Well friends, tomorrow is the end of NO Spend February and let’s just say, we are not going to finish strong. I’ve already been to the store no less than 3 times this week. Seriously. Kids and food are going to be the death of me or the budget, maybe both?
I think our attitude was our downfall. At first we started out strong, we were well prepared, we saved a good chunk the first half of the month and we were excited. The meal plan worked out really well and honestly, our biggest takeaway from this month is that doing monthly meal planning and one big shopping trip at the start of the month is a great way to save time and money. It’s so simple.
Unfortunately, there has been LOTS of complaining about there being nothing to eat for the past few weeks. My kids are snack junkies. I swear all they want to do is eat 24/7. They wanted food for their lunch (why do they always need to eat?) and I’ve had to go to the store multiple times this week for bread, peanut butter, lunch meat, fruit and that’s not including when we decided to grill out (not on the meal plan) on Saturday when it was 50’s here and felt like spring. Honestly, we have hardly any food left, there is one clementine in the fruit drawer, we are pretty much out of cheese except mozzarella, the cupboards and freezer are pretty bare. I think we are all ready to move on to March.
This month of NO Spend was overall really good minus the complaining from the kids and our multiple trips to the store this week as we limped to the finish line. We will definitely be doing it again, perhaps in October after the start of school and all that brings with it. February is a great month for NO Spend, it’s usually crappy weather here in Minnesota, I’m worn out from the busyness of the holidays and birthdays in January and I’m ready for a reset button for my soul, my health, my home, my calendar and my budget.
I’ve accomplished a lot this month because I wasn’t running to the store all the time.
- I managed to set up a planner for myself that I have used everyday. It has truly enabled me to accomplish more than I usually do in a day and helps me organize my thoughts, plans, meals and goals for the week. This will be blogged about soon! I found this one in the dollar section at Target and for $12, it’s pretty awesome!
- My body and really mind were kind of just numb for a bit, probably the winter blues hitting me but I can feel them coming back to life with temps in the 50’s here next week! I started a bible study with a friend and that has been so refreshing for me! Also watching the IF Gathering was probably the highlight of my month.
- Figuring out that I really can’t eat a ton of processed food has me eating better and feeling better too. I’ve also lost a few pounds which is a great benefit. Now if I can just get to the gym a little more, I’ll be doing really well!
- The kitchen, garage and lots of drawers/closets were organized and cleaned out this month. That feels so good!
- We’ve had many quiet days/nights/weekends at home where we are almost bored but games, movies and book reading all kept us entertained. That felt wonderful, to sit around and not feel like I had 1,000 things I should be doing or cleaning but instead relaxing and knowing it was all taken care, really it was quite lovely.
If you’ve read this far, Congratulations! I am sure you are wanting to know how much we managed to save this month? So our rough estimates for the month were around $1200 which is what we saved two years ago as well. What in the world? How can we really be letting that much money slip in and out of our hands every month?!?! I know some of it is because we said no to stuff and also put off things like dog grooming. Still, I am sure we can do a better job with our money! This has renewed our resolve to be better at budgeting, planning meals and grocery shopping less often and at Aldis. We are still planning to tighten the belt on the budget but it won’t be as tight as last month. Life happens, right?
If you have never done a NO Spend month, I really encourage you to give it a try. You can read more about our NO Spend here and also visit Ruth at Living Well Spending Less for a ton of great information. Doing a NO Spend month definitely benefits more than your budget. You may find new ways to meal plan, grocery shop, organize your home and track your spending. Added bonuses, you and your family will realize how blessed you really are and even find more time in your day!
It is nice to hit the pause button on the buying and busyness of life sometimes so we can see the blessings and benefits we already have.