September No-Spend Challenge: We're in the home stretch! Stay Strong Finish with us - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-03-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Yep, it's day 2 and I've already blown it.

1-
2- $82 - $42 overdue internet bill, $35 really cute shirt from the boutique I've been scoping for the last 10 months and has *never* had a sale before, $5 "Eco" shampoo bar bought at Green Market in the park across the street.

I realize I have a real problem with clothes and frugality, and I'm open to any and all suggestions on how to solve it. I'm hard to fit even at my ideal size and I'm picky about clothes. I can never seem to find anything I like at thrift stores or consignment and I find a lot of the mall stores overpriced and poor quality. My clothes in the past have been a mix of mall clothes and good quality pieces from boutiques that I get on sale (but still expensive.) Next month I will have a small budget to spend on clothes before I go back to work and I am already window shopping and surfing fashion websites - I can tell it's going to be out of control even before I step foot in the mall. Not helping here is my workplace culture...the company owner and the great majority of my co-workers are very fashion conscious, so not only do I have to be concerned about looking professional, I also feel the pressure to look up-to-date. This was already a problem in my (relatively) spendy pre-baby days...how am I going to handle this on a budget??
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:08 AM
 
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Sept. 1:
Sept. 2:

GOALS:
* Less than $150 in frivolous spending: month to date $0
* At least 20 days: 2/30
* No McDonalds: 2/30
* Avoid Target: 2/30
* Pack snacks/water for outings: 2/30
* NO library fines: month to date $0

Brought the kiddos to see possible future President today; free + inspiring!

Kim
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Ok, I think I'll jump right in.


1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.
I'm Jessica, a WOHM to two cute kiddos. I have a son who will start Kindergarten on Wednesday (!) and a daughter who has just turned 3 months. I'm the Director of a large childcare center and my kids come to work with me; which has to be the biggest perk of the job!

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of September. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.

1) I make decent enough money, but since maternity leave and a few unfortunate events (car vandalized, speeding ticket, locking myself out of the car...) I'm way more than flat broke. Long story short I have to spend nothing because I have nothing to spend!

2)We are trying to save to buy our first home and having no money in my checking account would probably look bad, right?

3) I have very low credit card debt (about 3-4 hundred left to pay off) and I'd like it to just be gone!

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

-No eating out. I can't afford it right now. I can bring bread and the like to work and make sandwiches. I'm not sure how I'm going to buy bread, though...
-No Starbucks. I'm a fairly regular user...like daily. I have my own coffee at home and a travel mug so I'm committed to using that and not forking out $5-6 a pop for a run to SB in the morning. However, if they want to give me free coffee they are more than welcome!
-No going to Target. I have some leftover giftcards from our dd's baby shower, but I usually spend more than what is on the cards when I go. I can't think off-hand of anything we need from there this month so I won't even tempt myself.

Things we can buy:
-childcare (I get an 80% discount and childcare for both kids comes to $416 for the last week of Aug-the end of Sept)

-groceries (whatever we need after WIC purchases)

-gas (I commute about 2 hours everyday and spend about 10 bucks in gas daily)

-the daycare needs a step-on trashcan for dd's cloth diapers. right now, I can't buy it unless I use a gc so that would be the only reason for a Target run. And can anyone point me in the direction of a good, cheap bag that could do double-duty as a wetbag at daycare? I have a whamies bag for home but I think we truly need two bags to make it work.

In order to survive this month I'll have to make everyday a no-spend day besides the above exceptions. I guess I'm starting out hardcore!
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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And can anyone point me in the direction of a good, cheap bag that could do double-duty as a wetbag at daycare? I have a whamies bag for home but I think we truly need two bags to make it work.
Is there a camping store near you that sells waterproof stuff sacs?
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:30 AM
 
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Day 1: spending: $75.54 in budget
savings: $295.75
Day 2: spending: $11.58 (drinks/snacks at the store)
savings: $145.25

Totals:
No spend days: 0/15
No more than one meal out a week:
Savings: $441.00/$4000
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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We spent $35 on pizza this afternoon for us and my parents, but that's because we had to take our little 6-week-old to the emergency room and leave our big kids with my parents. No one had eaten by 6:30, and the kids were starving, so I'm not counting that as an unnecessary expense.
Hope your little one is doing much better Lindsay; I would definitely not give the pizza a second thought!

Kim
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Old 09-03-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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Sept 1
Sept 2
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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Sept 1 --- so/so day ..
Of COURSE, while on the way to work, forgot that I wasn't supposed to spend any money, and stopped and bought my daughter a Webkinz. ($13)
However ... while going through DD#2's closet, found a $25 check for her from her bday. Also .. I have a huge tub of clothes to take to the consignment shop.. estimated at least $75!

Now .. on to Day 2
Ok ... Sept 1 so so day
Sept 2 Yay! Only .75 at work, since I HAD to have a Mt Dew. Dh went to the grocery store, but I'm not counting that.

Tomorrow, we will be going to DH sister's for a cookout, so I anticipate some grocery bills.

Catholic homeschooling mom of 5 - a teenager, a kindergartener, twin boys and a tiny princess. Follow the Adventures! 

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Old 09-03-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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Sept 1: (Dh- $30 groceries, budgeted)
Sept 2: (Dh- $39 gas, budgeted)

Budgeted Spending: $69
Unbudgeted Spending: $0

Christen wife to Justin mother to Logan 3-10-05 Annabelle 2-10-08 and due 7-11-10.
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:27 AM
 
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We did very well today! dh bought an oil change, but I am not going to count that against us, since it was necessary..but that was all!

No spend days: 1/20
No Diaperswappers: 2/26
Save $$: $150/700
Pay cc down $300: 0/300
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:52 AM
 
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I am SOOOO doing this this month! I forgot September had started already and fell off the no-spend wagon today. D'oh.

Anyways, I am a SAHM to two DDs, a 3 yo and a 1 yo. We rent and someday, hopefully sooner than later, want to own. We will need to leave Seattle to do so, so we're putting our feelers out for where we want to eventually be.

Why do I want to spend less? Because we need to. I am of the frame of mind that every penny has to be spent every month and it's AWFUL. We had a bunch of un-expected car repairs and all $770 of it went on the credit card. We need to pay it off. This is the biggest reason I want a no-spend month.

My plan is to just stay the heck out of places I will spend money! I will only buy needed groceries. That's IT. We need nothing else this month. Really. The kids don't need clothes, nor do DP and I. I will tell DP my plan so that he can keep me on track. The nice thing about this is that I control 100% of the money (DP is terrible with money and he is happy with this arrangement ) so at least he and I don't have to both be on board!

Anyways, I am excited about getting to know the folks on this thread and about going through this month with you all! Thanks for having me
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:55 AM
 
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I am going to start counting today, since yesterday we travelled and I forgot I was going to do this and we spent a ton on eating out.

09/02: spent $18 on t-shirts for DP, DD#1 and I
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:00 AM
 
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We rent and someday, hopefully sooner than later, want to own. We will need to leave Seattle to do so, so we're putting our feelers out for where we want to eventually be.
We rent in the Seattle area as well, but definitely cannot afford to own here. Where have you been looking? We need to find somewhere that won't have a huge commute for dp,but where the housing prices are lower.
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:02 AM
 
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Is there a camping store near you that sells waterproof stuff sacs?
Probably REI....do you think I could find stuff sacks at Target..or maybe something at Babies r us since I have gift cards for both? How much do stuff sacks usually run?
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Old 09-03-2007, 05:12 AM
 
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Some other money-oriented goals I have for September include:

-Sewing up about 14 "hot packs". My mom is a massage therapist and sells these in her office to clients. I've sewn these for her in the past and she's sold them for $15 each. It's a pretty easy, inexpensive way to make quick money. It's especially great heading into fall/winter.

-Thin my nb diapers. I have about 31 diapers that need to go. Some pf, some aio's, and some fitteds. I have covers that could go as well. Guess I need to head over to the TP. Anyone have experience with selling on tp?

So far:
No Starbucks: 2/30
Groceries: 0/$300
Thin diaper stash: 0/35
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:41 AM
 
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1: Stayed under budget on stops at hardware store, co-op, and vitamin store -- although spent $3.42 on faux M&Ms.
2: Spent $6.50 at fast food place while taking a break from 5-hour ER trip with husband.

Progress September Goals:
0/7 actual no-spend days
$10/<$75 in discretionary/preventable spending
0/0 lattes!
0/0 unfunded credit card charges!
and
figure out how to cheaply accomodate M&M habit... one plan tested and rejected.
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:52 AM
 
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1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

My name is Liz. I'm a homeschooling mom with four kids and I do childcare in my home. My biggest temptations for spending are food when I'm out running errands or taking the kids places and books (for me).

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of September. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases.

My dh has had to take on a second job to try to get us out of debt. Back in February, his work switched from giving him a car allowance to company cars, leaving us with a car loan that we didn't have money in the budget for and still owe too much on to be able to sell the car. We need to come up with enough to pay that off so we can sell the stupid thing.

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

Avoid going to places that cost money. Look for free entertainment. Pack snacks and drinks when I go out with the kids so I'm not buying food out. Get books through interlibrary loan when my library doesn't have them

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:55 AM
 
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I made up a menu for this week (and did our grocery shopping Saturday), so at least for the coming week, I've got all the food covered, eliminating the need to 1) return to the grocery store and spend more money and 2) eat out.

Plus, yesterday I traded my hairdresser neighbor babysitting for a smokin' hot (money free) haircut and dye job.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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Oh no : - it's already been a day and we haven't even left the house! All the money I was hoping to make on thinning my babywearing stash, I already spent it.

Grrr....

*~* A * Mama to C and A * *~* I blog - PM me for the URL
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:26 AM
 
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Day 2:
I'm not doing so well on this. DH went out to get me cold medicine, and also bought a present for a friend's DS, a card and gift bag, and a new brita filter to replace the one he broke. There went $39.33.

Then he wanted to stop for ice cream on the way home from a BBQ. Another $10.

So far, on my no spend September, we've spent $56.33 on mostly non-essentials. Way to go! (I'm using the sarcasm font, in case you can't see it.)

Actually, for us, that's not bad for a weekend, which is truly sad.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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Day 3 and we all ready have 3 ER visits! Oh mamas that isn't good! I hope that everyone is doing ok now!!

Starbucks and Dairy Queen were the ones who sabatoged many NO Spend plans for us here last month. Maybe we all need to work a little harder at staying out of SB! Try making coffee at home.Maybe invest in a nice thermal mug and some fancy coffee creamers?
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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Yep, it's day 2 and I've already blown it.
No, you haven't. So far, HALF your days have been no spend! That's great!
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:55 AM
 
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Actually, for us, that's not bad for a weekend, which is truly sad.
Don't be so hard on yourself! You need to have an honest baseline of where you start so you can see all the fabulous progress you're going to make this month!
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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Don't be so hard on yourself! You need to have an honest baseline of where you start so you can see all the fabulous progress you're going to make this month!

Aww, thanks for the encouragement! I was feeling a little foolish - but you're right - it is about having a starting point and seeing improvement. I tend to be all or nothing, I need to change that. Life doesn't work that way, I have to ease up.

If we get through this month with less than 10 take-out and restaurant meals, then I'll feel like I've improved. I know for a lot of people that seems like so much (this is why I feel foolish - if we were more careful and frugal with our money, we'd have a lot of it. but we have so many bad habits that need to change. I know so many mamas are just struggling to get by and it embarrasses me that I'm complaining about our situation.).

anyway, enough... I will keep coming here and do my best! we all will - we'll get to our goals!!
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:07 PM
 
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Aww, thanks for the encouragement! I was feeling a little foolish - but you're right - it is about having a starting point and seeing improvement. I tend to be all or nothing, I need to change that. Life doesn't work that way, I have to ease up.
No problem--it was easy for me to see because I do the same freakin' thing. :
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Old 09-03-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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Yesterday's venture to the craft store went great! I got ribbons for etsy, a gift card for my ds birthday (just picking it up for my mom, I am making him presents) and some extra stuff for his party that mom offered to pay for. total spent on my part was about 8-9 dollars. I allowed myself 10. Dh and I restrained ourselves and didn't get a snack while we were out.

days 2/30
Take my own food with me 1/30
Sell baby stuff on TP 0
Buy approved investments (curriculum, etsy stock) 0 (possibly will go up today, as I have a bid on ebay for some books for the kids.)

Shelley, mom to dd 5/19/01, ds 9/06/02, and ds 4/01/07.  Lost babe 4/09

belly.gifDue 12/18/12!

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Old 09-03-2007, 01:46 PM
 
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Sept 1
Sept 2
Sept 3

Budgeted spending this month:
Groceries 41.75/175
Gas 0/55
Gifts 13.75/50
Clothes 0/20
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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We rent in the Seattle area as well, but definitely cannot afford to own here. Where have you been looking? We need to find somewhere that won't have a huge commute for dp,but where the housing prices are lower.
If you don't mind 45 min to an hour commute we live in Shelton in Mason County. The house prices are great out here, a lot of house for your money. My DH is Navy and drives an hour to Bremerton every day but it's a nice easy drive and we love it here.
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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We had to buy bolts for MIL/FIL's lawnmower we borrowed and it broke. Oops! But we fixed it for them! I also bought a faucet water filter. I'm including this in our grocery budget though b/c it'll save us money on bottled water I would've bought in the long run. I planned our menu last night and we should have enough food for 2-3wks maybe all month with just a few little groceries to make meals. So yeah! Our purchases today were unplanned but I still give us a yeah for the day.

Day 1: spending - $75.54 (in budget)
savings - $295.75
Day 2: spending - $11.58 (drinks at store- bad, bad)
savings - 145.25
Day 3: spending - $16.96 (in budget)


Totals:
Budgeted spending - $92.50
Unbudgeted spending - $11.58
No spend days - 0/15
Savings - $441/$4000
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Old 09-03-2007, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For those ladies who have already spent money this month and are feeling like you aren't doing all that well...

Remember our mantra is "Progress not Perfection"

No-spending is actually a ~skill~ and it takes time and thought to get better at it. The more you do it, the more you are able to do it.

It really is hard work...but it gets easier the better you get at it. And that takes time.

So please be easy on yourself...if you just pass up one latte this month, you are making progress...just coming on here and recording your spending is progress.

Vow to do better and keep pushing on.

You can do this! It is hard, but you can do it.

 

 

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