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February No-Spend Challenge -- How did you do? What will you do differently next month? What... - Page 5

post #81 of 1040
hi vanessa here... newly frugal and loving it!

dh is a hard one... he tends to eat out when he is working outside the home to maximize his working. maybe this will help him stop if he knows we are accountable.

currently we have a little over $3k in CC debt from an unexpected car repair right after we moved we are on the "turning your debt into wealth" program and i think we'll have it paid off in 3-4 months. other than that, our mortgage is it. i currently use quicken personal for the mac to track our personal finances.

i am an impulse/treat youself buyer. i shop the sunday ads and always end up with something for me or the girls for $30 or less... but that is $120 a month! so i'd like to cut that. and i'd like to stop eating out every week. right now we do it about once a week... i'd like to get it to where we do it as a couple once a month and as a family once a month.

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!
post #82 of 1040
Time to get this started! I'm just posting my goals (added one) and my January statistics.

Joint goal for Feb: just one--STAY ON BUDGET!


Personal goals for Feb:
-stay on budget (including no more than $100 misc spending, $50 postage)
-no credit card spending
-at least 14 no spend days
-no more than 2 thrift shopping trips
-no more than 5 lunches and/or coffees at work
-pay at least $700 on credit card


January:
No-spend days: 12/31
Lunches/coffees purchased: 6
Off-budget spending: -$400
Credit card payments: $793
post #83 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
My name is Kelsie. I'm single, with one fur baby (my dog Brownie). My major spending weaknesses are eating out, and random little "things" that I think I need... I have never had (and don't want) any credit cards because I *know* I will not be able to handle them responsibly. I've seen my brother struggle for years with horrible credit card debt and he recently filed for bankruptcy because of it. I can see myself falling into the same trap, so I just stay far away!

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of January. Memorize these goals and recitethem to yourself before all purchases.
I am terrible with money. I really don't know why, but I do know that I need to find a way to get better! January (my first no-spend month) was my first month out of a ridiculous cycle of doom where I ask would my boss for a pay advance at least once a month. This had been going on for at least 4 months, if not longer, and I NEED to keep from slipping back in! I'm making more money at work now (more hours and a small raise), and I really want to be able to live within my means and save for emergencies and special treats (Burning Man, and a trip to Seattle)!

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 for this month:
  • Save ALL receipts. I did really well with this last month except I forget to ask for a receipt when one isn't automatically given to me or offered (e.g. getting gas with cash).
  • Create a budget for February (and future months) and stick to it!
  • Stay out of all stores other than the Co-op, Winco, Ross, dollar and thrift stores. Dollar stores have a $5 per trip, 2 trips per month limit! Ross and thrift stores have a one trip per month/$20 limit!
  • 20 no-spend days (TRUE no-spend days)
  • Under $60 in social spending (drinks, dinners, movies, etc.)
  • Yoga at least 3 times per month
  • Take a 1/2 hour+ walk at least 8 times this month
  • Start SAVING! I've got 4 difference things I need to save for so I'm going to start by making my own "piggy banks" for things like Burning man, A trip to Seattle, and gifts/holidays. That way I can keep my savings account for emergencies.
  • Keep at work eating to a minimum (less than $25 per pay month)
  • Spend tax return only on budgeted expenses (car registration, fix computer, etc.

Last month was a bit of a bust when it comes to my goals, but I still spent WAY less that I would have otherwise, so this month I'm just going to focus a little more on meeting my goals, AND saving money!

January's goal results:
  • 28/31 Save ALL receipts.
  • 29/25 Stay out of all stores other than the Co-op, and Winco (dollar store "emergencies" only. $5 per trip limit, 2 trips per month MAX) (I only count this if I buy something at an off limit store )
  • 17/20 true no-spend days :
  • $46.20/$25 social spending
  • 0/2 Yoga sessions this month
  • $27.40/$30 worth at-work eating (I get 30% off and it comes out of my paycheck)
  • Approx. ~$60/$0 out of budget spending
post #84 of 1040
OK, I'm in.

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

I'm a SAHM and DH is a teacher. Money is tight right now. After paying our bills we have about $400 left to last us 2 weeks, and that's for gas, groceries, etc. So I have to watch every penny right now. We do have some savings, not a lot. We owe about 6K in credit card debt, down from 10K which is good but not good enough. We keep rolling it over to 0% credit cards, so we're not paying any interest. We pay about $200 a month to the credit card debt and it is taking forever to go down.

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.

So we don't have to dip into our savings account. To pay more to the credit card bills. To get further away from the edge of totally broke!

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?

Eat all meals at home
Plan frugal meals and stick to grocery list
Close-to-home or at-home activities
Library videos
Baking at home rather than buying cookies, etc.
post #85 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
I am KC, SAHM to two boys (5 & 3) and TTC'ing #3. We are a homeschooling family and at home a lot of the time. We are starting an injectables cycle to try to get PG which will require spending on gas to and from the IF Clinic, copays, meds and supplies.

I have been trying to read through all the other introductions for 2 days but I haven't made it through - so I am just jumping in.

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.
After many years of my DH doing the bills and neglecting a "budget" - I am taking over. My first step is to take control and STOP the spending. We have been spending beyond our means and getting ourselves in to all sorts of screwed up. I will be tracking every cent we spend and really getting a handle on where our $$ is going.


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 cash. Cash is too tempting for us - it doesn't "count". All purchases will be made with ATM/Check card to be more easily tracked and accountable.
*include a diet Pepsi in the lunches/snacks I already pack for DH so he has no excuse to visit the vending machines
*don't buy anything I can make myself - treats, goodies, etc.
*no eating out/take out
*no "entertainment" spending this month - no extra videos (we have Netflix), no toys (birthday & Christmas just passed - we have plenty), no extra outings (if the rain doesn't let up - the boys and I can do 1 indoor play/swim/bounce place)
*trying for a pantry/freezer challenge - buy minimum necessary to supplement what we already have on hand
post #86 of 1040

Silly Question

I know I've seen directions for this, but now I can't find them

What is the easiest way to update my posting each day? Right now I'm thinking I need to go to the original posting of my goals, copy them and then paste them into a reply post and make my changes. Is there an easier way?
post #87 of 1040
Introduction.

I do not count fixed expenses/bill like rent, electric, phone, etc. or gift card expenses. I do count any variable expense (food, h&b, cats, dining out, entertainment, etc.).

01 ::: Paid rent, electric & gas
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post #88 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself. I'm Cari, homeschooling /SAHM to 3 little men and wife to one big boy We live in Australia so I guess our cost of living is reasonably high.. a typical grocery budget for a 2week period is about $300, mostly fruit, veg, meat.. fairly few processed crappy things.

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.. according to our monthly on paper budget, we should have PLENTY of money left over.. but we never do.. we get down to having nothing left in the bank and It's just ridiculous! I want to track our spending and see WHERE this surplus is going. We also have a large power bill coming due (long story short, power company screwed up & cancelled our direct debit when they xferred our service during a move.. I never noticed & assumed it was coming out :

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?

*dh is handing over his debit card.. he is notorious for picking up mcdonalds or some red bulls on the way to work at night! 5bucks here.. 8bucks there.. it adds up. (last night he spent 1/4 of what was left in the bank buying a workmate, who should have KNOWN to bring his lunch, dinner at mcdonalds.. when he wasn't even GOING there

*I will NOT pick up an iced coffee every time I head to the check outs at the grocery store, I promise! I go in for milk & bread.. end up with 2iced coffee's (can't not get dh one too, about 5bucks for the2) every bloody time.. I figure I can save 50bucks this month, give or take a few, if I make myself buy only ONE iced coffee a week (thursday morning swim class for the boys )

*Our big problem is taking out 20bucks to do such & such.. spending the 10 or whatever on that.. then where does the OTHER 10 go??? vanishes! I'm guessing the bank fees for just doing the individual transaction would be way less than the amount of money we blow, so I'll try NOT taking out lump sums.

*Give DH 20bucks at the start of the week for his red bulls or what have you.. after it's gone, it's GONE (he's on board with this plan )

***post on here every day I don't spend money that wasn't budgeted! (well post on here every day.. but you know what I mean lol)
post #89 of 1040
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
Hello, I'm Jenny. SAHM to one lovely four year old girl and wife to one lovely 33 year old man.

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 live in a small house and we are so beyond our capacity for stuff here. I need to stop shopping for recreation. I need to cultivate my non-shopping hobbies. I want to start putting more money in savings again and put more money towards our mortgage each month. Another big goal of mine this month is to use all that shopping time to declutter 'round these parts.

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?
*Stay out of the stores. I know if I step in one I will find all kinds of things to spend money on.
*Track spending every day.
*Enjoy cheap/free hobbies & actvities. For example,we want to stencil dd's new dresser & we already have most, if not all, of the supplies. I'd love to do things like that rather than just mindlessly shop all weekend.
*Declutter to find the stuff I've already purchased that I've forgotten about. It will almost be like shopping!

Goals for February
0/17 true no spend days
0/5 take out/dinners out
0/$100 personal unneccesary spending
0/$500 groceries
Pay off the credit cards (that will take about $500)
post #90 of 1040
Oh.. it is Feb1 here LOL

1: zero spending - stayed home today
post #91 of 1040
Thread Starter 
My goal is 22 no-spend days this month -- which is REALLY agressive for me because the most I've ever gotten is 21 days...and this entire month is only 29 days.

So I'm going to need to be very strategic about the seven days I spend money.

Good luck to everyone!!! We're starting off (except for Cari who is a day ahead ).
post #92 of 1040

Question

It's not cheating if you plan your spending/driving, right?

EX: I have a coop (for food - and I had already planned it) where the payment is due the 14th (15th?)...so I figure I'll just work that day as a "shopping" day, and get either my grocery shopping or errands done that day (I can't get both done at once usually b/c I'm still pumping every 3 hours, and I have a 19month old who does not like being put into/out of the car seat a lot).

Not cheating, right?
post #93 of 1040
OK I have set up my goals (ok ok I *copied* someone's from the Jan challenge and modified it for me ) and my tracking is listed too.

February:
02/01 $ Lunch at McDonalds for four (Pre-planned school event) (NO STORE day)
02/02 $75 MADE at Murder Mystery Dinner Theater (YAY ME!!)
02/03


Goals:
29/29 Save ALL receipts.
15/29 Stay out of all stores
14/29 true no-spend days
/$50 social spending
Money earned by *me*
Save anything possible this month.
Track $/$0 out of budget spending

Key:
= True no-spend
= Spending within budget
= Un-budgeted, but necessary
= "Bad Girl" spending (un-budgeted and unnecessary)
post #94 of 1040
I am Gretchen-last month was my first time here. I did ok until the last week and half of the month. So I am starting fresh for February.

I am a wahm I just started my business. hopefully I will be to busy to shop LOL! I am also listing stuff on ebay-money and decluttering all at once

We are on a tight budget until we pay off hospital bills so I am here to remind myself of that.This month I vow to be here everyday to track my spending.

I am tracking all my spending even necessary things-just to help get a budget going. Last month I realized how much just mindless spending I have going on. little things here and there-writing it down made me see how much it is. So here goes another shot for February.
my big no nos--NO FAST FOOD, STICK TO MENUS AT THE GROCERY STORE,GO TO THE STORE WITHOUT KIDS WHEN POSSIBLE.

FEB.
1 and 15.00 in gas for the next few days
2
3
4 went to a living simply seminar-spent $5.00 on drinks-but that was all packed lunch for me and kids. seminar was free.
5
6
7
8
9
10

KEY
true no spend
bills only
groceries
out of budget
money earned
post #95 of 1040
sub
post #96 of 1040
Quote:
Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
It's not cheating if you plan your spending/driving, right?

EX: I have a coop (for food - and I had already planned it) where the payment is due the 14th (15th?)...so I figure I'll just work that day as a "shopping" day, and get either my grocery shopping or errands done that day (I can't get both done at once usually b/c I'm still pumping every 3 hours, and I have a 19month old who does not like being put into/out of the car seat a lot).

Not cheating, right?
Well, you really make the rules for yourself! It doesn't sound like cheating to me.

I'm breaking my spending into
  • Ooops/Bad!
  • Necessary & in budget
  • True no spend

I'm not planning my grocery spending, but it has to be nonfrivolous to go in "necessary & in budget." One thing I like about lumping my spending to days is it helps me realize how infrequently I truly NEED to be shopping.
post #97 of 1040
Day 1 and I am already revising my goals! Basically, I know I am overextended on swaps this month and I am changing my goals to reflect that, as not to set myself up to fail. Next month, I will make my budget BEFORE I commit to swapping. FIDO.

Joint spending:
2/1: $1402 mortgage--budgeted

Personal spending:
2/1: $2,000 monthly contribution to joint, $63 on swap food--all budgeted


Joint goal for Feb: just one--STAY ON BUDGET!


Personal goals for Feb:
-stay on budget (including no more than $100 misc spending, $100 swap spending/postage)
-no credit card spending
-at least 14 no spend days
-no more than 2 thrift shopping trips
-no more than 5 lunches and/or coffees at work
-pay at least $700 on credit card


January:
No-spend days: 12/31
Lunches/coffees purchased: 6
Off-budget spending: -$400
Credit card payments: $793
post #98 of 1040
I needed to hit the grocery store yesterday--Jan. 31st! That was funny! "Aw, man! This is gonna mess up my Jan. spending!"

But, even with that grocery trip, I still did WAY better in Jan. than I've done in the past. I kind of can't believe how little I spent and how much food we had. And how I've lost 5 pounds! Win/win!
post #99 of 1040
**Update: SAVED BY THE SNOW! Our boss decided no one should be going out for lunch so she just bough lunch for the whole office!

Well shoot, I got to work and realized I forgot my lunch. Now I am going to have to go get something. Ugh.
post #100 of 1040
Here is my list. I do not count grocery spending or regular household bills like rent/electric/etc though. Just so you know, I don't want anyone to think I am starving my husband


February:
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
13th
14th
15th
16th
17th
18th
19th
20th
21st
22nd
23rd
24th
25th
26th
27th
28th
29th

Financial Goals:
1. No eating out!
2. No Big Box Stores for me!
3. No online shopping!
4. Try to eat out of the pantry and only supplement from the store when needed!
5. Live off of DH's income only!

Other Goals:
Exercise Days: 20 1/20
Let the Computer Rest Days 10

Jaime's Key:
No Spend Days:
Spend Days
Needed, yet totally unplanned for, spending
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