~ February No-Spend Challenge ~ We're tracking our spending and trying to only buy the necessities...Come join us! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a support thread to help you ~not spend your money~.

Everyone is welcome to join and you can start tracking your spending at any time. It doesn't have to be February 1st.

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.

We all record our spending in different ways. There are no rules. You record and update however you would like -- pick a way that will help you spend the least amount of money.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.


 

 

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#2 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My Intro:

1. My name is Prudence and I'm a SAHM with three daughters. I track my spending because I need to be doing less of it...and seeing it all written out in black and tan on this computer screen helps to sober me up when I want to go on a spending spree. Coming on here every day keeps me accountable.

Giving myself an icon on this board rewards me like a gold star did back in kindergarten. I love to see no-spend days all lined up.

2. Financial goals: FINALLY our family is in good financial shape. I owe a LOT of this to the other MDCers on this board. This thread has given me a budget and given me some self-control when it comes to purchases.

My goal used to be to get out of debt (we are now and then it was to have a nice cushion of savings (we do so now my goal (and this is going to sound all zen but I'm like that...) is to be at peace with what we have right now in our lives.

I'm constantly wanting...more...more...MORE. And the things I want are inevitably just a hair too expensive for us.

I live in a really nice neighborhood, great schools, safe, cul-de-sac, in a house that is bigger than we need, with beautiful home furnishings and a huge fenced yard...yet most of my day is spent thinking about what we DON'T have.

I want a new couch, I want new lighting, new flooring, a pool, a deck...seriously the list is never ending.

So I'm trying to focus on contentment. On being satisfied with what we have.

My financial goal is to finally say: ENOUGH. We have what we need...it is time for me to enjoy these things and stop hunting and gathering more stuff.

3. My plan to get there: Post on this thread every day. Come on here and get as many no-spend icons as I can. When I'm not out shopping, I'm a lot happier. If I don't see it in a store, I don't know that I need it. I'm setting it as a goal for myself to stay out of the stores for a month. I want to spend my time this month loving on our home...cleaning it, organizing it, thinking about all the things we do have and playing with my children and my baby.

Concretely...I would like to have 20 no-spend days.

I'm also working on a diaperswappers addiction, so I would like to go the entire 28 days without ever visiting that website. I'm pretending there is a block on that website and I can't even type in diapersw...

Gas=Money...so I would like to drive the car less. I fail miserably at this goal usually, so I'm aiming pretty low. Let's say 5 no-drive days. That is usually all I can handle.

Good luck this month Ladies!!! I'll be on here every day rooting for you :

 

 

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#3 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My previous months:

May 2007 = 19 no-spend days / $265 in unecessary spending
June = 19 /$394
July = 15 /$580
August = 19 /$451
September = 22 /$103
October = 20 /$203
November = 19 /$456
December 2007 = 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
October = 18 /$909
November = 20 /$360
December 2008 = 20 /$611
January 2009=14 /$504

 

 

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#4 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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I'll be in for February for sure. I've got to come up with a good key for me though because I like to keep track of every penny which obviously includes necessary spending like energy bill, fuel, etc. I need pats on the back for my "no-spend" days though! I think maybe I'll use this guy for a necessary spend day and this guy : for a truly no-spend day! My husband was laid off from his job last week and while we are not at a place of financial hardship yet (still a ways off), I feel like the prudent thing to do is to live as if we are because that will keep that place even further off, make sense? I'm hoping dh will have a job in the next two weeks. Things are looking good in that respect. *fingers crossed* Anyhoo, TMI - sorry. My goal for Feb is to keep all unnecessary spending at bay and all necessary spending as small as possible - at least it gives me a sense of control over things!
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#5 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyhoo, TMI - sorry
Misty -- I write a seven page intro and you feel like your little paragraph is TMI?


 

 

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#6 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 03:53 PM
 
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I've been waiting for this thread, because I want to join! :

Who I am: Weasleymum AKA Mara

My financial goals: DH and I are trying to get to where we're only spending one income (his) in preparation for our baby coming in May and my switch to SAHM-- that's the master goal. I'm hoping to get there by April: spend the next two months cutting back, saving, paying off debts, then in April and May use only DH's income and save mine entirely, while also getting used to the difference. Secondary goals include getting all cc debt and any other debts paid off by then as well.

How: February: What I've been doing for the past few weeks (I get paid weekly) has been to leave a certain amount of my paycheck in my checking account, withdrawing the rest in cash, and using that cash for groceries and household etc. It's been working really well, so I'm going to stick with that.

1. NO spending out of the checking account-- cash ONLY. Allowed exception: any medical/hospital bills that come in the mail.
2. NO credit-card use. Only allowed exception: one tank of gas today, hopefully will last all month.
3. Second two weeks of Feb: Increase the % of paycheck left behind in acct from 36% to 43%.
4. Pay total amount due on Discover card, from amount saved in checking, by Valentine's Day. PUT CARD AWAY.
5. Use all of bonus coming Feb. 13 towards either DH's credit card, mine, or both. ()
5. All dinners cooked at home except for two out.
6. All lunches brought from home! NO OVERPRICED CAFETERIA FOOD!

Mara, mama to two boys born 05/2009 and 04/2011, after four miscarriages. 

Also: chicken3.gif  dog2.gif

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#7 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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I'm joining too.

a. Who you are: a full-time working mom and mother of a wonderful 2.5 son. DH works part-time, and has his own business part-time and teaches, so it seems that he is always working! We just bought a new (old) house last year and have a lot of renovation we would like to do, but not a lot of time or money. We went a little shopping crazy when we first bought the house and emptied out our savings account.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) We are not bad off financiancially, but I'd like him to start putting some away for retirement. We also have some major home renovation that I know will be necessary in the next year or two (including new furnace and new roof), so I'd like to start saving for those. I also want to refinance soon and lock in a low fixed rate, since we currently are in a ARM. I'd also love to be able to complete renovation our horribly gross kitchen floors and counters next year.

c. How you plan to get there.

1. Cut out toy purchases (except for birthday & Christmas). Spend more time on DIY crafts
2. No new furniture
3. Cut back on Starbucks
4. Cut out eating out to twice a month
5. Turn the heat down more consistently at night
6. Save $200 month towards home renovation projects
7. Save $100 month towards retirement
8. No big vacations this year (we also went a little overboard last year) - only camping or staying with friends
9.Tomorrow's paycheck is a bonus paycheck which will go entirely towards our saving/refi.
10. Getting our food budget to $400 month (including eating out)
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#8 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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I've been waiting for this thread, too.

1. I'm lemongrass, SAHM, due with baby #4 late February/early March, and slowly working toward becoming a WAHM.

2. Financial goals: To live very frugally on dh's small income, not acquire anymore debt, and begin to pay down the debt we already have. I would like to get to a place where we are comfortable on one income so that when I start working again we can use my income to pay off debt and start really saving.

3. Write down every single penny spent, eating only meals cooked at home, making foods from scratch, buying as many of our necessities used as possible, conserve as much energy & water as possible. And give up cable! :
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#9 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 06:39 PM
 
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Another who has been waiting . I'm a SAHM/homeschooling mom to two kids and DH is a min wage part time sales clerk so things are tight even when it's good. We're getting a little behind financially because I'm been in a panic stock up mode and still reeling a bit from Christmas.

This month is nesessities only. I am only budgeting $20 a week for groceries, the fresh stuff like eggs, veggies and fruits. Medical is a necessity; DS is getting allergy testing on monday and dental surgery on Tuesday and DH will need his puffers, so those are necessities (DS may need meds, not sure yet). Car needs to be inspected and we need an oil change plus whatever other repairs it may need (it is not optional here and I refuse to take a chance of driving an uninspected car).

So basically our needs this month will end up costing us what we will save but that is basically the point. The rest will go into savings, if there is any, and I doubt it.

How am I going to accomplish my no-spend goals? I'm going to enjoy the things I like around the house, eat from our storage and use up things we haven't gotten around to. For Valentines, I'm going to suggest either an at home dinner (we have lobsters in the freezer ) or we can use a gift card from Christmas. Fortunately there are no other holidays and as far as I know, no birthdays this month.

I may not post much but I'll try very hard to be accountable!!
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#10 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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HI Mommas! I don't really have a plan together, but I think I'm going to pop in an observe. I really don't have much money to spend, so that's good, but wanted to watch your tips and tricks for saving.


Hope you all don't mind.

Oh, I'm a WOHMomma married to a WAHD, right now we've got just the youngest in the house, but possibly soon we will have DSD#1 and DGS here too. My budget's really tight, but I just changed my withholding (on account of being officially married and mommed), so I'm planning on putting that in savings. Trouble is, when I spend I spend on grocery splurges.

The only things I hope to buy in Feb are DD's bday present, nephew's bday present and some seeds for the garden. Otherwise I hope to stick to my grocery budget and finally get some $$ socked away.

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#11 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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Hello again! I'm in again for February. I actually stuck with it all the way through January--my first whole month on the thread!

I didn't meet all my goals in January, but I'm proud of myself anyway. Here's hoping February will be even better.

a. Who you are - My name's Lindsay. I'm from rural north Louisiana. I'm a stay-at-home mama of three little ones, ages 7, 3, and 18 months. I work from home very part-time (around 14 hours/week) doing medical transcription. I'm married to Christopher, who works offshore in oil production.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) - We are saving for a down payment on a house. We hope to have $25K in savings by December 31, 2009. We're at just above $7K currently. We just started saving in mid December, so we're doing better than great so far!

c. How you plan to get there - By sticking with this thread and hopefully meeting the following goals for February:

15 NO SPEND days
$600 or less on groceries/household expenses
$200 or less on eating out
$300 or less on spring/summer clothes for me & the kids
$125 or less on 6 gifts for Christmas 2009

I'm anticipating that the eating out goal will be the hardest for us. We spent almost $300 on eating out in January, and that was trying hard not to eat out much! Needless to say, we need to learn to keep our butts at HOME at mealtime! So that's my major challenge for February: Eating at home!
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#12 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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Prudence, I love your idea of making this month about staying home and loving our houses and kids instead of all the material things out in the world. I'm going to join you in that philosophy for February.
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#13 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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Hey, ladies! I am hoping I will keep up with this thread, I'm new to this thread and budgeting in general. Until recently, we have never had enough money left after bills to budget with, so that's a plus, I guess!


a. Who you are
I'm Nemesis, WAHM to 2 girls. We homeschool and DH is in grad school, graduating this summer. I make soap and sell some online, but mostly make money doing the farmer's market in the summer and a few art/craft shows.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
This last year we finally paid off our credit cards!! And now we have no debt, except the student loans we will have to pay when DH graduates. We are working on savings/emergency fund to fund our move after school and in case it takes a while to get a decent job. We also have two cars that are on their lats legs, and we plan to replace them with one newer car in the next few years, hopefully.

c. How you plan to get there
DH and I have set a budget allowing us to have $200 for all unneccesary spending a month. This includes eating out, movies, gas, etc.. just the little stuff that comes up.
The rest will go into savings for our move. We are also trying to drive as little as possible to hopefully extend the life of our cars a bit.
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#14 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
Misty -- I write a seven page intro and you feel like your little paragraph is TMI?

Hee hee - well.....
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#15 of 561 Old 01-30-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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Prudence, I love your idea of making this month about staying home and loving our houses and kids instead of all the material things out in the world. I'm going to join you in that philosophy for February.
Me, too - although there WILL have to be at least a minimal amount of chocolate involved. I do have some in the pantry though, so I can come up with something using that!
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#16 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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A. Who you are.
Jenny, SAHM to one little girl, due with another babe (of unknown sex) in April.

B. Where are you going.
Right now my primary goal is to pay for my prenatal care and the birth without decimating our very modest savings account. DH works in the landscape business and as you can imagine hours are cut in the northeast in the wintertime. This makes it all very difficult to achieve.

C. How you plan to get there.
Stick to the budget like my life depends on it.
No recreational shopping outside of weekly trips to the thrift store.
Enjoy organizing/improving my home and sewing for the baby with fabric that's already in my possession.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#17 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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a. Who you are
I'm A SAHM of 2 kids with another due in May!

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

We started a business this past year, and it's going well, but we are paying ourselves minimum wage (our other employees make excellent salaries ). We get $1200 in salary (once FSA contributions are taken out) plus some extra income from our rented house (the one we couldn't sell when the market tanked), and I'd like to live within our income so that we can continue to pay ourselves minimum wage for as long as it's best for the business.

c. How you plan to get there

Well, I could stop dropping $900/month on food! OK, it's not that bad, but I could really stand to get that figure under control. My other spending categories are not too bad, but across-the-board restraint is necessary to avoid draining our bank account month-by-month.
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#18 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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Hey friends! I had a great time doing last month's challenge and am back for more.


a. Who you are

Ruth, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom to three kids.


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)


Our biggest goal -- no new debt.

Our next biggest goal -- $1000 to the CC each month.


c. How you plan to get there
I have $500 for groceries this month and $50 for gas. The rest of our bills are fairly steady. We get paid on the 6th and I plan to send on our $1000 payment right away and keep it tight for the rest of the month.


My goals:

No new debt!
1000 cc debt
500 groceries
200 food co-op (bulk goods)
50 gas



ETA -- just reviewing last month's budget. We spent a ton of money on food! And we ate out of the pantry a lot. I think I need to up my grocery budget to $500 (had been $400). I either overrun the budget or we literally go a little hungry, so clearly more money needs to go to filling the fridge.

I filled the tank today and that gas should last me 2 weeks. I added a gas category to my budget though to help me make sense of spending/driving habits.

I talked dh out of doing a date night for the next 4 months till we are out of cc debt. I love our night out, but we can really use the $50 right now.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#19 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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a. Who you are
My name is Stephanie. I'm married to a SAHD, he's great. I'm a FT WOHM to 2 little loves.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and
We live paycheck to paycheck without an EF. We want to buy a house next year and have space of our own (for less than our current rent). We need to save some $ for a new car.

c. How you plan to get there
By not spending money at work! I can charge stuff to my badge and it's automatically deducted from my paycheck. I had a huge problem with this before going on maternity leave. I'm talking $60 every 2 weeks on food and snacks. I work 20 days this month so my goals will be based on that. I plan on putting anything over $100 from DH's PT job into our savings account. The $100 will be put into our checking along with my paycheck. We won't get any spending money until the end of the month when we're sure we have the money for it. I'll just repeat to myself while I'm out "Sure, I want _______, but I want that house way more!"

KEY/GOALS/TOTALS

No Spend 0/15

Grocery/Household/Gas/Bill Spending

: 0/$10 spent on badge at work

:Bring lunch from home 0/20

Savings 0/$300

$0.00

S-d D which made them three. M grew lonely, and now there's baby D.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
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#20 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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By not spending money at work! I can charge stuff to my badge and it's automatically deducted from my paycheck
Oooh Stephanie! That would be tough for me. I used to be in a work situation like that too and I always overspent because it didn't feel like spending...you know?

 

 

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#21 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Clean slate. New Month.

01..
02..
03..
04..
05..
06..
07..
08..
09..
10..

My goals:

0/20 No Spend Days
0/5 Let the Car Rest Days :
0/28 No Diaperswappers

 

 

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#22 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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Oooh Stephanie! That would be tough for me. I used to be in a work situation like that too and I always overspent because it didn't feel like spending...you know?
I know, it feels like a credit card except you don't have to sign. And if you buy your lunch from the cafeteria you get a 25% discount if you put it on your badge. Then, 2 weeks later when you get your paycheck you realize you spent $60 on lunch, in the gift shop, and on the coffee cart - $4 fruit smoothies makes me as bad as you Starbucks addicts out there!

S-d D which made them three. M grew lonely, and now there's baby D.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
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#23 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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a. Who you are

Kelly, sahm to 4 kids


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
Get out of credit card debt in 2 years.
Also trying to have a no spend year (I posted in the other thread on that)

c. How you plan to get there
Paying $495 month to Discover card and $138 to Star card
have as many no spend days as possible!


My smilies=
necessary spending (bills, etc)
: no spend day

Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.

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#24 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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Hey all -

I've been over on the No Spend Year thread, so I figured I'd hang out here a bit, too (here's my intro over there). January went so well, and now I'm totally jazzed about not spending! Woo hoo!

:

Anyway, I'll be coming over here to post my dailies. Good luck to all of us!!

Come visit us on Tangled Hill! One small family in a big, big world.
Peace through homemaking.
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#25 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Hello I am westernskies

Financial goals are to be debt free, sell our home, and buy a hobby farm outright. My financial goals for February are to:

Reduce Spending- Have as many no spend days as possible, think about purchases for at least 24 hours before making them, STICK TO MY BUDGET!

Already I see bumps in my February road with Valentines Day, My birthday, our wedding anniversary, and a weekend winter retreat (already paid for) in the line up... I think I just need to budget aside specific set amounts of money for each of these and then not go over.

Specific Goals

20 out of 28 no spend days
14 out of 28 no drive days

=No Spend Day
:=Unexpected but Absolutely Necessary Spending
=I blew it
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#26 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 11:46 PM
 
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I am in again! I really didn't spend much last month outside of food, but I want to spend even less this month. I am also hoping to curb the food spending.

1. No spend! (This is premature since we are showing our house tomorrow!. Must plan ahead!)
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#27 of 561 Old 01-31-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by westernskies View Post
Already I see bumps in my February road with Valentines Day, My birthday, our wedding anniversary, and a weekend winter retreat
Oh, goodness. I totally forgot about Valentine's Day! Guess we'll have to find something free to do. No biggie. Several things have come to mind already....

Son's bday is also this month, but I've got gift money for that set aside, and I'll get cake ingredients out of the grocery budget. Instead of a party, he wants to take a friend to a place with bowling/laser tag/arcade games, but he's going to that same place tomorrow (with this same friend) for another kiddo's party, so I'll see if I can't talk him into something a bit cheaper.

Come visit us on Tangled Hill! One small family in a big, big world.
Peace through homemaking.
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#28 of 561 Old 02-01-2009, 01:17 AM
 
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Hi I am Gwen a SAHM to 4 wonderful jewels. Currently I am homeschool just one.

I hope to save money so we are more finanacially secure. DH's job next year will be drastically cut in hours so we are try to build a cushion.

I hope to continue being thrifty and pay off the house early.

I want to be able to give presents that are homemade even thriftstore finds and not feel guilty then go to the store and buy something new on top of what I already gave!

Example:
I made my neice a apron. I added to her giftbag a box of cake mix and cookie mix and a cute heart cookie cutter. Then I felt all guilty that it didn't cost much (the apron was made out of vintage material that I had) and I went and bought $20 more buck of stuff. my sister even told me that I put more effort in my gifts that are homemade then others who spend more.

I want to only eat out once a week (sometimes I am out and about and it's so easy to grab mcdonalds...does it count if only buy the kids nuggets, not softdrinks,fries, or the kiddie toys ha!) any ideas of a lunch I could tote with me that's easy. My little ones don't do pb sandwiches.

I want to use cloth diapers almost exclusively.

I want to make sure I look nice even if the outfit I am wearing is like 7 yrs old.

I am pretty good about not spending gas...I have too many little ones to be adventerous.

currently we are a family of 6 (one who is on breastmilk only) and spend about $4oo mnthly in groceries. Though I think this is pretty good i am sure we can keep cutting.
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#29 of 561 Old 02-01-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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Okay, I will really stick w/ it this month!

Who I am:

WAHM to two kids, age almost 4 and 18 months. I work part time as a medical transcriptionist and hubby is in property management.

We are actually debt free and rent our house right now, so that is not an issue. We currently have about 3500 saved right now towards our 'forever home,' and we want to get 40000 saved up in the next few years. All of my paychecks go directly into a savings, and we put an additional 260 in from our budget every month. I am feeling the pull of finally being financially secure and finding things that I "need" to have, as in, I really don't need! I am also striving for contentment, so thanks to the original poster and her reasoning! It is an inspiration! I don't want our increase in income to = an increase in stuff, so I am going to head it off at the pass!

So the things I will buy this month:
1. Thomas cake for daughter's bday.
2. Cod Liver Oil and vitamin supplements for hubby and I.

What I will refrain from doing:
1. I will not buy gardening stuff this month. I will save that for next month!
2. I will not drive to unnecessary places and attempt to combine trips.
3. If there is something that we need, I will try to get it elsewhere for free. If it is truly something that is needed, then I will get it at a thrift store or used, cheap.
4. I will look at my kids and family and decide how I am truly going to spend my time, and remember on my death bed what is it that I will have wanted to spend my life doing--shopping or strengthening relationships?

Good luck everyone!

Tiffany
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#30 of 561 Old 02-01-2009, 03:30 AM
 
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I am Mapster- partner to my Dp, and Mommy to Dd's 1 & 2. We are working on getting out of serious debt using the Dave Ramsey snowball method. No car debt-just lots of Cc and student loan debt. I would love to be able to pay at least 200 extra this month to Cc. I've been at these threads on and off for a long time. I usually get discouraged in the middle of the month and give up, but I ROCKED last month-this thread really encouraged me.

I was very happy to manage to control no spends last month, this month is tough in some ways because it is shorter, but I hope to do as well or better. I just got some yummy yarn for my birthday, so that should keep me busy and away from spending on *that* board (I'm not naming it to protect Crunchy V.T's eyes )On that note, though I'm so happy we cloth diaper since I heard someone the other day say that most people spend 72 per MONTH on diapers! My birthday is this month though, and so is valentines day, and....

I was so happy with how well we did in January We will all do awesome this month:!!

February Goals;
unbudget spend days goal 15/30, 0/30
No Drive Days goal: 7/30,0/30
No frivolous spending over 95 actual:/95
Sold items 0/50
Thrift/diaper items: 0/20
Decluttering/organizing 20 min day 0/20
Grocery budget /340.00
Baked/home cooking:/10
Study/Daven daily 0/18
no Tv days 0/15
patience cultivated 0/28
walked 0/10
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