So… weeks three and four. Let’s just say that No Spend month has been a very revealing project for me.
The month did not really go as I planned, but we still spent a lot less than we would have otherwise.
We spent $257.85 on groceries these last two weeks. Add to that a tank of gas ($46.02), the pumpkin patch outing ($60) and favor’s for H’s birthday party ($14.44) and we spent $378.31 in two weeks.
Total spending this month so far: $624.62
My original budget was $335. So we blew it by $289.62.
I’m really bummed that I couldn’t manage to stick to our original budget. I don’t know whether I just set the bar too high for us, or I just… lacked the self-control.
Besides going over out budget though, I have one major disappointment: I didn’t save anything.
Because last month, our spending was so out of control, that all this no spending has done was allow us to catch up. While we did blow the budget out of the water, we still spent about $700 less than we do in a typical month. Because of No Spend Month, we’ve gotten well caught up and in a great place to rebuild that savings account and for the holidays.
Overall, the project was a success. Next time I think I’ll set more realistic goals. In the mean time, we’ve hit the reset button on spending, so that next time we attempt a no spend month, we can really sock that money away.
Did you attempt no spend month? Have you saved anything?
It is a hard thing that you tried to do, and you should be satisfied that you did indeed spend less than last month. This is an excellent thing for young couples to realize, and work toward such a goal. Keep it up and in twenty years you can really made a difference. If you save $1000/month for 20 years, that is $240,000. If you invest that, and double your money every 7 years with good investments, that is more than a million dollars. You didn’t have to go work at a job outside your home for that, your money worked for you while you cared for your family. A frugal homemaker can earn her husband a pretty penny!
Progress in discipline is savings and interest in ownership.
Is gas a no spend item? and food? I think you’re being hard on yourself about the overage… it’s an awesome eye opener…
Just a thought about holiday money..my paychecks are direct deposit, and I opened a Christmas club account early last winter. Only put in ten dollars a week, but now Christmas is pretty much paid for, which really makes a difference in our budget this time of year, when work is slowing down!
I just found your blog. I hope you dont mind but I will start following you. I live in Commerce City, and we are not allowed to have chickens/goats! I am envying your ability to urban homestead!
Like Christa, I also save all year for Christmas – but I go one step further… Savings is part of our weekly budget and a set amount is transferred weekly. My savings ledger is set up like a spreadsheet. So much per week for Christmas, quarterly insurance payments, retirement, annual property tax, etc. So when those larger bills come the money is there. I even have a column labeled “meat” where I deposit $25 per week – then when I buy that half pig and quarter beef it isn’t so painful. Getting that money out of the general fund is important – once it is moved over there then it is off limits except for its specified purpose.
I hope I won’t sound like Scrooge, because I actually love the holidays, but I don’t love all the spending associated with it. Years ago we were the type of people who spent a lot of money on decore and presents, but somewhere along the way things changed for us. We were so stressed out trying to put on the right display, give the right gifts, put on the right event and prepare the right foods that we weren’t enjoying it. It took several years of change and a real decision to do things differently. We stopped trying to keep up with the Jones’ and started enjoying ourselves. We don’t give traditional gifts any more, instead we make an effort to do things with those we love and for those members of our family who don’t understand our choices we give experiences (generally tickets to events or classes), not things. It not only saves us money, which wasn’t actually the intent, but it frees us up to spend a lot more time with friends and family. I do still throw a few parties. We all go on a bike ride on Black Friday, and we have Christmas Dinner at our house for all our orphaned friends, those who don’t have family in the area, but instead of trying to do a traditional meal, we usually make up a big pot or Posole (mexican hominey soup) and buy some tamales and let our guest contribute to the pot luck. I don’t need a savings account, my trash can won’t be over flowing and I won’t be stressed trying to do it all. I think taking retail out of the holidays brings back more of the true meaning of it.