Thursday, October 7, 2010

Week 1 Rundown of "No Spend Month"

We made it through our first week of "No Spend Month"!
And I can't tell you how much of a difference this has made in our lives already!

This week, after paying our bills and tithing, we spent:
$18.11!
It was spent on Food for us, Food for a neighbor who just had a baby, and a bar of Fels Naptha Soap- to make my own Laundry soap.

So this "Saving Money Thing"?
It's sort of fun...
Ok...
It's really fun...

I'm all of a sudden a great meal planner!
I started planning my meals better a few weeks ago like this:

Most of these items, I had in my freezer and/or made from scratch...
Like BREAD (Which I'm totally afraid of- but I did it!)
and look- not one meal repeated for three weeks straight (Besides Taco Tuesday)!
This is seriously empowering! :)
***
I'm all of a sudden really good at saying no to that little voice inside my head that wants to get extras at the grocery store! Under the menu for the week, I write down what I need at the store for that week of meals and into the next. And then, I've been trying to make ONE trip to the store for the whole week. And it's really helped to have cash- I can only get so much. (That debit card is so tricky...)
***
I'm all of sudden recognizing that I have enough stuff as it is... and I don't always have to go to the thrift store or the next yard sale! I will survive... There will always be other sales.
***
I'm all of a sudden realizing that there are SOO many other ways Jeff and I were missing the boat with saving money. The day we started this no spend month idea, we got a letter in the mail letting us know that interest rates were down for our particular loan. We are now refinancing on our home, which will consequently help us a TON money wise with paying for Jeff's Masters classes, which will help us not get a loan for them AND we'll be able to pay off our house sooner. We also realized other ways to save on some of our bills and shopping.
***
And I'm all of a sudden figuring out how many fun, free things I've been missing out on with my family around our town. Jeff had a great idea to go on a little drive after school on Friday and maybe have a cookout or something. I had hot-dogs and buns in the freezer, and s'more stuff in the cupboard, so the idea worked out great! We ended up by Duck Creek on Cedar Mountain and had SUCH a fun time with our little kids. It was beautiful with the changing leaves, a huge family of around 50 deer grazing about 20 yards from us, and a glowing fire. Even the layer of dirt my children acquired was beautiful- in it's own way.




***
You know... I really wondered how this challenge would go. Would I be all "gun-ho" at first? And then when it came down to it... just cave? I've realized that I really am in it for the long haul. I've actually really enjoyed saving all this money (Whoda thunk?). And Jeff and I have already realized how much we spend that we really don't need to... I think we're going to be a lot more careful for now on. :)
Wish me luck on week 2! :)

15 comments:

Jennifer said...

Way to go! I know what you mean about enjoying this-- it kind of becomes a fun game! Thrift stores and yard sales were somehow magnets for me in the past-- if something was really cheap, why not go ahead and buy it, and store it to see if I'd need it later? I can proudly say that a couple of years later, I've almost completely stopped shopping "for fun" or because I'm bored. Now, about 99% of the time, I go shopping with a specific need in mind-- 5T winter coat, twin-size quilt batting, etc.-- and we have less "stuff" in the house because of it.

Good job on your menu-planning, by the way. Isn't it amazing what you can find that's already in your pantry or freezer? We found that on our last week of the project that anything we normally passed over while poking through the freezer started looking pretty good.

Judy said...

Good job! I'm glad that it is going so well for you!

Maggie Anne said...

Good job!!!

Taylors said...

I'm blow away!!! So excited for you, you are motivating me too!!!! Good luck next week, I can't wait to read about it!!

Sean & Lacey said...

Good for you. Love the pictures, what a cute family. We are doing Dave Ramsey and it's a cash only plan and it has helped a ton. (Other then bills that we pay online & tithing.) It's hard saving money, but seeing results makes it SO much easier. Good job!

Soper Family said...

Wow! You inspire me!

Ann H said...

I totally want to try this too. I don't know when, but I'm totally gonna do it.

Way to go, Jen. You rock!

miss_vickymarie said...

That is so fantastic to read, well done! It's interesting to see how it started out as something to save money etc but there's so many other things that have come from what you're doing. :-) Looking forward to seeing how it goes next week!

Kirsten said...

GOOD LUCK!!! I'm definitely inspired...you and I are sisters in savings, it is so addicting, and it's true that you don't need to buy stuff just cuz it's on sale!!! :) I think we're going to try this starting this week! Middle of the month...but still!

Aleisha said...

It does give you sort of a high doesn't it? You know what else you could try? I found out that through our car insurance that if I take an online defensive driving course (which might be beneficial where I currently live :) they will give me a discount that's good for 3 years and I'll save around $100. who knew? It's amazing what corners you can cut when you start looking.

Kait Palmer said...

Yay for you! We've done No Spend Month twice and both times it is such an eye opener!
This reminds me I should use what's in the pantry before going to the store tonight...

christyhulsey said...

this is so impressive!

RobbieKay said...

I love how you've done your menu plan. I am always on the look out for a way to do menu planning that will work for me and think I just might give your way a try (though I don't think I can write that small--I'll have to turn the page to "landscape" position...and maybe even have to use legal size paper!).

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Diane said...

This looks like a good idea. I live alone and aquired two part time jobs to fill my time and help me save money. Your way looks like a better idea.