A No-Spend Month Challenge (aka The Shopaholic Goes Cold Turkey)

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I’m a shopaholic.

You know, sometimes I feel like EVERYONE out there is frugal.  The blog-o-sphere is full of frugalistas giving tips for how to pinch pennies and stretch dollars.  Frugal is hip.  And frugal is necessary and wise.  But I am seriously no good at it.

Okay, I’m not totally irresponsible.  We have a budget.  Sometimes the budget is used a little too… loosely?  But it’s there!  We rarely eat out.  We don’t have cable TV, just Hulu Plus.  I don’t have a Smart Phone.  Instead, I have Old Blue, who costs $5 a month and has buttons that don’t work.  Old Blue is my little penance, something visible that I can wave around and say “SEE, I’m at least TRYING to save money!”

No-Spend Month

Meet trusty Old Blue. Surely someone who has a phone like this must be very frugal, no?

But I have WEAKNESSES.  Like Starbucks.  (Gold card member.)  And clothes.  (I have a pretty fabulous wardrobe for someone who spends 90% of her time at home in sweatpants.)  OH, and boots.  (Can one ever have too many styles of boots?)

I AM really good at finding deals.  I never, ever pay full price!  But sometimes I forget that even 60% off still leaves 40% to be paid for, know what I mean?

So, all this considered, when my friend Carrie over at Natural Moms Talk Radio suggested a No-Spend Month, I knew it was just what I needed.  Honestly, I had already been thinking about it… until the Boden 70% off sale hit my inbox.  Whew, thank goodness I already had my order in before Carrie’s email went out.  That was a close one!

So, I told Carrie to count me in.  I told Danny about it and after thinking about whether he needed anything desperately, he said he was in too.  Let the Spending Fast Begin!  …Okay, “No-Spend Month” is better, someone like me might get confused and think it meant “Spend All Your Money, Fast!”

So here is what I WON’T be buying this month:

  • Clothes, shoes, purses, boots, accessories (unless I really need a statement necklace to complete an outfit…)  NO!  JUST KIDDING!
  • Clothes for the kids (if they need shoes because their feet grow or something then we’ll have to do that)
  • Makeup and things to make my face look less wrinkly
  • Home goods (like decorative or general stuff.  Not toilet paper type stuff.  We are not taking it that far, people!)
  • Books
  • Entertainment
  • Starbucks (I already have money and several free items on my Starbucks cards, so I may very well use what I already have.  Fair, right?)

What will I still spend on?

  • ONE Toy (this sounds silly but it was already promised and the money is put aside, full disclosure here though!)
  • Groceries (but I’m going to be really careful to stay on budget, I’ve been really lax about tracking it lately.)
  • Essential Oils – These are part of the grocery/ household budget, but they may seem like a luxury item.  However we have had such good results with keeping sickness to a minimum this year that I’m not willing to risk giving them up.  A $35 bottle of Thieves oil could end up saving $350 in doctor’s bills.  Or more!  Like many people, we have a huge deductible, so if something keeps us out of the doctor’s office or ER it saves money!  And I’m working on relieving my eczema with oils as well.  So, I’m definitely not risking being oil-less!
  • Haircuts for the boys if needed – I told you we aren’t good at being frugal!  Frugal people can cut hair!  I do cut Dash’s because it’s curly… can’t do the straight hair though.
Frugal No Spend Month

Last home hair cut. Can you see why we need to pay for haircuts???

So, day ONE down.  I had a panicky moment when I realized I should have already bought placemats.  I NEED PLACEMATS!!!  HOW EVER WILL I MAKE IT TO FEBRUARY WITHOUT NEW PLACEMATS???  Okay, okay, I can do this.  And it was a little hard clearing out my inbox without looking at any sales.  Why one subject line was “4 things you need in 2014!”  What if I really NEED those 4 things???  And here I deleted the email without even looking!?!?  Deep breaths, deep breaths…

I’m okay, really.  I know that we honestly have all that we need and more. 🙂

If you want to join in on this No-Spend Month thing, let me know!  And leave Carrie a comment over at Natural Moms Talk Radio to let her know you’re in!  And if you are not in, you will notice about that I left you a link to the Boden sale.  And to Jane.com, a great daily deal site for accessories.  That way I can live vicariously through you.  Tell me what you get, okay?

…I realize I have a problem.

Alright, alright!  Enough silliness.  I’m looking forward to getting 2014 off to a great start!