If you missed the first post outlining the rules for our no spend challenge, read it here.
Week 1, Adjusting to the Change.
Week 1 has been a bit of an adjustment. There were many times this week where I had to tell other people no I couldn't do something and even harder I had to tell the kids no several times to things they were used to doing or really wanted to do. Week 1 actually lasted 10 days, April 1st-April 10th.
The biggest adjustment has been no fast food, no Starbucks, no quick treats. No spending on entertainment or date nights or rewards for the kids.
Nate has stuck to the plan perfectly. In fact the only purchase he has made all month was one tank of gasoline for his Jeep.
I have made 2 cheats already this month. I owed a co-worker $15 for a birthday gift in March that I forgot to give her. I forgot to purchase the two bible study books I needed for this month. I was able to get one book from the public library but the other I had to purchase on Amazon for $9.99
We haven't strayed but we have used a couple gift cards we had received: The Egg and I, McDonald's, Timberline Cafe. These have been nice treats mixed it with no dent to our budget. We did have to say no to a treat for Brennan after his band concert. We usually stop for an ice cream or something similar after kids have a special performance or school event. This was hard as the kids expect this treat.
We've taken multiple trips to the public library, checking out many books and movies. We've also taken multiple trips to different parks across town. We've walked to the lake in our neighborhood several times and played at the park in the neighborhood. We've also done things at the house we don't always do like put together a puzzle or watch a new show on Netflix. We've also had fun school events like the egg drop, IB showcase, and a band concert. I also hosted book club and had my first bible study class. Work has also kept me busy the past week with a Parent's Night Out event we hosted Friday night. Yesterday we had my nephew's birthday party. I also am finishing up my training for my 3rd half marathon. Not much time to be bored! I did have to say no to purchasing Rockies tickets as a fundraiser, which was a bummer!
This was a bit harder this week knowing there was no other food we could consume. I went over budget by $42. I made multiple trips to the grocery store last week. I plan to remedy this next week by making one planned trip.
Clothing and Shoes
This part hasn't been hard for me yet. I tend to do a couple larger shopping trips for clothes in the year rather than buy things each month. I did take Wynter shopping at Nordstrom Rack where I found a pair of shoes I may be returning for next month.
No Household Items
This has been a bit trickier. Our master bathroom toilet started running and really needed a repair. We lucked out though and Nate came across a partly used toilet repair kit in the garage that had the pieces he needed.
No Cosmetics or Luxury Toiletries
This has not been hard. I pre-planned in this area. Twice per year I order Mary Kay. I was almost totally out in the month of March so I placed a big order 3/31. I should be set in this area.
No car maintenance
So far we have not come across any needed car maintenance.
So far this month we have had doctor visit co-pays and prescription drug co-pays but we still have money in our 2016 flexible spending account so I have not had to take any money from our budget. Medical bills for 2015 that must be paid out of pocket I am waiting to pay until May.
Most importantly week 1 has been a lesson in self control and delayed gratification, both things I know I need to work on financially. I think as the month goes on it will get easier not harder as I will get into the routine of saying no to spending money.
Spent from no spend categories: $24.99
Spent over budget in allowed category (groceries): $42