Saturday, October 1, 2011

October "No Spend" Challenge

Despite my hubby's vigilance saving us $100 at the auto service department, it seems like we've been going through money hand over fist these last few months. We busted our typical clothing budget, and got ourselves a new front hall banister and a patio in the backyard. We bought a new washing machine (secondhand on Kijiji) when our (really, really) old one died and took a couple of camping trips this summer. My younger son needed to replace almost all of his hockey equipment because it was outgrown or worn out (which cost us over 200 bucks even though we bought most of it used!) We've even gone over our usual grocery and gas budgets these last couple months, for crying out loud!

Now, all things considered, this is not entirely a bad thing. We did some long-awaited renovations to our home, had some great family vacation time, and replaced household items and sports equipment that needed replacing. We had more than enough money in the bank to do all of these things, and still have enough left to pay cash to replace our 40-year-old furnace next month (another long-awaited item on our "to-do" list).

Still, being the frugal type of person that I am, I feel a need to take a little break from spending for a while. So, I'm declaring October a "no spend" month and am going to make an effort to buy nothing but the bare necessities this month. Right now, aside from the aforementioned furnace, the only things (other than food) that I know we will need to buy are a winter coat for my older son, winter gloves for both boys, some Halloween treats, and a birthday gift (also for my older son, who will turn 14 on November 4th). I also need to stock up on coconut oil to try my hand at making some hard lotion (I was planning to go buy this today, before the challenge started, but didn't have a chance to get to it).

I'm also hoping to spend less than $325 on groceries this month. Our average grocery bill over the course of the year is around $350 per month, but it's typically much higher in the summer months as we are buying lots of seasonal produce to can and freeze. So, since we have a pretty well-stocked pantry and freezer, I'm planning to eat strategically this month and minimize our grocery purchases.

I'm really looking forward to a month that involves a lot less running around and buying stuff than we've been doing of late. 

Anyone else care to join me in the October "no spend" challenge?


  1. I will gladly join you for some of the same reasons (generally, not specifically). Also, I have way too much in my stockpile and a half of beef to be delivered (and paid for) so I need to fine some literal space in the freezer and some figurative space in the budget.
    As to the coconut oil, I make my own with unsweetened coconut. Just put it in the food processor and process the heck out of it. It will solidify as it "cools" and doing it this way saves me about 50% of the cost.

  2. Glad to have you with me :) And thanks for the tip about the coconut oil. I'm going to use store bought for the hard lotion project, since I've never made it before and I want to minimize possible variables for error in case it doesn't quite work out. But I'm definitely going to give the homemade version a try later!

  3. Oops---it's already too late for me. ;-) Everyone in the family needs clothes and I found a few good deals over the weekend. That said, I will join you in eating strategically from the pantry as much as possible. I have money in savings to pay for the clothes but I'd love to take as much as I can from the food/drugstore budget. And my husband got a speeding ticket the other day, his first since 1982 when he was 16. (Luckily, since he was remorseful and polite, the officer wrote it up in such a way that it will not affect our insurance rates. Whew.) He was still so mad at himself! Oh well, that's the kind of thing the "rainy day" fund is for, right? Boy, it's raining here in the Seattle area today!


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