May No-Spend Challenge ~ We're nearing the end of the month...hold on to that money, no-spenders! You can do it! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 03:39 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 May 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.

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

Our no-spend threads tend to get very long...you don't need to read the entire thread (unless you want to). Just read the first few entries and jump right in. Start recording your spending today!

 

 

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#2 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Tips for doing a no-spend challenge...

*Some of us record every penny that we spend, others only record unecessary purchases. Groceries, utilities, clothing, transportation...we expect you to spend money on that. The "no-spend" in our title refers to unecessary spending...things you could do without.

*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.

*Please 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.

*If you have time to read everyone else's post and do personals, thank you! 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 601 Old 04-28-2008, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You clicked on our thread and are thinking about joining for a reason...those reasons are what are going to motivate you during the tough, tempted-to-spend times this month.

Please give yourself some time to think about these questions and answer them in a way that is meaningful for you. These questions are to help you clarify why you are here and why you are doing this.

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of May.

2. 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 601 Old 04-28-2008, 03:48 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. Right now we are a paycheck-to-paycheck family -- I want this to stop. I want to have a savings account and a cushion of money for emergencies.

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. I like ~thinking~ about where my money is going, rather than just watching it float away.

2. 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 months:

May= 19 no-spend days with $265 in unecessary spending
June = 19 /$394
July = 15 /$580
August = 19 /$451
September = 22 /$103
October = 20 /$203
November = 19 /$456
December = Fell off the wagon
January = 20 /$216
February = 21 /$190
March = 24 /$189
April = 19 /$402

 

 

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#5 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 03:54 PM
 
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#6 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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This is my first time doing this, but I thought it would be a good idea with the baby almost here. Need to get some kind of savings going!

My goals are:

-Reduce energy bill. Don't know how much is realistic, so I'll just leave it at that. Last month was about $80, but we're really trying to watch our usage, so I hope we can make a big difference!

-Bargain shop for food and stop eating every meal out on the weekends. I need some dedication for this one. I love cooking, but when I'm hungry, it's so much easier to just go out for a burger.

-Take care of all our bills without any outside help and try to get some kind of savings going. This is going to be tough. My husband is a full time student and makes little more than what we need for rent, utilities and food. I'm going to try to make up the extra by donating plasma and selling on ebay/etsy.

I hope this turns out to be a great month!
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#7 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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#8 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Hi, I'm April and I am a SAHM to an almost 2y/o DS. My DH is self employed and we do not technically have an income. We spend what we need to and then transfer the money to cover it into our personal account. The reason I am here this month is because we are closing on a house May 15th and will be getting used to a mortgage again.

I had a lovely birthday shopping spree last week which I felt extremely guilty about even though it was only $100. I usually do pretty well on the spending but a little extra motivation will help me save!

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#9 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 06:39 PM
 
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I'm in again this month.

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

I am Jill from MN. Mom of 6 (dd20, ds16, ds10, ds8, dd6 & dd2). Live with dh and 4 youngest children. We are also homeschooling.

Please tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of May.

We desperately need to cut way back on our monthy spending. I am quite the shopaholic and we have way too much credit card debt.

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?

April spending was horrendous. I didn't track my spending as well as other months and it shows. I did, however, have more No Spend Days than any of the other months that I took part of this challenge. I hope that May will be even better. Another plus to this challenge is that we haven't used a credit card in 3 months.

Jill


Key

No Spend
Budgeted Spending
Unbudgeted/Overbudgeted Spending

My Plan

Track Groceries $750
Track Gas $300
Track Coffee $25
Track Frivolous Spending $50
10 no spend days
26 days no Big Box stores
No Credit Cards
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#10 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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I'm really in! April was a hellishly busy month, and so thisis one of the things I had to let go, but we need to do a no-spend May for sure! adding info soon.
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#11 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 07:36 PM
 
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Hi I am Brie, a SAHM to 5 kiddos and 1 on the way! We are doing the Dave Ramsey debt snowball program so I really need to stay focused on every penny so we can throw it at our debt at the end of May. In addition we are in the middle of a major bedroom/bathrooms/laundry room remodel so we need to get it finished to with CASH. (hopefully before baby comes this summer or my nesting instincts might kill my DH) My goals for May are:

1. Stick to a zero dollar written budget
2. 18/31 No drive days
3. 19/30 No spend days
4. $625 Food Budget
5. $100 Gas Budget
6. $500 to Debt Snowball
7. EVERY meal made at home (This is going to be the hardest for me!)


Good luck everyone!!!
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#12 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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I'm Danielle and I'm a SAHM. We've had a few things come up the past few months that have put us over our budget. I really need a no spend month to get our savings account back where it should be. My DH recently started working longer hours and really isnt able to bring meals with him because of the nature of his job. So now we have the added strain of him eating out about 8 times a week. The only thing I can do is cut back myself and what we do as a family.

I'm going to stay home as much as possible, no trips out in town to go to Target or the mall. I'm only going to the Commissary to grocery shop once a week. I'm going to meal plan also. The only spending we might do is when my MIL visits this weekend. Probably will treat her to dinner out one night.

Mama to a 6 year old diva, and new little man July 2011.

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#13 of 601 Old 04-28-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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Back on board and ready for May!

I'm expecting a baby any minute (still have my fingers crossed for an April birthday!) and will be transitioning to SAH. We do need to save as much as possible while we still have 2 incomes, but I'm telling myself that I'm no-spending this month for environmental reasons & minimalist values. Not that we live all that frugally, but I'm honestly tired of working as hard as I do to save what we do (proud to say thats over 23% of our income!). I need to change my focus because otherwise I just get depressed & feel deprived when I'm really not at all!

So to stay on track this month I'm going to be more conscious of appreciating what I have (and decluttering what I wish we didn't). I'll probably end up writing this down somewhere, in my journal or even on my calendar. I'm also going to keep trying to find new ways to get things done without buying new items. And, I'm going to pick one "fun" thing I've been saving for to keep in mind every time I'm tempted to buy something on impulse & track what I save towards it. If I get inspired before I go into labor, I might even print a little picture to stick on my wallet.

XM,: mama to ds (5/08), dd (9/10) and ds (6/12) ! whale.gif :C.H.S & M.

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#14 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 03:55 AM
 
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1. On my 12th month here, and even the less-than-stellar months have been far better than before joining the thread - thanks mamas! My name is Kim; our family includes DH, DD (12/03) + DS (9/06). I am PT sahm/PT wahm/PT wohm; kiddos are with DH when I go to the office. Have been with this group since June, and the support, accountability, and increased spending consciousness have been terrific for our bottom line. April was pretty weak; hope to rock May!

2. Continue attacking the debt snowball.

3. Game plan:
* INCREASE income - confirm new contract for PR work and book at least (1) new workshop for May
* SELL land - need to finalize partial release
* Sell/donate unneeded items
* Work out a meal plan - May is the month to finally do this!
* Pack snacks + water whenever we go out
* No more late library materials!
* ORGANIZE! Majority of overbudget/frivolous spending can be prevented with improved organization.
* Exercise: feeling good = decreased emotional spending

GOALS:
* Confirm new contract for PR work: 0/1
* Schedule (2) new workshops: 0/2
* Less than $50 in frivolous spending: month to date $0
* At least 25 days (no spend or spending w/in budget): 0/25
* Pack snacks/water for outings: 0/31
* NO library fines: month to date $0
* Stay within grocery/eating out budget: $0/$500
* ORGANIZE/declutter (lack of organization = spending): 0/25
* Exercise (feeling good = decreased emotional spending): 0/25
* Meal plan created: 0/4 weeks
* Sell land - offer on the table, need to complete partial release: Pending

Past Progress:
June: 20 days; $210.42 frivolous; $519.54 groceries; $117.55 eating out
July: 16 days; $325.62 frivolous; $825.40 groceries; $112.84 eating out
Aug.: 23 days; $144.47 frivolous; $593.09 groceries; $643.07 eating out
Sept.: 22 days; $128.37 frivolous; $598.19 groceries; $121.48 eating out
Oct.: 25 days; $139.55 frivolous; $472 groceries; $129.55 eating out
Nov.: 25 days; $192.50 frivolous; $608 groceries; $101 eating out
Dec.: 28 days; $55.20 frivolous; $503 groceries
Jan.: 27 days; $19.90 frivolous; $555.85 groceries/eating out
Feb.: 18 days; $131.80 frivolous; $668 groceries/eating out
March: 28 days; $19.40 frivolous; $500 groceries/eating out
April: 24 days; $39.16 frivolous; $768.65 groceries/eating out (preemptive post - assuming 2 more days + no more frivolous or grocery spending for April...)
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#15 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 07:49 AM
 
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My name's Jackie and I need to get on the bandwagon here. I'm WAH and live alone. My kids are grown and live out of state. I have geared up to limit my spending to gas purchases twice this month, limiting my driving to twice a week and my grocery shopping to once a week. I should have no other reason to waste gas and spend $. I wish to limit my grocery spending to $20 a week, I have a pretty full freezer and shouldn't need more than fruit, bread and milk. All take out food needs to come from the $20.
The only purchases I need to make this month that are not food, outside of regular monthly bills are a card for my daughter for Mother's Day and if I can get a good price, the plane ticket I need to purchase to see the kids at the end of July when she is due to have her first baby.
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#16 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 08:26 AM
 
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1. Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of May.

Hello, I'm Jenny! SAHM to one wild & crazy 4 year old girl. I've decided to spend less because it was getting out of control again. We've not been able to add to our savings account for months. Part of that is due to DH's work slowing down in the Winter but our overspending is a really huge factor as well. It does not make me happy to spend gobs of money unnecessarily. I would rather do something productive.

2. 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?

*Stay out of stores (More importantly, keep DH out of stores!)
*Grocery shop only once a week.
*Fabric fast. No new fabric purchases in the month of May.
*Keep cooking from scratch/not going out to eat.
*Make more of an effort with my etsy store.

Goals
20 No spend days
0/$150 Unnecessary spending

Previous Challenges
March Challenge: $357 in unnecessary spending
April Challenge: $180 in unnecessary spending

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#17 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 08:40 AM
 
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I am in! We're a family of 3 (big eaters, hehe, it does matter that a chicken never last us more than a meal)
I am trying to reduce my household and grocery spendings this month. I think I'll budget $375 for May, see if I can do it.
We've been good about not eating out. We'd like to keep it that way. I budget for once a month, just in case....
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#18 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 11:11 AM
 
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We spent way too much last month and need a no spend month to recover. Dh was unemployed for over a year, started back to work in mid-February so we had many things we needed. But, time to get serious about budgeting!

My main goal is to stick with a grocery budget of $150 per week and not buy unnecessary things. I talked to dh to explain his little stops at the grocery store when he thinks we are low on something, or when he has a yen for a gourmet snack, is really adding up.

We're pretty frugal, otherwise. Don't eat out, buy much clothes, etc. But dh is planning a weekend trip that is going to cost $$$ no matter how frugally he does it (driving, motel, food) so I want to be extra careful with everything else.

Did the shopping for the week on Sunday. Spent exactly $150 but needed to go out again for some things I missed and spent another $40. So next weekend, I need to not go over $110 and meal plan before I go.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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#19 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
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 May 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.

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

Our no-spend threads tend to get very long...you don't need to read the entire thread (unless you want to). Just read the first few entries and jump right in. Start recording your spending today!
hi, i'm new to this forum,but i think this is great!!, and i'll be jumping on the may no-spend. our medical is killing us, my husband retired 2 years ago and we spend over 1/3 of our income in medical expense's. so i already do family cloth and cloth napkins etc. our electic is fairly low, i make almost every meal from scratch, we have a farm, so we can, and raise our own meat. we only go to town(35 miles) once a week, and our car is very good on gas. if anybody has any suggestions about the medical i would love to hear them.
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#20 of 601 Old 04-29-2008, 01:31 PM
 
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hi i am julie sahm to dd age 3 and baby on the way this upcoming month hopefully. my goal is to not eat out and save on gas this month. my long term goal is pay off midwife (only $300 more to go!) and student loan this year($6180 still to go). i am really hoping that with diligence that i will not have to use next years taxes to pay off the student loan and that we can use that money towards a nice vacation. my goals are to keep our groceries low like $50 a week and keep gas $50 a week. hubby works close to home and he packs lunches. i really need to avoid resturants because that is a major budget blower.
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#21 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bumping up our thread

 

 

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#22 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us why you have decided to spend nothing (or spend significantly less) for the Month of May.
I am new to the no-spend challenge and ready to join! I have been trying to stick to a budget for a long time but have a hard time keeping my spending in check. It's time to really do something about that, I want to knock out our debt and save money the total money makeover way. In order to pay off our debt that means I need to decrease our spending. Dh's student loans will be out of deferment in December and if we are going to pay those monthly payments, we need to really focus on getting ourselves out from under our auto loans, which total $20,000.

Quote:
2. 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 tracked our expenses from March and April and printed out the money makeover steps and hung the charts in our linen closet. Every day the reminder not to spend will stare me in the face and the accountability of recording my purchases will do the same. I want to get the same happy feeling making an extra car payment that I do buying a new outfit for ds or something new for the house.

MARCH
Groceries 632
Eating out 14.00
Target 76.00
Paypal and misc spending 692.00
(includes double stroller purchase + Easter portraits, $535)
Home stores 0
EXTRA TOWARD DEBT=0

APRIL
Groceries 370
Eating out 77
Target 52
Paypal and misc spending 354
Home stores 166
EXTRA TOWARD DEBT=0

MAY
Groceries
Eating out
Target
Paypal and Misc spending
Home Stores $50
EXTRA TOWARD DEBT

I look forward to not spending with you!


1 $12, baby book; $35, dh sent me flowers for our anniversary
2 $0
3 Groceries: $237/$600
4 $0
5 $0
6 made $19 selling outgrown clothes; spent $50 on veg garden fencing
7

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#23 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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Today I'm committing to do better in May, I did well in March after we returned from vacation and April was just a ighly emotional month and I'm gonna try to do better.
And I'm going to count my afternoon coffee spending as budgeted fro the week now and just be okay with the fact that It's something i do as long as I plan for it.
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#24 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 10:58 AM
 
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Subbing
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#25 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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I suppose spending money NOW so it doesn't count for May isn't a good idea???

I did buy a few things last night... A swimsuit because there is no way my pg belly is fitting into the one I have now. I also bought most of our birth supplies... And some honey sticks...And some newborn dipes... Eeeeek. I guess I bought a lot. Tomorrow is a new start! I love new starts!
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#26 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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Hi again everybody! I'm back in this month--thought I was doing well on my own, but last month didn't go so well, so this month I need to be more mindful.

My big issue is credit card debt. At the beginning of 2008 I had $11,351.45 in CC debt. As of April 1, I was down to $8,545.18 and I am still plugging along. However, I have to keep my spending in hand as much as possible to keep paying on the debt and not accrue any new debt. I am also the primary (though not the only) breadwinner and the financial manager for my family (just me and my partner, no kiddos), and we're not doing great jointly, either, so I'll be tracking that here as well.

May is going to present us with some special circumstances. We are taking our first vacation in a couple of years (excluding visiting family on holidays) at the end of the month, so that will require some spending. I plan to make our budgets tonight and try to plan for that as much as possible. I am also trying to work on my own very casual (coffee, snacks, etc.) spending this month, as it added up last month.

Anyway, good luck all! These threads have been a great source of community and enjoyment for me in the past, and I am happy to be back.
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#27 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Grace -- We're glad to have you back!

Quote:
I did buy a few things last night... A swimsuit because there is no way my pg belly is fitting into the one I have now.
That is a necessary purchase. You can't go to the pool naked.

I bought some maternity panties yesterday that I'm chalking up to a necessary purchase because my old ones are getting all stretched out. These new panties are HUGE so I figure they can double as bedsheets once the baby is born.

 

 

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#28 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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01..

My Goals:

0/20 No-Spend Days
0/31 Fast Food Free Days
0/10 Let the car rest days
0/$100 unecessary spending

 

 

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#29 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Hi ladies! I hope to be back this month!

My name is Rachael, WOH mom to DS 1 and wife to a chef DH. We are a city family with no car (woo hoo) which is saving us tons of money right nwo. My DH is a student and this has been tough. He recently ( 3 weeks ago) began working part time and this seems like a huge turning point for us.

We have a goal of paying off ALL our debt (including student loans) by November 1, 2010. In order to do this we need to stick to our budget so we can put money towards our goal. In April we re-established our $1000 emergency fund and paid off one of our credit cards. We have three credit cards left (Total debt $5,700.00) and student loans in order to be debt free.

Our plan: STICK TO THE BUDGET.

- We have decided to take out cash for our spending categories and groceries and then put away the debit card.

- DH is on board with this for the first time and that will also help me stay on board.

- We plan to put between $400 - $800 toward debt a month. This will fluxuate based on the amount of hours DH works, but $400 is the minimum.

- We are re-committing to tithing. We made a commitment to tithe and have not followed through on it, we feel like this is a must in our lives.

****

Past Performance

April
Total Overspending $700.00
Total no spend days - 13/30

March
Total overspending $478.33
Total no spend days - 20/31

February
Total overspending $666.45
Total no spend days - 14/29

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#30 of 601 Old 04-30-2008, 03:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post



That is a necessary purchase. You can't go to the pool naked.
Ha! I like your reasoning!
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