No Spend October: Week Two

WHEW!   I think I need someone to talk me off the edge!  This No Spend thing is hard.

While Erica is up there in Washington not spending, I’m here in Denver struggling.  For some reason, I’ve found this challenge to be much more… um, challenging than I expected it to be.  The only reason I can think of is that my habits have gotten quite relaxed and pinching pennies has become painful for me again.

The Good: Rick stuck to his budget for the hair cut, and we got into the football game for only $10 instead of the twelve I budgeted for.  We had to use cash for the game of course, so we pulled a twenty.  Rick used $7 of that for bread at the bakery.

I used card stock, scrapbook supplies and envelopes that I already had around here to assemble invitations for H’s birthday party.  I only made four of them; one for each of his grandparents and great-grandparents, and one for me to keep.  The rest of the guest list got email invitations.  Total cost was zero (well, three stamps, but I already had those).

The Bad: Originally, I had hoped for wiggle room in the grocery store budget.  Unfortunately, we ran out of toilet paper.  And, C got a diaper rash which pushed me to use disposables for a few days.  We also use disposable diapers at night, so we needed more of those too.  Yeah… that’s twenty bucks down the crapper.  Seriously?  Two-thirds of my grocery budget for poop?

Last week, I mentioned that I forgot to budget for buying chicken feed.  Because our co-op is so far away, we buy eight weeks of feed at one time.  That was $60 that we did not include in our original budget.

The Ugly: My grocery receipt contained toilet paper, diapers, milk, butter, 1 can of coconut milk, cornmeal, and cheese.  Rick got home, burst out laughing and asked where the fruit was.  I didn’t feel bad, he stole three dollars cash from the money we pulled out for the football game and spent it this week.  He won’t tell me on what, so I’m pretty sure it was candy or, more likely, a pastry.  I’m insanely jealous over that three dollars.  I’m coveting the pastry.

Oh, and then he tells me that he’s in charge of breakfast for his Friday morning meeting, and his company is buying breakfast burritos from my favorite place.  I think I hate him.

What did we spend this week?

$  50.42 on Groceries (and a damn pastry)
$  36.00 on Gas
$  60.00 on Chicken feed
$  30.00 on Rick’s hair cut
$  10.00 on Entertainment (the football game)
$186.42 total this week

Plus last week: $59.89

Total spent so far: $246.31

That leaves $88.69 for the month.  Ouch.

I am worried.  I don’t think we can make it.  I’m really debating about transferring the chicken food money from our savings account and not counting it in the month’s budget, but I don’t know if that’s cheating or not.

As it stands, we have just over half the month to get by on a quarter of the month’s budget.  If I add that sixty back in, we’re looking at 44% of the budget left for the next two and a half weeks.  My goal was to save $1000 this month, so that’s really just robbing Peter to pay Paul, right?

I’m totally open to suggestions on salvaging this project.  Thoughts?  Ideas?

Categories: Simple Living, Thrift | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “No Spend October: Week Two

  1. karyn

    It seems like you’re getting too perfectionist about it or that it’s all or nothing. Why not continue the project, realizing that you might not make it under budget? If nothing else, you’ll save less money (but will still save a lot) and you’ll learn where your budget weak spots are. It still seems like you’re doing a really good job! It’s inspired me to try to no spend month but I’m cheating and planning it for November – with the plan on making a big grocery trip and doing most of my Christmas shopping during the last week of October!

    I am curious how you only spent 36 on gas! As for haircuts, tell that hubby to go to those cheapo $10 places. Or you could be really swanky and do as we do – my husband does all the hair cutting. All the males get buzzed and all of the girls get trimmed (we all just wear our hair at one length).

    • Thanks Karyn. I think you are right – I need to just make peace with coming in a bit over budget. I still will have saved a lot this month!

      As for haircuts, Rick goes to my stylist (who gives him a screamin’ deal) at my request. He goes a little less often than he would like to but more often than I would prefer, since I like his hair longer. I used to cut his hair myself, but honestly I hate doing it, and I really like his hair the way my stylist does it. It’s worth it to me. 😉 I do cut my boys’ hair myself though. And I only get to see my stylist about two or three times a year these days, since deciding to embrace my gray hair at the ripe old age of thirty!

      The gas… Rick only filled it up part way, I think. We have a small tank, but to fill it usually comes out to somewhere between $50 and $60.

  2. Cynthia in Denver

    The fact that you are so diligently tracking your exepenses and not going all out on frivilous things is a feat in and of itself! I can only dream of being as conscientious as you! You’re doing great!!

  3. For what it’s worth, I’m struggling too. My issue seems to be convenience and temptation, though – I have a loaner car for two weeks, and I seem to be heading out a lot, and spending money when I do. I did set up some exceptions at the start of this for things I’d been planning on buying when I had the car anyway, but few of this month’s purchases were on that list and were really just indulgences because I made some ill-advised thrift store visits. Oops.

    Honestly, from here it looks like you’re doing really well. What you’re spending may not be exactly what you planned, but most of it is necessities or things you’d have to buy sooner or later anyway. I think the robbing Peter to pay Paul idea certainly applies – I’m not sure just putting off big purchases to another month just to not have them in a no spend month is of much benefit. Is it possible that you set too many limits on your budget? I like a good challenge, but that means I often do this myself, which is really frustrating when unexpected expenses come along or I forgot about something. But that’s also why I save – so that when something comes up, I can cover it.

    At this point, I’m considering this a learning exercise. I’m still going to try to salvage it by not buying what I haven’t planned for, but it’s been helpful to sit down and analyse what’s going on. I’m actually considering doing this next month, too, in order to see how one stacks up against the other in terms of spending.

  4. Pingback: No Spend October: Wrap Up « The Lazy Homesteader

  5. Pingback: Real Community Challenge: Week 1 | The Lazy Homesteader

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