or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › March No-Spend Challenge ~ The finish line is in sight...almost there!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

March No-Spend Challenge ~ The finish line is in sight...almost there!

post #1 of 753
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 March 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 March!!! 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 recording your spending today!
post #2 of 753
Thread Starter 
Some tips...

*Groceries, utilities, clothing for you and your family, transportation...these things are necessary. You don't need to record things like that, unless you want to. Some of us record all our spending, some of us only record when we buy something that is unbudgeted.

*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 753
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 March. 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 753
Thread Starter 
1. My name is Prudence and I am a SAHM with two daughters and another little girl on the way. I am learning how to live on less than we earn. Right now we are a paycheck-to-paycheck family -- I want this to stop. I want to have a savings account and a cushion of money for emergencies. My DH is already frugal, I am learning how to be.

2. I do these no-spend challenges because keeping a record of what I spend makes me more conscious of where our money is going...I spend less when I write it down. I like ~thinking~ about where my money is going, rather than just watching it float away.

3. My plan: Record spending here and try to drive the car less. Gas = money. And if I'm not out driving, I'm not out shopping. If I'm not shopping, I'm not seeing things that I want...and I'm a happier, more satisfied person. There is a direct correlation between how much I drive and how much I spend.

My previous records:

May= 19 no-spend days/$265
June = 19 no-spend days/$394 in frivolous spending
July = 15 no-spend days/$580
August = 19 no-spend days/$451
September = 22 no-spend days/$103
October = 20 no-spend days/$203
November = 19 no-spend days/$456
December = Fell off the wagon
January = 20 no-spend days/$216 unnecessary spending
February = 21 no-spend days/$190
March = ** no-spend days/$**
post #5 of 753
I really really need this but I only have internet at work once or twice a week...can I still join? Pwetty pwease wif sugar on top?
post #6 of 753

I'm in!

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

My name is Kathirynne. I am a single, WOH mumma to 4 really super children. We just moved to a 3-bedroom house (from a 2-bedroom flat). We are so happy and grateful to have so much more space, but with the bigger place comes a bigger rent. Our budget looks workable on paper; these monthly challenges will help me stick to it!

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

Now that we have more storage room, we are working on building up a year's worth of food and supplies. Money for this has been allocated in the budget. We also need save enough money to fix our car, which was damaged in a small "icy road" accident. (This is also in the budget.)

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?

Nothing fancy. We have worked out a budget that is reasonable, realistic, and doable. Keeping the budget displayed in a prominent place, using the cash envelope system for the areas of the budget where overspending is likely and reporting in daily to this thread are the main tools in my arsenal.

Here's to no frivolous spending in March!!!
post #7 of 753
Joining you mamas this month for the first time!

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

I'm Anne, WOHM mama of Elliot (2 years) and Rhys (2 months). I'm heading back to work after a maternity leave where we spent more than we should have, and my DH is staying home because he's unemployed. Our income is cut by about $750, between my 401(k) and flex spending deposits and losing DH's part time income, so we need to control spending. We'd been letting ourselves off the hook too much with money while I was pregnant so now it's time to tighten up ourselves.

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

We need to learn to live under our means, and walk our talk about living simply, and save day-to-day, not just when we get a chunk of money. Also, I never want to have to ask my mom for money, worry about bounced checks or be scared to look at our finances again.

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?

March is going to be tough because its still winter here, so there's a limit to the things we can do for entertainment that are free, so that's one big challenge. The other one is food -- controlling our eating out while at the same time keeping our grocery budget reasonable.

So, Goals:

16/31 no spending AT ALL days (not one cent, even if it's budgeted)
Eating limited to Friday supper and one weekend lunch.
No spending on hobbies, finish the projects you have)
>2x week ordering in or vending machine at work.
>$400 on Groceries during the month.
post #8 of 753
I am doing this for March! DH and I desperately need to get on a budget. Good news is that I sold my car today and I have convinced DH that the smart thing to do is buy an older model car outright rather then get a car loan

We have some serious debt that needs paying off, I have started bringing in a substantial regular paycheck again so hopefully we will start ramping up here by combining the extra income with no unnecessary spending.
post #9 of 753
I'm monkey's mom and we are self-employed. And taxes are coming up. Need I say more? Oh, and we had an unexpected bill, to the tune of $2500, pop up--due in a couple months. I really don't want to touch savings to pay it.

Last month was my first month doing the No Spend Challenge and it was TERRIFIC!! It's such a game to see how little you can spend!

This month I am planning more of the same....just seeing how little money I can spend outside of groceries, gas, and pet stuff. I will still list those things b/c I want to make sure I'm not just getting willy-nilly with that spending.

Groceries $550
Gas $100

My key:

No spend
Budget spend
Over spend


I'm also thinking about $100 in gardening stuff might be good. And some money for the kids to get/do some things $50? $100? This depends on the weather, I think....if it's warm and we can get outside more then it'll be less. If this cold stuff continues a trip to the thrift store/dollar store might be in order.

I'm excited! Let the No-Spending begin!!
post #10 of 753
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

My name is Jenna. I am 23 and pregnant with my first baby. I currently work from home part time (20 hours a week). DH (32) has a full time job as a commercial loan officer where he makes good money and has the chance to earn uncapped commission on all deals he does (on top of his good salary). We own our home, blah, blah, blah Not sure what to say without going into a long story about our lives

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

DH and I have been stupid about credit. We have totally paid off our credit cards several times in the past few years with big bonuses that DH gets and then we charge them right back up again like idiots! DH and I are not stupid people, DH works in the banking industry, we both know what bad deals credit cards are, we just get greedy about wanting something right now, I guess. Well, I have seriously had enough. We make a very nice income and I'm tired of feeling "Where the heck did our money go?". I want to be spending less then we earn, saving (although DH does contribute very well to his 401k) and paying off this totally unnecessary debt. Since I work from home I plan to stay at home, eat at home and not spend! DH has agreed to not spend money on any food out and come home for lunch (which he has been doing this week). Also, DH gets reimbursed for his mileage at work, so its nice that we don't have to worry about gas for his work related traveling.

We are having our first baby in July, its time to start acting like grown-ups, KWIM?

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 plan is to not go out. While I do plan to get out of the house (walks around the neighborhood, maybe trips to the library), when I am out, I spend. I also plan for me AND DH to eat all meals at home. I also plan to put away the credit cards I have and only carry my debit card, I am also going to have DH put away his credit card. We actually do not use our credit cards that much but we do not need them, I don't want the temptation.

These are the things I suspect we will have to spend on in March:

"New" car- $6000, I just sold my car for $7250. I want to buy another car for under $6000 and put the remaining money in emergency savings.

Food- $350, this is going to be very very hard for me. I usually buy all organic and local from the co-op. Here in CA food is very expensive and typically I spend about $200/week on food. But I know I can get this down by making some more basic rice & beans meals more often. I plan to meal plan to the max.

Gas- $100 I am hoping to use less then one tank of gas this month in my "new" car due to not driving that much. So I budgeted $40 for me and $60 for DH for his non-work driving (his car gets crappy mileage).

Also this month DH and I are going to try to not use the heating (we live in No. Cal and we really do not need to use it). DH is really more of the one that turns it on but he has been trying to just close the windows and put on a sweater this week rather then turning on the heat.

We have other "set" expenses that I'm not going to detail here because they are pretty set.

I want to keep over $100 in my checking account at all times. There are so many times when DH and I put ourselves on "no spending" because we only have $20 in the checking account. We have about a $3500 month income combined, its ridiculous that our checking account would get that low due to poor spending choices.
post #11 of 753
I'm Dennie. SAHM to Anna-Lee, 2, and Reese, 3 months. DH works overnights. I'm currently thinking about going to work part-time. I'm also taking two online classes right now. I started the challenges in Sept. and the past three months have seriously struggled and wound up dropping out. We've also had three months with lots of big things going on that affected our spending. So I'm back this month and definitely looking to do a lot better!

We have paid down a significant amount of credit card debt this month. We've gone from $5300 in cc debt to around $1600 in cc debt. Once our taxes are back, DH's old business loan will be paid off. We have a few small collections items (mostly medical bills) that need paid down and knocked out. We will have our new car payment and the motorcycle payment as our only non-living expenses bills. We want to begin saving up so we can move out to an apartment by June. That means learning to live on less since rent will be $400 more per month and we'll have utilities on top of it.

Instead of always going to the play area at the mall (which leads to going to Target and inevitably spending money) we're going to use our Children's Museum and Zoo memberships and go there more. Staying at home as much as we can to save on money.
post #12 of 753
Hi all, I'm Grace, non-mom, partnered, she of many animals, living in Austin, TX. I flaked at the end of last month but I am back this month.

My major reason for trying to spend less is that I have nearly $10,000 in stupid, stupid credit card debt and it needs to go. Like, now. My current budget includes $700/month in CC payments, and I am hoping to be able to increase that amount as I get better with budgeting.

I think part of the reason I failed last month was too many goals, so this month, I am keeping my plans simple: I want to stick to my budget, not use my credit cards, and pay at least $700 towards the CCs. That's it. That's all I'm going to track.
post #13 of 753
I'm 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.

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 did much better in February than I did in January. There is still room for improvement.
I have taken out my decluttering goal. I'm tackling that over in another forum. I have learned a lot with this challenge and am glad that you are all doing it with me. I am so inspired by how many No Spends some of you have. Someday I'll be there.

Jill

Groceries $750
Gas $325 (I raised this because gas prices are going to go up again)
Coffee $25
Frivolous Spending $50
Birthday for DS #1 $50
10 no spend days
26 days no Big Box stores
No Credit Cards
2x eat out with hubby and/or kids
post #14 of 753
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm a single (divorced last year) mother and I have a wonderful son! Money's been tight. I'm trying to hang in there and patch together work that's flexible enough to allow me to be there for my boy!

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

I am trying to pay off my credit cards this year (will tackle student loan after that). And at the very least do not want to ADD to my credit card debt. So I'm trying to be more aware of my spending.

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 wouldn't say I'll do "no" spending...just more aware spending. This past month I spent way too much...but...I got a haircut for the first time in ages. My son was on school vacation and we took a daytrip into the city. On the weekends he's not with his father (he goes one night every other weekend), we sometimes eat out at our favorite places...it's special to us! and worth it to me. But I haven't spent a cent on clothes, and have only used my credit card once this year, for a planned purchase. So for March, I plan to not use credit cards, plan to limit snacks bought on the run, plan to be better at using items already in my pantry.
post #15 of 753
1. Back again for my 10th month - wahoo! My name is Kim; our family includes DH, DD (12/03) + DS (9/06). I am PT sahm/PT wahm/PT wohm; kiddos are with DH when I go to the office. Have been with this group since June, and the resulting savings have been terrific. February was not a stellar month due to expenses related to moving and lack of time/organization - hoping to get back on the wagon for March.

2. Want to attack the debt snowball consciously, continuously, and with great intensity (perhaps not gazelle intense, but something pretty close to it).

3. Game plan:
* Sell/donate unneeded items
* Stay OUT of Target
* Grocery shopping every other week only
* Work out a meal plan + try to stick to it a majority of the time
* Pack snacks + water whenever we go out
* No more late library materials!
* ORGANIZE! Majority of overbudget/frivolous spending can be prevented with improved organization.

GOALS:
* Less than $75 in frivolous spending: month to date $0
* At least 25 days (no spend or spending w/in budget): 0/25
* Avoid Target: 0/31
* Pack snacks/water for outings: 0/31
* NO library fines: month to date $0
* Stay within grocery/eating out budget: $0/$400

Past Progress:
June: 20 days; $210.42 frivolous; $519.54 groceries; $117.55 eating out
July: 16 days; $325.62 frivolous; $825.40 groceries; $112.84 eating out
Aug.: 23 days; $144.47 frivolous; $593.09 groceries; $643.07 eating out
Sept.: 22 days; $128.37 frivolous; $598.19 groceries; $121.48 eating out
Oct.: 25 days; $139.55 frivolous; $472 groceries; $129.55 eating out
Nov.: 25 days; $192.50 frivolous; $608 groceries; $101 eating out
Dec.: 28 days; $55.20 frivolous; $503 groceries
Jan.: 27 days; $19.90 frivolous; $555.85 groceries/eating out
Feb.: 18 days; $131.80 frivolous; $668 groceries/eating out
post #16 of 753
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm Sam, mostly SAHM to Tristan & Gabriel and wife to Nick. I work on contract out of the home in the evenings and weekends doing service reviews for a new home builder. Also momma to 3 kitties.

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

I joined the No Spend Challenge last month and majorly fell off the wagon half way through and never got back on : This month I really need to focus because we pay our mortgage bi-weekly and have 3 payments this month (and we only get paid semi-monthly). I also had significantly less work in February than I had hoped for. We're following the DR plan and trying to work on our debt snowball.

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?

This month I truly don't need ANYTHING except groceries. DH and I are going out on the 1st to celebrate our anniversary and then that's it.

Here are my goals:
$500 groceries
$400 gas
$50 misc
1 eat out meal (anniversary dinner)
10 no-drive days
15 true no-spend days
8 work days
post #17 of 753
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

Hi, I am Jenna. I joined at the end of this month and have failed miserably. I am a WAHM, married with a 18 mo dd.

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

I just got a great incentive to stick by this plan. We desparately need a new furnace by next winter and would also like to add central air at the same time as it is cheaper to do all at once. However, in order to do this and not take out a loan, is to spend as little as possible over the next 5 months and save like crazy.

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 are going to cut down on eating out (now I know I said that this month) but I am determined. I have set a game plan: weekly meal planning and we will only be allowed to spend a certain amount on eating out for the month. Once it is gone that is it. Also, I have joined some coupon boards and have really started researching the rebate programs at different stores. I started today and got my hair gel free, and a bunch of groceries for $30. I am motivated now and I hope this keeps me going through March.
post #18 of 753
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.


I am Andrea. I am a SAHM to two little boys and expecting another blessing in July.

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

We jumped on the Dave plan and are trying to get a fully funded emergency fund set up. I also want to become aware of my spending.

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 am going to try and stay out of the stores. I need to just skip looking at the clearance stuff (my weakness.)


Expenses Being Budgeted for outside of normal bills

Ds's birthday party at Chuckie Cheese. $50 with another $20 for gas to get there.

Easter baskets...$20 for both boys.

Date night for Dh and I. $10


Goals

20 no spend or spend within budget days

$300 groceries
$300 gas (Dh works far from home)
Try to drive a lot less.
post #19 of 753
1.) I am a SAHW, joyfully married. We're in our early twenties, planning to start trying to conceive this year! We would already have done so, but DH's job is moving an hour's commute away, and with gas prices as they are, we don't know if this will be financially feasible. Unfortunately, a major local employer recently closed and so the local job market is pretty glutted.

2.) *We want to TTC this year!
*General economic instability + DH's job situation = need for a thicker cushion.
*Our long-term goal is to homestead, so we are always looking to save money for that.
*We are admittedly treehuggers and just want to stop buying many new things.

3.) *Write out a firm budget
*Keep homemade snacks and drinks on hand to curb those trips to the convenience store :
*Make a conscious effort to enjoy ourselves in non-spendy ways, such as visiting the park, reading aloud together, etc
*Clean and organize the house. This is a biggie. I know I always want to "go out" just to get a break from the psychic pressure of too much disorganized junk. And I want to buy something to use "right now" when I have something that would serve just as well at home... I just don't know where it is. It really makes me crazy.

: = no spend day!
= spending within budget
= needless spending

((I will update here tomorrow when I get my budget and precise goals worked out. I just wanted to go ahead and post before I talked myself out of it!))
post #20 of 753
hi
i was part of the january challenge for a few days, but dropped out because of chaos. hopefully i can stay in this month.

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
i have a 7 month old, a 2 year old, a roomate, her 5 year old, and my dp sharing my home. we're still working out the kinks, financially, when it comes to co-housing, making it hard to budget. but we can't keep hemorrhaging money.

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of March. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.
we have... um... six HUGE expenses that we have either already had or will be having in the next few months. we can't do these months without debt, but i want to minimize 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?
on the 1st i will take 100$ out of the bank, then put away all the cards for myself and my dp. that 100$ has to last the week. if we run out, too bad. bills that come in the mail i'll pay online, but anything we pay in person (food, fuel, outings, etc) has to be paid in cash. the exceptions to this are the mdc co-op that i'm already committed to and the bus pass.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › March No-Spend Challenge ~ The finish line is in sight...almost there!