Here's how it shook out. We budget each month in certain set categories. For the month of January we decided not to spend in any of those categories except groceries, bills, tithing and gas. In what I will call "savings" categories, our money went into those dedicated accounts as normal, but was not used. Examples being, home maintenance, vacation, school supplies, etc. " Fun money" categories that usually get taken out as cash remained in our account- for example entertainment, clothing, and the allowances my husband and I give ourselves for pocket money.
I would like to say that we did not spend an extra penny outside the allowed categories. That would not be quite honest so here goes:
We did spend about $45.00 to send two boxes of things to our college daughter. She did not have enough room in her suitcase to fly everything back and so we had to bend here. She did, after all, need her clothes!
I allowed my two middle kids to go to the movies one afternoon. The deal was that they pay for it themselves. My kids only go to the movies about twice a year. Seriously! We are just that strict on movies. But this was one the older one really wanted to see and it was not going to still be in the theaters in February. She spent her money and while I may have lost a few points with you all, I gained lots of points with her. :-) Some things are worth it!
Other than that we have been faithful. No lunches or dinners out. No little treats at the gas station or food at co op. No candy bars at the drug store. Funny thing, the 5 year old seemed to miss it all the most. He would ask if he could have a treat, I would look at him and he would say, "Oh that's right, it is no spend January." Yep, I think he thinks that is really the name of the month.
As for me...well, I do not NEED anything, so I did not feel like I really deprived myself of anything. But, yes, I saw those 75% off Christmas sales or buy one get one free ads and felt a twinge of oh no, can't do that. But really, guys, I did not NEED that stuff anyway. It would have been just buying to buy...pointless and wasteful. Shame on me!
I did not do without things I NEEDED, I did without things I DID NOT NEED IN THE FIRST PLACE!
So where does that leave us? About $500.00 richer! And more content. And empowered to make better decisions. And challenged to change up our budget a little. And crazy enough to declare a...
Oh, and one little disclaimer on that...we are going on a date night for Valentine's Day, thanks to a gift card given to us at Christmas. Just want you to know in case you see me out! ;)
And for those who joined in with us this month, thank you! I hope you were blessed and challenged a little as well.