Monday, January 30, 2012

No Spend January-How Did I Do?



I put on myself a "No Spend January" challenge. Other than the necessities like food and toiletries and medicine, I challenged myself to not spend any money buying things in January while I was out and about. With the exception of the tennies I ordered myself for 16.99 (regularly $65) and the two Target clearance clocks for $1.98 a piece, I didn't buy anything except the necessities.
 You know what? I did well. It was hard at the beginning of the month. After all the shopping of December, I was still in the shopping mode, but as the weeks went on, it really became something I was not going to let beat me.

Now it isn't as if we didn't need some new items but could we get by, YES. Usually I buy new towels at the beginning of the year. That is when they are the cheapest and ours are looking most like rags. 

Linens and towels - January/February and July/August (discontinued fall and spring merchandise)

I held off. I will buy them in February while they are still on sale.

Spending is like any other habit. It takes time to break. As each year of my frugal pursuits passes, I get better at it and feel less impulsive. In fact the other day when I picked up our taxes and found we were getting a refund, I texted hubby and came right home. In previous years I would have rewarded my good feelings with a stop to buy something or pick up a Starbucks. But because I had not been spending and was out of the habit, I just came home. No money spent except the gas.

I also challenged myself to no drive days. Because school had not started full force, it was easy to have lots of these and for the month I had 11 no drive days. My car never pulled out of the driveway. This is just savings in so many ways. No gas used, no miles on my car, no money spent in stores and the benefit are days where I seemed to get more done. It won't be as easy now that my two middle girls are back in school but I can still challenge myself to Saturdays at home or a day during the week when they have no school.
I'll talk more about my grocery spending challenge next time.

Linking to:
Coastal Charm
Bowl Full of Lemons
Time Warp Wife
Women Living Well
Milk and Cuddles
Stuff of Success

29 comments:

Vintage Gal said...

I think you did extremely well. Bravo ~ I think I'll take up that challenge for February ;-)

Beth said...

you did great! i try to do some of this each month... as you say it can be difficult at times when things creep up or whatever it maybe but it can be done. can't wait to hear more.
(:

Dina said...

Good job! It is hard but gets easier the longer you go. I like to keep only larger bills in my wallet for my cash as I don't like to break them.

Lisa~A Cottage To Me said...

Bravo to you! I have spent way less this month too. Not having a car for...now 53 days, has kept me home too. I always have that BIG deductible on my mind that we will have to pay to get the car back. That has really stopped me from over spending, especially on stuff we don't really need! Hasn't hurt us one bit!

Andi's English Attic said...

Well done you! xx

Diana said...

Good job! Especially on the no drive days -- which is so good financially, health wise, and environmentally.

I think you've done a great job becoming more intentional and mindful about what you wish to trade your money for -- which is the real goal. Not to become cheap or miserly, but to be intentional and discerning.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

I have not spent anything extra since the 1st week of January..and I am going to keep it up. Just happy knowing everything is payed for. And I am going to keep shopping my own house, to see what I have!

Julie Harward said...

Good for you! I think we live with such abundance all around us and it gets so tempting to just go look..and buy! We moved from an area like that to the country, we mostly have a grocery store, the nearest Walmart even is an hour away, needless to say, my shopping habits changed over night, boy did we save a bundle of money! ;D

Teresa@Magazine Your Home said...

That's great! I need to do a challenge like that. I also get soooo much more done when I'm not out spending money on things I don't really need.

Ms. Redo said...

Love this idea! Congrats on doing so well at it. Hugs ~ Mary

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

OMG- I love this idea. I am going to do a post on this and link to you. Wonderful!!

Sweet Tea said...

What a great idea and what a great accomplishment! You go girl!!

Honey at 2805 said...

Good for you and good news to report: other than food, etc., I spent $0 the month of January.

Terra said...

You did very well with your challenge.

Debbie Kay said...

Well done my friend. You are such a great inspiration and an even better example.

Thanks for pushing me to slow down a little and make do with ALL that we have...........

Smiles,

Debbie

Ursula said...

Great JOB, and it does get easier in time...:)...keep it up

Ginger Zuck said...

Elaine, you did a great job, especially having children!! I did good for January also. I have not bought a thing except a few groceries and my Aveeno body wash and daily moisture lotion that I MUST have because my skin is so dry in the winter, but I even got that for, get this, buy one Aveeno product get the second for 50% off. I had a $2.00 coupon for one item and $1.00 off the other! SCORE!! I was pretty proud of myself. I just hope I can make it through Feb. & March, which is my goal! Good job girl.

Cozy Little House said...

Since I don't have children at home to drive around, I do very well on not taking the car out for nearly a week oftentimes. I figure if you stay home, you're saving money. Unless you're one of those people that can't stop shopping online. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done! February is a shorter month!
Brenda

Ann said...

Staying home and away from the stores is the surest way to cut back on spending. During our 22 years of marriage my husband has been unemployed for 7 years. Twice we have gone through all our savings (which were considerable) and started over (we're now in our middle 60's and he has to continue working). When you limit your spending to only the necessities it becomes a habit and frivolous purchases seem just that -- frivolus -- and I stop to think "do I really need that"? Makes a difference.

Debbie Booth said...

HI Elaine, I have done this before too. Good for you. ONce you make up your mind and decide not to go shopping it does get easier. I'm all for getting more done too. I'm trying desperately to clean out the clutter and reduce the in flow of stuff into the house. I've accomplished alot but there is more to do. I liked how you said you had a few days where you didn't go anywhere...I'm amazed at how much I get done on days like that. It really is staggering! Have a blessed week.
Debbie

Suzan said...

Hi Elaine,
Congratulations on your no shopping month. I think I will give it a shot in February.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

You did really well. I wasn't 'no spending' in Jan but much lower spending and I did well. I bought much less on Christmas clearance and waited for the deep discounts. I did visit a couple of thrifts but spent very little. I'm hoping to do even better in Feb! It's a good challenge for myself. I like no drive days, I think I will start marking those this month also.

Lois' Laughlines said...

Wow good for you! You saved a fortune in gas not driving daily. I admire your determination. YOU GO GIRL. blessings to you

Carey's Farmhouse Kitchen said...

I'm going to try to do this in February. Wish me luck!

Debbie said...

Way to go! I tried to curtail my spending in a big way this month, but we still spent a chunk when we moved our daughter to DC.

I love the no drive day idea. I live out in the middle of podunk so every trip is costly just to get to town.

ImSoVintage said...

You've done great. I love shopping my own house. I am going through the cupboards to shop for food before it expires. I went out today to run a few errands, but I try to get them all done in one trip for the week. :)

Gale said...

Way to go! It can be so hard to cut back!

SusieQTpies said...

Thank you for linking up to mommy solutions! Last week you were the #4 most clicked post on the link up! How awesome is that?? Thanks for your participation in the link up! I"m featuring you today on my post: http://www.crystalandcomp.com/2012/02/the-mommy-club-share-your-resources-and-solutions-30/

Stop over and link up more of your awesome ideas.

Crystal

Deborah Anne said...

GREAT job! I am thoroughly impressed because I am not sure I could do that! However, you have inspired me to give it a try. Maybe if I start small, with just a day, and work up to a week, then up to a month, maybe, just maybe I could do it!

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