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~ November No-Spend Challenge ~

post #1 of 559
Thread Starter 
This thread is a support thread to help you ~not spend your money~. Everyone is welcome to join and you can start any time. It doesn't have to be November 1st. How about right NOW?

The plan is simple (although tough to execute):

1. Vow not to spend any money on unnecessary purchases.

2. Come on here everyday and record your spending.

Please write an introductory message when you decide to join our thread. We would like to know:

a. Who you are

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and

c. How you plan to get there

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

post #2 of 559
Thread Starter 
a. My name is Prudence. I am a SAHM with three daughters and my husband is a teacher. Do I need to say more? Money is ALWAYS tight here but we do fine if I just keep on top of the budget.

b. My financial goal is to be completely debt free by February 15th.

c. My plan:

1. Have 20 no-spend days in November
2. Come on here and record all uneccessary spending
3. Try to drive my car as little as possible. Gas = money
4. Find other ways besides shopping to keep myself entertained.
5. Go through our house and declutter -- when I do that I realize how much stuff we already have (a lot) and I'm not nearly as tempted to go out and buy more stuff to add to it.

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 My best ever! Had a baby this month
July = 20 /$274
August = Fell Off the Wagon
September = 15 /$790
October = 18 /$909
post #3 of 559
1. I'm in! I'm Ket, SAHM/Student to DD and with another on the way due in January. I did better in Oct but the last few days, I just haven't even kept track at all. :
2. My goals are about the same as last time...
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. Just wasted a ton of lettuce and fresh foods. Sigh.

So this time, I want to have 20 no-spend days. Last month I got 8! So as long as I get more than 8 I'll be happy.

So, now the waiting for the 1st... The hardest part of this month is going to be not browsing the cloth diapering boards. Even though we do need some, I tend to go overboard...

Month of Nov.
1 - : No spending!
2 - : No spending!
3 - : Took lunch/No spending! (And on a school day, too!)
4 - Spent about $35... eat out. Sigh.
5 - Spent about $35 for eating out.
6 - Spent about $15. Eating out again. And not even good food.
7 - Spent about $20. EATING OUT. Guess what I need to STOP? That's enough money for a week's worth of groceries and it only fed us for four meals.
8 - Good golly. Ate out again. $5. Stupid McDonalds.
9 -

3/20 no-spend days
1/8 take-lunch days
0/$300 grocery budget
post #4 of 559
Ok I need to stop procrastination... I'm in this month

A) I'm Jenine! I'm a new(ish) wife, NMY, and saving up for DH to go to paramedic school in March, so we can get the baby show on the road- my spending directly affects when we have a baby!

B) I want my budget "how much should be left over" and my actual "how much is left over" to match. No more wondering how come the budget says we should have $600 to put into savings this month but we only actually have $100.

C) This month I will be content if I even come and write down my spending each day. My 'super goal' is spending less money on eating out for lunch- I need to start packing one.
post #5 of 559
a. I'm a SAHM to a fourteen month old.

b. I want my budget "how much should be left over" and my actual "how much is left over" to match. No more wondering how come the budget says we should have $600 to put into savings this month but we only actually have $100. (Taken from a pp....but it fits my situation.)

c. Writing down all spending down in a booklet. NO UNNECESSARY SPENDING! (Basically, the only things I want to pay for this month outside of Needed Food and Rent and Utilities and bills is for my bus pass.......which is $8 a month....)

By December 1st, I'd like to have $100 saved....perhaps more!

Save up $10 a week and stash it away.....

26/25 no spend days
27/30 eat at home days (if someone treats us out, this counts as "at home")

Nov 1- No spending
2- Spent $11.80 on needed groceries (Fresh veggies for next week's lunches and dinners, bread and hemp milk for DD.) Was treated to dinner out with close friends. Spent $34 from the joint account on replacement socks, blouses and tights for DD when our cat got into one of her drawers and proceeded to shred everything in it this morning.... Good news: Was given a very unexpected commission for a custom judaica project that paid $50.....Also have made $9.00 on an ebay sale!
3- No spending!
4- No spending!
5-$25 bi-monthly "allowance" Made $9.00 from eBay sale. No spending!
6- Spent $99.00 on necessary groceries, the gas bill and the electric bill. Paid $2.60 for my Etsy bill. (Listed three items for sale last month)
7- $30 on lunch out with a friend!
8- $10 on supper out
9- No spending!
10- $10 on lunch out
11- I'm going to call it early as a no-spending day!
12- No spending!
13- No spending!
14- No spending!
15- No Spending!
16- No Spending!
17- No Spending!
18- No Spending!
19- $25 Bi-monthly allowance....spent $6.16 on WAHM business materials.
20- No Spending!
21- No Spending!
22- No Spending!
23- No Spending!
24- No Spending!
25- No Spending!
26- No Spending! Made $10 from a CL sale.
27- No Spending!
28- No Spending!
29- No Spending!
30- No Spending!
post #6 of 559
Hi mamas (and non-mamas)! :

I'm a 31-year-old unschooling mom to one. I work outside the home part-time (approx. 20 hours/week for craptacular pay), but I'm going to be quitting around New Year's (can I do my little happy dance?) to focus on the book I'm writing and to be with ds more.

This means that next year, we'll be living on only dh's income, which is going to be TIGHT (real tight, damn tight... sorry ). So, during November and December, we're planning to put my checks directly into savings and see what it's like to live without my earnings. Should be interesting, at least.

We're planning on cutting out all restaurant food and unnecessary thrifting. I'm also planning to go over the grocery budget with a fine-tooth comb. I figure we'll wait as long as possible to turn on the heat (we're in TX, so we can probably tough it out for quite a while), and I'll ask ds not to take so many baths (he usually takes 2 per day). We really don't do much extra-spending, as it is. Hopefully, these small changes will be enough....

Good luck to us all!!
post #7 of 559
I would like to join this thread. The thing is dh is not on board at all.
Would it be okay to join this thread for myself... meaning I will commit to not spending (or asking dh to go out to spend for me and the kids since he's the transportation around here ) If that's not how the thread works that's okay I'll try to do it anyway this month

Just in case it's okay if I stick around...
a. Who you are
I'm a sahm homeschooling 3 of my 5 children. My children are 6.5 months, 2.5 years, 10.5 years, 12 years and 13 years.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
My goals
  • not make any unnecessary purchases
  • drastically cut back on eating out/fast food or snack runs
  • put as much money as I can against debt - at least half of what we've been spending on 'extra' food
  • do our winter clothes shopping as thriftily as possible
  • keep tracking every penny spent
c. How you plan to get there
  • consolidate the week's errands to one or two days to limit opportunity to spend
  • plan snacks into our grocery budget and bake more often so there are goodies here instead of sending dh out to buy something
  • pay any extra money toward debt when I get a craving so it isn't there to spend
  • check Value Village several times before shopping for 'new' clothes for winter
post #8 of 559
Back again for another month

A. Alison, DP to J. We have one toddler, T, he's 2... and another little one on the way (due in February, though who knows when he (or she) will actually show up )

B. We just started Dave Ramsey this past month, and a month in I am thrilled with our progress so far We are looking to get our savings built up and as much debt paid off as possible before February. In February DP is leaving his job and taking parental leave and going back to school to be home with us

C. Continue with our Dave Ramsey plan.

Back with my goals now:
1. At least 15 no spend days. I really want to try to consolidate the days we do spend to conserve energy spent on trips (especially since it's usually my DP packmuling it with a backpack full of groceries/other shopping needs on his back and our DS on his front), since we don't have a car )
2. Absolutely no more than 5 days with unplanned spending
3. To keep our savings funded. Take nothing out of them, and add more in...
a) Emergency Fund, add minimum $135.00 this month
b) Freezer Fund, add minimum $50.00 this month
c) Business Fund, add minimum $50.00 this month
4. To pay $150.00 of the next debt we are snowballing to get rid of
5. Absolutely no more than 3 trips to Tim Hortons (this is a big one for me... most of the unplanned spending I do is there )

Here is to a great month
post #9 of 559
Gonna try this for the first time. Heaven knows we need it!

I'm Kris. I have a 9 month old son and have been married for almost 2 years now. We are seriously, painfully in debt and I think if I cut back on my random spending it would help a ton. Even though DH never gets mad at me for spending, I know I probably hurt our finances a lot.

So my plan is to try for 15 no-spend days. Only buy one birthday gift for myself. Don't buy ANYTHING unnecessary for my son, especially toys. Try really hard not to buy any more yarn (unless I use it for Christmas presents, like I know I'll need a few extra skeins of a certain color.) I also want to try to only travel further than 15 miles once a week. (We have a habit of going to a town about 40 miles from here twice or more a week, and it really adds up with gas costs.) And after the first week of Nov, only eat out 3 times.

Eek, I don't know if I can do this! But I sure want to try

Nov 1: spend a lot today on baby clothes and pictures - necessary, but spent more than I should have, and I've also bought more than 1 bday present for myself. eBay gets me into trouble
Nov 2: : forgot to plug the crockpot in so we didn't have dinner. Went to make back-up dinner and it burned. Valiant effort, but we're going out to eat. Dangit.
post #10 of 559
a. Who you are

I am a SAHM and married to a guy with an unstable job in an unstable market. I'm moving into Month Three of the MDC No-Spend Challenge.

Thanks to this exercise, our mortgage is now our only debt; we paid off $4000 that we still owed on a massive landscaping overhaul project. : I'm saying this to emphasize that you CAN meet your goals, ladies!

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

The current goal is to set up a safety net in our savings account. We haven't done a formal analysis yet, but we want enough of a cushion in case DH becomes one of his company's many downsizing victims.

I also want the house in tip-top marketable shape. Should a move be required, I'd like to get this baby on and off the market as quickly as possible in this crazy economy. This will involve some repairs and improvements . . . and money to pay for them.

c. How you plan to get there

1. $120.00 grocery budget. I rarely make it, but it gives me something to strive for.

2. For necessary non-food items, check thrift stores first, even if it means calling around.

3. Christmas gift budget is $100.00. Anything exceeding that will have to come in the form of homemade cookies and candies in pretty Christmas tins, (the latter of which I've been stockpiling from thrift store trips!)

4. Cut down on coffee consumption--2 cups per day max. That stuff has amounted to %12.5 of our grocery bill!

5. Continue to cook, cook, cook every day.
post #11 of 559
I am back again for month two. Last month my goal was simply to track our spending for the month and see where our money is actually going. Actually loved this process and am excited moving forward this month.

Who I am
Ali. Married to Chris for 10 years. Mama to Simon age 6.5 and a baby girl coming in Feb. Work at home.

Where we are going (our financial goals)
1. Pay off credit card. Paid other two off this past month (October) .
2. Increase amount going into savings.

How we plan to get there
1. Establish grocery budget and use the envelope system for November. We have been spending a ton and I know we can cut out a bunch after tracking this past month.
2. Meal plan. I did pretty darn good with this last month in simply adjusting my entire thought-process, checking out the weekly specials in the paper, and eating leftovers (which I am totally cool with).
3. Establish a cash envelope for eating out. This is another area I know we can cut if we just limit ourselves to a specific amount each month.
4. Keep tracking everything this month.
post #12 of 559
Welcome to November ladies; looking forward to sharing a great no-spend November with y'all!

a. Who you are...
My name is Kim; I am a SAHM/PT WAHM to 2 great little kids. DH works FT and also goes to school FT.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)...
1. Keep the budget in the black + stick to it.
2. Replenish emergency savings.
3. Continue to hit the debt snowball hard.

c. How you plan to get there...
1. SELL rental house - P&S signed; scheduled to close by 10/31
2. INCREASE income
3. Sell/donate unneeded items
5. Pack snacks + water whenever we go out
6. No more late library materials!
7. ORGANIZE! Majority of overbudget/frivolous spending can be prevented with improved organization.
8. Exercise: feeling good = decreased emotional spending

* 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
post #13 of 559
Hi, I'm joining in here!

a. I'm Tara. I'm mama to 20 mo and 8 week old boys. My dh is a full time student and I'm a sahm, would love to be a wahm when the littles get a bit older.

b. My short term goal is to save $3500 by July to buy out my leased car. Long term goals are to keep dh in school, and maybe buy a second used vehicle.

c. Only grocery shop once a week. Stop walking to the grocery store for this or that.
Stick to a strick budget for christmas gifts.
post #14 of 559
I need to be in. I have no idea how I am going to swing paying all the bills this month. I'll try to add my info & goals soon.
post #15 of 559
I think we're going to give this a shot. I know I need to be better about spending.

Who I am:
I'm Liz, WAHM to wonderful (although sick right now) twin boys, Jonah and Owen. DH is in med school, and we are living on debt. It's looking like we'll be about a half million in the hole by the time he's a full doctor (YIKES!), so we are trying to live off our savings as best we can (not that the state of Maine makes it easy...), and not have to take out any extra loans.

Our goals:
-not have to take out any more loans than we absolutely HAVE to.
-save enough money to visit best friend this summer
-live within our budget, as opposed to what we've been doing

-no more using disposable diapers because I'm overwhelmed.
-exercise. more exercise = less emotional spending (as someone earlier pointed out)
-I'm new to this, so 15 no-spend days in the month.
-no more buying chocolate! if I need chocolate, I can bake something. also, see above about exercising.
-barter for necessary items whenever possible
-DON'T barter for unnecessary items just because I like the barter system
-use what's in my pantry and my crafts bin

here we go!
post #16 of 559
ALL RIGHT, I will join you ladies finally!!!! :

Who you are
Amy, sahp to Liz (6) and Maggie (2) DW to Bob my DH. We live in the midwest and we live pretty frugal, dont carry debt and are making our home our home over the next few years as we have been doing for the last 18 mos. We bought a home that needed new owners.

Where you are going (your financial goals)
This is a good month since the holidays are coming up. We are not in debt other than our mortgage but I want to be able to pay for our remodeling stuff with breathing room as well as use up some food stuff in the house. Also, we have a side of beef purchase coming up in a few months so I want to be able to again pay for that w breathing room. We pay off our mastercard balences each and every month.
Also, we have the different gifts coming up such as teacher gifts, donate for a family etc.

w you plan to get there
I want to track spending. I do go out to lunch a few times a month w a couple of mom friends or take the kids. Its a social thing but it can also be done at another person's home or mine! Coffee, I do at home so that is not an issue. I still stock up on sale things plus we will bring pies for thanksgiving and might host a dinner that weekend so we might have to pay for a few things but not much. We are pretty frugal as it is. This is a good excuse to use things up.
means no spending whatso ever
: means ate out of my pantry, whats on hand or freezer
1- Supper Club hosted at my house. (spent $60.12 on groceries today and $26 on alcohal for party)
2 gave $20 to weekly collection at church : from what we had
3 paid car insurance and & : w leftovers and what we had
4 $10.51 lunch out + $2 donation + $2.47 for milk run= $14.98 spent today
5 Payday mortgage due Grocery run as well. $57.90+42.08= $99.98.
6 pay coop - $105 & spent $7.08 today
7 & :
8 & :
9 & : $20 church donation
10.DH's MC due today;$30 to lunch money at school;Target run: $65.58
11 & :
12 book order @ school, will be xmas gifts $48.00; grocery delivery; grocery run total = 85.48 so 133.48 :
13 lunch date w DH
14 need to buy 3 bday gifts for 2 bday parties this weekend $50.07;$5.90 other spending
15 : went to a jewelery party of a LLL mama, $78.00 for a me xmas gift
16 : $16 to church
17 : bought makeup today $149
18 :
19 food box delivery and milk $40.89
20 Payday gas fill up $33.08 (YES! not $65) $3.00 drive thru, xmas shoping $76.00
21 costco run $124.00, lunch $9.45 for a friends bday lunch. Should have skipped it!
22 aid MC (pay in full every month) grocery $26.00
23 : church $20
24 :
25 date lunch w DH $28.00 well worth it!
26 : &
27 Thanksgiving in USA
28 Black Friday went to grocery $30.06
30 grocery and church total $46.00
post #17 of 559
Welcome to all the new people (and welcome back everyone else). It's so neat to see so many of us together to cheer each other on :

Originally Posted by mama_ani View Post
I would like to join this thread. The thing is dh is not on board at all.
Would it be okay to join this thread for myself... meaning I will commit to not spending (or asking dh to go out to spend for me and the kids since he's the transportation around here ) If that's not how the thread works that's okay I'll try to do it anyway this month
That's exactly how this thread works. You are more than welcome here... I think the DP/SO for the partnered participants on this thread are at varying degrees of being on boards with the plan... some moreso than us (like mine ) and some not at all... but all are welcome to do what they can do for the month and keep track of it with us

Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
?- do we track this somehow??
Yep... everyday we come on and post how our day went, or how we are coming with our goals. How you choose to do that (daily/goal etc) is up to you, there isn't a right or wrong way. Here is the thread for October if you want to see how some of us were doing it this month.
post #18 of 559
a. Who you are
Monique, Fulltime working mother to a 12 week old baby boy

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
- Stick to the budget and payment schedule I have setup
- Try not to make any extra or spontaneous purchases
- Try to save at least $200 in November towards emergency money

c. How you plan to get there
- Exercise more
- Stick to my food plan (I'm doing weight watchers so I need to make sure groceries for the month are bought)/ meal planning
- Fill up my gas tank once a week only
- Save my errand runs for one day and one day only
- Spend more time at home watching all those unopened movies I have
- Track each and every spenditure for the month
post #19 of 559
This is exactly what I need for the next few months! Maybe I'll even start some habits that will help.

Who I am:
SAHM mom to 3 boys, 10, 4, and 14 months with babe due in May. Dh has a good job, but we are probably about to buy a pre-foreclosure down the street as it would be cheaper than remodeling our place.

Financial goals:

Since our house isn't ready to sell, but we have to move fast if we want the other house, that means carrying 2 mortgages until we can sell our house. According to the numbers, we can do it, but we have to make drastic changes. I have to halt spending on everything but food and essential items.

The Plan:
  • make a meal plan for every day of every week, and maybe every meal
  • record every $ we spend
  • no more treats at the store
  • weekly, planned trips
  • using our pantry wisely
  • envelope budget so I can see--I'm a visual person

I'm thinking that if I can stick to this for a few months we can easily afford the other mortgage until we sell. I'm gonna pray soooo hard that we can sell quickly. I also think that this will teach me to stick to a budget--something I haven't really done since we were in school. Got to comfortable.
post #20 of 559
Thread Starter 
Welcome Newcomers and Amy (who is a frequent lurker and advice giver on this board, so she doesn't seem like a newcomer at all )!

And great to see you returning no-spenders and regulars.

Ani -- You can do this challenge however you would like. Some partners are on board, some are not. it is all good. We all do our own thing -- knowing you have to come on here and record your spending is the motivation.

However you want to record it, it works for us. Do whatever will cause YOU to spend the least.

?- do we track this somehow??
Amy -- You can track whatever you would like to on this thread.

If I were doing it, I might set up something like: : = ate food from the pantry and give myself that icon every day I was successful. But you can also write it out in words if that motivates you more.
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