June was a spendy month. July was the same.
As a result, our savings accounts were treading water and daring us to just tap them a little bit.
I don’t regret any of our big purchases: Moving truck, tires, cloth diapers, Wii and some games, upgraded insurance policies, things for our new apartment … but wow. Lotsa money flowing out of our checking accounts these days.
We’re going on a “limited spending” month for August.
Some folks do it pedal-to-the-metal and say they’ll spend only $250 (or whatever) on everything — gas, groceries, entertainment. Regular bills are excluded from this, of course.
To me, that sounds like it would be painful. I think I’d be setting ourselves up for failure. We don’t have an overflowing pantry or freezer that would help this cause.
Instead, I’m making my own rules.
– We’ll keep our groceries as low as we can without sacrificing nutrition or our sanity. No beans n’ rice & rice n’ beans days on end. I’m sure that cheap meal will make it onto our menu at some point this month, though. Hey, it’s yummy stuff, what can I say?
– I need to buy some “baby-proofing” gadgets to help keep my roly poly out of certain things. I’ll shop for deals, but it costs what it costs and I won’t stress out about it.
– Anything that we think we might want (and don’t necessarily need for the time being) I’ll write it down. At the end of the month, we can look at the list and see if these are things we actually really would like. Then, we’ll work them into our budget in September.
The most important thing people should do if they try a no-spend or low-spend time period: Remember why you are doing this. You need a purpose. Maybe it’s to get out of debt as fast as you can. Maybe it’s to build an emergency fund.
Or, if you’re like us, it’s to make some headway on our savings for a house. We’re only about 6 percent of the way there. Time to get crackin’.
For more on the topic, visit:
Joanna at It’s Just Change, who is doing a no-spend experiment of her own this month.
Christina at Northern Cheapskate, who has some thoughts on putting an end to a spending streak.
See the post establishing her family’s annual no-spend month at Small Notebook. She concludes it here and dubs it a success!
No-spend month at MomAdvice last winter — lots of good suggestions here!