Monday, October 17, 2011

One Month, No Unnecessary Spending. Period.

In our family, I control the finances. By control, I mean, I pay the bills and make sure we have enough money in our account to cover our spending. Lately, I haven't wanted to log into our bank account to get a sense of our money flow. In translation that boils down to, we haven't been doing the best job managing our money. The biggest problem for me is that we've been unconsciously spending the past couple of months.

Going out to eat? Sure, what time should we meet? Where do you want to go? 

Nights out with friends, I'll be there. 

Stop by Anthropologie, oh that dress on clearance sure is a great deal.

Anthropologie is right next door to Target. Just a quick run in for dishsoap and leave with clothes for the girls, not to mention a bag or two of non essentials. 

Cupcakes after lunch, why not, the bakery is just steps away.

Pop by the farm stand, leave $40 lighter. 

Books from the Scholastic book club flyer, ah pick out a few books. 

A new table for our kitchen would be awesome, let's just to to IKEA and buy one, it's a great price. A cartload of other stuff later, we had our new table. 

Stockings to go with my dress for the wedding, I'll just stop by the coffee shop for a tea after. 

I know deep down, when I avoid logging into the bank account, I need to reel things in for us in the spending department. As of Sunday, we are trying to go for one month with no unnecessary spending. J's first inquiry was if I considered beer a necessity or not? Now, I don't consider beer a necessity, but I also realize he loves a six pack on the weekends. I'm not going to take that away. It's more avoiding the thrift store or used book store. It's those nonchalant walks to our local coffee shop as a special treat instead of just having something at home. All those tiny moments, just stopping by here or there, that rolls into one big chunk of change which affects our ability to save money. I want to save money every month and right now, we aren't doing that. Sigh. 

The beauty of where we live is that there are hundreds of ways to recreate for free. Right in this moment, I couldn't name one item from a store like Target that I absolutely NEED. Not one. The deal is there is no scrimping in the food department, we will shop like we always do, definitely picking up items that are on sale for the week. I've vowed to bake a bit more at home for the girls, which I love doing anyway. I know for a fact we have plenty of toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent, and even a new dish brush (see IKEA mention) so there are no excuses to just stop into Target. Feeling well stocked seems like the best time to try to pull this off, especially with the holidays looming. 

Sunday October 16th - Sunday November 13th are the dates we've committed to. I will update weekly on how the journey is going. My goal is to put a few hundred in savings come Nov 15th. Watching our savings account grow is way sexier than any clearance item from Anthropologie. Maybe I need to put that on a post-it note on my bathroom mirror. 


  1. I'm feelin' ya on this one, D. I have the potential to save buttloads of cash each month but for some reason I justify my over spending. I feel that it makes my life easier, happier, more carefree, etc. But you the truth is that seeing money in the bank each month makes me WAY happier. Good luck and wish me some, too!

  2. Oh my god - this is the story of my life... And I have HAVE to work on saving money for all of Oliver's therapies since the only ones that make a huge, immediate impact are the alternative ones that are 100% out of pocket.

    Staying away from Target is a big one.

  3. The amount of unnecessary spending is why my husband and I now have allowances. We took our vices, figured out how much on average we spend over a 2 week pay period, added 10% and that's how much we each get. We can buy anything we want with that cash (literal cash, I visit the ATM every pay day), but once it's gone, it's gone. Since we started this, deposits to savings have become much larger and more routine. :)

  4. So awesome, I have to do this too. I spend SO much on things we DO NOT NEED.

  5. OH MY GOSH! Keith and I just talked about doing this yesterday! We're starting on Saturday and will go for 6 weeks!

    Good Luck!

  6. I've been feeling this way lately also. We have the ability to be saving money every month and instead all sorts of "wants" get mixed in with our "needs" and the money goes out the door.

  7. This can definitely be a challenge. When I'm buying something I've been asking myself "do I need this?" "Why am I buying this? Am I substituting the purchase for something else?" I definitely love shopping, but am really limited now ;) One thing I've noticed that helps me is browsing online. After I browse for a long time and consider buying something, I don't go through with it because I think about the amount of clothing I have in my closet already, and I really try to understand my real purpose for purchasing something.

  8. I started reading this and thought, 'did I write this'?! I finally just downloaded all of our transactions so I could take a look at what we've been doing the last three months when I haven't been paying attention. Yikes! Now is the time when we need to save up a bit before the holidays hit.

  9. good luck, a great plan to have with the holidays coming up too. I think beer and wine should be necessitates!

  10. This is extremely inspiring Denise. It's always the little things that add up to big spending and I've found I'm much better if I don't put myself in situations where I'll be tempted. Good luck and happy saving!


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