Wednesday, February 27, 2013

::Frugal Fodder ~15~ NO SPEND Summary

This is the last week in  NO SPEND February's Challenge -and. the. crowd. goes. wild!!!
I don't know if other's of you took it upon yourselves to do this or not; but I found it to be quite telling in how we spend our money!

 Meaning:  I learned something!

Just let me stress --- it takes two, to be successful; especially if there are two in the household.
All or nothing!

When the two of us discussed how we wanted to implement this. We agreed it would be ...

(my WORD for 2013) 

  • Cash Only --No ATM 
  • Necessary Gas and Groceries ONLY.
  • No eating out. 

 NO ATM rule:    

That rule got broken. I'd like to say "I made no purchases with a debit card."

Didn't happen like that. 

We used the debit card for Gas only. We spent $60 for gas this month.
I used the ATM card to withdraw CASH for an etsy shipment, a FEED Store run and Fire wood. (Some of this will be replaced) 

Necessary Foods vs. UnNecessary Eating Out: 

I'm happy to report we did pretty well. 

  • The only necessary spending for groceries was geared toward restocking the pantry AND...any essentials that were on sale

For instance, I was able to buy Sugar on sale early in the month for $1.99 for 4/lbs. (not great...but pretty good around here)  I was also able to buy ULTRAGRAIN GROUND HARD WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR for $.70/ lb.  (10 /lbs = $7.00)

  • Also when the month of February started-- Eating out was off the table. Wasn't going to happen. Nope.

We ate out. But...I have a good reason!

My Dad turned 70 years old this month...both brothers and I agreed-- we decided we HAD TO DO SOMETHING for Dad. Party at my house wasn't going to happen.  Long story short we made reservations and have the whole family (those that could make it) surprise him at Carmona's Mexican Grill and Cantina! 
I split Fajita's for One with my Aunt.  Oh man! they were good too! We paid with Cash for our dinner and Dad's gift and  I saved a little bit on my meal  :) 

We even got Dad to wear the Sombrero and let us sing Happy Birthday to him and he ate his Birthday Sopapillas!  
Happy Birthday Dad!

Money Saved: $190.00 

Over-all we saved- $10 / week  for propane.  Our total for the year (by Thursday this week) is $80.00 ($40 for February)

We had $100 left when our monthly check was direct deposited.  Doesn't sound like much...but believe me it is!!! 

We saved $50 toward an Emergency Fund. 

My brutally honest keeping it real statement~ 
  • Our POTENTIAL for MONEY SAVED: $428.00 total. That is what we could have saved had we not had to buy more firewood, eaten out at the birthday dinner, plus tip, plus gift! 
What did I learn?! 

  1.  It can be done if you're both on board. 
  2.  Debit Cards can be habit forming (enabling,even!) unless used wisely.
  3.  A well stocked pantry is essential when CURBING EATING OUT. 
  4.  We can continue to tweak the budget and tame the beast! 
  5.  My Dad is Priceless! 

How about you?  Are you changing things up with your household budget?  Are you over OR under in your spending?  I'm not a finance I'd love to hear your take on some of these matters?  You can leave your comments below!  

Let us not grow weary in well-doing; for in due season we will reap,  if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

11 comments: said...

Congratulations on doing really well! Can't say we ready or willing to do this ourselves BUT I am happy to report that we haven't used a credit card in over four years; things we want or need are paid for in cash. Oh what a feeling!

Sunny Simple Life said...

Oh my you did great. I am laughing at the $60 for a month of gas. I spend about $70-80 a week just on my minivan. Gas is so high here. ANd that is not my husband's gas for the month either. It is killing us. And trust me I stay home when I can and combine trips.

Homesteading wife said...

Sometimes the joy is worth more than saving a couple bucks. Good job on a very thrifty month!

Cindy said...

I applaud you, Pat, good for you!!! I have asked my husband to give me a budget, but he won't or can't, I'm not sure, but I do try to keep costs down by making my own mixes, bathroom soft soaps and dryer softener.
Have a good day!

~Carla~ said...

Well done!! We did a bare basics January and I was able to really bulk up our emergency account and slush fun! When you're just buying food that is needed, you can save quite a bit of money sometimes! Way to go!! :)

The Boston Lady said...

I think you did great Pat! The eating out is a budget-killer for sure. This month we've been more guilty of it than others since "the cook" is one handed at the moment. Been using more convenience foods too. Mr. T learned to chop onions, a skill I thought he already knew at 54 YO. You are practically self-sustaining, you know.... Once your garden starts popping you will be off and running. Glad you ate out for your dad's bday! AND that he wore the sombrero! Ann

Revi said...

Well done, and your priorities sound just right.
-Revi said...

Great job Pat! What an encouraging post and even though you may not have saved as much as desired, you were able to handle the 70th birthday with cash on hand. Go Emergency Fund!

My Repurposed Life said...

great job Patricia! You did fabulous. I have lived so frugally for so long, that it's my time to splurge a little more often these days. :)
what are your plans for March?


RHome410 said...

Spending on Dad's special day is definitely a 'necessity' and money well employed to celebrate a priceless life. Congrats on your progress and savings. $100 left of your check is a big accomplishment, if you ask me!

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

Love hearing your success story. Even if you didn't accomplish all you potentially could have, you did way more than had you not challenged yourself. Bravo!
Liz @ Quirky Vistas