Monday, February 10, 2020

No-Spend January Results

Nope, I haven't forgotten about you and YES, we did finish our No-Spend January plan.  While I am currently hidden behind slowly filling moving boxes this morning, let me catch you up with how it went!

By not eating out but four times (our Sunday tradition) and using gift cards two of those times and aiming for under $10 the other two times (yes it can be done!) we saved $375.
  • Lesson learned- Find less expensive places to eat!  We had just as much fun with Little Caesars pizzas and Sam's Club hot dogs.  It should be about the people, not the food!  
  • Challenge- Lower the entertainment budget! Because we seldom eat out, and because there will be just four of us soon, we need to reconsider our entertainment budget and put that money to better use somewhere else!
By not buying clothes and by cutting the boys hair ourselves, we saved $65.00.
  • Lesson Learned- While this is not a significant dent in our budget, every little bit helps.
  • Challenge- I am trying to be purposeful this year about the buying of new clothes.  Currently we ALL have ALL we need.  But I am going to try to buy second hand (LOVE Thread Up and Poshmark!) for the rest of the year and see what happens!  I am also currently considering starting the Project 333 plan in a few weeks, so I will keep you posted on that.  Simplifying is calling my name, ya'll!  I love the challenge and I love making life easy.  I just want to love God and love people and stop being consumed by things that don't matter.
Household items were a bit trickier due to the move, BUT anything we bought was move related, not just random.  (Target, anyone!??)  We saved about $45 here.
  • Lesson Learned- DO NOT try to move in the same month you embark on no-spend January.
  • Challenge- Use up things before you buy more.  I know that stocking up is the rage, and sometimes it is a great way to save when you buy bulk, but let's face it- candles do not count!  I am on a mission to USE UP one thing before I grab another- no duplicates allowed.  Also, no buying of THINGS!  We have enough things.  My house does not need more.  As a matter of fact, some of those things are on their way out! I want to surround my family with just the things we love!
We came in at $100 under in our grocery budget as well.  While this was not in my original plan for saving, I did try to be very intentional with meal planning and buying on sale.  I assume our budget will go down after our move as well with two less people eating with us daily.
  • Lesson Learned- Meal planning is key!  Not only will it save your sanity, but it will save you money.
  • Challenge- Take advantage of freezer meals.  Three times now I have taken a freezer prep meal class called Citrus Pear to prepare 20 freezer meals.  It has been amazing and they do most of the prep work and ALL of the clean up for you.  But I know I can do it cheaper on my own and may even be able to talk my husband into helping.  We will see.  MyFreezEasy is a great place to start- the system Erin has is so simple and the software is super user friendly (no affiliate, just love her stuff!).
I can only speak for myself but I saved $150 in personal spending by not buying random things.  I did break the rules once by buying a few things for my girls' new apartment, but hey, that's what moms do, right?  Clarke and I both have an "allowance" that is for when random things come up.  Quick stop here, a little fee here, etc.  This money usually flies out the door faster than anything else, honestly.  It's a catch all.
  • Lesson Learned- Watch out for the catch all! After not using this money, I can't honestly tell you what I normally use it on!  Sad, but true.
  • Challenge- Use cash only for this category.  When you see the cash slowly disappear, you are more mindful on what you use it for!  Nickel-and-diming yourself to death is a real thing!
$735 total savings!  Wow.  I was taken back honestly.  That's a lot of money to save in one month.  For those of you who are paying off debt, that could be a significant payment to a credit card.  For those who long for a much needed vacation, that would be a great start!  For those who just need to live on less, I hope that is proof that you can cut your current budget with a little forethought and lots of determination.

Determination.  That is really all it takes.  It might be saying no to some things.  It might staying off Amazon and out of stores.  It might be shopping sales flyers and planning meals.  It might be reevaluating your budget.

Whatever it takes, you can do it.

Ask me how I know!


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