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-   -   ~~ October Spend-less Challenge: Witch way to wicked savings ~~ (

Ruthiegirl 09-30-2013 01:08 PM

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 October 1st. NOW is a good time to start.


The plan is simple (although tough to execute):


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


2. Come on here 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.

Ruthiegirl 09-30-2013 01:16 PM

a. Who you are


Hello frugal friends, I am Ruth, mama to my four kids, wife to my awesome hubs, and woman on a new life adventure. 


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)


My family has made a huge life change, sold most everything and moved across the country to our dream town.  We plan to buy a house next Summer and are saving for a down payment.


c. How you plan to get there


We are putting 25% of our take home pay into a savings account right now.  This leaves us with enough to live on, but we do need to stick to the budget.  We spend a lot of money on food and I am watching our food budget carefully.

honeybee80 09-30-2013 05:03 PM

a. Who you are


I'm Ellen, single WOHM to DD (almost 10) and DS (8).  I'm finally in a stable spot, 3 years into my job as an elementary teacher and finally feeling like I have a decent grip on life in general ;)


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


I need to pay off $32k in student loans and save up a down payment for a house (and then when my kids are out of high school, I want to sell that house and buy a tiny little place in Boulder--new long term plan ;))


c. How you plan to get there


Sticking to my budget, conscious spending, consolidated spending days, and throwing all extra money at my student loans.

SweetSilver 09-30-2013 06:26 PM



New thread--hallelujah!  September was worse than I'd imagined it would be-- vacuum cleaner to replace, dead, squashed-by-the-belt mouse in the dash (there's another one in there, unfortunately--I can smell it, but I can't commit another $70 to fish it out.  I desperately need to figure out how to do that myself) speeding tickets, fall coats replacing perfectly good but lost ones (and consignment stores carry nothing over size 6-7!!).  AACK!  Birthday season continues full blast, holiday work is not coming in, gardening work is going out, utilities are going up and income is plummeting.


Here we go.... hopefully this month won't be so full of stupid and crappy surprises.  I'll introduce myself tomorrow.

Bex80 09-30-2013 07:15 PM



a. Who you are


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


c. How you plan to get there




Hey y'all! I'm Rebekah and I'm a 33 year old single WOHM. I graduated last December and have been waiting tables since and then 3 months ago scored a full time job in Admin. The pay is lousy but it's guaranteed hours, unlike serving. I hope to get a raise at my 90 day review! I used to be super active on here when my kids were smaller and I was still married. It's been about 5 years but I thought I'd come back and see if there was still a place for me here. :)


I'm working on getting debt free but unfortunately I am in a big hole and I have a lot of bad habits. I have a little over 50k in student loans and am slowly but surely getting rid of all my CC debt. I want to be able to move next year; I've been in a deteriorating apartment complex/community and am yearning for a space more my own. I'll probably rent a small house but if I can effectively save and stop my spending habits maybe I could buy instead?


I'm just starting the Dave Ramsey FPU for the second time and I'm immersing myself in no spend/frugal living information, blogs, and community. Other than that I don't have much of a plan, which I know is counter productive but I haven't been able to find anything yet that "sticks", yk?


Looking forward to getting to know you all and to supporting each other this month. :D

gooseberry 09-30-2013 08:18 PM

a. Who you are

I'm a high school English teacher, married to a former teacher.  DH has decided that teaching isn't working out for him, and is taking a leave of absence this year.  We are parents to three darling girls, ages 5, almost 3 and 4mo.


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

We really can't afford to live on my income alone.  DH is looking for work as he contemplates his career change, and may be able to do some work for my uncle soon.  Right now, however, he's not earning anything.  We need to keep the credit card debt that we accumulate during this transition to an absolute minimum.


c. How you plan to get there

NO TREATS!  No eating out or getting take out.  No toys or clothes for the girls (DH and I are suckers for a toy shop.)  Last month, we did really well at keeping a very tight food budget.  A large part of that was buying very little meat, eating more beans (dried, from the bulk bin), and more plant based meals.

my2girlz 10-01-2013 07:07 AM

a. Who you are

 Heather, SAHM to 5 kiddos


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

We are currently working on getting our emergency fund fully funded pretty much following Dave Ramsey's "rules" We aren't sure how many months worth of expenses we want in the bank. Do we get it funded to 3 months? 6 months? and then start bumping our retirement to 15%? Right now we have a mini goal to get to 20k by the end of the year and then we will re-evaluate where we are.


c. How you plan to get there

Our current plan is to take all of dh's commission checks and put them into savings plus whatever else I can scrounge up. They are variable and we don't know how much they are until the Tuesday before it's deposited. I'm hoping to keep all expenses to a minimum. Drop the grocery budget down to compensate for our annual neighborhood Halloween party that we host. All this means I need to stay on track!


SweetSilver 10-01-2013 08:44 AM

a. Who you are  Rural, homeschooling mama of 2 girls.  I also have some occasional housekeeping work, dh is a professional gardener


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)  Not spending all our savings over the slim winter.  That's it until next spring.  Realistically, if we can dip no more than $3000 for the season, that would put us on a good footing when our tax return comes in.  Last year it was closer to $7000.  However unless I get some work for the winter, that's not happening,


c. How you plan to get there  Try not to spend any money, which is harder than it sounds even if I don't buy anything extra.  Less income, higher utilities and birthday and Christmas then tax season.  I have been applying to various places to find some holiday work, but no bites.  I need to put up my housekeeping flyer again, but with dh's work, I need more seasonal work than  year-round.  


Staying home today, dh is getting groceries.  I'm tracking groceries privately and extra expenses here.  September I earned 13 days of devil dudes.  I really can't afford that now.  I couldn't afford that before, but I guess I need an extra push.  I've been pretty naughty this summer with throwing money around, just little bits here and there, but frequently and they add up.


:D Groceries

JamieCatheryn 10-01-2013 09:18 AM

I'm Jamie, homeschooling SAHM of 3 boys. We have some debt we're trying to get out of (9k student loans, 6k credit card) and for the moment less income than we are used to, as DH's commission was cut. Long term, we want to be debt free and saving up for land and an off grid home. Short term, I want to be stocked up on food for winter, make at least a little progress on debt, and keep all the bills paid. We don't really go shopping, I do have a wishlist on Amazon I play with but rarely get any of it. Basically the plan is don't buy anything, and what we have to get like food I need to plan carefully and do it frugally and on sale, no waste and just enough luxuries and treats. I need to have quick and good lunches ready though, or else we will end up getting burger king once a week. I'm getting refunded what I spend for the children's area at an event we're helping host later this month, just need to track that and not go over $40 more.

Ruthiegirl 10-01-2013 10:48 AM

Hello October!  


We got our pay check and I transferred money to savings and I've gone over the month looking for pitfalls.  The registration on the van is good for another month, so I'll hold off on that till November.  Ds has his birthday this month and I set aside money for that. 


There should be very little to buy this month -- gas and groceries and both of those categories have been cut way back.  I do need to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Back in Spring, I set aside money for the holidays, so I am covered, but I do not want to overspend this year.  I can be an idiot around the holidays and go crazy and it is unnecessary.  And this year, we are living in this tiny apartment, so there is quite literally no where to put anything extra. 


Dh invited cousins for Thanksgiving which is wonderful, but I am fighting the temptation to buy more dishes.  We technically have enough if the kids use smaller salad plates, but it will be very tight.  I really don't need to buy anything.   Right?  Right!


Starting the month off with a :thumb




:thumb No spend/budgeted spend

nono.gif Un-budgeted spending


October 1 -- :thumb

October 2

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 6

FillingMyQuiver 10-01-2013 12:04 PM

I'm going to pretend September didn't exist sulkoff.gif


a.  I'm Jenn, homeschooling SAHM to 6 kiddos.


b.  We're on track to being debt free.  We've been s-l-o-w-l-y progressing on it, it seems as though each time we take 2 steps forward, we also need to take 3 steps back irked.gif But we're pressing on.


c.  We're still working on controlling our spending shy.gif.  Our plan for the month:


~ STAY OUT OF STORES, brick and online!!  This is our biggest $$ suck.  Our family can NOT go into a store for just 1 thing, we end up spending at least $100!!  We've been doing really well keeping this under control and we're going to continue to work on staying out of stores.  And


~  Cooking at home as much as possible.  I've gotten some good slow cooker recipes from free e-books, so I'm hoping they'll help.  I'm desperately trying to get back into meal planning, but I'm finding it difficult.


~  STICK TO THE BUDGET!!  We're going on vacation to Florida this month, quite a bit of DH's family lives down there, including his elderly grandfather.  They haven't met all of our children and we don't foresee another opportunity to go down there in the next few years.  We're renting a condo and will "cook at home" most of the week.  We have 1 day scheduled for Sea World, but half of our tickets are coming from my parents.


~  I'm trying to cut our food budget, or at least maintain it for the next few months.  It's been slowly creeping up.


~  BE AWARE!!  We just need to be more aware of where our money is going.

meandk0610 10-01-2013 06:15 PM

a. Who you are:  Sarah, mom to dd(8). We homeschool and I work at a local after school child care program where I can take my daughter. We're also trying to have a hobby farm.

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and:  I'm working on trying to stay current and stay within my budget. VERY bad about not following the budget!

c. How you plan to get there:  I already track everything, but need to do a (much) better job actually staying within the budget. I need to get better at actually remembering to use envelopes. I have started rack drying as much as possible, but need to stay on top of the laundry to stay away from the dryer. Also going to NOT get DVDs at our local library. They only lend them out for 4 days at a time and I frequently wind up with late fees. We'll be getting DVDs from where we use to live when we go to visit Daddy/my ex.


I have a second job that is very sporadic and will be using the funds from that job to pay for things like firewood, some new windows (the old ones all leak and I've replaced 6 already), and pay down medical debt. I had to have a plumber come out last month and he told me that the condensation under the house is really bad. I have to get a solar-powered ventilation fan for the crawlspace; I already had the crawlspace remediated for mold last year and do NOT want to have to repeat that!


This month, I have to get back on track using the drying rack and have to make sure that I check the library to renew books every day.


I've also just gotten back into selling freeze-dried and dehydrated foods via Thrive Life (was called Shelf Reliance). I figure it will at least help me with my own food!



no spend - thumb.gif     

budgeted spend - winky.gif       

over budget or not budgeted - greensad.gif   

hung clothes on rack -  hang.gif


1:     greensad.gif  Paid library fee from last month today so that it would hit this month! MUST do better!































rainbowasylum 10-01-2013 06:38 PM

Time to start at the beginning of the month. 


I stocked up on groceries yesterday and should count it, but we are going by the book here...


October 1  :thumb $0 

honeybee80 10-01-2013 07:45 PM

I think I'm going to also track unnecessary spending this month, instead of just budgeted spending.  Pretty much anything I spend (unless I put it on my credit card) could be considered "budgeted" spending, but not all of those purchases are totally necessary.


10/1 - :thumb budgeted spending $37 :irked unnecessary spending $20 wine and sugar-filled things (I blame it on PMS!)


Tomorrow will probably end up as a spending day too, although I'm going to try my best to make it no spend.

sk8boarder15 10-01-2013 07:46 PM

a. Who you are

Allison, Wife to Ace, and Mom to Mark (3), and mom to five furry dogs. I just got a job nannying 3 days a week and I bring my son with 2 days a week. Monday he has "Dada Day" and stays home and has fun with Dad. My husband is doing training for his new job, taking pictures of houses for insurance companies. Rising taxes and other bills have forced us to kick our renters out of our old house back in IL (moved to Oregon last year) and put that house on the market, which means we are paying two mortgage payments a month. I do get some money each month from investments, but that money is quickly dwindling and we'd like to get to a place where we can leave that alone and let it rebuild. 


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

Listed some above. We would like to sell our old house, then refinance our home, pay off all our credit cards, save enough to buy a second (small used) car. Get to the point where DH can spend more time pursuing his dream (music carrer) and less time working. 


c. How you plan to get there. 

Stop wasting money! We both just got new jobs that are pretty flexible, I can take my son with me. I'm making about $300 a week working 3 days. Not sure what DH will be making... he's still in training. His first pay check (for one case) was $6. LOL! He also makes a few dollars here and there from his music.  The biggest hurdle for us is not shopping and eating out. I LOVE TO SHOP. And I LOVE STARBUCKS! My husband is really bad about eating out, he thinks its ok because its food and we need to eat anyway.... So I'm trying hard to meal plan and have affordable healthy food around. We are going to do the envelope system for non-bills this month. 


:thumb - NO SPEND

:D- Budgeted spending only

:irked- Unbugeted spending


Oct 1 - :irked - DH Spent $30 for a music downloading program... :/ 

FillingMyQuiver 10-02-2013 08:03 AM

1.  :Sheepish :treehugger  Unbudgeted but necessary, DH stopped at WM for half and half, pasta, and canning jars.  Canned 13 quarts of applesauce and used the peels and cores to start 5, 1/2 gallon jars of apple scrap vinegar.

Paxjourney 10-02-2013 09:08 AM

Hi! I'm Pax, homeschooling mother of 2. We live in a medium size city surrounded by farmland.  Our financial goals are to build savings and pay off debt. 3 yrs ago DH took a job 5 hours away from our home of 10 yrs. We paid rent and mortgage while trying to sell the house for 2 yrs


 We kind of went in a holding pattern financially. We had to dip into savings to sell the house and were unable to pay off any debt. We also had to purchase a new to us car during that time with a car note. In the last year we have been able to sell that house and purchase a new one with a mortgage $300 cheaper a month then what our rental was. We normally have been a cash family but during this time we did put somethings on cc. We've been able to pay off several thousand dollars and would like to be debt free but the house (and maybe car) by this time next year. Dh doesn't think we can be free of the car payment by that time, I do.


My goal is to only spend money on budgeted purchases. Weekly grocery $50 ,we had already decided that October would be an eat out of the pantry month to rotate through. Normal weekly grocery budget is $120. Birthday budget for our youngest daughter $300, party, cake, presents, going out to dinner, etc. Clothing budget for the month $150, oldest needs a few pairs of jeans and I need a winter coat.




1. $ 10, girl scout supplies and bunco gift grab (budgeted)

2. $18 grocery store, sour cream and then 8lbs of butter (hit a new store grand opening sale). $10 for play tickets. All budgeted :)

3. no spending

4. no spending

5. Birthday dinner with my daughter (budgeted), $12 at grocery store (budgeted)

6. no spending

7. Unbudgeted $5 at coffee shop, latte for me, steamer for DD. :/ Man I'm glad it tasted good it I am NOT going to buy another one this month.

























Ruthiegirl 10-02-2013 10:17 AM

Well, shoot.  Dh left this morning for a 5 day trip and he took my debit card by mistake.  I have a credit card that I can use, but I am going to take this as a challenge to spend no money for the next few days.  Almost no money...I need to buy oranges for dd's soccer game Saturday.  Today will be a no spend for sure. 


I am going through the fridge and pantry and we should have plenty to eat till Sunday when I'll go shopping again.


:thumb No spend/budgeted spend

nono.gif Un-budgeted spending


October 1 -- :thumb

October 2 -- :thumb

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 6

gooseberry 10-02-2013 10:19 AM

peace.gif= No Spend

:innocent = Budgeted Spending

shake.gif = Necessary But Painful

nono.gif = Un-budgeted Spending


October 1 - :innocent gas

sk8boarder15 10-02-2013 07:02 PM

:thumb - NO SPEND

:D- Budgeted spending only

:irked- Unbugeted spending


Oct 1 - :irked - DH Spent $30 for a music downloading program... :/ 

Oct 2- :D - Spent $30 on two apple trees though an amazing program in our city (they will be planted Dec 7th)! And $5 on open Gym.

Oct 3-  



Mark demanded we go to Starbucks after open gym, and I explained how we are trying to save money so he can keep doing fun things like open gym. He told me to just talk to someone with lots of money so we can go to starbucks. Oddly enough later my sister bought me starbucks when I watched her kids for a few minutes for her. 

If you live in Oregon or Washington check out Friends of Trees! They sell deeply discounted trees to people living in urban areas and I got two apple trees for $15 each!!! I'm so excited they are 3-5 years old already and should produce fruit for us! :D They will pay for themselves in one season! Also our huge yard has only one tree! So this will be a great addition! 

honeybee80 10-02-2013 07:15 PM

10/1 - :thumb planned spending $37 :irked unplanned spending $20 wine and sugar-filled things (I blame it on PMS!)

10/2 - :thumb planned spending $5 coffee, $68 groceries, $107 Costco, $140 REI, $72 DD's bday present


Spent a lot today, but all of it was planned.  I needed new underwear, a new water bottle, and a new sweater (that was the REI purchase) and I got a good deal on some super awesome cowboy boots for DD.  I figured since it was a spending day, I might as well get a good chunk of my planned spending out of the way so that I can hopefully have a run of no spend days.  I also decided that instead of necessary/unnecessary spending labels, planned/unplanned makes more sense for me.  I can make anything fit into my budget if I try hard enough ;)

SweetSilver 10-02-2013 08:15 PM

1  :D Groceries.

2  demon.gif Minor unbudgeted spending (burp).

gooseberry 10-02-2013 08:41 PM

peace.gif= No Spend

:innocent = Budgeted Spending

shake.gif = Necessary But Painful

nono.gif = Un-budgeted Spending


October 1 - :innocent gas

October 2 - peace.gif

Ruthiegirl 10-03-2013 06:31 AM

I am headed out this morning to get the windshield replaced on my van.  It has been cracked for ages and recently the cracks have gone crazy.  I had a quote for $200 last Spring, but found a coupon and now it will be $170. 



Edited to add --  well, nevermind.  I got to the auto repair shop and the poor guy working had just cut his hand open.  I helped him mop up and bandage his hand and he took off to get it stitched.  What a cut!  It was the deepest I have ever seen. 


I have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow when someone else can do the work.  The guy with the cut is going to be out of commission for a while.  :(


Stopped by the store and picked up oranges and granola bars for Saturday's soccer game.  I only bring snacks to one game a year, so this is a minor expense.  Of course, with three kids playing it adds up, but it is well worth it.   My kids love playing. 




:thumb No spend/budgeted spend

nono.gif Un-budgeted spending


October 1 -- :thumb

October 2 -- :thumb

October 3 -- :thumb  12.22 snacks for soccer team

October 4

October 5

October 6

JamieCatheryn 10-03-2013 06:54 AM

nono.gif Unnecessary, shake.gif Unbudgeted,  :innocent Budgeted, :Peace No spend


Oct 1: :Peace

Oct 2: shake.gif Ran out of some ingredients, $30. Tried drain cleaner to fix plumbing, $10


The van's transmission broke, we take it in next Wednesday. It looks like we'll need a plumber, drain is still clogged. What a bad start.

Ruthiegirl 10-03-2013 10:29 AM

Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post



The van's transmission broke, we take it in next Wednesday. It looks like we'll need a plumber, drain is still clogged. What a bad start.



Have you tried a drain snake?  You might ask around to see if anyone has one.  Our old house was a mess of old pipes and we had monthly clogs.  We finally got a drain snake (about $20) and it solved the clogging issue.  It worked much better than the chemicals and cheaper in the long run. 

The transmission?  I got nothing.  In my fantasy world, I am super handy with engines and can do all the work myself.  In reality, I open the hood, look at it with a confused expression and then curse as I write HUGE checks to my local repair shop.

tiqa 10-03-2013 11:08 AM

I'm a SAHM of three kids.  We are trying to dig out of debt, which we picked up over a very chaotic summer.  Things are also stressful because our income comes from various veteran's benefits - and guess what is not going to be paid next month if this shut down continues?  Grr.  And on top of that, it's tax season!  For the last two or three weeks we've had to be very frugal, but we are trying to cut down even more.  We've switched to cash-only spending.  Our worst offenses are food-related - my husband can't live without drive through coffee, and I sometimes just get something on the go for the kids if I'm too tired to cook or running behind or something.  My goals are pretty vague at this point - I want to document my spending without making set days or anything.  "As low as possible."


(ETA - I'm not going to include bills or gas here, because those are pretty much unavoidable.  Groceries I will though because I frequently mess that up and overspend.)


10/1 - :)

10/2 - :)

10/3 - :dizzy - 0.20 on tolls ; 9.70 on husband's cigarettes (from MY money!... grr.), 4.80 on coffee and DD's lunch (again a GRR.) - $20 on take-out lunch for DH and me.  $56 on groceries for the weekend.  $16 for dinner at a drive through.  What, the, heck.  That's awful.  Two junky meals in one day...  *cries from shame*

10/4 - :)  Got about $20 in returns at Walmart.  Although I already spent $9 of it on a pregnancy test...  Was sorely tempted to order out for dinner but made some rice and vegetables and chocolate chip cookies from the pantry instead.  Totally not healthy but totally satisfying. :)



superbeans 10-03-2013 01:14 PM

a. Who you are

I am the mom of an 8 and 5 year old and expecting a new baby the end of October. Husband and I both work full time (but in the arts so not great pay, but decent)


b. Where you are going (your financial goals)

We have about 100,000 left in student loans we would like to get rid of. Then eventually buy a house and save for the future. We are lucky that we are living below our means right now so things aren't too tough, but with a soon to be new baby in daycare and two kids in private school we really need to tighten our belts if we want to accomplish any of that.


c. How you plan to get there

Cut out unneeded spending. And we have a lot!


:dizzy Unplanned but necessary

notes2.gif Budgeted

:Peace No spend

nono.gif Unnecessary


October 1 - notes2.gif October Rent, :dizzy friends birthday gift 50$  nono.gif dinner out with the family $40

October 2 - :dizzy computer parts 707$  nono.gif lunch out $7 

October 3 - nono.gif lunch out $7


Yikes! Off to a rough start.

SweetSilver 10-03-2013 03:12 PM

1  :D Groceries/budgeted spending.

2  demon.gif Minor unbudgeted spending (burp).

3  :D:D  No spend.  Only using a double-dude system instead of 3-- it was skewing the balance of happy dudes to devil dudes.

sk8boarder15 10-03-2013 09:02 PM

:thumb - NO SPEND

:D- Budgeted spending only

:irked- Unbugeted spending


Oct 1 - :irked - DH Spent $30 for a music downloading program... :/ 

Oct 2- :D - Spent $30 on two apple trees though an amazing program in our city (they will be planted Dec 7th)! And $5 on open Gym.

Oct 3-  :D - Went out to dinner ($45) because my mom is in town, for now I'm going to call that budgeted, because we are doing great on groceries, If we go over our grocery budget at the end of the month well then.. We'll see when we get there. Also paid garbage bill and mortgage, waiting for those to clear. 

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