Thursday, January 2, 2014

No Spend/Low Spend/Fiscal Fast

"A penny saved, is a penny earned."
Those of you who are out there in the frugal blog world are probably very familiar with these terms and have maybe participated in them at one time or another. And for those of you who aren't hanging out in the frugal blog world, these terms mean just what they sound like--ways to take short term or long term breaks from spending money to further savings goals.

This month I'm going to participate with Carla at 1/2 Dozen Daily in her month long No-Low Spend Challenge in January. During this time, Carla challenges you to figure out your necessities (such as rent, utilities, and basic food) and not to buy anything else. I'm looking forward to seeing where this challenge leads my family. Even though we look at the numbers and were doing OK, I'm still uncomfortable with some of our spending. Any extra money we realize in the end from this challenge will go to an elderly charity I'm fond of.

First my goals and personal rules for the challenge. We hope to cut out any extra spending of non essentials. For us, this will mostly mean watching our food budget and entertainment. It might also mean something like I've been needing some new jeans for a while, but I won't buy them this month. However, I will make an exception if I see a really good price on something that we have been thinking about buying for a while. Also, as deference to my family, I will not be posting many actual budget numbers. However, for those of you who do this, I find the details very interesting and often inspiring.

So how are we doing out-of-the gate on this challenge? My husband is on-board and my son who is away at college wants to participate also. However, I keep getting new ideas of how we should implement the plan, and I need to learn to control this. Every time I come up with a new rule, they say it's stricter than before and that's not what they agreed to. I sometimes tend to get carried away with things. :)

What about our actual spending? Have we been able to keep our goals for the first three days? Well not exactly, but we all know that flexibility is required in some circumstances. It's a long story, but the last couple of days, we have had to be out of the house for long hours without a lot of prep. This has resulted in a drive through meal, that under normal circumstances, wouldn't be allowed. In the meantime, if you want to join-in in your own no-spend month, we'd be glad to have you.