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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
    Posts
    9,143

    Default Savings Spinoff: January = No Spend Month!

    I've read a few blogs where people have made a month (or even a week) as a "No Spend" time. Depending on which blog I've read this means anything from setting a specific amount to cover expenditures that is lower than normal (ie: halving your grocery budget), to taking your grocery allotment and making it stretch to cover ALL discretionary spending (including gas, entertainment, household expenses, etc.), to the extreme, flat-out NO SPENDING.

    The one thing each plan agrees on is that all bills will be paid, health concerns will be addressed (if someone gets sick during the month, you do go to the doctor and you do buy meds if needed). Gifts may or may not be included.

    I have a budget and haven't been horrible about sticking to it. Certain categories (food, entertainment) lately have been creeping up while I've been able to have "extra" in other categories to make up for it. But this month... between the holidays in terms of extra food, decorations and gifts, some home projects being finally accomplished (electric projects, water line run to the barn), having to fill my fuel oil tank yesterday ($900+) and the general bills of the month arriving... I just feel like Richard Pryor in "Brewster's Millions"... like all I ever do is spend and shop. I need a break. I went to the grocery store on Sunday and while some was for gifts I plan on making to give away, I spent $99. I have a freezer full of beef, some chicken left from butchering, and plenty of food here and there in cupboards. There's no reason I should be spending THAT much on food for 2 weeks (that plus a small trip at least once/week to pick up that thing I need or forgot or something). And that doesn't count what I've spent on eating out, Starbucks, etc. I have 2 more gifts to get and I don't want to go to the frakkin stores anymore!

    So I really think I'm going to do No Spend January. Anyone ever do somethng like this to save $$? I'm really close to being able to write my dad a big fat check to finish paying back a loan he gave me several years ago. After that I have 3 other bills to pay off ...then I will ONLY have the mortgages! That could happen within the year if I'm careful and diligent! Anyone want to do No Spend January with me??
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    3,474

    Default

    That's interesting! I think I may try to do it, so I should go stock up now on groceries!!!
    "I enjoy this motorcade and will recommend it to my niece."



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    12,186

    Default

    I'll probably do an informal version of that in January. It won't be the first time. December is usually a high spend month with the holidays and I've been killing my budget for the past couple of months buying an entire new wardrobe that actually fits. So I'll just try to even things out in January by only spending what absolutely has to be spent and using up what I already have available. I'm one of those people who puts everything on a credit card, then pays that card off every month. When I'm having a low spend month, I find I can pretty much cut that card bill in half. It helps. And, it gives you a good feeling inside to know that you have been able to do something constructive like that. I usually have "low spend" months two or three times a year.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2012
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I've been reading a lot of blogs where people have done this as well. I too have a fridge, freezer and pantry full of food... so I plan to have a no spend Jan..and maybe a no spend Feb if I can swing it. I have my mortgage, two bills to pay, utilities, commuting fees, dog, cat and horse feed plus a hay delivery in Jan. I also am earning extra money farm sitting over the holidays and am trying to sell things online or organize them for a yard sale in the spring. So that will be my entertainment.

    I find I spend too much money eating out and drinking out socially so will curtail all that...

    I also bought myself a vaccuum sealer which is helping save money on food I cook...

    I'm in!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,869

    Default

    Hmm I want to do that as well. I'm moving from my sister's house to an apartment in January, so I could definitely use a month of no "me" spending to establish my budgeting. Bills, food & gas only!
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    30,677

    Default

    I would have to be a shut in then... every time I leave the house it's 30 bucks.

    No idea how come...
    either gas (first stop)
    groceries,
    kid activities...reminds me, I have to pay my friend for the stuff she got for me....there... but hey, that's expenses from this month, so I am in the clear, right!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
    Posts
    6,901

    Default

    not in january- I reserve December as my "NO SPEND" month because you get to avoid the crazed lets-go-broke-for-christmas crowds. Now, when I say "no spend", I mean I do the bare minimum- gas for the car, pay the bills, visit the grocery a few times for fresh vegetables, but that's it. No eating out, no buying anything if it can be put off. Mostly I try to eat the stuff that's been forgotten in the bottom of the freezer and the cans that have been sitting in the cupboard for months.

    January is a good time to shop for stuff you need- all of the stuff they couldn't sell for christmas goes on REAL sale, unlike the "fake" black friday sales and the not-really-reduced-for-christmas sales. Plus the stores are, bizarrely, trying to clear out their winter stuff in January so they have room to stock swimsuits in February. So January is a good time to go buy that new warm coat you really need, or a good pair of waterproof boots, at real savings. This only works if you only buy things you actually need though- no one actually needs a huge flat-screen TV.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2005
    Posts
    939

    Default

    I try to do this all the time!

    It's a mixed bag for us.

    What helps is PLANNED spending--so we pick one day a week to go out for a meal. All other days we force ourselves to cook for ourselves and do our best to try new recipes and making health foods (we swing kinda Paleo these days).

    As for entertainment we get books and movies from the library. I joined a book club, my SO has a bible study he attends, and we consider an afternoon at the dog park watching everyone's dogs as fun!

    We also do not have a car so that is key for us--we did join a carshare so that's a budgeted item.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 1999
    Location
    Ohio: Charter Member - COTH Hockey Clique & COTH Buffy Clique
    Posts
    9,143

    Default

    Wendy, that's a really good point... but other than REALLY wanting a new couch, anything I'd buy would be of the "oh, that's a good deal... I could use that" variety not the "I really need this" kind... which has been behind a lot of my shopping lately in the first place.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2007
    Location
    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
    Posts
    6,196

    Default

    I even ended up ordering my Smartpak stuff a little ahead so I'm set for awhile. We'll see how good my resolve is.

    I have this $100 AmEx card my company gave us for Christmas and I can't decide how to spend it. Maybe on books to keep me off the computer during No-Spend month? I'll probably save it for awhile.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2010
    Location
    yonder a bit, GA
    Posts
    3,258

    Default

    Ugh that's what I need to do.... I can almost hear my bank account weeping from over-use, just in the last two days. I will have packages coming in the next few days that i won't remember ordering. And I just spent more money than I care to admit to get two pairs of boxers for MrB as a gift shipped from another store across the state. (In my defense, they're really cute dog themed ones and he is a trainer, sooo...)

    My problem this year was not having a set idea of what I'd like to get for people, and not planning ahead. Had I done that, i wouldn't have kept buying little extra things, feeling like i hadn't already bought enough.

    So I fully expect to have a whiplash month in the new year, recovering from this!
    Actually, what I'd like to do instead/most of all, is what I did in 2010,when I made a new years resolution not to buy any articles of clothing. I'm a huuuuge clothes horse and have way too much now. Way. Too. Much. Believe it or not, it wasn't that hard to say no to buying clothes that year. I think it'll be harder this time around, but i want to try. I think it'll be easier to say no to clothes i don't buy, rather than throw out the clothes i already own yet never wear. So that's my goal!!
    MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,963

    Default

    An economist once told me long ago, when I was saying we need to learn to live more frugally, so there may be more for others that don't have enough, that if everyone stopped spending money whole economies would tank big time.

    Our consumer societies are driving the economy and growth by giving more and more jobs and business to start to produce more goods or service them, etc.
    That then enhances the standard of living for all.

    Guess he was right, looking at China becoming a consumer society.

    Not that such doesn't bring it's own problems, but those are problems of aboundance, not of unmet needs.

    So, yes, don't spend foolishly, but also don't think that what you spend is wasted.
    Do realize it is one more part that fuels the whole economy.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2004
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    3,963

    Default

    I was just thinking about this today. It seems like all I've been doing for the past month is spending for Christmas presents and buying groceries to make food for various parties. I went to Kroger yesterday and today, and realized that there are a few things I STILL need to buy. January is definitely going to be frugal.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    Location
    At the back of the line
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    4,016

    Default

    Just cause I wanna argue

    If you get a bunch of stuff in Dec and use it in Jan Isnt that the same thing as buying in Jan?

    How does that help?
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,963

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDeere View Post
    Just cause I wanna argue

    If you get a bunch of stuff in Dec and use it in Jan Isnt that the same thing as buying in Jan?

    How does that help?
    That is what I was thinking, but didn't want to argue.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    Location
    At the back of the line
    Posts
    4,016

    Default

    Its a good week for me to argue ;P
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 19, 2003
    Location
    Palestine, TX
    Posts
    2,565

    Default

    Interesting. I guess I don't spend a whole lot on "extras" to begin with. Well, I do have two downfalls... snacky crap when I grocery shop (I excuse it because I'm having trouble keeping weight on.....) and clothes for my little girl (she's 13 months and way too cute for my own good!). Other than that, we don't eat out, I cook pretty frugally, and we don't spend squat on entertainment. But I somehow end up at Wal Mart or a clothing store every day... because I feel like I need to get out of the house with the kid, and there's not much we can do in this small town.

    So, for January, we'll try to do less snacks (this is painful), and cut out the clothes for the kiddo. She has plenty. More time at the library, I guess, instead of shopping.
    *#~*#~*#~*#~*
    Proud Momma of *Capital Kiss* and Bottle Rocket!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2009
    Location
    a little north of Columbus GA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default

    Taking a month to focus on what you really *need* vs. what you just *want* would be a good exercise.

    Pairing it with writing down all of your expenditures would be great -- especially if you note all the things that you consider and then do NOT buy.
    --
    Wendy
    ... and Patrick



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 4, 2007
    Location
    Crossville, TN
    Posts
    1,116

    Default

    If I declared a no spend month atleast one of my horses would immediately require a large vet bill...they sense these things...


    6 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    OHIO!
    Posts
    1,716

    Default

    Sounds like fun, but VS's Semi Annual Sale is in January, and I try to only buy panties and bras in January and July during the sale. Other than that, gas, my horse's board/ grain/ supplements, and the occasional fro-yo run (omg- I'm addicted), I could probably manage.
    flogarty
    "It is difficult not to be unjust to what one loves" Oscar Wilde



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