~May No-Spend Challenge~ We're tracking our spending and trying hard to spend less. Come Join us! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 390 Old 04-29-2009, 09:01 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 May 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 390 Old 04-29-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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Sign me up!

a)I'm a sahm of 3 dc's 5 and under.

b)We're sick of renting dumps and want to own a SFH but don't have the $. Are saving to buy in a year or two.

c)SAVE SAVE SAVE. We're wasting so much money through disorganization so we need to focus on that first. And DISCIPLINE. I feel like I'm never going to have the $ to buy a home so it's hard for me to not waste $ on smaller things that I want that at least I can afford.
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#3 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 08:36 AM
 
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N/M, maybe next month .

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#4 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 10:22 AM
 
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I'm in again. I'm Kristine. WOHM to 3 girls. April was better than any other month so far, but May is always challenging. In addition to Mother's day we have dh's birthday, dd2's birthday and my birthday. Always end up with way to much cake
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#5 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 10:59 AM
 
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Love seeing where the money goes- I'm in for may!

5/1 - - 7$ Target(Groceries)
5/2 - 0$ spent
5/3- - 10$ gas


Key:
No spending whatsoever-
Planned/Budgeted spending-
Totally unnecessary spending-

E Veg*n Mom to ds 6 : dd 3
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#6 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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Okay, okay. I really should do this.

I'm Desiree, a newly married sahm

As far as financial plans go, we are on the TMMO and I've set our "perfect" budget for may-june and would like to stick with it. We have about $1100 in debt left before we can start saving for our FFEF. According to my budgeting (hehe, i'm a total nerd) we will still have a little more than $400 in debt by the end of june. We could pay it all off - except we have a baby coming late July and have to take care of some non-TMMO expenses (car repairs and baby stuff).

I'm hoping that i'll be able to be frugal enough to have us totally debt free by the end of june - if we get our tax refund back, and DH works a little OT then it *might* happen. We'll see! We also have birthday's coming up, but they are ours - and i don't go all out for grown up parties, lol!

ANYWAY - We get $25 "entertainment" money every two weeks. Not much, I know...so this is still okay to spend, but my goal is if i didn't budget it, i'm not spending it.

So question - do i just keep updating THIS post, or do i post a new thread each day? Help? Lol.

See ya all soon
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#7 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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I am in. DH and I just started taking Dave Ramsey's FPU classes through church and this thread will hopefully help me stay accountable! My goals are to spend nothing that isn't absolutely necessary. We do have one "major" expense this month and that is my cousin's wedding on the 16th. It's a 3 hour drive, so we'll pack snacks and/or lunch for the road, but we also have hotel reservations for that night. We are splitting the cost with my mom so it's not as bad as it could have been. I also need a new air conditioner compressor for my car, but I am hoping to find one at a junk yard rather than pay the $350 my mechanic quoted me. I would just let this go, but DD gets car sick when she gets too hot and having a new baby that can't regulate body temp yet is too much for me! I don't care about being hot, I love having the windows down! So I will start today...

4/30:
5/1: $122 for food stuff, gas and dog food; and the kicker, a $100 check to the ER that I had misread as being cleared was not, but it is now! There was also a $65 paypal deposit and DH returned some stuff he bought so hopefully that money will be returned soon.

Erin, mom to Amelia Rose:, 6/15/06 and Lily Grace, 6/7/09; wife to Phil since 10/9/04
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#8 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 02:47 PM
 
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I'm a SAHM of two. My husband is a student and we currently live off of his military benefits so money is really tight. Do-able, but very tight, and we haven't been very good with staying on budget. My mom has been giving us way too much freebie money and we've gotten spoiled, simply put. I really hate being even this dependent on her and want to be self-sufficient. I feel a lot of shame over accepting money from her. Lot of baggage and control issues. And my husband grew up poor but has never had to be accountable for any money spent so he has never learned self-control and really feels depressed if he can't blow his money on toys. I want to prove to him that we *can* do this!

Goals:
* Stay at home as much as possible.
* Use cash ONLY so we can really figure out where the money is going
* Keep fast food out of our lives completely

~*~*~*May*~*~*~

1. Spent -
Drove - 40 miles
2. Spent:
Household - 9.22/50
Children - 6.97/50 -
DH - 18.01/50
Groceries - 73.22/400 (59.48 This week, 13.74 Stockpile)
Family Treat Money - 10.92 / 70
Drove: 23 miles
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#9 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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Hi Everyone!
I'm a SAHM mom to four little ones aged seven and under and am expecting baby #5 in a few weeks.

We are "house rich & cash poor", and if I can not stick to our budget over the next few months we will have to move out of Toronto and to the suburbs - which would be a huge uproot of our lives.

I'm committing to daily tracking and buying only needed, NOT wanted purchases. It will be very hard to stick to our very tight budget, especially shopping with a newborn in tow and a sleep deprived brain, but I am determined to do it!
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#10 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 04:04 PM
 
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I am going to guess that this is not a necessity. I would really like it though. I make our bread and would love to make it quicker and simpler. I already checked and my library does not have a copy.

Erin, mom to Amelia Rose:, 6/15/06 and Lily Grace, 6/7/09; wife to Phil since 10/9/04
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#11 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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Alright I'm in again! Last month was very eye opening. I think that if I stay on target I can get one cc paid off plus more to another... but maybe not I will have a friend visiting for 10 days and that will most likely mean extra gas money, food, entertainment and 2 or 3 days in New Orleans.
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#12 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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a. I'm a mama to one little 8 month old boy and currently on mat-leave.

b. Get by on my very fixed and very reduced mat-leave salary while still helping DH with the bills and continuing to pay down my student loan debt.

c. Set up a budget, use the cash and envelope system, and record everything here. This will be my fourth month and now a morning doesn't feel complete if I haven't logged on to record my spending.
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#13 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beansmama View Post
So question - do i just keep updating THIS post, or do i post a new thread each day? Help? Lol.

See ya all soon
A new one. Copy/Paste or
Quote your most recent post, update, take out the "quote" marks and post.

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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#14 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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We broke into our house fund. It was totally house related. We had to pay a 5 year old crazy utility bill before we could get pre-qaulified. So here's to making up that money! We need to spend very minimally. By my calculations: We spend $300 on unnecessary items last month + we saved $200 from my paychecks. My goal is to save $500 this month. That's like a big portion of our income.
Whenever I make a purchase I'm going to attempt to put that much into the savings account. That way things will essentially be costing me double.

1 : DH PAY
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8 : DH PAY
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KEY/GOALS/TOTALS

No unncessary/unneeded spending 0

$0

: $300 left in budget.

Savings $0/$500

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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#15 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miasmamma View Post
I am going to guess that this is not a necessity. I would really like it though. I make our bread and would love to make it quicker and simpler. I already checked and my library does not have a copy.
i love that book. i got it from the library however and i didn't feel the need to purchase it. do you use the new york times overnight bread recipe? it's essentially that plus a lot of variations.

and i'm totally in for may!!

i'm carrie and i have a spending problem. my goal this month is to stick to the budget and cut out co-oping. i spend so much money "saving" money that it doesn't make any sense. so, here goes...

0/600 groceries
0/100 pantry stocking
0/60 spending money
0/80 sundry

0/20 no spend days
0/5 budgeted spend
0/0 non-budgeted spend!!!!

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april 358.07 19
march 517.18 17

eh. who needs a signature?
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#16 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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a. Who you are- Kirstin, a mostly SAHM (work very PT) to a 3-yr-old and to a soon to be newborn.

b. Goals- keep food and household spending as low as possible, in order to pay off car loan and get out of debt quickly. I love being able to be home with DD most days, and want to keep budget low enough that I can continue with this work schedule, since we will be homeschooling.

c. How you plan to get there- Cash envelope system is working well for me so far. DH pays the major bills, and I take out enough cash from my account each month to pay for groceries, household, and kid expenses such as clothing. Eventually I want to get more organized with meal planning and such, which I am sure would reduce our food spending, but not happening this month, since we will be having a new baby! This month will be all about survival.

I am going to put today's expenses on May, since our pantry is well-stocked and we will probably skip a week or two of grocery shopping this month.


4/30- $142 groceries, $21 gas


May key and goals:

Budgeted
Groceries /household $142 / $360
Gas $21 / $60
Homeschool $0 / $20
Kid clothing & items $0 / $20
New baby items- $0 / $40 for new baby expenses
: unbudgeted spending $0 / $20
No spend days 0 / 20 days
Declutter (so I will know what I have!) 0 / 5 days

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, 1984
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#17 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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Ok I'm in again. I went over in April, but I actually stuck with a kept up the whole month. Hopefully I'll stay in budget this month.

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8-payday
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Groceries - $300
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#18 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 05:53 PM
 
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I'm in. Again. I've never made it a whole month though but I need to!!
I'm Kelly, sahm to 4 great kids :
My main goal right now (short term goal i guess) is to have Discover card paid off in 8 months. Started in March, May will be our 3rd month and we are doing great : We owed 4200 on it in March.


May is a big month here, Mother's Day, our wedding anniversary, hubby's b-day, my youngest dd birthday...so it will be challenging

1 Pay Day
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10 Mother's Day
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15 Pay Day
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21 15th Anniversary
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27 my 'baby' turns 5!
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30 Hubby turns 40!
31

Kelly,newly single mom of four wonderful children.

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#19 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My name is Prudence, I'm a SAHM to three girls and I'm trying very hard to pay off our mortgage early.

That is a very short version of what is normally a very long-winded intro from me.

 

 

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#20 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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HI I am Elisa, I am paying off $3500 in credit card debt and I have difficulty staying on a budget. I will track all my spending.



May -PAY DAY
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E married to J, angel1.gif 7/08, DD 10/09, DS 5/12

http://minimummama.blogspot.com/

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#21 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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I am Lydia, proud wife to a very hard-working WAHD and PT contributor to the business we started last September. We are living a fabulous nice-house big-yard suburban lifestyle with our two-and-counting kids here in Upstate SC - but the catch is, we need to do it on 2 minimum-wage salaries plus our rental income from the house we couldn't sell back in Microsoftland. On paper, we are running a slight deficit right now. (I am a Quicken addict and tweak the annual budget constantly, filling in estimated amounts with actual amounts spent each month and bumping categories up or down as I get more information.)

I have been hesitant to put my whole budget out there for all the world to see, but I think it may be time to do just that so there isn't such a disconnect from my MDC spending record and what actually goes out the door every month. WTH, it's not like we are buying illicit substances or getting paid by the Mob! (I think the Mob would pay a lot better )

I am embarrassed that other mamas can do so much more with so much less total monthly income. But it doesn't seem like there is a huge amount of judgment in this ongoing thread, and if the rest of the F&F readers barge in to tell me I'm a hopeless yuppie and should just give up, I will just have to ignore them and keep on keepin' on.

So, my budget in Quicken after the latest round of tweaks is $4808 coming in the door (post-tax, post medical FSA, post 401(k) contribution), $5,158 going out. I am not a mathematical genius, but that seems like a problem to me! Cuts must be made! Money must be saved to pay my MIL the interest on the loan she gave us to buy the house we live in now!

Expense categories:

Gas: 60
Cash: 200
Celebrations (kids' birthdays!): 300
Babysitter: 50
Clothing: 50
Preschool Tuition: 294 (FSA ran out for this fiscal year)
Entertainment: 50 (pretty sure we'll spend this, lots of good movies coming out!)
Groceries: 300
Eating Out: 100
Gifts: 75
Grooming: 50 (might avoid this, MIL gave me gift cert as shower present)
Holding Costs on house in Seattle: 700
Cleaner: 300 (No, I can't give this up! Not in the baby month! Noooooo!)
Garden: 50
Yard Guy: 70 (Me: are you planning to mow the lawn any time in 2009? DH: no.)
Other household: 500 (normally some considerable wiggle room here, but I hired a mama I know to paint a huge mural in the kids' room, because I am effing crazy, but my God it is gorgeous and just what they dreamed of. She finishes tomorrow! New bedding for kids' room and guest room is something that is just very likely to happen as my nesting kicks in...)
Insurance: 120
Tax: 475 set aside to pay state property taxes due in December
Cable: 98 (DirecTV contract nightmare, stuck with it until December)
Garbage: 53
Gas and Electric: 220
Internet and Phone: 89
Water: 43
Principal Payment on Seattle house: 250
Car Loan: 661.21

Total: /4808
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Goals:

Get this household in the green for May!
Get set up to spend 4k per month starting in June, so that the money may be saved up to pay MIL in December. (Note: I do HAVE the money, set aside in ING earning interest, but I do not want to have to use that money! I want to truly live on what we're making this year!)
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#22 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Miasmamma View Post
I am going to guess that this is not a necessity. I would really like it though. I make our bread and would love to make it quicker and simpler. I already checked and my library does not have a copy.
You can get the full recipe and several variations here as well as on their blog

Not as good as the complete book, but it worked for me for about 3 months while I was on the waiting list to get the book from my library! Does your library do interlibrary loan with other systems?
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#23 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I am embarrassed that other mamas can do so much more with so much less total monthly income. But it doesn't seem like there is a huge amount of judgment in this ongoing thread, and if the rest of the F&F readers barge in to tell me I'm a hopeless yuppie and should just give up, I will just have to ignore them and keep on keepin' on.
No judgement here! That's why I this thread.

Although to be fair, I think some people post their budgets asking for a critique.... or at least they think they want a critique until they actually hear it, lol!
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#24 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I'm Kathleen and I am a SAHM to 2 girls. This is my 3rd month doing the challenge and it has been very helpful and eye-opening to me.

My goals... and I do have new ones this month!

1. Set a budget for alcohol and stick to it. I don't think it is bad to spend on alcohol, but dh would gladly come home with a full price six-pack from the corner store every couple of days. We need to set some limits without being restrictive to the point of deprivation/rebellion!

2. Use cash for everything, make sure dh keeps a reasonable amount of cash on him so he doesn't put things on cards. Wow, I am sure a controlling wife

3. At least 1 week where we don't do a big grocery shop. Preferably 2. This happened accidentally last month and seems to be the best way for us to save on food and household items.

Good luck to us all!
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#25 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:37 PM
 
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My name is Summer and I'm going to pay off all my debt. I am going to create a budget and stick to it this month. I will log in everyday and record my spending.
: NO Spend days!

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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#26 of 390 Old 04-30-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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I'm Crystal a SAHM to a 6 month old.
We're trying to replace the money we'll need for a new roof so I need to kick up saving a notch. These are my goals for this month.

Plan meals based on pantry and food sales
Only buy on sale items/milk, fruits and veggies
One coffee out a week 1/5
Three days or less eating out with DH 0/3
Figure out cell phone/phone/internet
New clothes for me under $30 - 3
Keep misc baby stuff (including disposables, new cloth stuff, steam bags) to under $110 if we need a baby gate, under $65 if we need diaper sprayer, $50 if we don't - 45+13


No spend -
Budgeted spend -
Unbudgeted spend -


May
1 - 3 - skirt/10 coffee for three of us/7 - lunch
2 -
3 -
4 - 3.50 - coffee/90 - target (camera/coffee filters)/60 - wal-mart (prescription/soap/lotion/food)/25 - gas
5 - diaper sprayer - 45/swim cover - 13
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obstruct livery vehicles

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#27 of 390 Old 05-01-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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OK... I am jumping back on the bandwagon after a loong break. I meant to come back last month but then the baby was hospitalized with pneumonia and suspected meningitis (it turned out to be another viral infection). Here's hoping that this month we will be healthy in body, mind, and finances

a. Who you are
I am Alison, partner to J, and Mama to two boys, our 2.5 year old T and our three month old L. I own my own business and James is on parental leave and we are both in school full time.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals)
We are Dave Ramsey followers and are currently in the process of paying off all of our debt. We are due to get two large lump sum payments in the next two months that will help with that I'm also trying to get healthier at the same time our finances come together in a better way.

c. How you plan to get there

We have a brand new budget with even more things trimmed out of it and we are starting to use it this month. Our goals are to stick to the budget and get moving more and hopefully have fun doing it

This Month:
1. 15 No Spend days
2. No more than five unplanned spending days
3. Exercise 20 days
4. Get rid of 300 items around the house

Alison
Mama to Toad (08/06), Frog (01/09)... and new baby Newt born on his due date, Sep. 8, 2010
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#28 of 390 Old 05-01-2009, 08:36 AM
 
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"Although to be fair, I think some people post their budgets asking for a critique.... or at least they think they want a critique until they actually hear it, lol!"

Oh, totally. I actually love budget/spending habit critique (giving and getting), as long as it doesn't come with a heaping helping of resentment. We're all developed-world citizens with Internet access, so we are all very privileged in the grand scheme of things, so I don't appreciate being made to feel like Cruella de Ville when talking numbers, ykwim?

But like I said, this thread totally does not seem to be about that. I am very optimistic about this month - daily tracking has become such a habit, and being able to track ALL my spending here will be a great relief!

BTW, I'm not setting any other goals like homeschooling or exercise, because let's get real, this is Baby Month. Adding another to the family is my lifestyle goal!
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#29 of 390 Old 05-01-2009, 09:31 AM
 
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Set up a budget, use the cash and envelope system, and record everything here. This will be my fourth month and now a morning doesn't feel complete if I haven't logged on to record my spending.

Type of spending
= budgeted spending
= not budgeted spending
= no spend

What the $ was spent on
: = $ spent on groceries
or : = $ spent on baby or cat
= $ spent on me

Grocery weeks: (I'll add later when I have my calendar)

5/1 -
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#30 of 390 Old 05-01-2009, 09:46 AM
 
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a. I'm Chloe, SAHM of one. I took the april no spend challenge and it was the first time in a looong time that I've actually had money left over at the end of the month, let alone didn't run out before the end of it

b. I want to learn to be good with money and live on less. I currently have no personal debt, but had about 10k on savings which I quickly whittled down to 4k when we hit some financial changes. I want to eventually build my savings back up and have enough in my sink funds for irregular expenses so I stay out of debt! I feel much less anxious when I am secure financially.

c. Budgeting, and living frugally. Writing down every penny I spend seems to help, and posting it here in the no spend challenge. I'm thinking of giving the envelope system a try although I'm not convinced it will work for me. I had no problem using debit last month, and I'm wary about having a bunch of change in envelopes. Plus, I'm trying to save as much as I can so if I have any money left over at the end of the month over what I planned, I put that to savings too.

May goals:

20 No spend days
10 No drive days
Cut grocery bill by $100 from last month
$400 to savings (fingers crossed!)

Budget:
$500 groceries
$100 home/garden
$50 alcohol
$100 gas/transportation
$100 entertainment/hobbies/spending

No spend or only necessary, budgetted spending like groceries, day care, rent, gas, etc.
Budgeted personal expenses only, hobbies, entertainment, etc.
Frivolous spend!- includes going over budget for things like groceries or gas.
Avoided urge to spend! (such as really wanted to go to book store but went to library instead, or other such action) or decluttered/purged in some way.
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