February No-Spend Challenge -- How did you do? What will you do differently next month? What did you learn about your spending from doing this... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This thread is a support thread to help you ~not spend your money~. Everyone is welcome to join (we would love to have you) and you are welcome to start at any time. It doesn't have to be February 1st.

The plan is simple (although very tough to execute):

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

2. Come on here everyday and record your spending.

3. If you think that you absolutely MUST buy something, come on here and tell us about it first. Sometimes taking the time to come on here and post before you buy something will help you not buy it.

4. Provide encouragement for your fellow non-spenders and try to talk THEM out of buying things.

Good luck Ladies!! Let's have a strong February!!! Keep that money in your wallet.

ETA: Our no-spend threads tend to get very long...if you are new and considering joining us you don't need to read the entire thread (unless you want to). Just read the first three entries and jump right in. Start your no-spending today!

 

 

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#2 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some caveats...

*Groceries, utilities, clothing for you and your family, transportation...these things are necessary. You don't need to record things like that.

*Only YOU can determine what is necessary. We are a non-judgemental group.

*Record whatever will cause YOU to spend the least. If you feel guilty about coming on here and fessing up -- then this thread is working perfectly.

*Don't get discouraged if you spend -- our goal is PROGRESS not PERFECTION. We all will spend this month...let's admit that up front...Our ideal is no-spend...but we'll be happy if you just spend less.

Please don't take an all or nothing attitude. You will see progress if you stick with us...I promise you that.

*If you have time to read everyone else's post and do personals, hurray! That helps our thread do its job...but if you don't have time, then just post your tallies. We have plenty of successful no-spenders who do only that.

 

 

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#3 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

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

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?

 

 

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#4 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1. My name is Prudence and I am a SAHM with two daughters and another little girl on the way! My husband is a teacher who is paid during the nine months he teaches...so we have to put a substantial hunk into savings each month to make it through the summer.

2. I do these no-spend challenges because keeping a record of what I spend makes me more conscious of where our money is going...I spend less when I write it down. A lot less.

3. My plan: Record spending here and try to drive the car less. Gas = money. And if I'm not out driving, I'm not out shopping. If I'm not shopping, I'm not seeing things that I want...and I'm a happier, more satisfied person. There is a direct correlation between how much I drive and how much I spend.

My previous records:

May= 19 no-spend days/$265
June = 19 no-spend days/$394 in frivolous spending
July = 15 no-spend days/$580
August = 19 no-spend days/$451
September = 22 no-spend days/$103
October = 20 no-spend days/$203
November = 19 no-spend days/$456
December = Fell off the wagon
January = 20 no-spend days/$216 unnecessary spending
February = ** no-spend days/$**

 

 

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#5 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 09:11 PM
 
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1. I'm Sam, a 25 year-old mainly SAHM to 2 young boys. I recently returned to work very part time and want to keep from spending everything I make!

2. Our second car is on the fritz and since we live 25 minutes outside of the city it's a priority to have two safe vehicles. I'm hoping that if we can cut back our spending we can budget in a car payment. Plus I've noticed that we just spend a lot of money unnecesarily.

3. We've recently switched to the cash & jar budget method so I'm going to stick to that and try to stay out of the shops. I'm also mercessily decluttering the house... realizing how much stuff I have to get rid of makes me think I should be thinking more about what I buy in the first place!

SAM, momma to 3 beautiful babies: Tristan (5), Gabriel (4) , & Brighton (2)

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#6 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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I'm Brittany and my DP and I just bought a house. The payment is going to make things tight, mostly b/c we're spenders and I SAH. Like to eat out, buy this, that...comsumer therapy for me sometimes...

BUT! We need to declutter, not accumulate more.

So here I am. Looking forward to being held accountable My goal is to not spend on anything else than what we have in the budget. Which is pretty much essentials. I have a big order in a coop right now, but after that...Groceries will be my only shopping. One problem might be that DP's bday is in late Feb, so we might have to splurge on a meal maybe....
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#7 of 1040 Old 01-27-2008, 10:11 PM
 
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1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

I'm Grace, I am partnered with no children and a surplus of animals. I live in Austin, Texas. I am a grants manager at a research university.

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

I am in a considerable amount of debt, and I really want to get it all paid off before my partner finishes his Ph.D. and we leave Austin (especially since buying a new house will require a new credit check). In addition, I am not going to let myself even consider conception until the debt is paid. So I am trying to seriously curtail my spending in order to pay it down.

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?


The first thing I am going to be doing differently this month is seriously budgeting for both my personal spending and our joint spending. We overspend our joint account nearly every month and have to supplement it, and that needs to stop. I am also focusing on setting concrete goals for myself for the month of February, as many of of you have been doing all along. I'll be back with those goals after M. and I have a budget talk.

OK!

Joint goal for Feb: just one--STAY ON BUDGET!

Personal goals for Feb:
-stay on budget (including no more than $100 misc spending, $50 postage)
-at least 14 no spend days
-no more than 2 thrift shopping trips
-no more than 5 lunches and/or coffees at work
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#8 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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OK I'm in for February!!

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

My name is Ann Marie I'm married to a wonderful man (Joe - 2nd marriage for both of us). I have three children from my first marriage that live with us full time. Joe has a daughter who lives with her mom.

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

We have been - no make that I have been way overspending for a very very long time. I am a "bargain" shopper and have trouble resisting a good sale. I generally buy items on clearance but still tend to buy more than we need.

I have been on state disability as I am just recovering from Breast Cancer. I will be going on unemployment this month as I was laid off from my job at Merrill Lynch right before finding out I had cancer.

Money has always been tight for us. Our mortgage is extremely high due to our financial difficulties due to our messy divorces.

I want to live better and more simply so we can start saving more. I have a dd who will be driving soon and that alone will up my insurance premiums!!


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?

My biggest plan to not spend is to stay HOME and OUT OF THE STORES. I am ok if I stay out of the stores. But I tend to do "recreational" shopping with my sister.

I need to go through my pantry and stash of other items to determine WHAT I need to buy. My grocery shopping is even way out of control. I have plenty of things at home - yet I buy more!!!


So I am in for February!!!
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#9 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 12:30 AM
 
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Question: Do you do this by yourself, or does DH do it too?
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#10 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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I'm not sure if I'm ready, but I'm going to give it a shot. Heck, there's only 29 days right?

I'm a mostly SAHM ( I work a bit at hubby's office), and a I have one child. We spend a huge amount in groceries despite the fact that I make tons of stuff from scratch, and we have a full freezer.

1. I will try to shop without my dd whenever possible. Even the hardware store is tantalizing to her.

2. I will slow down on home improvement projects. I don't need my home to be perfect, and I have plenty of unfinished projects.

3. I will knit with the yarn I have.

4. I will pack a lunch when we go to town for the day.

5. I will try to get hubby to eat leftovers for lunch.

I'm just wondering about entertainment. There's family swim, so much for movies, admission to science museum or children, bowling...whatever. We just don't make it outside much in the winter and so depend on destinations much more.
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#11 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 03:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
Question: Do you do this by yourself, or does DH do it too?
I do just my spending. My dh has cut back spending also, but I don't record what he does spend here
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#12 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 03:09 AM
 
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This will be my sixth month here!
I am a SAHM to a 4 year old dd and a 2 year old ds,
We have home renovations approaching, cc debt, student debt, and car payments. Not easy with one income so I have to keep more control of our money and where it goes! I really want to see our savings account #'s go waaay up!

My goals this month are:
  • compact!
  • only 1 co-op this month!!
  • No Credit Cards!
  • Save, Save, Save!
  • declutter and simplify


February Spending Goals:
No Spend days: 25/29
No etsy/DS/ebay: 27/29
Non-necessary Spending: <150
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#13 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 03:34 AM
 
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1. My name is Gina and I am mom to 4. This is my second month. January was BAD. I think I might be one of the biggest spenders on the thread. I considered not coming back because of that. On Jan 27th I've had ONE no spend day, only FIVE no unnecessay spending days and I've spent $408 frivolous dollars. From WHERE I ask you?!

2. We live in a very expensive area. As an example, a second-hand baby sleeper costs $4 to $9 depending on the brand and an outfit is $6 to $12. A large container of cottage cheese is $4.49 as compared to $2.49 or $3.49 around the country. Foster Farms chicken is $5.99 a pound.

I am both amazed at how terrible we're doing and also how many times I've chosen not to buy something because I am trying to be more responsible.

I actually am working very hard on saving money on groceries (we usually spend around $1,000 a month on basic, mostly non-organisc, etc. There is little I can do to trim, but buying sales in bulk will help!!).

So although we will go about $1000 a month again in January, we should see a big difference by March because right now I am doing very well not buying things we don't need and instead I am stocking up on sale items in bulk.

Feels good! Not that I WANT to spend money, but I know in the long run it's helping when I've paid $150 for an item that usually costs us $3.49 or bought and froze 3 tri tip steaks we love for 40% off.

SO I do this to feel good, take more control of spending, save money, etc

3. My plan is to stock up in bulk, buy a fridge/freezer for the garage, etc. I will:

-- Track grocery spending
-- Track how many school lunches I buy due to not packing
-- Track frivolous spending
-- Track health expenses (meds, supplements, co-pays)
-- Track household spending
-- Track clothing/hygiene
-- Track "other necessities
-- Track activity costs for the boys
-- Track extra income coming in
-- Track allowance given to kids

-- Track bank fees
-- Track fast food
-- Track eating out/ordering in
-- Track buying drinks or snacks
-- Track unnecessary spending days

Almost a b-ball team: : Taylor -14, Alex -11, Jack -8, Lachlan born at home 11/15/07
"Well behaved women rarely make history"
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#14 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 03:41 AM
 
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I am a mostly SAHM (I work part time on weekends) to 2 kiddos. We just bought a new home and the note is high so the extra money we use to have is not there now. I'm working on paying off our remaining debt (2 medical bills and 2 small cc) so we can focus on remodeling/paying off our house.

I have made us a budget that (if I stick to it) will have us a month ahead of the bills so I can see exactly what extra money we have. (i.e. all Feb income will be held for March and March's budget will be made at the end of the month)

My goals:
15 no drive days
20 no spend days
Eat out - no more than once a week
NO frivolous spending

Allowed spending:
groceries (eating from pantry mostly) - $150 allowed
gas - $250 (hehehe... lets see this one happen)

If we get a income tax return in Feb this will go towards the remaining debt, then spend only on:
new glasses for me, new work boots for DH, gardening/canning supplies, animal supplies (for chickens and rabbits)
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#15 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 05:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GinaRae View Post
2. We live in a very expensive area. As an example, a second-hand baby sleeper costs $4 to $9 depending on the brand and an outfit is $6 to $12. A large container of cottage cheese is $4.49 as compared to $2.49 or $3.49 around the country. Foster Farms chicken is $5.99 a pound.
I was thinking that sounded like my area..Then I saw your location..It basically is! I know what you are talking about it is hard!!
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#16 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 06:09 AM
 
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1. I'm Dennie, a SAHM (for now, looking for work) to two wonderful little girls. I'm attending classes part-time online trying to figure out what I want to do as far as school goes.

2. Well, I fell off of the bandwagon majorly in both Dec. and Jan. due to different family circumstances, but my reasons haven't changed much. We need to move out of the 350sqft space we're in in my parents' basement. The stress of living in such tight quarters is affecting us negatively as parents, partners, and our relationship and feelings towards my parents as well. Also, even though we've been off the no-spend bandwagon, so to speak, we've been financially okay (not great by any means, and we had our first overdrafts since starting the challenges, even). And we know God has provided, because in the past the events of the past couple of months would have crippled us. We're not going to take our blessings forgranted!

Plus, I am trying to simplify our lives. Spending money=getting stuff and stuff does not equal simplification.


3. I am going to start asking myself a few questions before any large purchases:
-Is this going to make my life easier?
-Will I use this enough to negate the cost of purchasing it?
-What am I going to get rid of to make room for this?
If I cannot give sufficient answers to these questions, the item will stay on the shelf. I'm also trying to figure out a nice, simplified wardrobe for us and the girls that doesn't feel like I'm wearing the same thing everyday. We will also finally be implementing Gail Vaz-Oxlade's jar method that DH loves (we're both big fans of Til Debt Do Us Part...I've known the whole envelope/jar method for years and have tried to get him to do it, but it took that show to get him on board!).

Goals for the month of February (putting some no-spend ones in here for my own reference!):

True No-Spend days: 19/29
No-Car days: 14/29
Decluttering days: 10/29
No Caffeine days: 15/29
Take a walk days: 20/29
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#17 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 06:25 AM
 
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Count me in! For some reason I am nervous about this, but I know it will be good for me and my family!

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself.

My name is Betsy. I am a homeschooling military wife/mom with 2 daughters, 12 & 9. My Chinese Zodiac sign is Dragon, and DH is a Sheep. According to my daughter's book, a Dragon should NOT be left in control of the money... (too loose w/ the $),but oh well, when you have a Marine spouse you've gotta be in control or you'll have a big hassle during those frequent deployments.

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

USMC DH is nearing the point where he could retire if he wished. I want to get our financial house in order so we can get through that major change without too much trauma to the family. We've been spending very sloppily, and it doesn't leave me feeling too good. I want to be proud of my spending choices.

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?

I've been recording ALL of my spending for January (that'sbeen scary!) I've used those numbers and a realistic idea of how we should be eating/spending, etc. to come up with some budget numbers.
I'll get those goals posted soon. (I may be procrastinating... but I'm using the excuse of fatique for not posting them tonight!)

Have to say I am so glad to have found this site. It is EXACTLY what I needed at this point in my life. Thank you!
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#18 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 08:07 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 Kim and my DH and I have one 17 month old DS. I work full-time.

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

We are wanting to get completely out of debt, start saving to purchase land, and build up retirement savings.

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?

I have kept track of our spending for the month of January. Just writing it down helps keep us accountable, but there are areas where we can definitely cut. My staying out of stores on my lunch break will surely help!
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#19 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 09:03 AM
 
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1. Hello there. I am Jaime, married to Bryan. I manage a domestic violence shelter and am a FurMom to 3 cats. DH and I are trying really hard to live off of only his income from now on, and to pay off our debt with my income, in order to TTC so I can be a SAHM.

2. Debt, Debt, Debt. We want to hit it as hard as we can and make it hurt We can only do that if we avoid buying pointless things that we do not need.

3. I have a pretty serious plan for this month.

1. NO eating out. NONE NONE NONE. This includes fast food.

2. We will "eat out of the pantry" as much as possible this month. I will only go to the grocery store for what we truly need, and skip the extra stuff, like soda and junk food. So I am only going to go to the store once I start running out of essentials, instead of having a huge trip twice a month to buy a bunch of things we don't need.

3. No big box stores.

4. Look in to either drastically reduced cell phone plans or prepaid for DH. Potentially cancel mine altogether to save money.

I know I will need serious support this month. Trying to live off of DH's income alone will be tighter than our normal budget. So don't be afraid to give me a good smack with the Budget Stick every now and again to keep me on track I have to learn to make sacrifices if I ever want to meet my goal of staying home with our future children. I might as well learn to live beneath my means now.

ribbonpurple.gif  "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
   
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#20 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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I'm joining ya!

I'm monkey's mom and we are self-employed. And taxes are coming up. Need I say more? Oh, and we had an unexpected bill, to the tune of $2500, pop up--due in a couple months. I really don't want to touch savings to pay it.

Plus, we really need to get a grip on our spending. We don't spend much, we just do it without thought. So I've been tracking every penny for a bit, but now I'd like to join you all and see about spending even less and becoming more aware of what we do spend.

And I need to get my grocery spending down a bunch. That's a place where we can definitely cut back. Need to USE up every last bit of those leftovers. Every time.

So that's about it! I'm excited to join and lurk no more!
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#21 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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1. My name is Rachael. I am a WOH mom to Keller and wife to a chef/student DH. I have started these 3 different times and never finished. We are in a tight spot right now and I need to focus. My DH is in school and started a job on contract. When the contract came through it was half the work we were expecting.

2. We need to figure out how to make it through this rough patch, still pay down our debt and not wipe out our savings. Mostly pay down debt! We want to have another baby and I want to be able to WAH when #2 comes along.

3.
-Keep the CC's put away, no matter how much we feel we "need" them
-Find free things to do at home or in our neighborhood so we don't feel the need to spend money "doing" something.
-Focus on the positives. We tend to spend money when we feel "down" or "bored". No more, our lives are filled with blessing we need to appreciate it!

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#22 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
My previous records:

January = ** no-spend days/$ unnecessary spending
February = ** no-spend days/$**
You are really starting the year off right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by organic-momma View Post

3. We've recently switched to the cash & jar budget method so I'm going to stick to that and try to stay out of the shops. I'm also mercessily decluttering the house... realizing how much stuff I have to get rid of makes me think I should be thinking more about what I buy in the first place!
Welcome! Good luck this month

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post

So here I am. Looking forward to being held accountable My goal is to not spend on anything else than what we have in the budget. Which is pretty much essentials. I have a big order in a coop right now, but after that...Groceries will be my only shopping. One problem might be that DP's bday is in late Feb, so we might have to splurge on a meal maybe....
It is nice to meet you

Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
Joint goal for Feb: just one--STAY ON BUDGET!

Personal goals for Feb:
-stay on budget (including no more than $100 misc spending, $50 postage)
-at least 14 no spend days
-no more than 2 thrift shopping trips
-no more than 5 lunches and/or coffees at work
Welcome and good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewsew View Post


I have been on state disability as I am just recovering from Breast Cancer. I will be going on unemployment this month as I was laid off from my job at Merrill Lynch right before finding out I had cancer.

Money has always been tight for us. Our mortgage is extremely high due to our financial difficulties due to our messy divorces.

I want to live better and more simply so we can start saving more. I have a dd who will be driving soon and that alone will up my insurance premiums!! [/B]

I need to go through my pantry and stash of other items to determine WHAT I need to buy. My grocery shopping is even way out of control. I have plenty of things at home - yet I buy more!!! [/B]

So I am in for February!!!
I hope you are doing okay health wise My Mom had breast cancer, she breat it and is so much stronger for it. Good luck on the grocery budget, I am working on mine as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
Question: Do you do this by yourself, or does DH do it too?
My DH and I both do it. He pretty much has to, considering he put me in charge of the budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseValleyGirl View Post
3. I will knit with the yarn I have.

I'm just wondering about entertainment. There's family swim, so much for movies, admission to science museum or children, bowling...whatever. We just don't make it outside much in the winter and so depend on destinations much more.
I hear you on the yarn thing! I have tons that I need to use up!

I am not sure about entertainment, maybe one of the pros here can help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkenna&lucas View Post
This will be my sixth month here!
I am a SAHM to a 4 year old dd and a 2 year old ds,
We have home renovations approaching, cc debt, student debt, and car payments. Not easy with one income so I have to keep more control of our money and where it goes! I really want to see our savings account #'s go waaay up!

My goals this month are:
  • compact!
  • only 1 co-op this month!!
  • No Credit Cards!
  • Save, Save, Save!
  • declutter and simplify


February Spending Goals:
No Spend days: 25/29
No etsy/DS/ebay: 27/29
Non-necessary Spending: <150
Compacting is when you do not bring anything new in to the house, right? Does that include groceries? I have always been curious about compacting

Quote:
Originally Posted by GinaRae View Post
-- Track grocery spending
-- Track how many school lunches I buy due to not packing
-- Track frivolous spending
-- Track health expenses (meds, supplements, co-pays)
-- Track household spending
-- Track clothing/hygiene
-- Track "other necessities
-- Track activity costs for the boys
-- Track extra income coming in
-- Track allowance given to kids

-- Track bank fees
-- Track fast food
-- Track eating out/ordering in
-- Track buying drinks or snacks
-- Track unnecessary spending days
Good luck and welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brittneyscott View Post
I am a mostly SAHM (I work part time on weekends) to 2 kiddos. We just bought a new home and the note is high so the extra money we use to have is not there now. I'm working on paying off our remaining debt (2 medical bills and 2 small cc) so we can focus on remodeling/paying off our house.

I have made us a budget that (if I stick to it) will have us a month ahead of the bills so I can see exactly what extra money we have. (i.e. all Feb income will be held for March and March's budget will be made at the end of the month)

My goals:
15 no drive days
20 no spend days
Eat out - no more than once a week
NO frivolous spending

Allowed spending:
groceries (eating from pantry mostly) - $150 allowed
gas - $250 (hehehe... lets see this one happen)

If we get a income tax return in Feb this will go towards the remaining debt, then spend only on:
new glasses for me, new work boots for DH, gardening/canning supplies, animal supplies (for chickens and rabbits)
Nice to meet you

Quote:
Originally Posted by AGlimmeringHope View Post
3. I am going to start asking myself a few questions before any large purchases:
-Is this going to make my life easier?
-Will I use this enough to negate the cost of purchasing it?
-What am I going to get rid of to make room for this?
If I cannot give sufficient answers to these questions, the item will stay on the shelf. I'm also trying to figure out a nice, simplified wardrobe for us and the girls that doesn't feel like I'm wearing the same thing everyday. We will also finally be implementing Gail Vaz-Oxlade's jar method that DH loves (we're both big fans of Til Debt Do Us Part...I've known the whole envelope/jar method for years and have tried to get him to do it, but it took that show to get him on board!).
Good idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by umarider View Post
I've been recording ALL of my spending for January (that'sbeen scary!) I've used those numbers and a realistic idea of how we should be eating/spending, etc. to come up with some budget numbers.
I'll get those goals posted soon. (I may be procrastinating... but I'm using the excuse of fatique for not posting them tonight!)

Have to say I am so glad to have found this site. It is EXACTLY what I needed at this point in my life. Thank you!
It is scary when you see how much you spend, isn't it? I almost had a heart attack when I finally took a good look at how much money I was giving our local Big Box Store

Quote:
Originally Posted by kedwards313 View Post

I have kept track of our spending for the month of January. Just writing it down helps keep us accountable, but there are areas where we can definitely cut. My staying out of stores on my lunch break will surely help!
Welcome to the thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkey's mom View Post
I'm joining ya!

I'm monkey's mom and we are self-employed. And taxes are coming up. Need I say more? Oh, and we had an unexpected bill, to the tune of $2500, pop up--due in a couple months. I really don't want to touch savings to pay it.

Plus, we really need to get a grip on our spending. We don't spend much, we just do it without thought. So I've been tracking every penny for a bit, but now I'd like to join you all and see about spending even less and becoming more aware of what we do spend.

And I need to get my grocery spending down a bunch. That's a place where we can definitely cut back. Need to USE up every last bit of those leftovers. Every time.

So that's about it! I'm excited to join and lurk no more!
DH is the leftover King He finds the most creative uses for them

ribbonpurple.gif  "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
   
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#23 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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I'm in again. January's No Spend Challenge was a big help to me. Thanks for the community support!

My goals at this time:
  • 19/29 - No Spend Days
  • $50 postage budget
  • No more than 2 trips to the thrift store
  • No more than 5 fast food meals (I know it's a lot, but I go from work to class one day a week, and I am trying to be realistic. So far I'm 50% on that in January.)
  • Use the CC's less
  • Go to the family's investment guy - we need to roll over our 401Ks, get a plan on saving/investing
  • No unnecessary spending
  • Use existing supplies for cards
  • Use up food on hand, especially in the deep freeze and home-canned goods.

DD's birthday is this month. I've decided not to do a 'friends' party, but there still is the family party. It's probably also time to plan the garden. I think I have all the seeds I need, but I need to do an inventory and a plan. Hopefully this month will bring some nicer weather too, so we can take advantage of our zoo membership.

About my family: WOHM, Student me, SAHD DH, 3yo DD. Expenses = Income, with no wiggle room. Paid off cars, significant mortgage. We're not doing that bad, but we're not doing that good either. I'd like to keep ahead, and maybe shave some off our grocery bill by drawing from the pantry and freezer.

Tracking:
0/19 - No Spend Days
$12.44/$50 postage budget
0/2 thrift store trips
0/5 fast food meals
Go to the family's investment guy

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#24 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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Okay, I'll jump in too.

I'm a SAHM with two unschooled kids and I run a very part time consulting business. DH and I got married 6 years ago and have had enough financial ups and downs in that short time to have learned our lesson about debt! Husband makes good money and we realized this past Xmas we had little to show for it. So we set a concrete goal to achieve our dream life, dramatically altered the budget, and committed to "no-spending" and living simply.

The dream: five acres of land upon which to build our first home; DH reduces his work hours to part time.

Step 1: save 30% of DH's gross salary by December 31, 2008 at which time we will be 100% debt-free.

We'll achieve this by sticking to a food budget of $550/month (family of 4) and a miscellaneous fund (everything other than food, gas, bills, and rent) of $500/month (this includes drug store purchases, gifts, kids activities, household items, etc).

We're doing great so far. It's almost the end of month #1 and we are under budget! We did go over on groceries by $5 (it was my birthday yesterday, the big FOUR-OH, so we splurged on sushi!) however we are $15 under on misc spending and waaay under on gas!

So far I'm finding it pretty easy to "no-spend" because I'm so excited that we've decided to pursue our dream of living on an acreage! I'm also excited about Living Simply and all that encompasses. This is keeping me very motivated! (as is being in this forum!)

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#25 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 02:08 PM
 
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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 Sara, I am a SAHM to two boys. Luke is 12 and homeschooled and Logan is 2 and full of beans. We are a one income family, we recently bought a house in another city and are gearing up to move 200km away in March. Our new house is much smaller than the house we are renting right now so we are madly decluttering.

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

1. We just bought a house and will not have tenants in our suite for the first month so we need to save up the whole mortgage payment for April.

2. We are decluttering in order to fit into our new home so we have agreed not to buy anything that is not consumable! We need LESS stuff not MORE!

3. We have a car loan and cc debt on top of our mortgage so we need to start living within our means if we ever want to be out of debt.

4. For the first 6 months (starting in April) my DH and I will living 200km apart and we need to trim our spending so he can afford to travel and see us every weekend.

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?

1. No unbudgetted spending from the joint account
2. No eating out except for the one day we are travelling.
3. 20 No spend days
4. Only $50 spending from my personal account.
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#26 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Woohoo, I'm so excited! I fell off the wagon in January (well, my husband did actually...), but I am really pumped up for February. We finalized the plans for the house we're going to build in about a year, and we need to save around $20,000 in the next year for it to become a reality. So we have a plan, and we're both on board now. Here are our goals for February:

1. I am taking a trip to Texas with some friends this coming weekend, February 1-2. My goal is to only spend $200, including food, gas, and my share of the hotel room.

2. We want to have 23 "no eating out" days in February. That leaves us 6 days for eating out (including lunches and including my trip).

3. $100 or less for baby's new clothes. He has outgrown almost everything he has, but I'm keeping it at $100 or less.

4. $450 or less on groceries/household expenses (including diapers for both little ones) in February. This means buying generic whenever possible and planning low-cost meals.

5. NO food gets thrown away in February. This means I need to plan my meals around what we have so that nothing goes bad, including bread, milk, eggs, and produce, which are the main things we end up throwing away. We also need to plan at least one day a week to eat up leftovers so that nothing gets thrown out.

6. Keep track of every tiny expense in our binder, as well as here on the board.

7. Cancel Rhapsody and Free Credit Report.

8. Put at least $1000 in savings in February.

Another tentative goal I have is 15 no-spend days, but this will be my first try with this particular goal, so I'm not sure how realistic it is.

Can't wait for February to begin!
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#27 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sewsew View Post
I am ok if I stay out of the stores. But I tend to do "recreational" shopping with my sister.

Ann Marie -- Welcome and good luck to you as you battle with breast cancer. Have you thought ahead to what you can do with your sister instead of recreational shopping? Is there anything else you two can do that you will also enjoy? You need to let your sister on board with what you are trying to do and brainstorm other things for the two of you because you WILL need her company and support in the coming month and it is easy to fall into the habit of shopping again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by famousmockngbrd View Post
Question: Do you do this by yourself, or does DH do it too?
Just you. This thread is all about you. DHs are on their own. This is a common question and issue on our threads...but we are only about changing you. Hopefully he will see your example and follow your lead...but if he doesn't that isn't something you can control. Please don't give up the effort to change yourself if your DH won't play along. He probably won't. And he is probably going to spend some of the money you are saving. That's okay. Save anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseValleyGirl View Post
I'm just wondering about entertainment...We just don't make it outside much in the winter and so depend on destinations much more.
RVG -- Budget for those things. There are 29 days in February...aim for not spending 10 of those...or if you are feeling ambitious...15 days. There will be some days when you spend money on things that are not essential for survival. That's okay. Plan ahead and know you are going to spend money on those things. If, at the end of the month, you realize you spent WAY more on those things than you thought...then next month you can plan to cut back a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by umarider View Post
For some reason I am nervous about this, but I know it will be good for me and my family...We've been spending very sloppily, and it doesn't leave me feeling too good. I want to be proud of my spending choices.
Betsy -- Doing a no-spend challenge is hard work and it is about change and change makes us ALL nervous. I get nervous about it every month and I've been doing these challenges for a long time! I like that last line about being proud of my spending choices. I'm going to put that in my goals too.

 

 

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#28 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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OK, I am posting my February personal budget:

Take home pay: $3,357

Fixed expenses:
Contribution to joint account: $2,000
Savings: $100
Student loan: $258
Total fixed expenses: $2,358

Amount available for discretionary spending: $999

Wells Fargo Visa: $479
Discover Card: $150
HSBC Master Card:$150
Misc spending: $100
Postage: $50
Total discretionary expenses: $929

Flexibility: $70
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#29 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That looks like a workable budget, Grace.

Yowsah!!! That is some credit card payment you guys make every month. Can you imagine how much more flexibility with the budget you would have without that $700 payment? I hope you are able to pay it off soon and get out from under that monkey.

 

 

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#30 of 1040 Old 01-28-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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1. Please introduce yourself and tell us anything you think it would help us to know about yourself. I have a family of five, I work part-time (very part time) and go to school online and homeschool. Time is a huge issue, as I don't always have the time or motivation to do the things necessary to save money (like meal planning and strategic shopping).

2. Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of February. Memorize these goals and recite them to yourself before all purchases. My main problem is planning purchases. I'm okay at reading ads and planning my "stock up" grocery store trips around them. However, it seems that we are always forgetting "just one thing", which then leads to another store run (extra gas money, extra money spent buying more than one thing). DH and I have communication issues sometimes, so there are times when there is an unexpected expense (to me) that comes up that he's known about, but I didn't budget for.

Anyway, I'm hoping that this thread will motivate me to get organized and make realistic spending plans. Too often, I am too extreme with my plan and then it doesn't work....I think being honest will be better, lol. I'm not planning on no-spending, but I am planning on no-spending outside of planned purchases.

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? Dh and I really need to have a strategic meeting. I want to come up with ALL the things we are going to buy/want to buy this month...every little thing. And then write it all down, and not buy anything off of the list. We also need to involve ds1 in the talk, as he sometimes has things come up, too. I want to write down even the small thing, like buying postage stamps.

Next, I want to plan out our shopping trips so that we are saving on gas.

Finally, once it is all written down, I want to review and see if there is anything that we can hold of on purchasing. For everything else, I will check online prices first to see if we can save money (some groceries are cheaper from amazon than my local stores, for example), and plan out my internet purchases strategically to save on any shipping costs.

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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