I have done one “no spend month” last July along with Rachel from Small Notebook, blog I admire a lot. However, I started off after one week in July and I was not blogging till end of July so did not share my findings here at the heart and mind . To see her story check out July – No spend month post here.
This year Rachel is not continuing with no spend month as they have achieved the spending balance in their life, I would have liked more of no-spend month as she is so good at explaining and motivating others but I do understand completely her reasoning behind it.
I am crazy enough to continue publicly on blog first time on Heart and Mind here, for all of you to see my achievement and failures. I have yet to achieve our life spending balance so I want to push myself by weekly sharing my spending habits here. Please join me if you like to in my no spending or less spending journey. I am bit nervous without support from Small Notebook, so more the merrier. I will put update every Monday afternoon for previous week to share with where we spent money and how we are doing.
We are family for 4 people, with 2 kids and 2 adults with occasional guests, friends and outing. We live in northern California where gas and groceries can add up the cost of living.
I stay home with kids and I do volunteer work (teaching and other) with no pay. Zenguy works as a consultant and right now he is without a job/project so our spending will have to come from savings or anything we sell from household clutter. More reasons to curb our spending.
We have budget of $300 total spending budget for the whole month. I have a little modified plan from Rachel’s 2009 July No spend month to fit our situation and where we live.
What is included?
- Eating out
- Entertaining Guests and Friends
- Gas for cars
- Any entertainment such as books, movies, dvds, museum etc
- Household cleaning and toiletry items
- Household repairs
What is not included in $300 budget?
- Savings and investment (if any)
- Health and doctor’s visit and medicines
- Gifts, Charities (we do not want to skimp on it too much)
- Job related expenses
- Any unforeseen life emergency situation
- Utility bills
- Kids education related expenses
- Any gifts card and cash gifts from family or friends
- If we sell any household items on craigslist, it can be used for expense if needed.
What we are starting with?
- I have little gas in cars but we have not filled it up
- We may have little groceries but we have not stocked up
- We actually buy things in weekend so we have not pre-bought anything that we may need
- We live in a house, but we do not have huge pantry to stock up cans or any food either
What is our Game Plan?
- Go to ATM or Bank today and take out $300 cash for whole month.
- Leave credit/debit card home
- Spend little as possible in the beginning while I am motivated to succeed
- Keep some for end when I might be feeling deprived (although I am hoping not to)
- Cook meals at home or take food from home when out with family
- Sell some house items to make money and declutter the house at the same time
- Tell everyone in house and family so no one forces you for eating dinner out or go for movies
How can you help or join?
- Start with your family situation as it might be different for everyone. Do what works for you.
- Even if you do not join officially, you can still watch your spending
- Be supportive and read my weekly updates, I can use the support as I have not done this publicly before.
- If you decide to join, let me know so I can share your story with link for others to see.
- Have realistic and open mind going in.
Would like to join me in this journey of No-spend July month? Let’s get started.
No Spend Month Challenge: Update 1
No Spend Month Challenge: Update 2
No Spend Month Challenge: Update 3
No Spend Month Challenge: Update 4
No Spend Month Challenge: Final update and lessons learned .
Image source: Political cartoons by Tom Toles