A Recap of a No Spend Month
Walking with my friend Cherie, on our local rails to trails, she shared with me that she was saving for her trip to the beach. Cash in an envelope in her dresser drawer. That she would spend no more than the amount that she set aside. She would make do. My reply back was something to the effect of the fact that we just use whatever was in the check book and made do with whatever was left when we got back. It dawned on me a couple of years later that my way of thinking was backwards. To save beforehand for what we want or need is not only satisfying, but freeing as well. It frees up the use of the money set aside and allows for a certain knowledge amongst family members of how much is available, and the fact of when it’s gone, it’s gone.
So I began to consider how much we would need realistically to be able to function considering our current circumstances-taking into account the amount in the freezer, fridge, cupboards and pantry. Travel is a consideration, as well as activities-gas, etc.
I got out 7 envelopes and labeled them #1-#7. In each I put $15 = $105.
· My Deep Freeze is Full
· My Fridge is full
· Cupboards are overflowing
· Pantry is full
· Stockpiled backroom-toilet tissue, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. (6-8 month supply)
I topped off my gas tank-filled it at the beginning of the month. My gauge tells me how many miles are left to drive, which I love. I can plan longer trips around appointments and such all in the same day.
I have a “fridge pad” a small magnetic notepad that we use when something is running low. Right now it has: sea salt, pepper and coffee listed. This gives a heads up to look for the lowest price for those items. The $15 a day is for these items. It can be used for gas, entry into sporting events, or whatever your family considers a necessary item. These are your own individual self-imposed rules.
My goal the first week was to have a balance from the $105 at the end of the week--which we did in the amount of $34-which we deposited towards our emergency fund. The second week my balance was given to someone in need. This week since the checkbook and plastic have not been touched, the focus is on the checkbook balance. We intend to deposit the balance of the checkbook into our emergency fund. With the original amount in the emergency fund, the $34 deposit and the checkbook balance if we remain on budget with the $105. We should have reached our goal of $1,000 in the emergency fund for the no spend month of September.
"Never Spend Your Money Before You Have It.” –Thomas Jefferson