Monday, March 4, 2013

No Spend February Results, Thoughts and Confessions

It is March?  How did it get to be March?  I think each month goes by quicker and quicker.  My husband thinks the last two months have gone by slowly, and he blames my no spend madness.  I had even entertained the idea of a no spend March entitled Mad March, but my 15 year old threatened to change the name at the last second before the posting and call it Mad at Mom March, so I let it go.  She is, remember, my IT girl and would do it!  But, I digress...

When we started on this journey in January it was multiple reasons.  To save money, to rethink our budget, to get a grip on our spending and to not add to the life we were in the process of decluttering.  Let's face it, it is pointless to get rid of stuff, if you're only going to replace it with new stuff.  That, as someone said to me recently, is the challenge.  January was fairly easy.  February was a little harder.

So let's look at how we did.  Be nice please.  And forgiving! ;)

~We had 5 ice cream cones at McDonald's.  Can't remember exactly how much it was, but let's say just under $5.00.  Here's my excuse- our rental house was put on the market, and one Sunday we had about a hour and a half heads up it was being shown.  Yes, we loaded kids and dogs in car and since it was too cold to go to the park we treated the kids to ice cream.  I figured it was a cheaper than wandering aimlessly around in WalMart!  Especially with the mood I was currently in.  'nuff said!

~We also ate yogurt at Sweet Frog for Valentine's Day, but in my defense we used the money the kids had gotten in cards from their Grandmother.  It was perfect timing since dad was out of town!  Thanks Mom!

~We went to Sweet Frog again! (do you have one of these places???  oh my goodness- yummy!)  Our excuse this time (do you notice a lot of excuses this month?) Our 15 year old got her braces off after two years and daddy wanted to celebrate with her.  He's the hero!

~While last month we only spent money paying bills, buying gas and buying groceries, this month we did extend our spending to a few other categories such as haircuts, clothes (hey, one of the boys needed underwear- trust me on this one!), and home maintenance.  As I stated before, these are a few of the categories we put money towards each month, not just random spending. 

~We did not use any entertainment money, save the ice cream, and did not get our monthly "free" spending money, save some money that my hubby took out to treat our college daughter to dinner when he visited her.  As a matter of fact, his entire flight and hotel were "free" thanks to built up mileage and old credit card points.  Oh, except for that darn $20.00 baggage fee.

All in all, still a lot less money going out and for sure a lot more thought went into the spending that did take place. 

What did we learn? 
People who vow not to buy anything for a year are amazing.  Or liars ;)  Things run out, wear down or are just plain needed sometimes.  What about stamps?  Batteries?  New underwear?  Just saying...

We take the ability to buy things we want for granted.  And that is sad.  Just because we have the money does not mean we have to spend it.  I tell my kids that all of the time.  Now why do I not listen to my own advice?

We are an instant gratification society.  I do not want to be an instant gratification family!

Sometimes learning to wait is a great life lesson, even for grown ups.

We will not die from not eating out!  As a matter of fact, we will probably be a lot healthier by not eating out!

A side note on eating out...
     Wanna know who missed eating out the most?  The 5 year old.  Day after day he asked, "Can we eat out today?"  Folks, it is not like we eat out a lot.  Maybe 1 time a month for dinner and 2-3 times a month for lunch.  Seriously!  But that became THE question of the day.  Drove. Me. Crazy!
It seems that eating out no longer had become a treat, but an expectation.

What do you mean we are not eating out.  I deserve this.
Friends, we deserve nothing!  We are owed nothing.
The reality is that all we deserve we are free from because Christ died on the cross for our sins.
Going out is great.  And a fun treat. But I desperately want my family to see it as that- a special treat.  One that lights their eyes up and makes them think, wow, there must be something special about today.  Not just, this is what we do.  Let's face it, there are millions of people that do not have the luxury of eating out...let's not allow ourselves to take that privilege for granted.
OK, stepping off soapbox now! ;)
Continuing on- I am thankful for these past two months.  I am grateful for a family that allows me to shake up their lives occasionally with my grand ideas and then patient enough to flesh out those ideas.  I am thankful that God uses those crazy ideas of mine to teach us a few lessons- some of which I pray we never forget!
Blessings to you all,

Linked up today with Caroline, at the Modest Mom!



  1. I think you did a fabulous job!

  2. Very good!!! I'm impressed. I guess I wouldn't have thought of new underwear as extra spending, I put it in the need category like milk :). I am probably guilty of decluttering just to buy new, but I try hard to buy only a few nice things to replace the pile of junk that left, lol!

    Maybe one of these days I'll try this no spend month, though. I am challenged by your post!

    1. You have been on a great journey of decluttering yourself!

  3. We have a Sweet Frog down the road but haven't tried it out yet. Looks like we'll have to take the kiddos soon.

    1. Go Linda!!! They have vanilla that is sugar free that I often get! Just stay away from the toppings!! Of course, CJ loads his with fruit!

  4. We have been trying to reduce spending too! It is amazing that we spend so much without realizing it!

  5. I haven't heard of Sweet Frog but we live in England. We can't wait to see a Stone Cold Creamery when we go home this summer:) I think your no spending month was a fantastic idea!!!!! Maybe after our move I will challenge my family to do the same thing, honestly my husband would have the hardest time doing it:) Great job


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