While there are a few days left in January, I thought I would do a wrap up post on our no spend month. How did we do? We saved $1000 to put towards our Disney vacation next month! And that was with some spending that I hadn’t intended to do, so if we really had been able to stay no spend we could have added a few hundred more to that total.
How did we do on the rules?
No coffee shops. I went twice where I had to pay for my coffee (versus work or a free drink). Both times I had massive headaches, and a latte was my last option after trying water, taking advil, and drinking coffee at home. I did realize that lattes aren’t as special as they used to be, and for the most part I am happy just to drink the coffee at work. The harder part is weekends. It’s become a bit of our routine to hit Caribou before we get groceries, or to stop in while we’re out running errands. In fact, that was one thing I really realized, how often I reward the girls with a treat from the coffee shops.
No Amazon orders. I broke this rule almost immediately! There was a book on Disney World that I wanted for our trip. I had done my research on Amazon, but intended to buy the book at a local bookstore. It was $7 more expensive at the bookstore! So I ordered from Amazon. Our Subscribe and Save order also ships at the end of January, and I had a cart full of things for either our trip or Valentine’s Day this week so I pulled the trigger on those as well. At that point I knew we had saved $1000 which was more than I had hoped to save. The first half of the month is always tighter moneywise because of the way my bills shake out, so I bought when I knew I had the cushion to do so.
Two Target runs. Nailed it! I didn’t go to Target until January 19! That’s a new record. I spent $24 that trip, and another $24 earlier this week. We had a list and we stuck to it!
Eating out. I bought lunch twice? And we didn’t eat out at any restaurants. It made me realize that I can’t bring my lunch every day, it’s just not going to happen. But if I plan well, I can definitely bring it three days a week. Not eating out at restaurants was hard. That’s my sanity saver when I’m exhausted and don’t feel like cooking. But, we did it, and it helped that the girls rallied behind things as well.
Overall, I loved this month. It was good to really think through my finances and focus on them for an entire month. I thought maybe I would save a few hundred? I never thought we could have $1000 extra at the end of the month. I knew the little purchases over and over were killing us, but I had no idea by how much.
On the good side, there are a lot of things I want to save for. I have two big trips in mind to take the girls on – Hawaii and Europe. I also want to pay off the second mortgage, save for yearly trips, save for a new car, and save for a kitchen remodel. As I looked at our budget, I had no idea how I would make that happen. If we don’t eat out that saves $150? That’s not going to do it. But being able to throw $1000 per month at my savings account? That will make these things happen a lot sooner! Not every month will be like this month, but it made me think that if we can make this mindset our regular mindset, rather than a restrictive one month mindset, then we’ll be on our way. I was feeling like my goals were out of reach, but now I’m feeling hopeful.