Friday, January 31, 2014

February Spending Strike

Back at the end of December I read this book. It was a very quick read and thought provoking. And the author lives here in Iowa, actually not too far away from me. The idea is intriguing, to not spend any money out of your bank account for one whole month; besides paying your bills, etc. But to give up any and all unnecessary spending? For some it may seem like a piece of cake, but for many others, it would take some major dedication and self discipline.

I mentioned before, some Iowa bloggers were jumping in with their own spending strikes for January. Our family thought long and hard about this and decided we needed to wait until February to participate. It sounds like a fun challenge but we knew we had some things going on that would be necessary for us to swipe the debit card. It seemed only fair we do this the right way.

So here we are, February 1st is tomorrow. No backing out now!

You know honestly, this shouldn't be hard for us. We're not big spenders, mainly because we can't afford to be. I'm blessed to be able to work from home and be here for my kiddos, but in order to do that, we have made sacrifices. We can't go out to eat very often, I keep our grocery budget pretty low, we don't take extravagant vacations, we don't drive brand new vehicles and I love not having a car payment because of that.  But I promise you, our kids are not lacking in anything!

My hope for this month is to just have fun with this challenge. Yes, it may get hard at times. The kids might whine because they want a couple quarters to spend at the machines after bowling. The hubby is going to miss going out for dinner with his buds after bowling league. I'm going to force myself to plan out my errands a little better, making the best use of my time and gas so that I'm not wasting.

So let's get started. Here are our "rules" for the month:

February Spending Strike Rules:

1.  All bills and necessary expenses will be paid for the month. {i.e. bowling league and dance lessons}
Gas- Both vehicles will start with a full tank of gas, our aim is to make mine last the entire month, since I work from home I don't drive the van much. Josh, on the other hand will have to fill up at least once. We're going to be more conscious about our driving through this challenge.

2. Absolutely NO unnecessary spending allowed! This means no quarters for the girls after bowling, no eating out for Josh on Monday nights and no shopping for clothes, books, toys, etc. 

3. No gift card spending allowed. {We received a nice amount of gift cards for Christmas, but we've decided that seems like cheating to us if we use those}We also decided if we take back pop cans, sell items at the consignment shop, etc; that money is to not be spent. That's cheating, again!

4. In the event of an emergency or an absolute necessary expense comes up, we will review the case and take the steps needed. {i.e. doctor visits, household repair, etc}

5. We are aiming to eat from our pantry, freezer and fridge for the whole month, using up ingredients we already have on hand. Now keep in mind, we have small children and I care for a few kids 3 days a week for daycare. Under no circumstance would I put their health in jeopardy for some silly challenge. But I know for a fact that my freezers are full of meat, veggies, fruit and many other items that I have preserved from the summer months. I have decided to allow $15 each week to be used towards milk, eggs and any sort of produce I can buy with that amount of money. 

6. Since I do decorate cakes/cupcakes on the side and I already have orders on the calendar for the month. I will be purchasing the needed ingredients for those orders.


What do you think? Anyone on board and want to join our family?! Leave a comment below and let me know. My goal is to update once a week and let you know how our challenge is going. If you're joining in, I'd love to hear your progress or any tips you might have.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I can't wait to check in with you next week to see how things are working out. Definitely something I want to try, but probably not until spring (we have a few projects going on that would make it nearly impossible in the next month or two).


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