for a friend for my portfolio. Also got news we are not getting any tax refund this year (may have to owe).
post #117 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
Hi! I'm Chelsea, a SAHM to two girls, ages 3 and almost 2. We recently moved cross-country and DH had a complete change of jobs, which has resulted in a much happier and stress-free life for our family. It has also had a huge effect on our budget, as he is making a lot less.

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of February. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.
Well, because our budget is bare minimum, and I would like to make sure my family gets fed this month, lol.

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?
One thing we did is to open a new checking account at a local bank (our old bank doesn't have branches here). We plan to still use the old account for direct deposit of DH's check and for online bill pay, rent, etc.; basically all the bills. Then we will put a set amount into the other bank checking account that is our spending budget. We won't be able to overspend, because that is it. This will help extremely because DH and I are both very concrete people--it's difficult to see an account with a two thousand dollar balance and realize that 1800 of it needs to be spent on bills, even though they aren't due yet. This way we have a concrete way of dividing the money. Much like the cash/envelope system, only with banks and checking accounts. ;-)

So here are my goals then:

No-Spend Days = 20/29
No-Drive Days (for me, not counting Wed/Sun church activities) = 20/29
No-Eating-Out Days = 28/29

Spending goals

$50/week groceries
$50/month gas
$20/month eating out or misc.
Use tax refund to build $1000 Emergency Fund and then pay off credit cards before it gets spent on something else.

Can I also just say that this is going to be a challenge, because we are not used to living by a budget at all. I am all for it, and DH is because he has to be (there just isn't more money coming from anywhere, though I am trying to find some at-home work I could do to bring in some extra). Here goes!
post #118 of 1040
We've already been out for the day, so I can post my totals now:

Feb
1: $13.00 at Kids play gym & a smoothie for mom, out of my weekly allowance

Key:
No spend day
Planned/budgeted spending
: Unplanned but necessary spending
Unplanned and unnecessary spending

Progress:
$120/$600 grocery budget
0/14 no drive days
1/29 no credit days
0/2 eating out days (hopefully none though)
0/10 work days
1/29 no frivolous spending!
0/$150 into savings
post #119 of 1040
I am home from paying bills and getting groceries and somehow I managed to end the day with an extra $20.00. Hooray! It got put in an envelope for our "tree cutting guy" who is our debt snowball right now. I did good at the stores and stayed right at my food/household budget.

I have a success story to share I forgot to eat before we left and my stomach was GROWLING when we got out of the grocery store. Normally I would have drove through one of the many drive throughs I was surrounded by- but I had my son climb in the back and dig through our groceries until he found me an apple. I ate it, felt better, and didn't blow any money on fast food. Yeah, I know its small, but small adds up, right?
post #120 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Orchid View Post



i also need to get my grocery spending down. it is about $100-$120 a week. i KNOW that i can do better than that by planning better. the problem is that i only cook on Sundays (3 big soup/stew/chili type meals) to last the whole week because I work at night and dh has to feed the girls. a lot of the stuff i have on hand is for single-meal recipes. also we spend too much on bread and cereal. don't know how to stop that because dh and the girls like them.
blah blah blah

hope this works!

What about baking a few loaves of bread while you are already doing your cooking on Sunday? There are some great and healthy bread recipes out there and IMO nothing smells better than fresh baked bread in your home.

Do you have a Big Lots by you? We find great organic cereals for way cheep at ours. That helps cut the cost of cereal a lot in our home. My silly DH will eat an entire box at one sitting. LOL

Just some ideas I had when reading your post.
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