**July No-Spend Challenge** - It's the last week of July! Finish strong!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 662 Old 06-25-2008, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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July is just around the corner...for those of us that are planning ahead, let's get started! Join in any time!

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 July 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!! 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!


*****

Crunchy *VT* Mom's Tips for doing a no-spend challenge...

*Some of us record every penny that we spend, others only record unnecessary purchases. Groceries, utilities, clothing, transportation...we expect you to spend money on that. The "no-spend" in our title refers to unnecessary 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.


*****

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 July.

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?

3. Be specific! What are your goals? How many no spend days is right for you? Do you have a savings goal? Debt repayment goal?

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#2 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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I am looking forward to trying this. My problem is I buy way too much at Whole Foods. I go with a few things in mind, mostly meat and produce and pick up all kinds of snacks and what not. I am hoping to try a cash only budget and save more by buying less. I am going to start a written spending diary tomorrow. My goal is to spend 50% less than I did last month. I have lost control of my spending since the summer. In the colder months I cook more and I am guilty of buying the pre cooked food in the summer. I am hoping also to find creative ways to find other places other than Whole Foods to buy healthy food. Whole Foods is also a twenty min drive from my house and the gas money is also a big factor. I want to just go to Whole Foods once a week, not three times. I also need to eat more out of my disorganized pantry.
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#3 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 10:25 AM
 
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I'm in. I still need to come up with $400 to pay off the credit card. The only way I am going to be able to pay that debt is to be super frugal. Will add goals and such soon.

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#4 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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i'm sarah, sahm/wahm (paper route) to dd3. i need to replenish our emergency fund as quickly as possible after dental expenses. also, we currently get money from my inlaws every month to get by.

plans are:
*look into moving somewhere cheaper (hubby will have to transfer)
*eat out of freezer (since we couldn't move it anyway)
*try to only have tv on if someone is actually watching it
*place extra furmiture/household for sale or consignment
*leave dryer unplugged when not in use
*continue to hang/rack dry most laundry
*try to use a/c less

(no spend) 20/31
(budgeted, unnecessary) 8/31
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#5 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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Hoo boy. This is my month to really buckle down and not spend.

I'm Amanda, SAHM to four unschoolers and wife to a hard-working DH.

Next month I am participating in a (local) woolens co-op, hoping to get what we need to keep us all warm this winter and keep our oil use to a minimum. Half-price woolens can't be beat, but they're still not cheap. I think it is an important investment, though.

I also have to come up with a couple hundred dollars for a very-long-awaited purchase - granted, not necessary, but something we've been planning for several years. I had all the money saved up but ended up using that "pot" for our emergency fund more than once, and I'm working hard to get it back up to the amount I need. I am pretty sure July is the month I need to pay up for this already-ordered purchase.

If I can, I want to set something aside to start a new emergency fund

We have 12 broiler chickens reserved on a friend's farm, and they're going to be ready, with balance due, in mid-July. We are also participating in a co-op with them for gluten-free oats...I'm getting a 50-lb bag, and that money is also due in July.

And I need to come up with gas money for two mini-vacations that will cost about $200 for gas altogether. And there may or may not be vacation-related expenses, so I have to be prepared just in case.

Our health insurance premium just went up.

And in general, every spare penny is going into fixing up our house so we can sell it and buy land.

Whew! Yikes! Can I do it?

So I'm going to have to rely on the garden and stored food and try NOT TO SPEND ON GROCERIES or household supplies or anything else for a month. Gas use needs to be fairly minimal (i.e., trips to town). July has to be a very minimal month other than the stuff above. We are already not using our furnace at all (i.e. no hot water) this summer. So that is interesting. And my grocery/meal planning has whittled down to nearly the bare minimum anyway (I want to go over it again and see if there is anything else I can economize on). I'm re-reading the Tightwad Gazette and planning to read the Hillbilly Housewife site again. I'm trying to get the most out of my garden that I possibly can. I really feel this is the month to reassess everything, take an almost-total-break from spending (except the above planned stuff), and just enjoy what we have already!

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#6 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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I spend a lot of time NAK & that means I shop online too much. I want to go the entire 31 days w/o making a single purchase online.

dd #1 11/15/07 and dd #2 unplanned and so glad the midwife was on her way!
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#7 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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I'm Ellen, single WOHM to DD (4) and DS (2). The kids are with their dad 2 evenings a week and every other weekend, which has allowed me to have free time to go out and blow money on stuff I shouldn't--lol! On my "off" weekends, I've been going to see lots of music, which is not incredibly expensive until I tack drinks on to that. I think I just had to get it out of my system I now realized that I really need to get my act together and watch what I'm spending. Here's my plan for the month of July:

*Only go to really cheap/free music and buy 2 drinks max/show
*No eating out, except on vacation--but try to buy and make food instead
*Stay with family/camp during vacation
*No thrift shopping, unless for something I really need (I've been buying too many clothes, and even though they're cheap, it adds up!)
*Plan meals to cut down on impulse buys at the grocery store
*No eating out when the kids aren't home
*Consolidate driving/run errands on way home from work
*Make coffee at home (I'm really bad with coffee impulse buys)
*Put at LEAST $200 in savings, if not more

No spend days 20/31

I really hope this is the motivation I need to stop spending and start saving again!

Single mama to DD 10/18/03 and DS 9/15/05 

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#8 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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I peek in now and then...I will join in this month.

For me it will be...

Eat out only once per week
Do not buy myself any books, use library only
Do not buy myself any jewelry
Turn out lights when not in a room
Have no drive days when possible
Raise AC temp
Only get a a delicious Chik-Fil-A lemonade when we are in that part of town...NO driving there just to get a lemonade.

I know these look small, but for me these will be HARD, especially the first one.

It's a start.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#9 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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I'm Beth, mom of two girls, ages 9 and 3. I am just finding with prices going up we really need to tighten our belts. We've always been good at staying within our means but not at saving. So my goal is to really put as much into savings as possible. We used to put $400/month into savings, but over the last few years I always end up transferring it to checking because we need it to cover bills. We also just had to put $750 into my car, and there was no emergency fund for that to come from.

My goals are:

- $200 month for groceries (just food, not including toiletries or household stuff)
- Give up some "luxury" grocery items, that are yummy but we don't really need, like the $5 gallon of organic chocolate milk.
- No Starbucks! (I have a couple of gift cards that I will still use, but no money from the budget. When those run out it's coffee at home.)
- No thrift store shopping. (It's more of a hobby than a necessity.)
- Freezer/Pantry challenge - I just made a menu for the next three weeks, and should only have to buy produce and dairy, and will look for those on sale.
- No unnecessary spending. I'm pretty good at avoiding the mall, but I also need to stay out of Target.
- Sell a bunch of stuff. I have a lot of scrapbooking and stamping stuff that I am going to sell on Ebay or Craigslist.

~Beth, mama to two amazing girls, ages 12 and 6~

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#10 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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There is so much inspiration in these threads!!! I love it!
I am on board this month, for sure!
My goals are to only drive once a week into town to pick up our c.s.a and to grocery shop. When dh is home on his weekends we can drive upriver to swim also. I want to be flexible because he works very hard in the summer and deserves some fun!
I have some hefty goals for the summer. A lot of them are financial. I am commited to be super-frugal to attain our goals.
some goals:
~pay off 10,000 in cc debt
~save 6000
~stock the freezer and pantry with staples and sale items for the winter with my alloted grocery budget.
~stay close to home and utilize our beautiful area...bike to friends houses and to the mailbox.
~get rid of extra money-suckers:
~cancelling netflix
~cancelling weight watchers online
~letting the dryer rest for the summer
~look for more ways to trim the fat

I am thinking that being super-motivated and disciplined this summer is going to be very rewarding financially. I ran some numbers the other day. We pay out about 7200 a year in credit card payments. Do you think our balances are reflecting that even remotely? NO WAY! I am just so sick of it! We are losing so much money it is awful! I am finally fed up and I am going to do something about it.
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#11 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 02:30 PM
 
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I'm buckling down this month too. My goals are:

$40/week fun money
$1,000/month to CC

Seems like it should be simple...
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#12 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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Hi, I'm Summer. PT WOHM to 2yo DD with DC#2 on the way. I just paid off a credit card and have 2 left...so every extra dollar will go that way for this month. (I also want to save $1K for a homebirth)

July Goals


YWCA : 12/31 days
Debt payment 0/$400.00
No Drive : 8/31 days
Homecooking : 12/31 days

Summer: crafty mama to 2 little girls and wife to Bob
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#13 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 08:33 PM
 
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HI im mommy to 9 wonderful kids. July's goal is no clothes spending. Everyone should have enough summer clothes to last. What is going to get me is the back to school sales. We homeschool but i stock up. I have a $20 budget for supplies. We have crates of paper and folders and such. This $20 is earmarked for new markers and deep loss leaders at target and staples. $20 is the goal i can move it to $50 if they have smoking deals and stock up for holiday presents.
Also my kids get new underwear at the BTS sales so im saving for that.

Im trying to wrangle down my grocery spending but it seems like every week the kids are eating more and prices are going up.

Also focused on getting my almost 3yr old daytime potty trained. that will save $$ in diapers.

I already hang clothes to dry and only use the dryer for towels, sheets and underware.

I will use the library more and NOT BUY ANY BOOKS for anyone in july. homeschool spending can happen in august. We unschool anyway so its not like i have to buy a boxed set or anything.

I have DD and DS b'day in september. and a possible trip for 2 kids and me to vegas for 3 days. (this is a far off goal only if we dont spend on clothes and needless items)

I am trying so hard not to adjust the budget with the rising prices each month is a struggle. I love DH and he works very hard to support us. THANK YOU DH
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#14 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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JULY GOALS

NO book buying 0/31
NO clothes buying 0/31
NO drive days 0/7
NO dryer useage days 0/10 this is going to be a killer. i will have to plan the laundry.
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#15 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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This will be my first no-spend challenge:. My goal is to start paying down some cc and get more money in the savings.

My goals

1. drive less
2. keep hanging clothes on the line
3. NO more internet shopping

I have one birthday to buy for and a few camping supplies for our vacation other than that I should not need to buy anything this month.
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#16 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 08:57 PM
 
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I'd like to join in...

I need to cut out things that have been creeping into my lifestyle lately. I am very nervous about loosing my job and July is when the cuts are scheduled to happen. I have been doing stupid things lately like going to out to eat fast food, buying tons of candy, ice cream, etc. all because that is how I deal with stress. This stuff adds up quick! Plus I'm gaining the weight I loss back which really sucks too!!!!

Goals:
Eliminate Coffee Runs - make coffee at home
Eliminate Fast Food Binges
Eliminate Ice Cream/Candy Binges
Drink more water
Consolidate errands and try to go when traveling to/from work
Don't drive 1 weekend day. Stay at home and go swimming instead.
Minimize air conditioner use by keeping the blinds shut during the day, opening the windows at night (if its cool enough), using the fans and as a last case resort, use AC but adjust the thermostat to 78 rather then 74.
Watch that we don't over dry our clothes in the dryer (sorry, I can't stand hang dried clothes - totally bugs me) plus take them out when they are still slightly damp
Don't keep the TV on unless someone is watching it -- this includes being mindful of falling asleep with the TV on -- we need to turn it off or set a timer
Don't purchase any clothes or toys
Don't join any co-ops
Look into switching to Fios to save on cable/phone/internet bills

That is all I can think of right now....
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#17 of 662 Old 06-26-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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I slipped today and bought two books online. I am terrible with online book buying. I think that by trying to lose a few lbs will help with buying less snacks at the store. I went to the grocery today and tried to stick to my list but there were a few things on sale. They get me with the 10 for 10 dollar stuff. I am going to shoot for two drive free days a week and not buy any books for two weeks. Baby Steps.
Philia
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#18 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 12:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ladies, I am so inspired by your goals. I am going to come back and add to this but one goal I am adding is to spend 30 minutes every day on my business. I would like it to replace my current job by the end of the year and really need to focus!

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#19 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 03:39 AM
 
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I am here again!!
This will be my eleventh month here! I am another one who needs to tighten up in July! I have alot to save for so I need to start NOW!!

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:
Start individual savings for swim, Disneyland and a new car fund..
compact!
only 2 co-op this month!!
Start throwing in a little $ money to dh's truck payment!
Save, Save, Save!
declutter and simplify
Garage sale!


July Spending Goals:
No Spend days: 20/31
No etsy/DS/ebay: 25/31
Non-necessary Spending: <350

July Savings Goals:
Disneyland: 0/300
Swim: 0/250
Car: 0/100
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#20 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 06:25 AM
 
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I'm a sahm, and hubby is going to be quitting his job in September to focus on his schooling and internships, and to be here for the new baby. We'll be living on financial aide and school loans, so we really need to buckle down now. We recently went to a all cash budget, because we just don't pay enough attention with debit cards. We're working on saving what more we can these next two months.

Things I need to work on and keep in mind:

I don't need most of the things I think I need. Why do I worry about finding a crib when one has been offered to be given to me in September? Why do I think I need a chest freezer when my parents have offered me extra freezer space in their home, only a few miles away?

July is a no buy baby stuff month. I'm stressing myself out on what I think baby "may" need. We will have extra money in Febuary, when peanut will be two months old. By then I'll have more of an idea what peanut really needs rather than buying out of stress and anticipation.

Eat out of the pantry.

Really, really think before I buy. Don't go thrifting and/or yard saling unless I'm looking for something specific. I love the thrill of the hunt, I admit it.

Don't buy out of stress...retail therapy is bad therapy.

Not having money in my pocket does not mean I'm trapped. I can have a movie night or game night with friends, I can go to the creek, I can sit outside and visit with the neighbors. By using the money to support us and let hubby have the time away from a job he doesnt' like, that's FREEDOM. Not the ability to blow forty bucks on a meal.
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#21 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avengingophelia View Post
I'm buckling down this month too. My goals are:

$40/week fun money
$1,000/month to CC

Seems like it should be simple...
There are two goals/guidelines I forgot to add in there:
1 thrift trip/week
3 no-drive days/week
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#22 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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I'm in again! :

Can't tell you how this challenge has improved our bottom line--both business and personal!!

I will continue to do more of same: STAY HOME!

Not driving, slowing down our lives, decluttering, playing in the yard/pool, working on the garden, sipping sun tea while watching the laundry blow on the line. THIS is why I moved to the country! Going to Target makes me feel deficient. And I'm not. We've got more than enough!
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#23 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 12:52 PM
 
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Hi, I'm Emma. Mom to a 2.5 year old, and a newborn on the way. DH and I have some serious debt to pay off, and we need to buckle down.

My biggest thing is I need to stop buying kids clothing and kids stuff in general. Many times I'll find a great deal. I need to realize that DS and future DD will be just fine without the item, and despite being a good price, NOT BUY IT. I love to shop which is another problem.

I also need to keep a trict eye on our grocery spending. We're part of a CSA, so veggies are taken care of. We also have plenty of meat in the freezer. So really, I should only be buying dairy, fruit, and bread. I need to stick to that.

Me+DH (2006)
DS (2005)
DD (2008)
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#24 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I'm in this month.

I'm having a hard time adjusting to needing to be frugal. I've always *been* pretty thrifty, but never needed to be, and I think I'm subconsciously fighting it by buying things in an attempt to convince myself I can. But since last September, we've bought a house, almost fully renoed it (including new fridge, bed, flooring, paint, washer, dryer, and an entire new bathroom), got married on 'cash' only- almost $12,000 OUCH!, just bought a new digital SLR camera so DH can find out if he can make photography a career and now we want to send DH to school in September- which would be approx $9000, and mean he's only working about 15-20 hours a week for 9 months. We have about $3500 in the bank right now- but owe $5000 on our car. The numbers just don't add up unfortunately.

The past few weeks have been very bad spending wise, so I'm needing some accountability and help reigning it in. My main goals this month are to make lunches at home and not shop for conveniece food, and to make more cheap meals. We're very accustomed to eating say chicken fingers and french fries, or steak and potatoes. We need to make more pasta, or rice, maybe even beans. I need help!!

Doula mama, medic daddy and Tenley Harper born naturally 11/29/11 delayedvax.gifbfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#25 of 662 Old 06-27-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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I'm in. I SAH with my 3 kids and really want to save $$ this summer b/c we have some things we are doing to the house and I want to take as little out of savings as possible. Plus, dd will be going to a private school starting in September and I want to have some money set aside in case my pt teaching job at the school doesn't cover 100% of her tuition.

I need to have concrete goals this month, b/c I haven't done very well with the ambiguous 'spend less'.

So, here are the goals (more to come, I'm sure):
12 true no spend days
$450 total food spending
$150 total misc household spending -- Target, etc. I'm hoping to come in lower, but I want to be realistic
$100 saved for dd's school

Back for more later....baby's attacking computer

Here are a few more:
Not to buy any Dr Pepper! It's horrible for the body and the budget.
Make $200 selling things we don't need to cover unexpected costs from last month
Make $100 with Pampered Chef and DON'T spend it on more PC stuff!

Baking mama to dd (7.5), ds (6), ds (3.5) and someone new in April
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#26 of 662 Old 06-29-2008, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just bumping this up! Come on in

Rachael ~ Wife to : DH ~ Son 4-24-07 ~ 6-24-08 ~ Daughter 7-22-09
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#27 of 662 Old 06-29-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Since tomorrow is Monday and my budget week is going to go Monday-Sunday, I am starting July tomorrow. It's going to be hard to curtail my spending as much as I need to, but I really have to do it this time. It is way past time to get serious about this.
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#28 of 662 Old 06-30-2008, 03:57 AM
 
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I have a lot of expenses in August, so minimizing spending in July is really a good idea. Both of my kids have their birthday in August, we're hosting a visitor mid-month, and we're taking a week-long trip to the other side of the country, at the end of the month.

I did already have plans to take the kids to the county fair this week, but I'm betting I can keep that pretty low. I already got the entrance tickets for free. Part of the fun is the crazy food, but we can have that be snacks and treats, not the meals for the day.
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#29 of 662 Old 06-30-2008, 08:24 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 July.

Hi, I'm Jenny. I am a SAHM to one lovely four year old girl.

I really hate having a balance on our credit card. We had $1100 worth of unexpected expenses that had to go on the card last month I have all but the last $400 paid off. I am hoping to be able to put at least $200 more down on it this month and obviously add no new charges as well.

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 the stores. Gas is so high we rarely make trips into town anyway so this one should be pretty easy.

Do instead of buy. I have so much swap sewing to get done this month. That should keep me quite busy.

Continue to eat at home/cook from scratch.


3. Be specific! What are your goals? How many no spend days is right for you? Do you have a savings goal? Debt repayment goal?


23/31 No-Spend Days
$0/$100 Unnecessary Spending
$0/$250 Credit Card Debt

Jenny, proud maker of red things
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#30 of 662 Old 06-30-2008, 08:55 AM
 
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I've been reading this thread for months, and July is my month to acutally DO IT! My problem is grocery shopping. Some weeks I go to the store every day, and it's always $30-$80 every time. So my goal for the month is to do a big grocery trip once every 10 days, and that's it. Also, to keep out of Target ! I am working towards 10 no-spend days in July.

We don't have debt, so that's good, but our checking account gets too low for comfort each month, and we aren't saving nearly as much as we could.

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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