NO SPEND MONTH – RECAP

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Our no spend month is now coming to a close and I am starting to consider how I will respond November 1st. Why? Because I can already see that without addressing this in advance and laying down some rules, I could easily make this no spend month worthless. So what am I doing to make sure that I do no go on a spending spree as soon as the no spend month is officially over? I am setting some goals and determining some more areas to focus on to cut unnecessary expenses going forward.

My goals for November

  1. Limit eating out to once a week or less
  2. Pack my breakfast and lunch daily and encourage my husband to do the same
  3. Limit any entertainment costs
  4. Continue running using the C25K app ( I’m currently finishing week 3. It’s been tougher this time than the last time was but it’s still doable.)
  5. Begin saving more money for the holidays
  6. I will be starting any holiday shopping early but I will focus on being very mindful of what I spend.

No spend month has been very beneficial for me in October. Helping me to both save money and accomplish my goals.

Did we succeed or fail our no spend month?

We did not fail in fact we were very successful at not spending this month. Many people shared with me their successes and failures as they joined us this month. If you joined Sarah and I on our journeys this month and successfully cut spending, you were successful. Even if you had a setback big or small that is ok. It was less about being perfect and more about the daily spending cuts and the lessons learned through it.

Did we spend anything extra?

my husband’s aunt is sick in the hospital currently and so we made a choice to send a gift even though it was no send month. Sometimes there are certain unexpected emergencies or expenses that do arise and you are forced to make a decision. We decided despite our previous guidelines that this was an important expense and so we purchased the gift. We did not spent anything outside of our budget otherwise and we believe we were still successful. Early in the month we also did attend a concert on October 6th with my sister for her birthday. The concert was paid for way in advance, in fact we had purchased tickets for it in March. We purchased parking in advance for the event as well, doing this actually saves us money on parking at this location on the day of the concert.This was a concert in Detroit Michigan about 45 minutes away from where I live. Even though parking and concert tickets were prepaid way in advance we did pay for additional gasoline.

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My favorite group Celtic Thunder
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The beauty of the old Fox Theatre in Detroit felt like you were stepping back in time
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My husband Jason making this photo priceless

We also drove to Lima Ohio area which is about an hour and a half away to spend time with Jason’s family also costing a bit more in gasoline. To be completely honest none of these costs were huge and our overall spending cuts still saved us far more. It also was like a reset for me to help me understand exactly where my money is going and what to target going forward.

I am proud of the success we had this month. I am also proud of my partner in this challenge Sarah from lemonblessings.com for also doing a fabulous job.

What did I actually learn from it?

  1. Doing a no spend month has a lot in common with dieting or working out. It is very tough to stick to, very tempting to cheat. It is also similar in the sense that the small actions I took everyday made a huge difference.
  2. It is tough to stop eating out for me. This taught me a great lesson about an addiction I have to wasting money eating out. For me this is a very unhealthy habit that I need to eliminate overall to save money.
  3. I enjoyed my life and I discovered that I still had plenty to do when I cut spending completely.
  4. There are a lot of great free resources available today that made this month even easier for us to stick with and be successful.
  5. I love to cook and it’s even better when you cook with your spouse or partner
  6. Saying no is ok and it actually feels good. I was tempted multiple times by others to spend and I stood firm. The biggest reason was I promised myself and you that I would do this in the month of October.
  7. Having an accountability partner really helps. I had a great partner to hold me accountable in the lovely Sarah form Lemon blessings . I also appreciated having all of you to report to which kept me accountable. Hopefully we were able to inspire you to try a no spend month for yourself in the future. Thank you all for allowing me to share this experience and for keeping me accountable throughout this month long spending freeze.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting my friend and fellow blogger Deanna. Deanna lives in Ohio just a few hours drive from where we live and drove here to visit on Saturday. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon and evening having dinner and chatting at home. Stuck with no spend month even with her visiting thanks to her support and encouragement. Deanna even helped me prepare dinner and do the dishes afterwards. It was just one more fun no spend month experience where we enjoyed a meal in home together. Thanks to hosting a Ripple street party and having some leftover chicken we were able to enjoy a delicious meal and try a new product together. You should head over and check out Deanna’s website at msfiology.com

Meeting Deanna for the first time

Here is a short video I created with a little recap as well. It is actually my first attempt at video so any criticism or advice would be great. YouTube Saving Joyfully