Tuesday, March 11, 2014

No Spend February -- well not so much

The black hole that is my family's spending habits changed a wee bit -- but not enough to write home about or even blog about -- yet will share my results with you (all two of you) anyway.


I have to say, reading some of these blogs where people save thousands on their no spend month and have these a-ha moments like being able to live with a budget of 300$ for groceries for a family of one hundred, makes me feel like a colossal failure.

Well, not really, I have a lot going for me.

Frugality is just not one of them.

sigh.

I did actually learn some things though with my attempt at a "no spend" month. 1. I suck at it. 2. There are some things that I nor my family missed, and 3. I do not have good control or even understanding of my finances or finances in general.

Here's how it ended:


January
February
Groceries
1362
1648
Going out
783
164
Home improvement
67
517 (stupid garage opener)
Toll road
50
5
School lunches
200
0


Total savings:
128$

Yup

I suck at this.

Here's the strange thing.
I didn't go into over draft
I may have saved money on utilities because we kept our heat lower, didn't use our gas fire place and were better at turning off lights.
I somehow paid extra on our credit card and got our savings up by 700$.
At the beginning of March, I had enough to pay for my class outright, rather than putting it on the credit card.
I did work some extra hours for an extra 300$ this month.

The math for the extra payment, my school, and extra savings though doesn't work out. Maybe it's because I was a little (though not much) more aware of our spending and things that creep in that I maybe didn't record were a greater savings than realized?

All in all -- what I'm taking from this month is:
I don't need to take the toll road -- I didn't save much time doing it and it's not worth 3$ a day.
We can continue to make the boys' lunches.
If I'm better prepared, we can make sandwiches for game days and keep the fast food at bay.
Home purchases are going up though as we move into summer and work on our back yard as well as finishing our basement this year.

We'll do this again in the fall -- with hopefully better results. Since I won't be in school, I'll also take more time to really make a more detailed accounting of our spending habits as well as take an average of the year to have a better idea of what we spend and what we actually save during a 'no spend' month.

For now? Well, we'll definitely eat out less, we'll continue to make lunches, and we'll not take the toll road - as well as reduce our heat and turn off lights. I'll try and be more aware of what I'm spending at the store and plan less expensive meals.

It's a learning curve
well in my case a learning arc -- like the size of the St. Louis one.


2 comments:

Rock Chef said...

Not too shabby overall, IMO! Mrs RC has been keeping a closer eye on what we spend with promising results too. Not sure about not spending anything, though!

Colleen Dobson said...

It's kinda like my weight loss track record. The harder I try, the more I seem to rack up. Kudos for trying though, and I'd imagine practice does finally pay off in actual results.