If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else. -Dave Ramsey
August is one of the longest months of the year so feel free to call me crazy because this month I’m going to
do attempt a no spend month. Our family has improved drastically with our finances in the past couple years but I still think we can get better and I’m really motivated. I want to be completely debt free. None of the obvious inconvenient debts like credit card or paypal, but also none of the “accepted” debts like student loans, vehicle loans, and hopefully someday we’ll be able to purchase a house mortgage free. However we need to get out of our current debts first. Realistically with the income we live on, and with the snowball method that Dave Ramsey encourages, we should be able to be debt free entirely in 3 years max. That is not a 100% mathematical calculation, nor is it unobtainable. It’s just a reasonable guesstimate. We have one income (military pay) so there is no “add extra hours for overtime pay” or bonuses to use, however our income is pretty set in stone and doesn’t fluctuate much.
This month I intend to plan the meals that will be made with as little shopping as possible which fortunately we do pretty frequently. Every time we move we try to empty our pantry beforehand. To do this we check out what we have on hand and make meals that we have almost all of the ingredients for, then shop for the one or two ingredients that are missing. This helps financially because rather than going to the grocery store and buying five or even six ingredients for each meal, we’re only purchasing one or two!
I will also set a list of goals around the house that I would like to accomplish this month in order to keep myself from wandering stores (and impulsively buying awesome things, thanks Target and Hobby Lobby). This will be easy as we’re slowly preparing to move across the neighborhood so there is plenty to do, for free, at home.
Expenses that are allowed during my no spend month include bills, groceries and gas, dog food, $50 for baby clothes (Elizabeth needs larger pajamas) and one present for a birthday party we are attending this weekend.
Expenses that are not allowed are clothes, home decor, restaurant visits, entertainment, etc.
Techniques that I will try to thwart spending money impulsively are: staying out of stores, using a grocery list and sticking to it, the to do list mentioned above, and a wish list. When I think of or see something I actually can rationalize purchasing I’ll add it to my wish list for the month. At the end of the month I’m sure that list will have numerous things on it and if they actually are needed then they can be purchased during that month’s budget.
My goal for No Spend August is to be successful! At the beginning of September when I do the budgeting summary for August I want to see our “food” and “blow” spending categories empty, except for that one birthday gift under “blow.” 😉
The money saved this month will go directly toward our Dave Ramsey Challenge, realistically it will go toward the credit card which is the first debt we’re targeting.
Wish me luck and feel free to join! 😀