31 Days: Week 1 Update {Day 7}

Welcome to 31 Days:The No Spend Month. If you are  just joining me for the first time, you may want to start on Day 1.

Here’s an update on Week 1 of our No Spend Month:

Groceries

Goal: $300 gas budget

As of Week 1: $46.75 spent (16%)

$13 of this was spent at the local bakery outlet where I bought enough sandwich bread and bagels to last us the entire month. The rest was spent on milk, French bread, gluten-free granola and other last-minute items I needed for dinner – the product of not having a meal plan until October 3.

Gas

Goal: $300 gas budget

As of Week 1: $232 spent (77%)

I can tell you right now we aren’t going to make our $300 goal.  Note to self: do not do a “no spend month” when you need to go out of town for a weekend.  We had to take our SUV, which is not fuel efficient, and it burned up a large chunk of our entire month’s budget.

The good news is that all this money saving is addictive and I’ve conceded to sell our large SUV for a smaller one that gets better gas mileage. We estimate the new (to us) car will save us about $100-$125 per month in gas. In fact, it’s already listed on Craigslist!

Eating Out

Goal: Only eat out for 4 significant events in October

As of Week 1: $0 spend on non-significant events

I’m pretty proud of ourselves for not sneaking in a coffee over the last week, honestly we (by that I mean, I) do not have the most self-discipline in the drive-thru coffee department.

On the other hand, we had two nice evenings out with friends for various occasions and are looking forward to two more later this month. We are quite the social butterflies this month.

Personal Care

Goal: $5 personal care budget

As of Week 1: $0 spent on personal care

Personal care is one of the lowest line items in our budget. I regularly take advantage of free and inexpensive items at local drugstores and have a stockpile of items in our bathroom. I will be running to the drugstore tomorrow for a few things and will be spending a few dollars of this budget. More on that next week.

Utilities

Goal: 25% reduction in expenses

As of Week 1: We won’t know how well we do until we get the bills next month.

  • Water – We live in a community that controls all the outdoor watering systems so while we don’t have direct control over this, the systems will be turned off for the winter Oct 31. We are encouraging the kids to take showers (over baths) and I am only doing the laundry every 2 weeks this week unless there is a serious need.
  • Gas – We had intended to keep the furnace off the entire month of October but once our house reached 61 degrees during the day, we had to kick it on. We have kept it to 66 degrees during the day and 64 at night to help make this goal.  We also have a gas fireplace that I love using in the winter but we plan to keep it off this month.
  • Electric – I am much more conscientious about lights since we began this project. Even though I like having the porch lights on at night, it’s not essential so they have stayed off.  I also purchased light bulbs for the night lights in the children’s rooms and they use those instead of a hallway light at night.

Clothing

Goal: $0 budget

As of Week 1: $0 spent on clothing

I almost blew this when I found some jeans on sale last night.  Fortunately I didn’t pull the trigger.

Kids

Goal: $0 budget for toys and entertainment, $25 for childcare

As of Week 1: $0 spent on toys, entertainment and childcare.

Non-Essentials

Goal: $0 budget

As of Week 1: $14.43 spend on non-essentials

We have needed our carpets cleaned for a month or two and I’ve been looking for a good deal on a service. However, I noticed 2 coupons totaling $15 off for a Rug Doctor rental from Safeway, making the total rental just $9.99. It was such a good deal, I couldn’t pass it up even for ‘No Spend Month’. I wasn’t sure I would get that deal again anytime soon.

The other $4.44 was spent on photos for a photo book I’m preparing for Christmas. When I ordered these, I had momentarily forgotten about ‘No Spend Month’. Oops.

Overall

I’m fairly pleased with Week 1, with the exception of our gas budget. I am hoping we can sell our car and get better gas mileage with a new car, as soon as possible!

How did everyone else do on Week 1? Any suggestions for us to keep saving more?

 

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