Fit & Frugal: No Spend Success!!!

Well my dear friends…it was a SUCCESS!!!  You may have seen my post in the beginning of September regarding our family attempting a no spend month (http://nicolemichelles.com/2016/09/07/fit-frugal-no-spend-september/).  I must be honest in telling you it was not easy!!!!  In the end, we saved almost $400 in the month of September and were able to pay off another small credit card.  Once the payment clears, we will close that credit card (NECESSARY STEP!!!) so we will be on our fourth credit card (and a car loan) this year paid in full on our road to financial freedom!!!  Also, our two big kids earned $15 each for all of their efforts in helping.  The deal was $5 for every $100 saved if they helped with all of the portioning and prepping as well as their chores around the house.  As a whole, we totally rocked this spur of the moment idea to try a no spending month!

First thing first…  I want to be as real about this as I can be.  Life will always happen.  Things will come up and you are going to have to make a judgment call on whether it is actually a NEED or simply a nice thing to have.  Here’s our day to day of how this month went.

First 14 days…  http://nicolemichelles.com/2016/09/15/fit-frugal-mid-month-report-for-the-no-spend-september/

Day 15 – Thankfully uneventful but really hard mentally because it was a payday!

Day 16 – One of our Xbox one controllers stopped working

Day 17 – Shelving for the pots came falling down.

Day 18 – Big kids started Sunday school and needed 2 folders to leave in the classroom.

Day 19 – Play date was rained out of the park so I bought breakfast for Hannah & I at ChickFila.  After the play date, I went over to Krispy Kreme for the International talk like a pirate day promo to receive a free dozen.  Toddler had a total melt down over not having a chocolate milk and strawberry frosted donut.  I caved.

Day 20 – Ran out of white thread.

Day 21 – Bible study at the park was rained out and bought ChickFilA again.

Day 22 – Out of protein powder.

Day 23 – Hannah’s birthday…and I forgot to buy ingredients for a cake.  Luckily I had just enough of random baking ingredients to pull one off.  Also, treated her to a donut at Dunkin.

Day 24 – Had to buy more school snacks for this last week.  It was not in the plan but we miscalculated how much we needed.

Day 25 – Out of protein bars.  Notice came in from the library that Aiden’s last book he had was overdue.

Day 26 – Nothing.

Day 27 – Phone soaked and broken.  Bible study book soaked and falling apart.  Forgot to bring food for after my run and stopped at DD.

Day 28 – Nothing.

Day 29 – Car charger broke.

Day 30 – Grocery shopping for the month of October!

Trust me…I UNDERSTAND how hard this really is.  We did not go without spending completely.  We forgot things like our littlest daughter’s birthday (I know…#momfail).  We tried our best and kept in mind what the purpose of this really was.  Here is our breakdown…

20160930_125359
At the end of the month!

Groceries

Spending

    Food

  • Me $25.93 ($10.47 once the exceptions were removed)
  • Husband  $67.31 ($62.46 once the exceptions were removed)

    Shopping

  • Me $11.20
  • Husband $0.00

    Bills

  • Me $35.00 ($0.00 once the exceptions were removed)
  • Husband $45.59 ($30.09 once the exceptions were removed)

Overall

Me $21.67 for the month (I WIN!!!!!!)

Husband $97.40 for the month

Now for the part that I did not want to actually admit.  Full disclosure…the paycheck hit the day before we began no spend September and I placed $10.00 on my Dunkin Donuts account as well as placed an order with Amazon for $37.11.  Only one $12 item on my Amazon was actually necessary.  It was not okay.  I definitely sneaked it in and felt completely guilty all month long.

20160930_140257Lessons Learned

  1. Stay away from temptation BUT not away from outings.  You do not need to spend money to be out and about with friends.  All you need to really do is prepare for it!
  2. Things are not necessarily how they first feel.  I NEEDED the new happy planner faith edition.  I could not stop thinking about it.  I mean in all seriousness where was I going to put all of my prayer requests and journaling if I did not have it?!?!  Oh wait…that’s right.  Somewhere else.
  3. Finding savings does not equal being a SAVER.  You are still a SPENDER but a thrifty one.
  4. I know exactly where all the money goes now.
  5. After each day of no spending, you walk away with a huge sense of satisfaction!  You made it through a day and saved!
  6. My kids do not ask or beg as much for things they “need”.  Now they are following our lead and asking for ways to help the family save money.  For instance, we went to Sam’s Club and grabbed our milk, eggs, bread and fruit.  As we were leaving, they told us that we should save the $3 instead because it will be cooler later to see how much money they have helped us save.
  7. If you stop and think about a solution to an issue long enough, you can find a way to not spend.  This may not be the most preferable way BUT it will get the job done.
  8. You may be the oddity in your community BUT people will encourage you!  Also, accountability friends are incredibly awesome!
  9. A no spend month has been a source of inspiration to those around us!
  10. And the last one…  Funny but true…  My husband and I maintained or lost weight throughout this month.  We are not crazy fast food or take/dining out people BUT we did not have a choice but to use what we had.  He is down 6 lbs and I am down 4 lbs.

 

 

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