Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

127. The No Spend Challenge – January 2015: 31 Days Later What We Learned

I can’t believe it’s February! We just finished up our No Spend Challenge for January 2015. Our goal was to save 20% of our regular budget. We are happy to say we saved about 21%! We were relatively happy with the results of this challenge.

Would YOU like support during YOUR No Spend Challenge? Join the Facebook group with over 2300 members: “The No Spend Challenge”. When we started the No Spend Challenge at the beginning of January we had 1300 members!

What we did:

*We ate primarily what was in our fridge, pantry, and freezer.
*We bought very minimal groceries such as milk, eggs, fresh fruit, fresh veggies, etc.
*We ate out 4 times but spent $25 total!
*We were blessed to have family come over with food for meals and also to eat meals with friends or family.
*We spent $0 at Starbucks. We did have a few gift cards we used up though!
*We didn’t buy anything at the mall or department stores.
*We didn’t buy any movie rentals for the month on Amazon or RedBox!
*We bought no home d├ęcor.
*We avoided $1 toys at Target
*What was excluded from this challenge: Mortgage, Utilities, Netflix, Giving, Health related expenses, Sinking funds, Diapers, Wipes, etc.
*We gathered a pile of things to give away.
*The blender died and we felt it had to be replaced.
*We really spent a lot of money with online purchases related to the Facebook group: Dave Ramsey – Total Money Makeover. Totally worth it though in helping people on their journey to get rid of their debt, find financial freedom, and change their family tree!

What we learned:

*Some things we thought were needs are actually wants.
*We CAN resist the urge to impulse buy when we have the motivation to do so.
*Instead of a 24-48 hour wait time to evaluate big purchases this was like a 31 day wait period to evaluate large purchases.
*Surprisingly, $20.00 worth of gas lasted for almost three weeks with the civic!
*Probably not a good idea to start a No Spend Challenge the same month we decide to start a group with weekly giveaways.
*January is the first month of the year which means we haven’t met any of our health insurance deductibles. 

*January all of us got sick and had to go to the doctor. We made two visits to the doctor during the month! 

Highlights of Savings for the Month:

*We spent less than $375 for groceries and eating out for the month. Typically, we’d spend double that amount or more!
*We enjoyed some free meals with family, friends, and with our local church.
*We spent $100 for the entire month in gas. Typically, we’d spend double that at least!
*We were able to continue to pay ourselves a car payment for our next vehicle purchase.
*We continued to save for the kids college, vacation, and car insurance coming up.

For Fun…

*Went to the local Zoo a couple of times with our paid for membership. We ate before going so we didn’t buy any food or souvenirs while there!
*We went to the local public library a few times. One time we got to hear firefighters talk about fire safety and the kids got to climb in the fire truck!
*We went to the local Science and History Museum a few times during the month with our paid for membership. We ate before going so we didn’t buy any food or souvenirs while there!
*We went to friends’ houses to play games and the kids got to play together. Had a blast!

January 2015 No Spend Challenge? Done

Overall this No Spend Challenge, while more difficult than the one in October 2014, was still a good experience. We highly recommend this challenge to others to try out at least once. It has helped us re-evaluate our financial and family priorities.

Maybe January wasn’t the best month to do this challenge. Still, we’re going to take a good portion of what we saved and apply it to our mortgage. The rest will go to giving and savings.

What about you? Have you tried a No Spend Challenge? What did you learn and how much did you save?

Follow me on Twitter! @JWKEagle

Check out my pins on Pinterest! 

Also look for the blog's website online: #‎eaglesoaringhigher

Looking for a particular topic? Please check out the new Table of Contents to see posts listed by topic.