Thursday, January 30, 2014

No Spend February (well at least we're going to try it)

Pinterest is amazing in the ideas that people have and share. One that I've seen going around is a 'no spend month'.  Different blogs have different ways of doing this, but the gist is -- don't spend on things that aren't necessary and spend less on things that are necessary. Here
are  a couple of blogs where they did this successfully: Click here (small Notebook) and here (motherhood on a dime) There's a ton out there, just google 'no spend month' -- or get on Pinterest.

For me this is a reminder about what is necessary.
And to teach my spoiled, entitled children the difference between need and want. (I write this like it's all them, but in truth this was totally a parenting fail on my part)
(If I am going to be totally honest, I too am a little spoiled and also need to know the difference between need and want -- ugh).

For us our family rules are going to be:

No lunches out (I work nights, so this isn't a problem for me -- now for Jason? We shall see)
One dinner out for Jason and me which will include paying our older son for babysitting (it's for Valentine's) We did get a gift certificate to PF Chang's for Christmas and we saved it knowing this was coming up.
Minimize our groceries -- by 1. shopping our freezer and pantry (it'll be a good way to figure out what's in the back of our freezer and get rid of stuff as well as save money). 2. More vegetarian meals. 3. Eat more basic meals, no fancy 20 ingredient fancy spices meals. 4. Limit entertaining --we do cook extra meals every week for my sister and brother in law, as she has MS and they could use the help -- so we will continue to at least shop for two meals a week and double the recipes for ourselves -- but this experiment is a lesson on how we can get on less, not how to stop helping those we love). 5. We also got a gift certificate to Sprouts for Christmas, so we've got a couple of dollars to go towards groceries this month.
No clothes shopping this month, we have enough. Period.
We prepaid Jake's batting lessons, and there are no tournaments in February, so we should be good there. We decided on reducing his pitching lessons to two days this month instead of four. (That'll save us 80$ right there). We've already paid for league fees and most of his uniform (there will probably be another payment in February, depends on how well the team did in fundraising).
Isaac's karate tournament is in April, so we probably don't have to pay until March.
I will wash our own dog and clean my own house this month (I did mention I was spoiled -- feeling that as I type right now).
We will pay  however for someone to clean my in-laws house, because I don't have time to do both.
No new home projects, instead we will use what we have to clean the house up (touch up paint, clean baseboards etc). We will also clean out our basement this month.
I will have tuition and books to pay for this month, that's an expense we will just have to deal with, unfortunately (my long term plan, however is to continue to nurse and work part time as a nursing instructor until I have paid us back for the tuition, THEN just be a nursing instructor).
No more pay-per-view movies, but we will get Netflix -- we also already got rid of our premium cable channels.
Yes on the Kuerig cups, NO on Starbuck's (although again, we both got gift certificates for SB at Christmas and have been saving them for this month -- but for getting together with friends or if we can squeeze in another date night).
Reduce our heater temperature control to 66 at night and during the day, kick it up to 68 when we're home. I'm the only one that's cold, and I can put on a sweater. Don't run our fire place. TURN OFF LIGHTS (I type as I reach over and turn off the lamp next to me)!
Wash our own cars
For this month, I'll buy some box hair dye, and catch up with the highlights in March. I was kicking around the idea of growing my hair out, so this will be a good opportunity to get a head start.

I'm also going to add how to bring in some extra income -- during this month:
1. I signed up for extra shifts -- however we've been over-staffed so I haven't been working any that I signed up for, in fact have been getting my actual scheduled shifts cut too.
2. When we clean out basement we'll need to set things aside for a big garage sale -- and Ebay/Craigslist

It's not that I want to suck the joy out of life -- I just want us to get back on track. We need to remember
what the important things are in life -- it's not what we can buy, spend etc -- it's about family, friends.

With that said, I'm in no way one of these people who think money is bad, or even corrupt. I just know that I have become relaxed about our debt, our financial goals, and what money really means -- it's just too easy to spend, even when we don't have it.  This month will help us all come to terms with what money means to us, what we need to sacrifice if we want to achieve our goals (and wouldn't it be nice to achieve paying off our house like this blogger did? Or even get our credit cards paid off (AGAIN) and maybe NOT run them up (AGAIN).

We'll see how it goes -- I'll keep you informed.
and Pray that our garage door opener lasts until March -- it's been acting up.


dojo dobson said...

Hmm. Where does Valentines Day figure in all of that? The very definition of a superfluous holiday . . . and yet, lots of fun to celebrate. And Birthdays for me. . . I'm gonna have to wait until March. No wait! April! haha! You go TZ!

Rock Chef said...

Our January was a lot like that! Good luck!

Sandy said...

Good for you! I found using what was in my freezer liberating. And got to,try a bunch of those Pinterest recipes to boot. Good plan. Good luck.

Martha said...

February 1: and she is off! Wishing you lots of luck and strength. We won't intentionally embark on such a challenge, figure with several months of unemployment in the past year, I know I can make the changes and weather the storm when I need to. Getting the kids on board is huge: While I wouldn't wish having an unemployed spouse on anyone, last summer really opened the boys' eyes to the realities of how costly it is to maintain a household and how it is critical they know this is something we want vs. something we need. We had a nest egg, and didnt burden them with the worry, but shared with them the process we used to determine what we bought and what we didn't.