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~October No Spend Challenge~ The economy declines, MDC familes SAVE!!!!!!

post #1 of 481
Thread Starter 
October is almost here!! Halloween, Rosh Hashanah, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah O MY!! I would love to hear what people are planning to do to be frugal around the holidays!

For those of us that are planning ahead, let's get started! Join in any time!

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 October 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.

Good luck Ladies!! Keep that money in your wallet.

Our no-spend threads tend to get very long...you don't need to read the entire thread (unless you want to). Just read the first few entries and jump right in. Start recording your spending today!


Crunchy *VT* Mom's Tips for doing a no-spend challenge...

*Some of us record every penny that we spend, others only record unnecessary purchases. Groceries, utilities, clothing, transportation...we expect you to spend money on that. The "no-spend" in our title refers to unnecessary spending...things you could do without.

*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.

*Please 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.

*If you have time to read everyone else's post and do personals, thank you! 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.


You clicked on our thread and are thinking about joining for a reason...those reasons are what are going to motivate you during the tough, tempted-to-spend times this month.

Please give yourself some time to think about these questions and answer them in a way that is meaningful for you. These questions are to help you clarify why you are here and why you are doing this.

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of October.

2. 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?

3. Be specific! What are your goals? How many no spend days is right for you? Do you have a savings goal? Debt repayment goal?
post #2 of 481
I'm in!

1. I'm Heather. I'm a SAHM to 3 kids (9, 6.5, and 4). I'm trying to spend less this month because we are having a Halloween party with the neighbors at our house plus continue to pay down debt.

2. My plan is fairly simple.
a)cut grocery budget down to $200
b)stay home more
c)take dh's car more often to save on gas costs

3. Here are my goals.
a) have 10 no spending days
b) $200 grocery budget
c) $100 gas budget
d) $300 Halloween party budget
post #3 of 481
Hi. I am Kristi SAHM to 3 kiddos, we homeschool too. I was jazzed at the beginning of september to have a great no spend BUT....we ended up buying sofas at a going out of business sale (killer deal) and we also bought plane tickets to florida to see family for thanksgiving. UGH! More money than I thought we would spend, for sure and now I am behind on my debt repayment plan. I still want to pay off 3400 in debt by the end of the year. I definitley have caught the spending bug becasue I have my eye on a bunch of clothes I think I need....what i really need is to chill out and save some money for our trip.
My goals are:
20 no spend days
20 no drive days
be as thrifty as possible with food
save as much as possible

I am crossing my fingers for a great month of no-spend. I definitley need some inspiration!!!!
post #4 of 481
1. I'm in! I'm Ket, SAHM/Student to DD and with another on the way due in January. I tried to no-spend in Sept. but it ended up being a total disaster. I'm hoping this month will be better.

2. My plan is to:
A. Don't impulse buy. I'm such an impulse shopper.

B. Spend less at school! Take lunch and snacks and don't buy sodapop, take a water bottle. We have a million of them...

C. Don't let food spoil or be wasted. Right now there's a $8 bag of chicken in the fridge that's gone bad just because I haven't "gotten around" to cooking it. Ugh.

My goals, this time, are:
A. Have 20 no-spend days. That seems like a lot but with our living situation, I only get four-six days per month that I COULD spend money on...

B. Spend less than 20 a week for school-related expenses. This does not include gas, but it DOES include food that isn't brought from home. I'm horrible, horrible, about spending 10 bucks a meal at school and not blinking an eye, and that has to change.

C. Track expenses of all kinds. I have my spreadsheet, just need to keep it updated.

D. Lower the electric bill, even if it's only by $1. Set up a line-dry system both inside (near the wood stove) and outside so I don't have to use the dryer. Keep the carpet spot-cleaned so we don't need to steam-clean as often.

Hopefully this time I can keep track better and actually check in! Waiting on Oct 1st!

EDIT: Yay! It's the first!

10-1: Only spent budgeted money (eat out).
10-2: Only spent budgeted money (grocery).
10-3: Only spent budgeted money (eat out).
10-4: No spending!
10-5: No spending!
10-6: Only spent budgeted money (eat out).
10-7: Only spent budgeted money (gas).
10-8: Only spent budgeted money (eat out).
10-9: Only spent budgeted money (eat out and grocery). (Eat-out budget is almost full and it's not even halfway through the month... eek!)
10-10: No spending!
10-11: No spending!
10-12: No spending!
10-13: : Spent $35 (eat out) which is over our budgeted amount and also spent $30 (grocery/budgeted).
10-14: : Spent about $100 on kitchen stuff.
10-15: No spending!
10-16: No spending!
10-17: No spending!

Okay, so we fell through the rest of the month. So, we'll start over in November. Not bad, though... 8 no spend days.
post #5 of 481
I'm in!

1. My name is Prudence and I'm trying very hard to keep track of every dime that leaves our household. I'm doing Dave Ramsey and we are just weeks away from being completely debt free. This thread is the reason. :

2. My plan is:

ii) Come on here every day and record my spending
iii) Play with my kids, let the car rest, be satisfied with what we already own
iv) Think long and hard about every purchase
v) Declutter -- throwing stuff out motivates me not to buy more stuff

3. Debt repayment is our goal. We are soooooo close to paying off a HUGE credit card bill from things I bought over two years ago. I want that bill GONE. 20 no-spend days is my goal, and 10 no-drive days.

My previous months:

May 2007 = 19 no-spend days with $265 in unecessary spending
June = 19 /$394
July = 15 /$580
August = 19 /$451
September = 22 /$103
October = 20 /$203
November = 19 /$456
December = Fell off the wagon
January = 20 /$216
February = 21 /$190
March = 24 /$189
April = 19 /$402
May 2008 = 22 /$206
June = 27 /$23
July = 20 /$274
August = Fell Off the Wagon
September = 15 /$790

I don't know why that little Canada thing is on this post. I'm from Vermont.
post #6 of 481
Subbing again, and really wanting to do better than last month.

I plan on:
- buying most of our food through co-op (except fruit and veggies)
- planning and preparing meals, drinks, snacks, etc.
- use one full tank of gas all month
post #7 of 481
Hi, :
I'm J, student mama to DD1 (6) and DD2 (3). Wife to my DH for almost 8 years. I've spent this year in school fulltime, before that I was a SAHM. I've stated this challange a few times but never made it all the way through. I've made it the month staying on budget but always seem to never up date my post thruought the month.

My goals this month.
To honestly and accuretly keep tract of all spending for the month on October (that includes online purchases)

To record/tract milage and gas totoals

Mid week 1 relization. I eat out to much. Need to Pack food to take with us.

To have only 1x a week coffee purchased at a stand.

To have only 1x weekly purchased food out and about.

$10 lunch with best friend
$6 yarn (for christmas gifts)
$20 gas
$2 gum
$38 grocery store
$9 Mac'D with DD2 (insert head covered by a bag smilie)
$40 gas
$14 for lunch and dinner at school
$63 for birthday gifts for DD2 and Neice
$50 books for school
$117 (groceries, winter coat, shoes for DD2 and I... all at walmart)
$27 school pictures for DD1
$4 hot lunch for DD1 (2 days)
$8 lunch for DD2 and I
$20 groceries and a book
$6 misc for school
$83 for DD2 birthday party (cake, pizza, chucky cheeses)
$20 gas
$61 christmas gifts on etsy for DD1 and DD2 (total of 5 gifts)
$2 school lunch for DD1
$3 on chai tea mix
10/8 $60 groceries
$25 hair products and marykay
$40 on gas
$40 out to eat with MIL
$19 out to eat with MIL
$235 groceries

Total to Date = $663...... ($80 on gas).......
post #8 of 481
Hi. I'm justamama. I have a DP of 8 years, and we have two kiddos. Simply put, we currently spend more than we make, and that's without the unnecessary spending. So I don't want to do the no-spend challence. I HAVE to do the no-spend challenge while we get our finances uner control!

DP is not part of the challenge, and it's taken me a while to figure out that even if I can't control his part of the spending, I can control mine. So for me I plan to do all errands after I get off of work since I work right next to the store and by doing so I avoid DP's and the kid's impulse buys. I don't drive anywhere in town, and avoid going anywhere but the park when I can. If I need something I try to get it from FreeCycle before buying it. I'm checking FreeCycle and Craigslist trying to find things that I can use for upcoming birthday/anniversary/holiday presents.

My goals are:
5 unnecessary driving days
25 no spend days
Lower grocery bill to as close to $200 as possible (3 of us eating full meals, Pudge eating about 2 baby sized meals per day)
Convert the kids and I to family cloth (have a wanted ad out for scrap flannel right now)
post #9 of 481
Excited to participate.

My name is Ali. I have a dh, a ds (6), and am pregnant with a daughter due in early February. I work from home. We are fine financially but I really want to be more in control of our money and gain an understanding of where it is all going. I am hoping that participating will help keep me accountable.

My realistic goal for October is to simply document everything we spend. We spend quite a bit on food especially (organic everything + eating out) and I want to know exactly.

Once I know more (with an emphasis on no-spending days ) I feel like I will be able to come up with a more reasonable plan on areas to cut to increase our savings (long term goal).

I watched and read the thread this past month and it was really inspiring.
post #10 of 481
Hi there!

I'm inspired by these threads so I'm jumping in to start with some baby steps..

I have a 9.5 dd, 7 dd and 1 dd... single parent, just finished maternity leave, trying to do daycare from home so I don't have to pay for daycare... need to budget carefully though for this to work...

we don't spend a lot of frivolous money... eat out once a month, if that, the older girls get allowance that they use to buy their own treats with and have to save some of their $5 every week..

My biggest unnecessary expense right now is 1 - 2 large coffees purchased at coffee shops daily... I've been justifying this expense because I quit smoking in May and substituted cigarettes for the convenience and deliciousness of cafe bought coffee... plus it gets me out of the house & walking more... also, probably 1/2 of my coffees are probably purchased by my sister in exchange for all the free daycare I provide watching my nephew! and she uses my car all the time!

Anyway, I'm going to purchase some powdered milk and some nice coffee this week and try to make coffee at home 3 days/week instead of purchasing out...

I think I can easily do 15 no drive days... and 15 no spend days...

Another thing is it's my bday this month and I am totally planning on spending some gift $ from my parents on something for me -- usually clothes, but I don't even think that qualifies as unnecessary as I only own two pairs of full-length pants (not capris) and winter is coming... also we too are having a Hallowe'en party but we are going to do a lot of the decorations and all of the snacks from scratch so hopefully it doesn't get too out of hand and it's my baby's 1st bday in October so that will cost some $$$ but I figure this is a good month to start this thread for precisely those reasons!!!

A little bit more about my financial situation -- trying to secure a renewal mtge for a considerably lower monthly payment -- currently paying $1725 mth, would like to be paying $1200 mth... 11 months left on my car, however am hoping to see my car to my sister and buy new for lower monthly payments ($50 less a mth for a new car that I can use for daycare -- currently we can't all go on trips together and going up north with my nephew means someone doesn't go or two cars go), and approximately $400 in CC debt...


1. 15 no drive days -- fuel budget (I drive a diesel) $25/month
2. 15 no spend days
3. bday clothing budget -- $50
4. G's bday party & gift budget -- $100
5. Hallowe'en party budget -- $75
6. Eating out budget -- $30
7. Pay down CC debt $40
8. Save $300 toward plane ticket for xmas (parents are paying for the kids, I have to purchase my own flight and everything else is paid for -- yay!!)

Super excited for the accountability of this thread!!!
post #11 of 481
I am in this round. This is an extra pay check month for us and we have a big debt repayment planned. I just finished finessing the budget and we have a good month ahead of us. We let some credit card debt sneak back into our lives and I need it to be gone. If I stick to the plan and we have no surprises, we'll be credit debt free.

Extras this month:

Halloween -- 2 costumes and candy to hand out. We get 200 trick or treaters, so I have $40 budgetted for candy and $30 for costumes/material.

Dh's wine tasting -- $30 for wine, $20 for babysitting

Homeschool trip to pick apples -- $60 for kid activities and a bushel of apples

Copay for Dr visit -- $15

Birthday party for my son $100 for present, cake, food, etc

That is a lot of extra spending for us. Some things can be made cheaper and I will do what I can to shave some dollars, but I want to budget high. It is much easier for me to spend less than try to keep the budget so tight I can't make it work.

Okay, here's to a good month.
post #12 of 481
i'm in. i'm sarah, sahm/wahm to dd3. h & i are probably getting separated next year and will definitely ve selling the house. i've got to save as much as i can, pack stuff, clean up, winterize, go crazy, etc.

also, i'm about the bail out and have decided to stop putting as much money as possible in "the system." i plan on cancelling directv this month and trying to reduce our home phone plan (to one with limited local calls).

plans are:

cancel directv
reduce local phone plan (our cell phones are free right now)
10 misc spending days - dd gets a McD ice cream or milkshake when we drive our newspaper routes (i'm going to try to encourage the dollar menu)
get serious about packing and getting stuff out!
stay home at least 3 days/week
post #13 of 481
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of October.
Hi I am Sara and I already have been wanting to join, but really need to join this month as we have an unexpected "emergancy" coming up and need to make sure I keep things under control

2. No spending is hard work. You need a plan. Please tell us your game plan -- how do you plan to approach no spending for a month?

I plan on shopping 2X per week, meal planning and having decluttering to keep busy instead of shopping!!!!

3. Be specific! What are your goals? How many no spend days is right for you? Do you have a savings goal? Debt repayment goal?

20 no spend days
15 no drive days
Debt payments = $200
Savings goals = $2100 (need money for new baby!)
Christmas presents = under $500 (this will be amazing if we can pull it off!)

**We will be staying in a hotel for three days while our floors are redone, I would like to spend less than $300 for lodging and food during that time.**
post #14 of 481
Thread Starter 
: I am so excited to see the goals for October. :

(I am still working on mine. New job, New goals!)
post #15 of 481
Yes! I am in for October! :

Note: I am just counting unneccessary spending (not groceries, etc.)

Oct 1:
Oct 2:
Oct 3: $29 pumpkin patch (train ride, cow train ride, corn maze tickets, two pumpkins) + I forgot we ordered pizza for dinner ($60! )
Oct 4:
Oct 5:
Oct 6: $14 admission to a kids' play place (day off school, playdate with classmates). Ate before we went and brought snacks so we could avoid buying any food.
Oct 7:
Oct 8: $140 work clothes for dh (semi "unneccessary")
Oct 9:
Oct 10:
Oct 11: Spent $32 at the city-wide garage sales. Bought mostly books (lots stashed for xmas), some clothes for the kids to grow into, and a few toys that are also stashed. Came home for lunch instead of eating out.
Bonus: Turned a ton of CDs into used shop and got credit for new DVDs and CDs - many stashed for Christmas!
Oct 12: Spent $5 on books again (15 books!), then things went down-hill with $26.50 spent on jeans from ebay and $? at McDs. Doh! I am selling some other jeans on ebay, so I hope it will even out the jeans at least.
Oct 13:
Oct 14:
Oct 15: $16 haircolor/highlights (from box)
Oct 16: $30 dinner out
Oct 17: $86 on Chinese DVDs for the kids/me
Oct 18:
Oct 19: $125 winter clothes, pjs & a storage bin - probably could have squeaked by without, but semi-neccessary spending. $8 on two pumpkin carving kits. $36 on Chinese books online.
Oct 20:
Oct 21: $14 on jeans (good deal!), $38 on wooden game for kids for xmas $$$ on clothes at old navy (too embarrassed to say), $29 on prepaid cell phone (will save money in the long run, switching from regular cell)
Oct 22:
Oct 23:
Oct 24:
Oct 25:
Oct 26:
Oct 27: two pumpkins for school event $8
Oct 28:
Oct 29:
Oct 30: $30 for xmas photo cards
Oct 31:

$720 unnessary spending. Mostly clothes and eating out. We should be set for clothes until next spring, though. On to November!
post #16 of 481
I've attempted this challenge a few times in the past, all unsuccessful attempts.

Here's to a fresh start!

My name is Rebekah and I'm a single WOH mama of 2. I am joining because during dh's and my early separation I accrued some CC debt. I need to pay that off and start saving so I can move myself and my children out of my brother's house sometime this century!

My plan of attack is this: Only spend money on bills, groceries, and gasoline.
I would like to try and have a garage sale of some sort to make a little extra money to throw at my bills, as well.

My goal is to have only 4 spend days this month. I want to pay bills and buy groceries and gas only on Saturdays. The rest of the week will be tempting, but I am determined to cut out the UNnecessities that I have fooled myself into think are true needs.

Eeee! So excited! :
post #17 of 481
I often read through these threads but I'm joining this one.

I am Kelly and I'm a sahm to 4 kids

My major goal this month-pay at least $400 on Discover Card this month

My plan this month is to stick to my grocery budget ($500/mo including pet supplies, toiltetries, etc) and make sure I plan carefully so I don't need to run back to the store in between paychecks (dh gets paid every 2 weeks)

NOT spend a fortune on Halloween. I bought 2 costumes at the thrift store, hoping my other 2 find something at the thrift store they like, or at least a cheaper one at walmart

I have 4 dishes for various church/bible study events this month (that I know of now) My goal is to find a yummy CHEAP dish to prepare. I always end up spending so much and doing a 'big deal' thing when everyone would be just as happy with something much simpler
post #18 of 481
I'm in! : I'm Alison, DP to J, and Mama to T and another little one due in February. I am in school and we need to spend as little as possible unnecessarily to make sure we can stay ahead as much as possible so that my DP can leave work when the baby gets here. He is planning on taking parental leave and then not going back, going back to school instead.

So here are my goals for October. I have a few places that flux on my budget, but these are my maxes. I want to keep them as low as possible and definitely not go over.
0/100: Household flux
0/250: Groceries
0/80: Entertainment
0/20: BABiC (the babywearing group I facillitate)
0/50: Baby Supplies (I am trying to get things we need for the baby spread out so it doesn't hit us all at once)
0/40: Special Occasions (buying birthday/Christmas presents)

So for today I am at 0/540 flux dollars spent
post #19 of 481
I'm Candy and I'm a mother of 2. I'm hoping to secure a full time job this month. My major goal this month is to cut down on my Starbucks habit. Instead of hitting Starbucks everyday, I'm hoping to cut it down to maybe 2 times a week. Of course, if I don't end up getting the job I want, I'm hoping to avoid Starbucks all together.

My other goal is to be better about recording what I spend. I am going to do my best to check in everyday, with the exception of weekends. But I'll keep track on weekends and report in on Monday. I'm looking forward to joining everyone!
post #20 of 481
September was another bust for me.

I swear I'm doing it this month. Nothing's going to stop me.

I'm Lindsay, BTW. 25-year-old stay-at-home mom to three little ones, and saving for a down payment on a house or land to build to a house. We currently have $1400 in savings and a $1000 "cushion" in checking (meaning what we have left when we get paid again). Our goal is to have $5000 in savings and a $3000 cushion in checking by June 2009.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › ~October No Spend Challenge~ The economy declines, MDC familes SAVE!!!!!!