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February No-Spend Challenge -- How did you do? What will you do differently next month? What... - Page 4

post #61 of 1040
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.

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.

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'm Claire. We are a family of 4, with 2 cats, a dog, and a lovely little hamster. I've been doing these challenges for a few months now, and am working on recording and sticking to our budget!

2. Want to avoid accruing any credit card debt (we have a mortgage, car payment, and 2 student loans) and pay off the car as soon as possible. Also want to save for a possible international move in the next year or so.

3. Record all spending against our budget. Meal plan and only one trip to the grocery and gas station per week. Go to costco only once per month and stick to the list. This month my youngest dd and I will be going to visit my grandmother for a week, so take cash and do not spend over that amount. I also have a small amount of personal money that I can spend on whatever I wish- after that is gone, no more frivolous spending! DD2 is outgrowing her clothes- I will check boxes for hand me downs from DD1 and then if she needs more, check the thrift stores. DD1, DH and I do not need anything.

Big spends I'm struggling with... DH is on the prowl for a new laptop. I would like it because our computer is not in a convenient location for me to be able to be with the family while I get work done (or surf MDC ) and to have it for work when I travel, but we do not *need* it. Also, we have a couple house projects- one to create a half wall instead of a banister (not to code and our kids can fall right through it- we have the couch in front of it currently) on our stairs and putting wood flooring into our bedroom cause I'm allergic to dust. Both the house projects are fairly important, but have been put off quite a while. We have no cc debt at the moment and want to keep it that way, but I'm not sure if we'll have enough of a tax return to pay for them both. I'm hoping we will, but if not, I'm needing to look through our budget and see if we can squeeze the money out of somewhere. oh yeah, and our bathroom vanity is falling apart I guess I need to have a discussion with DH about how the laptop is rather low on the priority list
post #62 of 1040
I working thru everyone's intros, but thought I'd post mine, too.

I'm Amanda, 24, newly moved in with my fiance, Ryan. We have a one year old son and are expecting our second child the end of February. Currently, I am working full-time, $9/hr, no benefits. Ryan's working very part-time (6-7 hrs wk) and is in general a SAHD.

Needless to say, we're on a very limited income. I'd like to make the most of our money, and be able to put some away. Until May, when we get married, our parents will continue to cover our car insurance/maintainance. After that, it's all us. I'd like to start saving now, if possible, so that we have a bit of a built-in cushion when May comes.

I think---scratch that. I KNOW that the best way to keep myself from spending is to not carry cash with me. Whether I take $5 or $50, I'll spend it. I was taking $20/wk from my paycheck for "mad money" and recently cut it to $10, but I think this month I'm going to cut it again to $5. We're living in town now; if I NEEDED cash, I can get to an ATM easily enough.

This month will also be a bit of a learning experience: we'll find out how much our internet/cable/phone and electric cost us.

Okay. Set in stone goals:
*Limit grocery spending to $200/mo ($50/wk). I know this will be tough!
*Limit household spending to $50. (There are a few things we still need...like a plunger!)
*No eating out. This includes fast food, convenience stores, etc... The exception is my $5 "mad money." I suppose if I want to blow that on a Whopper I can
*Track ALL spending. I need to know where my money is going for a change!
*10 no-spend days (I know this is low, but I want to make it an achieveable goal!)

Right now, I'm strangely excited. I expect by the end of the month, the novelty will have worn off
post #63 of 1040

I want in:)

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

I'm the mom to 2 great boys (one is 18 and one is 6). I've been married for almost 20 years, and I'm not even 40 yet! I am the Literacy Staff Developer for 4 elementary schools, and I LOVE teaching!!!! I am a spender, and I don't know when to say NO!!! But...I'm working on it.

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 are wanting to get out of debt. We are sick of not having any savings and sick of the growing debt. I am wanting to stick to a budget, which means spending significantly less. This thread will help me be accountable.

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 know that I will spend to some degree because I am on the go constantly. But...my game plan is to stay within all the budgets I have set (groceries, gas, eating out, personal spending $$$ - each of us gets a certain amount for the week). I am also planning on staying away from Target!!!!


Some personal goals:


McDonald's Coffee /15 cups (and that is cutting WAY back for me)
Working Out /15 times
Staying within budget /29 days
TRUE no spend days /15 days (this will be HUGE for me)
(not including paying bills)
post #64 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself. I'm a SAHM to 2 little ones with another baby due in April. I've been part of the No-Spend challenges in the past during 2007, but fell off the wagon pretty hard at Christmas time.

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 really want our bank account balance to grow rather than live paycheck to paycheck. We want to learn to live more simply and frugally. We were doing really well with this until late November.

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 a cash envelope system for my spending. This really helps me avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store and unneeded purchases.

*I will also use cash only for my household supplies and planned expenses. My planned expenses include $100 towards spring clothes for my kids and $100 towards a small list of baby items (bouncy seat, socks, bibs, etc).

*DH and I will have a planning meeting on both paydays to discuss where our money will be allotted for that pay period. We have had good luck with this strategy.

*I will not be allowing myself any snacks or coffees out, because even when I do it on a rare occasion it really adds up!

*I will plan my meals before shopping to avoid unneccessary trips to the store.
post #65 of 1040
My name is Kristyn, married to Jacob. I don't have any children but I'm a part time worker/full time student. He works full time and goes to school full time.

We need to be able to put our house on the market by June at the latest and we still have some projects to finish up, pretty big ones at that, so we need to save every penny.

My plans include eating at home more and sticking to my pre-determined budget!
post #66 of 1040
1. My name is Michelle and I have 2 DD ages 4 and 1. I live with my parents and I am a SAHM. My husband is in the Air Force in Afghanistan and will be home in April.

2. I decided to do no spending because I have too much clutter and unused items. I also want to increase my savings and continue to save more after DH gets home. I pay about 300 in rent a month to my parents and buy groceries, montessori preschool for DD#1 and am almost done paying off my laser hair removal treatments. I do not have debt and want to pay cash and not use debit cards. I live near Chicago and there is a lot of theft of CC #'s and debit cards #'s. I like SAH and want to budget/track spending better so my money is not disappearing every month.

3. I plan to use a cash envelope system for my spending and track my spending in a daily budget. I plan to post any unnessary purchases here!
post #67 of 1040
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.

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.

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. Kathee, SAHM to Katie-Bird, 19mos. DH is military. He hits the halfway point (10 years) in April.

2. Spend nothing? Ha ha ha! Spend less, definitely. Not because we're out of control. On the contrary - we have no debt, and I just figured out today that over 16% of our gross went into IRAs and Investments last year. I know we also put a teeny bit more in savings, but, I didn't count that, as i can't find a statement from last Jan to figure it out exactly. HOWEVER, this year, I'd like to up that to at least 30% between the three (savings, IRA, investments). Dh has gotten one raise this year, and is due for another in April (10 year mark), so, I'd like to take advantage of it. It's a game to me. And I don't like losing

3. Plan. We already keep and maintain a budget. I'm going to tighten it up a bit in certain areas and more carefully track certain purchases in the grocery category. I've been careful about not driving too often, and combining trips, and that has cut down on a lot of gas (I haven't filled mine since the 9th, and I've still got about a quarter tank left - DH has to commute, so, that's that).

So the goals are:
19/29 no drive days (2/wk and 2 extra)
19/29 no spend days (not including auto pays for utilities, rent, etc)
24/29 no eat out/take out days - including starbucks (!)
$275 total on groceries (this will be interesting)
$1493.70 into savings/investments/IRAs
$17924.40 into s/i/Is for the YEAR (I figure this is a good way to keep motivated through the year)

And the tallies are:
0/19 no drive days
0/19 no spend days
0/24 no eat out/take out days
$0/275 on groceries
$0/1493.7 into s/i/Is
$2700/17924.40 into s/i/Is for the YEAR
post #68 of 1040
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.
Hi, I'm Ann. I'm a SAH and homeschooling mama of 4 usually delightful kids.

Quote:
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.
I've been participating on this thread for a couple of months, and it has really helped me be more aware of my spending. We have a some credit card debt from when we moved into a new house last summer, and if I stick to the budget the debt should be gone soon. I want to be out of debt and start building up our savings again.

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?
We have written out a pretty generous budget. As long as I stick to the budget, I will be fine. I will also post here daily to keep track of my spending.

Last month I used this thread to keep track of all my monthly goals in one place- spending, no drive and exercise goals. I'm planning to do the same this month.

My goals for February:
Track Grocery Spending: $0/$550
Track eating out/take out/entertainment spending: $0/$150
Track my gasoline spending: $0/$180
Track household/ misc. spending: $0/$200
Track frivolous spending: $0/$0
True no-spend: 0/18 days
No frivolous spending: 0/29 days
No credit card use: 0/31 days
Stay within 15 miles of home: 0/22 days
No-drive: 0/12 days
Exercise: 0/1000 minutes on the treadmill
post #69 of 1040

I feel the pressure...

I feel the pressure of February coming up and I'm nervous about it...so I've been practicing since I declared that I'm joining. Today I went into a little local boutique kids store that I never go into because a) they're ridiculously expensive and b) I don't need anything but I'm a sucker for signs on every window that read "SALE!!!". Well I went in - was still sticker-shocked even at the sale items - and left empty-handed. And I felt happy about it. Whew - a close call.
post #70 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm Nichole, wifey-poo to K and mom to three great kids, the coolest dog ever and a cat that I look at cross-eyed sometimes. I'm a part time student and do some part time work from home.

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.

I've decided to spend significantly less this month because I am living beyond my means, have cc debt for the first time in my life, am aquiring student debt as we speak and have nothing in savings. My husband is working two jobs to support us while I'm in school and while he is tireless and selfless, I miss him and want him to cut back down to one. My problem is not big purchases, or even shopping for "things". My problem is food and the way I grocery shop or spontaneously get fast food (blech, I know). I need to create a new way of managing our money now,while we're young and still have time to save for retirement and college for the kids. We also have a dream of getting a little bit of land and building a modest home and I'd like to do that when we're still young enough to enjoy it.


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?

My goals:
1. Track everything. Keep every reciept so that I can look at it and know that every purchase on there is a good purchase.

2. NO drive thrus. At all. No cocoa for the kids, no "quick bite", nothing. I am allowed to get Papa Murphy's once a week. It's cheap and always means two meals for us.

3. Eat out of the pantry and plan my meals before I go to the store. Eat more beans and rice. Perhaps this will help me with my other goal to lose ten pounds.

4. One bottle of wine per week. DH and I really enjoy a good glass of wine, but we don't really need it. Right?

5. Pay my bills on time to avoid late fees.

6. Start using a register to record debit-card spending. Good way to avoid those pesky over-draft fees.

Ok. Starting out small. I really hope this will help me. I feel this huge weight over me that comes from not being in control of our finances.
post #71 of 1040
I'm definitely in again this month.

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

I am Jill from MN. Mom of 6 (dd19, ds15, ds9, ds8, dd6 & dd2). Live with dh and 4 youngest children. We are also homeschooling.

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 desperately need to cut way back on our monthy spending. I am quite the shopaholic and we have way too much credit card debt. I am also working on decluttering my home.

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?

Here is my plan. I have adjusted some things from last month. I hope that this will make it easier to feel like I have accomplished something. I was quite frustrated during January.

Groceries $750
Gas $200
Coffee $25
Frivolous Spending $100
Birthday for DS #2 $50
15 no spend days
26 no stores days (grocery or Big Box)
No Credit Cards
2x eat out with hubby and/or kids
22 hrs decluttering

I really learned a lot from doing this challenge in January. I definitely need to watch my grocery spending, frivolous spending and decluttering.

Jill
post #72 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm K married for almost 4 years to my high school sweetheart. We have two boys ages 5 and 2 this month (17th). We just graduated college last May, so this is our first year "in the real world". We just bought a house and will be moving in in March. We have a savings account that was really nice...but most of it will go for our closing costs/appliances/blinds. The house was a forclosure so there are more out of pocket costs than expected. Anyway, I am a great budgeter, but also a great spender! The infamous Target gets us all, especially when it's your main grocery store as well!

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 need to be very tight because of the new house. I want to have some savings left over when this is all said and done. We have A LOT of school debt and even though it was totally worth it, it takes a toll on our monthly budget. As does daycare. My husbands old car also broke down the other day so we are down to one car until my FIL comes in March to fix it...but at least I don't have to buy a new one...YET!

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?

Game plan for the month:

15/no spend days
$450 on groceries ($50 less than usual)
NO unnessary spending
The only thing we have coming up will be my son's 2nd bday. We will spend max of $20 on his gift and maybe $50 extra dollars for his bday party...I don't think of that as unnessary do you ladies?
The rest of our budget is always accounted for...I don't have a problem staying in line...oh except for:
going out to eat.
We will limit that to 4/this month

Alright...good luck to us all!
post #73 of 1040
Alright, well since tomorrow is the start I'd better solidify my goals!

$600 on groceries (but I already spent $120 the other day which I'm including, so that's $120/600)

14 no drive days
29 no credit days
2 eating out days (hopefully none though)
10 work days
NO frivolous spending!
$150 into savings
post #74 of 1040
Okay, it's official.

I'm a WAH mom of 1 dd, who will turn 4 on Feb 28. I also have a dog and a cat..and a husband!

We moved into our dream (small, old, on a bus route) house last February. We have everything tightly budgeted and are well-versed in second-hand shopping. HOWEVER. Last month I read a thread about food budgets for a family of 3 and ours was just about the highest, at $600 per month. Granted, we live in Nova Scotia and food is expensive here-especially local, organic, in the winter. But still. So without even realizing it, I was unofficially doing a pantry challenge and last week I brought us in $24 under budget for food! Yeah! And we ate really well.

So my goal for this month is to do that every week. At the end of the month, I will have enough saved (along with what we already budget), to stock our pantry and do a freezer organic meat order, which gives us a discount of 15% and also helps me plan meals so much better. I thought our pantry was bare, but I couldn't BELIEVE what I was able to find to cook. So for me this thread is totally tied in with the pantry challenge.

I am also trying to come in under budget with my personal allowance. I want to have $40 left in my personal account every 2 weeks, before payday. Right now I spend every cent of it.

We are car-free by choice and believe me, that DOES keep me away from stores! But it also means that sometimes, we do pay more for things because it just isn't worth it to spend a whole morning out at a box store or searching for sales out of our neighbourhood. Mostly I buy things second-hand or at the farmers' market and any premium we pay I just consider part of our transportation budget. We're still saving tons over having a vehicle.

My major challenge this month will be dh's b'day, dd's b'day (we're doing a preschool party) and valentine's day; all of which I love.

I have two ultimate dreams...solar hot water and an upright piano (and learning to play)! I need to free up cash for these goals.
post #75 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

Hi, my name is Donna, and this will be my first time here. I am pretty good at being frugal, mostly due to small income, but I also enjoy the simplicity. My husband is temporarily laid off since November, so we have very little to work with, but somehow there are always a few unneeded purchases. We have 2 toddlers and one on the way. My husband and I are opposites, I like to save, he likes to spend. I have to learn to better hold my tongue sometimes, or we will end up walking away with anything I comment on because he has to buy it for me, even if it's with the credit card. He gets angry if I don't buy what he wants me to have. I now have the only credit card, because he realizes he has major spending problems. Anyways, I am not perfect, I want to improve my frivolous spending and hope this thread will help hold me more accountable. We are currently on a business trip with my husband (the company is still sending him to training even though he is not working right now) and will be until Feb. 2, so far the trip has been somewhat good as far as the spending goes, but not as well as I had hoped. I am going to try not to spend anything more than food in the next 3 days, but I also want to keep the peace between hubby and I, and as I said I don't have complete self control. The only thing to do in the town we are at is shop, and after being in a hotel all day with the kids, I at least need to window shop to get out of the room. It rains all day here

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 a lot of debt, and are struggling to pay bills right now because of husband's lay off, this does keep our spending mostly under control, but I want to improve it even more.

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?

Game plan for the month:

*Work on eliminating junk food and instead buy cheaper, healthier whole foods.
*Stick to the budget!
*No Impulse buying- buy only what we need.
*Continue to pack lunches/snacks instead of eating out while running errands
*Use tax return towards debt-not shopping spree
*Continue to track all spending
*Find more things to do at home-cleaning, organizing, repairs, reading, taking walks, spending family time, rather than making trips to stores.
*Post frivolous spending to help hold me accountable
*Add to savings account if possible
*Do not use credit card!
post #76 of 1040
I've been thinking about my goals for the month and I want to get them down here while I've got a minute.

No spend days 0/19
Grocery spending 0/$600
Miscellaneous (pull-ups, meals out, laundry soap etc.) 0/$200
Meals eaten out 0/3
Personal spending 0/$50
Gas 0/$250
Playgroup drop in fees 0/$20
Toys, video games, movie rentals 0/$0

I also pledge not to buy anything from the grocery store that I cannot make myself including cookies, bread buns, instant oatmeal and frozen meals.

Absolutely no spending :
Budgeted spending
Not budgeted but necessary
completely unnecessary or over budget spending :
post #77 of 1040
Thread Starter 
My Goals:

22 No-Spend Days: 0/22
10 Let the Car Rest Days: 0/10
29 Fast-Food-Free Days: 0/29

I want to avoid fast food -- that is where I slipped up last month. I spent a TON of money on fast food.

I would like to keep my frivolous spending under $100.

I would like to work on decluttering and actually getting the items I have decided to cull OUT of my house. I have boxes of "decluttered" items cluttering up the junk room.

I would like for there no longer to be a need for a junk room.

I'm thinking this month if I can concentrate on what we don't need in our home...if I can try to free up even more space and air so that I can appreciate having extra room...then I'll be less inclined to fill it up with more things.

I'm trying to get my home back to managable state so I can clean it more easily...and then instead of rushing out to the stores so I can enjoy looking at tastefully arranged, clean items...I can just look around at these items in my home.

No-spending is part of the simplification, be-happy-with-what-I-have urge I'm having these days.

Okay...just musing to myself...helps to write it down.
post #78 of 1040
I'm a WAH wife with a little one due in early July.

Hubby and I are in the midst of getting settled in the States after several years abroad. Consequently, the last three months have been REALLY expensive. Most of the expenses have been budgeted (with the exception of the ones we got stuck with because the Army screwed up his orders ... I guess he was supposed to leave me in Korea!), but now it's time to buckle down and rebuild savings before Baby-Makes-Three puts in his/her appearance.


Here's the plan:

--Groceries: $400
--Laundry: $15
--Personal spending: $50
--Eating out: No more than once per week
--Savings: $700
--No book shopping this month! With the 3,000+ kids' books we already have (I was a kindergarten/ESL teacher when we met ...), Baby really doesn't *need* the rest of XYZ series, even if they are now out of print and a great deal on eBay!
post #79 of 1040
I'm in, after failing miserably in January. But this time I am SERIOUSLY committed. I did great last November and I can do it again.

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

I'm a SAHM to a two-year old, married to a wonderful guy who has three kids from a prior marriage. The two younger ones are with us part of the time and DH has paid a HUGE chunk of his paycheck toward child support for the past eleven years.

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

We moved to a much nicer, more expensive part of town last February and now have a humongous mortgage. We paid off all our debts (so long, student loan!) when we sold our last house to simplify things but we still have that huge mortgage. We need to tighten our belts if we want to stay here and getting ahead would be nice, too.

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 think I've solved one of my issues (which is buying non-necessary stuff at the grocery store and putting it under my budget for groceries) by listing everything I spend money on and sorting out what was necessary and what was not.

Now that I've tackled that, I need to address an even bigger issue: using my credit card and not counting that as money spent for the day (and thinking that when I pay it off I'll count it then). What ends up happening is that it gets out of control and then I can't pay it off without some serious juggling.

I need to not use my credit card at all, but since we do use it to buy gas at the pump and for a few other reasonable things, I'm going to transfer the money from my checking to my credit card the same day. And list it here for all to see.

I'm also going to continue keeping up with the budget, logging things in right away and keeping my checkbook balanced.

Good luck everyone!
post #80 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm a SAHM to two boys, with a baby due in May. DH works FT but we have a lot of debt, mainly because we have never both worked - before we had kids I supported him with study, since kids we have had various arrangements but none very financially profitable!

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.

I need to save money for our financial security. At the moment we limp from month to month spending money that does not belong to us - it belongs to the bank!!

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 need to work on not buying non-essential groceries like chocolate, cake, soda, blah blah blah.
Cut down on car use.
Resist the urge to acquire things.
Declutter and note how many "things" we already have!!
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › February No-Spend Challenge -- How did you do? What will you do differently next month? What did you learn about your spending from doing this...