Thursday, July 2, 2009

no spend month

Rachel, who has a great blog called Small Notebook has created a challenge. The No Spend Month. For the past few years she and her family have given themselves only $250 for the month of July to use for food, gas and other incidentals. Of course things like rent and car payments don't count.

Well, Don and I are totally taking this on with her! During his time of being laid off, we really tapped ourselves out financially and got a bit behind on some of our bills. He has been back to work for a few months now and we still have not quite gotten it together.

We just keep spending money, eating out, etc. like there is money in the bank. And there is not. We have been talking for the past week or so about what it would take for us to knock it off and get serious about our money. Like grown up serious. We have a lot of dreams and things we want to do, but none of all that fun stuff is going to happen if we keep living paycheck to paycheck. So we have been confronting our finances and knowing that we need SOMETHING to kick us in the ass.

Well, yesterday morning after one of these big talks, I opened up my blog reader and there was a post from Rachel about her No Spend Month. She's been writing about it and alluding to it for awhile now and I've read those posts thinking, "Hmm, good idea."

Yesterday however, the bell went off and I said YES! This is what we need! A FUN game to play (with someone else) that will actually take some creativity and motivation to win. So we are on board! July is no spend month for us.

I am giving us $250 to use for food, gas, bunny stuff, and any thing else we need that is not a regular bill. This is truly going to take a paradigm shift in our household. Right now, I easily spend $100 or so each week in groceries alone. Not to mention coffee out, ice cream, art supplies, gas for the cars, etc. I am not even really sure how we are going to do it, but we are going to do it.

I will update here once per week and let you know how we are doing. Anyone want to play along?


Mama July 2, 2009 at 9:57 AM  

I've wanted to do this for a while, but I think G would have to quit tobacco to make this work. Myself, I have a "latte leak," although I can quit anytime! ;)

Seriously, though.....$250 is just about our monthly produce budget. Wow! Good luck, Lisa. I am looking forward to updates!

Lisa July 2, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

Carmen.. you should totally do it! The $250 is completely arbitrary, so you could set the limit to whatever would be a challenge FOR YOU.. I am sticking to her amount because I know that would do some serious damage to our lame spending habits, but any amount that would do it for you would be fine... I am excited and nervous to do this, but know it will be an amazing experience for us.

Riella July 2, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

We do a variation on this - we have the budgeted bills, and then we have a certain fund for food and gas and emergency stuff (medicine or whatever). What's left over (which is a pitiful amount, admittedly) is our spending money for everything else. Every once in a while we decide to not access that money, so only our necessaries are taken care of. Unfortunately, what money is left over there we usually splurge the next month. >=/ Kind of defeats the purpose. But I'm brainstorming right now - maybe your system of deciding an arbitrary number for everything is a good one. Hmm.

Mary July 2, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

I would really, really like to try something like this...we really should. But we have our vacation planned for the end of this month so I don't know how I could do something like this.

Oh, have you ever read Dave Ramsey's book - Total Money Makeover. I saw his show last year, pretty amazing stuff. I just wish I had the ability to stay committed

Ramos Family July 2, 2009 at 3:20 PM  

250 bucks? Admirable if you really make it, girl! That seems an awful little for all the basic stuff with 4 people.
We do our finance the Dave ramsey way and that works out great for us...evne though it took a little bit adjusting to it.

sarasophia July 14, 2009 at 2:17 PM  

Wow!! That is SO admirable! I would love to play along (and I know my husband would think it completely wonderful).

I will be thinking about ways to do this myself. I wonder if I could make it work for six people on a little more than 60 per week....

<3 sarasophia

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