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April No-Spend Challenge ~ Last day of our challenge. How did you do? - Page 2

post #21 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

Hello! I'm Malinda, SAHM to 2 full-time students (1st and 3rd grade), SAHDS (Saty-at-home-dog-sitter) to my yellow lab (Peyton) and wife to my smokin' hot police officer DH.


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

April is our quiet month. Besides being Matron of Honor for my BF (and incurring ALL of those expenses - YIKES!), we don't have many things going in April, so it'll definitely be a good test for us.

Plus, $2500 mortgage and I'm going back to school in May (although we already have that money set aside). I figure it will be good motivation to see it written down and to have others in a wonderful support system


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?

* Follow our monthly menu. I have every day assigned to a dinner, complete with side dishes, salads, breads etc. Following that cuts down on unused food items that spoil and trips to fast food and/or restaurants when we're trying to figure out, last minute, what to eat. It also saves gas on reduced trips to the grocery store.

* I'm also going to cut out my shopping trips that come around when I'm just plain bored. Instead, I intend to use my gym membership, take the dog for walks and go to the local library. I also have a few sewing projects I could finish up.

If anyone has any tips, secrets, etc. I'd love to read them

We're very good at saving money, but I have noticed the more DH makes, the more we spend. It's nothing to worry about for us, but it would be nice to know that, if something were to happen, we would be able to keep the life we have now.
post #22 of 703
Well, I'm back from my trip to Japan, and I am definitely doing the challenge in April! We had a great trip! Saw lots of sites and lots of old friends! But I felt a little odd when I got back... not doing the "Challenge" didn't feel "right". So here I am again! I really like what this challenge does for me both from a financial standpoint as well as the feeling of empowerment.

My Goals:

When I did this in Feb. I wasn't able to keep w/ my no-spend days goal because I would do silly things like leaving something off my shopping list, so I'd have to run out to the store and "ruin" a no-spend day. So I am setting a weekly goal of 2 no-spend days per week. If I mess-up one week, I can do better the next week.

2 no-spend days per week
0 credit card days
0 unbudgeted spending
Gas - $220
Groceries - $450
Household - $125
Eating Out - $85
post #23 of 703
I am so in, something has got to change. I hope by being accountable to others will help me to control my spending.
post #24 of 703
Hello! I discussed this with my hubby, and he is reluctant, but on board. (April 21 is my birthday, and he wants to spend on me, even though we have spent a LOT on gifts for each other already this year!)

So...our goals:

1. Stick to the written budget 100% - 03/31/08 BUDGET WRITTEN - 04/01/08 Budget updated! :
2. Cut $100 in expenses from bills (I think this will be cell phone and cable this month) - CANCELED MY CELL PHONE CABLE TODAY!
3. Cut down on driving - only two car trips to the grocery store this month.
4. Pay off at least $1,000 in debt
5. Find a job. I am waiting to hear back on a work-from-home opportunity, but if that doesn't come through, then I will try to find something within walking distance (at a local shop), and if THAT doesn't work out, I will go back to temping. (I hate temping.)
6. On a non-financial note: finish all of my UFO's - sew up my knitting projects, finish my chicken apron, and finish my new spring skirt. SEWED UP 8 KNITTING PROJECTS YESTERDAY AND WORKING ON CHICKEN APRON LATER TODAY.
7. On a health note: walk 3 times per week, and aim for a weight loss of 10 pounds this month. I have to lose another 53 pounds before I will feel comfortable with getting pregnant (Though, obviously from my siggy, we WANT a baby!)
post #25 of 703
1. I am Amanda and I am a SAH-homeschooling-mom to 4 kids, two boys (8 & 9) and two girls (almost 4 & 5) We are also a paycheck-to-paycheck family without savings. We are getting our house ready to put on the market in Spring 2009 so we can buy land and build relatively mortgage-free.

2. I've become uncomfortable with the fact that we have no savings, especially cash on hand, and I'm working to change that. We have some old, planned expenses to catch up on and as soon as I'm past that hurdle (which I will be this month, I think!) I'm going to put more in savings and pinch more everywhere else. Which I think will be pretty difficult because I'm pretty frugal and disciplined already, but I think there must be room for improvement. I want to make sure we have what we need, make do if we can and purchase responsibly if we can't, keep the long-term picture in mind, and be very aware of the things we DON'T need so we can avoid acquiring them. We are no longer using credit cards for anything, so I want to have a buffer built up so we can pay cash for emergency expenses instead of bringing out a CC. But it's going to take months to get that buffer built up and I'm trying not to get discouraged. I'm also planning to continue building up our food storage, so trying to shave back other grocery spending to accommodate that.

Complicating things this month is three family birthdays - my mother's 60th, my daughter's 4th, and my 35th. We do special food on birthdays (=$$) and one present; it seems simple but it still impacts the budget. For my mom I think I'm going to give her a new framed pic of the kids that I take myself. For myself, permission to buy a household item I want that will save us a lot of money in the long run (hoping to get a deal on a Squeezo through eBay, unless anyone here has one they want to PM me about? and/or a nice pressure cooker, which I don't want to wait for because it will pay for itself), and for my DD...something small and simple, though I am not sure what yet. Maybe I can get my act together and sew a princess dress for her with material I already have (sounds hard though).

3. My paymonth goes from the 15th to the 15, so I'll probably check in here on the 15th and tell how the previous month went for me. If I can get my act together I'll do a mid-month assessment this week as well.
post #26 of 703
1. My name is Rachael and I am a WOHM/Primary Breadwinner for my husband and 11 month DS. We have an amount of debt ($5k Credit Cards $25K Student Loans) that we would like to pay off by December 2010 in order to be debt free.

2. This is month 3 of the no-spend challenge. I am trying to start my own business so I can be a WAHM by the end of this year and need to focus heavily on paying off debt. Every penny counts that I can put toward debt. My weakness is dipping into our savings (which is small since we have an emergency fund and are focusing on debt).

3. My plan: Record, Record, Record. I need to be honest with myself when I am taking money from savings for things I/We "need". I need to be honest with my friends and family and be able to offer other alternative activities so we can still spend time together.

We did major shopping Friday - Sunday, all within budget. We should be set for the first 2 weeks of April. *Deep Breaths*

February
Total overspending in February $666.45
Total no spend days - 14/29

March
Total overspending in March $478.33
Total no spend days - 20/31
post #27 of 703
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 (dd20, ds16, ds10, 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 April. 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 think I'll post differently this month. I normally post all spending, I'm going to track my spending, but I think I'll focus on the over/unbudgeted spending this month. March didn't go very well, so I need to be a little more diligent about watching the spending. I have learned a lot with this challenge and am glad that you are all doing it with me. I am just so inspired by how many No Spends some of you have. Someday I'll be there.

Jill


Key

No Spend
Budgeted Spending
Unbudgeted Spending

My Plan

Track Groceries $750
Track Gas $300
Track Coffee $25
Track Frivolous Spending $50
10 no spend days
25 days no Big Box stores
No Credit Cards
post #28 of 703
My name is Liz. I'm a homeschooling mom to four.

I'm going to spend no unbudgeted money because dh and I are finally on the same page with the finances, we made up a good budget for the month that allows us both $20 a week of "spending money." I'm an all or nothing kinda gal, so I need to stick to the budget 100%.

Stay out of the mall. Off of amazon. Hang the budget on the office wall and remind myself every day that we're working on getting out of debt.
post #29 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.I am Nikki a 33 year-old Mom to a 17.5 month DS and wife to 37 year-old DH. I work 30 hours a week as a school nurse.

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of April. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases. Since cutting back to working 4 days a week(instead of full-time=less income (and having to pay a childcare provider) I have found that I spend too much on things that I don't need, just want. I have dwindled away my savings account and am spending by using my credit cards.

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. leave credit cards at home so I cannot use.
2. make grocery list and follow. use cash for gorceries.
3. use ATM only to pay childcare provider and have $ for groceries for week.
4. stop online shopping!!!!
5. This is my first time doing this so I'd like to have 15 no-spend days this month and increase # of days each subsuquent month


4/1-
$15.87 dinner at Penn Station, took $120 out of checking account for groceries, gas and to pay someone I owe money to. Spent $30.00 on gas. Have $60.00 left for groceries. (I think tomorrow will be better.



Nikki
post #30 of 703
I failed miserably last month. So I am giving it a go this month. We really have no extra cash this month so I have to work really hard.

I have already spent our grochery alotment on the food coop. I will be sending dh to the grochery store for staples so I don't get off track. I have a huge pantry full of dried beans, lentils, grains, rices, oats, sugar, condiments and staples for really great dishes. I stocked up on meats from the farm last month and should have more then enough to get us through April and even May if I stick to my 2-3 vegan/veggie meals a week. I have tons of frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies and deserts (desert happens at each vegan/veggie meal). I'm going to make bread, muffins, treats and snacks this week to freeze for lunches. I'm going to make more bean, lentil salads for dh and the girls for lunches.

Our oldest has been set up with spring/summer cloths, well a good start. Our middle has tons in the garage we just need to sort through. Our oldest will need rubber boots, but the other two are set. Spring coats were bought last month. I need 1 gallon of paint to finish painting the house. I bought all the garden seeds, but need some starter containers this week. I'm going to plant a huge garden with a friend so I will be busy getting ready for that this month.

My goal is to only go where I have to when making trips to the city. I don't need to spend any money this month. Hopefully the van will check out OK and we won't have a mechanical bill.

I vow not to spend any unnessesary money this month.
post #31 of 703
Thread Starter 
Quote:
This is my first time doing this so I'd like to have 15 no-spend days this month and increase # of days each subsuquent month
That is a very good plan!

The first month is by far the hardest...you will get much better at this each month. Welcome aboard!
post #32 of 703
Thread Starter 
My game plan for this month:

I had a stellar month last month (my best ever) so I'm going to up my goals a bit this month.

Plus I just finished reading "The Ultimate Cheapskate" and "Clearing Your Clutter with Feng Shui" and those books really motivated me to push even harder to spend time ~reducing~ the things I have in my home (especially disposable things). And to think long and hard about every purchase I make this month.

The weather has been getting nicer in Vermont which means I can drive my car less. I have been slipping into the habit of running the car down to the gym, driving over to the library, picking DH up after work -- all of these little trips are less than a 1/2 mile so we could EASILY walk (and we have nice well-cared-for sidewalks in our town) so I need to motivate myself more to let that car rest.

Our gasoline bill last month -- aiiieeyiyi...twice what it normally is.

So...here are my goals:

24 no-spend days
30 fast-food-free days
10 let the car rest days

I'm also going to start a running tally...# of days since I have last been shopping. My goal is NO RECREATIONAL shopping in April...and that includes ebay, diaperswappers, amazon...all my favorite internet haunts. yes....even...gasp...Craig's List. No :

I am going to try very hard to find other things to entertain myself. I don't need any more maternity clothes, I don't need any more baby clothes...and anything that I DO need, I can get in May. I just want to get through April with a clean slate.

I'm going to plan two errand/grocery days and take LISTS (that's key for me) and if I stick to those lists and don't dwaddle...then that will count as a no shopping day. I just can't wander in to see what it there.

I'm looking at this next month as my own personal lent...I need to change some habits and shake up some stagnant energy in my life so that I can focus on what is important to me and hopefully learn something from the experience.



ETA: Revised goals since reading Ann's post:

0/24 no-spend days
0/30 fast-food-free days
0/10 let the car rest days
0/20 items posted on internet to sell
post #33 of 703
I'm jumping in here because I really need this. Following Prudence's guideline:

1. My name is Angela and I work P/T (20 hrs/week). Dh works F/T and we have 3 kids (2 girls 14 and 11, and 1 boy 7). We also tend to live paycheck to paycheck and I, too, want this to stop. I need to build up our emergency account, savings accounts, college funds, and retirement funds.

2. I feel I need a no-spend challenge because I have no idea where the money goes every month. I know we buy too many frivalous (sp?) items and I want to kick myself for having no will-power when it comes to spending.

3. My plan: Do my best to record all spending, budget no more than $150/week on groceries (that'll be a big improvement), significantly decrease buying the stuff we do not need (this will be hard), convince dh to bring lunch every day to work, and get this apartment clean and organized (which tends to make my finances more organized, too). And we will not use credit cards for any reason.

I get paid every week and once a month I get about $150 more on my check. I will use that for a once a month Costco visit (I get many staples there for really really cheap - I just can't see spending $4 on a 1/2 gallon of organic milk at the supermarket when Costco has them for $2.66). I will also continue using the envelope system. I find it really helps us. I'm also reading several finance books, including Financial Peace (Ramsey). I intend on getting his other one that's recommended here.
post #34 of 703
1. I'm Ann, a SAHM of 4 kiddos.

2. I've been participating on the no-spend threads for several months and it has helped me to keep my eye on my finances. Knowing where I am financially and where I want to go helps me to make good choices. I want to get our credit card debt paid off and our savings built up. Seems simple enough, right?

3. The plan: post here and record all spending. Stay within budget that I've set. This month I'm going to be doing a pantry challenge. I recently took inventory of my pantry and freezer and realized that I've stocked up on foods that I haven't eaten. I'm changing my shopping plan from previous months. This month I'm grocery shopping once a week and picking up the bare minimum. I'll be planning my menu based on the pantry and just buying produce and dairy.

I'm also going to be aggressive about selling unused items around the house. I've listed some books and baby carriers on discussion boards, but very little is selling. I think it's time to get serious about ebay (maybe Craig's List?).

My goals for April:
15 true no-spend days
5 no drive days
less than 15 days driving more than 50 miles in a day
$400 groceries
$200 household/misc.
$250 gas
$130 eating out/take out/entertainment
1000 minutes on the treadmill
20 items sold
post #35 of 703
I am real good at starting this challenge and then bombing and not coming back. April is going to be different!

My goals for the month of April are:

Keep on written budget, no juggling for changes

20 no drive days

20 no spending days

30 no fast food days

$75 gas

$500 food budget

Pay at minimum $1000 towards debt snowball which is at $2037.15 right now

= successful day
:=not so good day
post #36 of 703
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I'm also going to be aggressive about selling unused items around the house
Oooh, Ann, I need to add that to my list of goals too. I'm going to try to sell 20 things in my house too...I already have the list, I've just been bad about sitting down and POSTING them.

Brie -- This time you'll do it!!! You get credit just for starting out again. Stick with us
post #37 of 703
Well I promised my dh that I wouldn't touch a co-op this month (April) Other than a few shipping payments from coops that the items have already been paid for This is going to be tough for me..So I may be relying on you ladies for support a little more than normal!!
I am going to go through things and try to sell the as well.. I already have a stack started, but now I have to take pics and list them..
post #38 of 703
I'm in! I'm determined to succeed this month after several months of falling off the wagon.
post #39 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm Sarah, SAHM to two DS (4 and 2) and expecting a third baby in May.

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

We are alsways very tight financially but we need to pay off our credit cards asap. Our house is on the market and if we find a buyer, we will need a lot of money/available credit for fees associated with that. Our mortgage will be going up considerably in October and we need a safety net to enable us to pay it until we can sell the house and get a new mortgage.

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 biggest weakness is buying snacks whilst out and about with the kids. I need to stop that completely. Since starting with these threads 3 months ago I am spending a lot less on groceries/household goods so have decided to reduce my budget for them and try to stay within the new budget. The difference can go to our debt

Gas is a major expense, so limit the driving as far as possible.

April may be a tricky month because it is DH's birthday, our anniversary, the kids have 2 weeks off school and it's also my last chance to get essentials for the new baby and stock up on freezer meals. The only way I will stay on target is to be very careful.

I am also hoping to do lots of decluttering, cleaning and organising this month ready for our new addition next month.
post #40 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
I'm in! I'm determined to succeed this month after several months of falling off the wagon.
You can do it Lindsay!
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