Thursday, March 31, 2016

No Spend Month-April 2016: Getting Ready!

What is a no spend month? How do you get ready? A no spend month or no challenge is a personal challenge where you or you and your spouse agree to no discretionary spending for an entire month. Yikes, that sounds hard doesn't it. You or you and your spouse agree on the rules and the most important point is sticking to it. 

Nate and I have been on a financial journey for many years. I've talked about our financial journey on the blog a few times: paying cash for a new car,  new years goal posts, and funding our vacation by selling things around the house. We were first introduced to Dave Ramsey's the Total Money Makeover in 2008 and took Financial Peace University  in person at our church fall of 2014. Paying off debt and living a life of true financial freedom is our ultimate goal. The no spend month will be a good challenge for Nate and I to stop discretionary spending, gain more self control, and truly look at how much money each month we are spending on things we truly don't need.

Brown Family No Spend Month Rules:

No Discretionary Spending
1) No eating out, no fast food, no restaurants, no coffee, treats, or snacks not prepared at home.
2) No entertainment that costs money: no bowling, no museum trips, no trips to the movie theater, no Redbox rentals, etc.
3) No clothing or shoe purchases
4) No household purchases, no decor, no repair items, no equipment
5) No cosmetics or other luxury type toiletry items

We Will Continue:
1) All regular bills: mortgage, HOA, insurance, utilities, gasoline, childcare, student loan payments, tithes, and charitable giving.
2) Groceries, cleaning supplies, and regular toiletries like soap and toothpaste will be replenished out of our regular grocery budget which we have set at $150 per week.
3) Gasoline for the cars will be replenished as needed.

How We Prepared:
1) Complete all car maintenance either prior to start of no spend month in March or wait until May.
2) Pay medical bills prior to start in March or wait until May for any newly received medical bills that cannot be paid out of our flexible spending account.
3) Review calendar to anticipate potential events that would derail our no spend month. We did not see any kids field trips, church events, or birthday parties during the month of April that we anticipate spending money on.
4) Reschedule things that cost money to the month of May. For example I have a haircut scheduled in April. I will reschedule that for the 1st week of May.
5) Complete purchases for things we know we need by 3/31. For example I am completely out of my skin care regimen so I am ordering that today. Hubby wants to purchase hunting licenses which are due by mid April so he will purchase them by 3/31.

That's it! We're committed and excited for this challenge. I will be posting updates on our journey every Monday beginning 4/11/16. Follow along to see how we do!


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