or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › April No-Spend Challenge ~ Last day of our challenge. How did you do?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

April No-Spend Challenge ~ Last day of our challenge. How did you do? - Page 3

post #41 of 703
Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I am Jessie, a Fulltime nursing student. I was a SAHM until Jan. 2008 when I went back to college fulltime. I will be finishing up in DEC 2008 with my LPN and taking sometime out from school to enjoy being a Mommy again and will work part-time. We have 2 little girls Mo who is 2 1/2 and Bella who is 5 1/2

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.

With both Dh and I driving daily for school and work we have added to our monthly expenses due to our increase in gas use. Also have the girls in Daycare fulltime while I am in school and that is an added expense of just under $1000 a month. We have taken out a student loan mostly to pay for childcare and to act as a cushion between pay and tution and childcare. Our goal is to pay it off 100% when it is due and not pay it back in monthly installments. Basically to not have to actually use it if we can.

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. To actually track what I spend. Dh is going to do the same and that way we can see where our money is going. We are able to make our bill and to save but we do have some CC debt (under 8K) plus the student loan. We want to pay to CC off totally this year and the student loan aswell. We have alot of unaccouted for spending. That needs to stop.


My Plan

No Spend
Budgeted Spending
Unbudgeted Spending


Groceries- Budgeted for the month at $600
Gas -$250 (for my car, Dh at $300 plus $100 a month for parking)
Coffee- Will not be buying lattes anymore. Will bring coffee or tea from home.
Eating out-$100
15 no spend days
5 no drive days (for me best I can do. I go to school 4 out of 5 days a week)
3 fast food days
post #42 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

Hey! I'm a SAHM to 2 boys (6yrs & nearly 2yrs) and we home ed.

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 atm a paycheck to paycheck family. I want to be able to save regularly


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 not to go on Amazon! Books are my fall down every month. I have 2 books I need to buy for my Yoga course but other than that I need to stay away. Online purchases are totally my problem, we walk lots and I don't spend much cash day to day. I do plan to record everything I spend this month though.

Happy to be here
post #43 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

Jenny, SAHM to my lovely 4 year old dd. Queen of the no-spend challenge dropouts. (I kid.)

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 just sick of feeling like I need to shop/spend money/acquire "stuff".

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?

*Find cheap alternative entertainment.
*Stay out of the stores!
*Eat at home/ meal plan.
*Foster creative hobbies that I already have supplies for.
*Continue to declutter.
*Go to the library more

Goals:
20 No Spend Days
Less than $200 in frivolous spending
post #44 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

My name is Kristine and I am Mom to 3 girls. I am a wohm but am on maternity leave for the next year. I fell off the wagon at the end of March but am back for another month.

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.

I am currenly off work and will have significantly less income to work with. I also want to reduce the amount we consume because I feel guilty and want to reduce our impact on the earth.

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) Stay out of the stores and no internet shopping.

2) Do more cooking from scratch, use up the stuff in the pantry, freezer etc and buy a lot fewer convenience foods.

3) Find cheap/free activities to do with the kids

Grocery/Household items - $500
Take out - $100
Misc Spending - $100
Shoes for dd2 - $60
Diapers and covers for dd2 & dd3 - $100
Birthday gifts - $75
0/20 No spend days
post #45 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I am Nadia, a SAHM to three, dd is 5, ds1 is 3.5, and ds2 is 10 months next week. After having a few good months of staying within our budget, the past 2 have been WAY over.

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 run our budget from the 25th of one month to the 25th of the next (our cc cycle, it gets paid off each month) and we have spent about 75% of the money allotted for the month. So, we have to be careful! As long as we stick to necessities, we'll be fine.

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 off of Amazon and other online sites
Stay out of Joann's. My new sewing machine is making me buy all sorts of things
Finish the gazillion craft projects that I have sitting around the house when I have the itch to go buy something new

I have two exceptions: We have the money all set aside for a new mattress and I will be paying for that this week. I also broke my serger this morning:, so I will be taking that in and hoping that it can be fixed.
post #46 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

My name is Tiffany. I WAHM part time as a medical transcriptionist; my hubby works full time outside of the home. My kiddos are 3 and 8 months. This is my first official month in this thread. I am excited!

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 have 1000 in the bank for our emergency fund and are using my entire paycheck each week to pay off debt and save for next year's heating oil. I too am tired of having things be so tight; if we had no car payment, credit card, or mortgage payments...wow! The breathing room we would have!

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 will think before every purchase: 1. Do I REALLY need this? 2. Is there another way to achieve the same goal (i.e. use something else, borrow it, ask on freecycle) 3. If the answer is yes for all of these, then it is fair game. I will also stay exactly within my food budget (my downfall, as I love things like Clif Mojo bars and little bags of fruit, etc) I will do this by creating our menu for the week before I go shopping and stick to the list!

Exceptions: I have a baby shower to go to on the 20th. I will keep it budgeted to $20 though. My hubby's bday is on the 5th and that will also be budgeted to $20. I am also going to make an inventory of what clothing needs my hubby and I have and will budget that in accordingly. I am also debating on some new running shoes, as I have had mine for over 2 years and am WAY overdue with needing some new ones. Perhaps I will save a little bit each paycheck for those though.

I will check in with each purchase to keep myself accountable.
post #47 of 703
1. This is my 11th 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 support, accountability, and increased spending consciousness have been terrific for our bottom line. March was a great month overall; hope to repeat the success with April!

2. Continue attacking the debt snowball.

3. Game plan:
* Sell/donate unneeded items
* Stay OUT of Target - did not set foot in Target at all in March - think this habit is licked, so will take that off my goals for April.
* 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.
* Exercise - feeling good = decreased emotional spending

GOALS:
* Less than $50 in frivolous spending: month to date $0
* At least 25 days (no spend or spending w/in budget): 0/25
* Pack snacks/water for outings: 0/30
* NO library fines: month to date $0
* Stay within grocery/eating out budget: $0/$500
* ORGANIZE/declutter (lack of organization = spending): 0/25
* Exercise (feeling good = decreased emotional spending): 0/25
* Meal plan created: 0/4 weeks
* Grocery/Co-op trips: 0/2

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
March: 28 days; $19.40 frivolous; $500 groceries/eating out
post #48 of 703
Okay, last month didn't work out so good for us. But DH set up Quicken Online today and we worked out that we spent a whopping and embarassing $700 on eating out last month. Considering we only have a little more than $900 left over after our fixed expenses every month that's just awful!

Plus, we're planning on taking a mini vacation early next month to visit my mother and I'd like to have some money left to play with on our vacation.

SO. We WILL do better this month!

We have a couple of things going for us. First, it's finally getting nice enough that there are events to go to on the weekend, which keeps us busy and out of the shops. Second, Dr. Who is starting this week () and we've promised to host friends each Saturday. We'll have to fix munchies, but again... we won't be eating out/shopping.

Goals:
4/5 No spend days during the work week.
NO eating out/ordering in at work
NO Recreational Shopping
>$500 Grocery Spending
1 Supper and 1 Lunch out per week
Raise at least 50% of the cost of replacing/fixing your iBook ($400/$1600)

Permitted Exceptions: Lunch for my Swearing In, Dinner out for our Anniversary, new Car Seat for DS1, supplies for Community Garden, framing our Ketubah, replacing broken Pack n' play and stroller if I can find a good deal.
post #49 of 703
I'm Kathee, SAHM to Katie, 21 mos. I think this will be my third month doing this. My DH is military, and we have a lot of changes coming in the next couple of months. Our goals are the same: sock away money into savings/investments, look toward the future. We are trying to save 30% of our income. Short term will be replacing my car in the next year or two, probably. Long term goal is to be able to buy the house we want when DH retires from the military in 10-14 years. Doing these challenges also lets us test out living on much less of our income than we have at our disposal. So, lofty goals.

Our goals as far as *money* for April are kind of up in the air, just because DH is supposed to get a raise this month, but I don't know if it comes through on the 15th April or the 1st May, and I also had to divert money from his paycheck into his personal account while he's gone, so, I've no idea right now how much money is coming in on the 15th. I'm aiming low, and, if there's more than I think, I'll be making a Frontier order and getting DH's and DD's passports done (or one or the other, or whatever...whatever will fit into the budget).

Also, if we find out soon enough where we are moving (or staying), I may buy a CSA share if we're staying in Pittsburgh (please, God, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!).

Anyway, goals for this month.

April:
21 No spend days
20 No drive days
28 No eat out days

$150 groceries - I have a lot of food in the pantry and freezer from last month.
$1493.70 into savings/IRAs/investments for month
$23046.88/17924.40 into savings/IRAs/investments for the year (so far, $7046.88 into savings, $5000 into IRAs)
Less than 225 miles for the month. 121,461 beginning mileage


March
*22/20 no spend days GOAL MET
*21/20 no drive days GOAL MET
*28/26 no eat out days GOAL MET

*$384.68/$225 grocery spending
$1622/1493.70 into savings/IRAs/investments for the month GOAL MET
$12046.88/17924.40 into savings/IRAs/investments for the year (so far, $7046.88 in savings, $5000 in IRAs)
121,333 - beginning mileage for month...goal of <250 for the month. Ending mileage 121,461 - mileage of 128. GOAL MET
post #50 of 703
April is my month!!

Hello, No-Spenders! I am excited to be joining you. I am taking over the bill-paying from DH and in that process I've come to a few revelations: 1) we have about $10000 in CC debt (most ever! and I thought it was around $5000) and 2) when we stopped our monthly auto-contribution to savings in Dec to pay for gifts, we (he) never reactivated it! Yep, so I'm taking over.


The Plan:

1. Keep the cars parked. DH will vanpool to work. I will limit my driving, which will be a little tough, since I hardly drive anywhere, anyway. Savings: $200

2. Ditch the coffee habit. Savings: $300 :

3. DH packs a lunch. Savings: $50

4. Limit the nickel-and-diming purchases. Savings: $100


One question I have is, do I record DH's spending here, as well as mine? Much of this plan is dependent upon him, since I hardly go anywhere to spend money (except walking to the coffee shop). I hope he sticks to his commitment.
post #51 of 703
1. I'm Alison and I work three jobs - my main job is to be a mama to my ds and dd staying home all day, but I also teach college biology 2 evenings a week and work in the music department of a bookstore several nights each week. I just realized I'll have worked 14 days straight at the two supplemental jobs as of Saturday...

I have a terrible frivolous spending habit and absolutely no will-power when I want something - in March I spent over $700 on things I could do without. :

I've never done without, although I've sometimes done with less.

DH is a teacher and we MUST save $500/month to go toward summer and taxes. Fortunately DH got a bonus this year that saved us, b/c I've not managed to save (I "manage" our money, which may not be the best idea).

2. I've decided to spend NOTHING on frivolous/unecessary personal purchases in April because I've never done it. I know it's ambitious, but I need to have at least this one month of no spending so that I can really see the impact my spending is having on us. I am miserable working every night in addition to mama-hood and could drop one of my jobs if I would quit spending! It's ridiculous! I need to see that I really *can* do without. I have everything I need, and I'm happy. Surely I can do this for one month? Am I being unrealistic?

3. My plan feels simple but it probably won't be in practice. I will not buy myself anything unnecessary this month. What can I buy this month?

~hygiene items (shampoo etc., we'll work on spending less on that later...) :
~groceries ($200/week, need to whittle that down, too!)
~gas ($50 for 1.5 weeks for my van unless seeing family out of state)
~pet food
~minimal garden stuff... (wood and soil for 2 4x4 raised beds, a few plants)


And save...
~$500 minimum, preferably at least $700

More goals...
~work on that grocery budget, for next month
~stay home 1 day each week unless I have to drive to work every day
~NO trips to the mall play area... because all roads lead to Anthropologie
~bake my OWN dang bread at least half the time
~take my lunch to work and only get one coffee drink each work night (to keep my poor tired self awake!)
~get my books at the library instead of buying at work, it makes *zero* sense to work 2 hours to buy a book; I'd rather spend that 2 hours reading the book or hanging with my family!
~no unplanned restaurant food
~no fast food!

15 days of no spending at ALL
30 days of no frivolous spending on myself
3 no-drive days (more if workin' less)

as I read over this, I think I may be being overly ambitious, please help me stick to this!!!
post #52 of 703
1.I'm mapster, partner to Steph, Parents to one, with one on the way (I'm allmost in the third trimester WAHOOO!), Dp works full time, while I work part time (two part time jobs, Dd comes with me to one, one is a newpaper job one night a week), and a part time student. $$ is tight, and will get tighter this month when My foster mom (Ima to me, Bubbe to Dd) comes to stay with us for 4-6 weeks. She is disabled, with very little income. Due to our federal govn't dicriminating against two mom families, we are also getting virtually NO tax refund this year, Dp's tax refund will have to pay my taxes, since neither of my jobs does witholding.

2. See all abouve, plus I'd really like to pay down CC debt before babe comes-I haveno paid maternity.

3. Pack preggo car snacks, Bulk cooking, try to start walking more as the weather is nice-I will have at least two more no-drive days since dd is on spring break in april, Do some stocking to sell on e-bay. Try for a frugal pesach!

April Goals:
No unbudget spend days goal 15/30,0/30
No Drive Days goal: 10/30,0/30
No frivolous spending over 100 actual: 0/100
Sold items 0/50
Thrift/HB kit items: 0/40
Decluttering/organizing 30 min day 0/24 (days off for Yom Tov)
Grocery budget 0/375-Extra for Pesach
Baked/bulk cooking 0/13
Study 30 min/day goal 0/26

March:Nospend14/31,No Drive: 5/31,frivolous spending147.41/100,Sold items 57/50,Decluttering 18/26,Grocery 331.27/350,Bulk: 6/13, Study23/31

Feb:No spend 11/29,No Drive7/29,No frivolous spending: 127.01/100 Sold items 60/50,Decluttering 30 min day 11/26,Grocery budget 352.59/350 Baked/bulk cooking 7/12
post #53 of 703
Ok now that I have some time I can get into specifics

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

Hi I'm Eileen, Single mom to 4 kids, 17 to 3 I work full time outside the home.

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.

I need to not spend ANYTHING in April because I am overdrawn on my checking account and I have a ton of bills. I also shop to feel better and I really need to get over that.

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 take lunch to work every day (eating out is a huge expense for me) and no more impulse shopping. I swear I have more Target charges on my debit card than any other 10 people!!
post #54 of 703
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself. I'm atouria, SAHM to my wonderful DS who is 13.5 months old. I'm pretty crunchy/frugal, but there's some definite room for improvement on the frugal side.

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. My goal is to be gentle with myself. I'd like to reduce impulse spending when it comes to lattes, especially. My main goal is to get an idea of what we're spending on groceries and eating out. The other, yet equally important, main goal is to cook more so that we eat at home more. I'll be using this month as a way to gauge where we are and where we need to be.

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 save all the receipts for this month. I have already bought some coffee to brew at home to curb that *$ craving. I also aspire to have a menu plan each week. That's a big one for me, because I've tried and failed so many times.

I'm allowing myself to participate in a frontier coop, but no others this month.

I'm not sure what to budget for frivilous spending, but I do need to buy my DH a gift for his bday this month. It's also my bday this month, so maybe I'll allow myself a little cash for a 'just for me' gift. (I really want to learn to whittle wood.)
post #55 of 703
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
Second, Dr. Who is starting this week () and we've promised to host friends each Saturday. We'll have to fix munchies, but again... we won't be eating out/shopping.

My brother and SIL do "survivor night" with three other couples. They rotate houses who ever is hosting makes dinner. Whoever hosted the week before brings dessert. They have been enjoying this "night out" for three or four years now.
post #56 of 703
Thread Starter 
Quote:
One question I have is, do I record DH's spending here, as well as mine?
Welcome Evenstar!

There are no rules for this thread...you record whatever helps motivate you to not spend.

So if you want to record your DHs spending too, that is fine. It is all good.

However....several of us (myself included) have learned that hard way that this is YOUR challenge and your DH may not be as much on board as you are. If he falls off the wagon, don't be discouraged.

We can only help you change YOUR spending habits, not his.

Good luck to you both, though! We're glad to have you!
post #57 of 703
I started my month by paying *every.single.bill.* that is due this month... this morning!!!

My gas bill was nearly $200. I paid extra on a couple of cards (I have 3. One of them has a balance of $16,500! I'm so sad about that, once I get spending under control, I am going to tackle it.)

This way I can't "rob Peter to pay Paul" this month just to buy stuff I don't need. The bills are paid. What I have for the rest of the month is what I have to work with. Right now that's only about $600 left over in checking account - but with my pay coming in (bookstore weekly, college pay on the 14th) I have another $900-1000 for a total of $1600.

Crap I just remembered I have to pay for preschool (this is the last month!), so make that $1420. I wanna save $700 so lets bring that down to $720.

Reality just hit. Can I do this?
post #58 of 703
I want to join! I am trying so hard to just stay out of stores!!

We just bought a house in October and its kind of coming down to the wire now. We have tax money in savings and I need to keep it there!! Our plan is to pay our tax part of our mortgage with our tax refund money (bc we cant pay taxes all at once)... and so to transfer around $200 to make ends meet each month so we can live comfortably (for now until dh makes more money or I do)...

But here is the thing, I always have to transfer more than that!! And at the rate we are going, we are going to run out of money before we get taxes back again!!! Its freaking the crap out of me!!

For my sanity I decided to cut back on watching the little girl I have every day bc I just am going to go nuts this summer with my kids off from school and having her every day! In my head it works out bc Im not going to be paying for preschool... but im going to fall about $25 short every week than what I was making which spells out to me no pocket money at all!!! (until fall when I plan to substitute in the school system for extra money)... so now im feeling like I need to get another job!!! Plus I dont know how we will do anything extra this summer like camping and with gas prices going up !!! Im freaking out here!!! I need to make more money, but I dont know if I can handle the stress, and I want my kids to have a fun relaxed summer.

Anyhow.... Im trying not to spend money... I really need to try somehow to save SOMETHING so that maybe we can go camping or something this summer.
post #59 of 703
I'm in this month. I'm also very good about posting my goals and then disapearing for the rest of the month :

I'm Amanda, SAHM to a wonderful 2yo and a bouncing 5mo. We are not only living pay check to paycheck right now, but we're taking out about $2000/quarter in student loans to make ends meet while DH is in grad school. With two kids, I would not make enough at a WOH job to cover child care, and he studies/works about 24/7, so an evening job really isn't a possability right now either. We need to get our spending under control so that we are living within our means and not accumulating even more debt.

My Plan:
20 no spend days
15 no driving days (I should be able to let the car rest every other day, DH walks to work)
Track grocery spending, as this is an area that I feel we can make a lot of improvement
1 eating out day this month
No off budget spending AT ALL - this is going to be tough, but we need to do something drastic.

Budgeted spending for this month:
Grocerys - $400 (I think I can do better than this, but this is realistic)
Vacation - $900 (we're being good americans and spending our Economic Stimulus Package on a much needed vacation to celebrate DH's halfway point in his PhD program and the end of a very stressful several months grant writing - Chicago here we come!!)

My Key:
= no spend days
: = grocery spending
: = no drive days
= off budget spending
post #60 of 703
ok so my plan is....

*go to the store once a week maybe just for things we need, cat food, cat litter, any shampoo, soaps, paper good, etc.
*grocery store once a week, but do large shopping every other, if i succeed in buying just milk, bread, yogurt and fruit every other week, I will have extra money to save from grocery expenses.... I guess my grocery goal is to spend just....$325 a month on groceries.
*As it is we try to limit eating out to once a week, once in a while we will go to a restaurant but usually its just take out..... at .. maybe $15-20 a week if we do it just once.. thats...... $100 a month. I dont think this is extensive but Id like to limit it to that, which means no easy take out meals when ds has soccer and no quick lunches out after picking up dd from preschool...but thats very attainable.
*I need to try very hard to not buy extra goodies or snack foods when I do my small grocery run, this would save us money.
*no frivolous spening on my weekly run to get what we need.. maybe I should limit this to just 2 times a month.
*I WILL Not buy any books this month, we really have plenty of books and go to the library every week anyhow.
*stay home and out of stores. if i go out with a friend, stick to a tea or coffee... No shopping!!!

so just 2 trips to the store for household items. 4 trips to the grocery store (only two big spending weeks)
no trips to any other stores for the month, there isnt anything I could possibly need. I need to do this.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › April No-Spend Challenge ~ Last day of our challenge. How did you do?