As far as our No Spend Month is concerned, Indy’s Icepocalpyse couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s pretty easy not to spend money when you’re trapped in your house for 3 days. Of course, the first thing I wanted to do when the roads began to clear was shop—my very first outing was the grocery store. You know, because food is an approved expense.
Who would have thought I’d have my first near miss right then & there? In the holiday section, which happens to be right at the end of the toilet paper aisle (See? I was totally there for necessities!), were the half off electronics—including an LG Blu-Ray player. It really was an awesome deal—but No Spend Month applies even if it’s on sale.
This is difficult, not just because we’d like to have one but because 2 of our DVD players have broken in the last few months anyway. We’re currently watching DVDs through the XBox. We had been discussing replacing our damaged DVD player with a Blu-Ray. A month ago? This would have been fate. I would have bought it without hesitation.
But I didn’t.
We spent only $2 last week, outside of bills & groceries—and, Brenia owes that back to us for her library fines. We have, however, decided we need a category for books, music & other media, though. At least 3 times, the hubby asked if $1 purchases really count. I hadn’t realized how many iPhone apps he was buying.
Working a specific number into the budget should be a way to make room for it, while maintaining a reasonable limit. That’s one of the things I hope will come out of this process. In our first week, we have already had challenges, savings and good budget discussions—so far, No Spend Month is a success. Here is the breakdown:
Total Money Spent $27
- Libary: $2—fines happen. Although, we’ve really gotten better at it. Brenia “misplaced” a book for a couple weeks, and it wasn’t eligible for renewal due to another patron’s hold. Still, this will fall into the media cateogry next month, once we see how much we’ve been spending & establish a reasonable budget.
- Costco: $25—This actually came out of the grocery budget, but as it was for the membership itself, not the food, I’m including it here as a bit of a fail. Ordinarily, we would have put it off a bit, until we had more money or a specific need for it. However, I share the card with a friend to save money, and he needed to renew our membership.
Total Money “Saved” $133.28
- Blu-Ray player: Did not spend $64.99—we’ve decided to let our parents know we’d like one for our birthdays next month. They’ve done couple gifts before & typically give us the cash to choose our own. There’s always another deal.
- iPhone apps: Did not spend $2—this will be added to our spending categories next month, but with a bit more of a cap than he’s probably used to. I had no idea how many times he randomly spent $1-3 on this.
- Music: Did not spend $6.29—I think we’ll have to go with a monthly “spending allowance” on this one. He could easily spend $100 per month on new music, if left to his own devices, and was really bummed to miss out on a new ablum. A reasonable limit will satisfy his addiction, without putting a major strain on our budget. (Oh, and I did not downlaod the Glee Thriller mashup last night. Even though I want it. Bad.)
- Barnes & Noble Groupon: This was a hard one for me. It’s such an awesome deal! But, again, really great deals are not an exception. If I end up with any referral credit before it expires, I’ll definitely snag this Groupon. One of the things we talked about last month as we explored our budget was building a savings account just for this kind of daily deal offer. There are just so many that will save us money on things we buy or visit throughout the year anyway, but we had to pass on it for now.
- Dining: Did not spend $50—the Kids Eat Free + Devour Downtown special at a family favorite was incredibly tempting. Last month? I would have used the deal as an excuse to enjoy an evening out.
Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World says
I’ve seen you tweeting about no spend month so had to come see what it was about. It sounds REALLY hard!
Sara at Saving For Someday says
So proud of you Heather not only for putting it out there but for sticking to it and not creating ‘exceptions’ to add wiggle room.
This is the whole idea behind the need/want concept! Keep going and sharing. You know I’ll be cheering you on!!
Money Beagle says
That’s great that you keep track of what you didn’t spend as well as what you did. One of the things I’d recommend is to go back at some point and double check to make sure that you didn’t end up spending the money (or more) anyways. For example, go back in a few months and make sure that you didn’t spend $20 at Barnes & Noble or a similar bookseller at which point you’ll be able to know whether you *truly* saved by not spending or whether you simply delayed the spending.
Good luck the rest of the way.
Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer says
I had a big fail with my no-spend month in January. My netbook died three days before leaving for Blissdom so I went and bought a replacement. Great job on resisting that DVD player!