Post by MittenKitten on Jan 31, 2011 21:11:18 GMT -5
Hello Everyone. Here is this month's Controlled/No Spend Thread as promised. Please post your goals for the month if you would like me to include them in the bi-Monthly update. For the new people there are no real set rules here, you set your own. The basic goal most if not all of us have are to keep track of the days we don't spend and hopefully by that work on saving money. Some are looking to put it into savings others to pay down debt. For some they only count the day as a no spend day if they spend nothing at all. Others will count it if they keep their total under $5. Some count all spending others only count a certain part of their budget. For example I personally take $400 out of the the bank in cash for everything that is not related to vehicle expenses (like gas, oil changes, insurance etc) or the house (mortgage, utilities, HOA) If I spend out of the $400 I count it as a spend day (although if it is less then $5 I usually count it as a no spend day.) You set your own rules. Any questions feel free to ask. You can post your no spend days daily or whenever you want, just put it in bold at the top with the first number being the number you want me to record. If you are doing daily then: Today (or yesterday) $0 Spend day More then one day at a time: 4/31 days $0 Spend Which translates into 4 out of 31 days in December have been no spend so far. Some use the bigger number as their goal number so do 4/15 No spend Days which means they have a goal of 15 no spend days this month.
CSD: Controlled Spend Day BFF: Best Friend Forever DH/DS/DD/DSS: Dear Husband, Dear Son Dear Daughter, fiance, boy friend, Dear Step-Son DIL, MIL, BIL, SIL: Daughter in law, Mother In Law, Brother in Law, Sister In Law NKCW: No Killing Co-Worker Day (could also be no kill DH NKDH etc) MOAN: Moving our a$$ Now aka exercising NS or NSD: No Spend or No Spend Day NEO: No eating out HTH: Hope This Helps KWIM: Know What I mean FWIW: For What It's Worth IMHO or IMO: In my Humble Opinion or In My Opinion Getting Nitzed is referring to when you have a long post and MSN cuts you off so its in two posts instead one. Having a Startsmart Day is referring to when you have 20+ things on your must get done in a day and you accomplish them. Sharing the Simple Lifestyle aka Toasty; Single Mom-KY aka Smokey; MittenKitten aka MK; Pt_In_NY aka Pointy; Red2Black aka R2B2. The Boy is Sheila in Cali's son. the boy or Mowgli is Nsinglet's son Blue is Red_Wagon's DH
For a while I was doing a Question of the Week. One week my question was "How has this thread changed your habits? What tangible benefits have you seen by being a member? I know we occassionally get someone on here that just doesn't get the concept of no spend is so much more then no spending 10 days to blow everything on day 11."
Honeylioness had a wonderful answer I think really defines WHAT we are about:
"I will admit that during my first two months of lurking, I wondered just how in the WORLD someone could not spend any money at ALL for 25 days? Did they just pay all their bills one day a month, and that same day do the food shopping for the month? Like many new to the concept I saw it as horribly, and restrictively, black or white – an opinion first based merely on the name of the thread.
But once I came to understand that it was not so totalitarian and was more about finding a way that worked for you to track your spending and any “leaks” in the wallet, it has felt more like a tool and less like a punishment. I wish I could say that I have paid off five extra years from the mortgage, or now have an EF of six months take home – but alas that would not be true.
What I do have however is a better awareness of where my “leaks” are, what are my hot buttons that make me want to spend on things I really don’t need or really cannot afford right now. And an awareness of the fact when I AM spending money. I think that awareness is key to learning a new behavior or paradigm. Just like lumberlady, some of us have had to look hard in the mirror and acknowledge that we had a problem. Until people can do that, be it an addiction to alcohol or drugs or credit cards ….. they will never really GET it."
I really don't have much room in my budget to spend much this month at all. I will have another card paid off by the 15th and a $500 snowball payment to the next card!!! That will make it a little over $10K I have paid off since DH deployed in July. I can do this!
We are not to judge thrift solely by the test of saving or spending. If one spends what he should prudently save, that certainly is to be deplored. But if one saves what he should prudently spend, that is not necessarily to be commended. A wise balance between the two is the desired end. ~Owen Young
28 CS/NS Days - on vacation that means staying in budget 14 NEO Days - NEO means even if someone else pays for me 15 MOAN Days
Please think good job thoughts - I submitted my resume for the job at my office (department head) - I'm super qualified (if I do say so myself) and have a vision - but there is interest in bringing in an outsider. I know if I get an interview I will kick butt - so I just need an interview!
BTW - the recommendation for "Maybe" from the Empty Kitchen blog - LOVE IT - loaded it on my ipod - it will be a daily reminder/kick in my butt on the job thing.
Post by MittenKitten on Jan 31, 2011 22:08:49 GMT -5
I had a budget of $400 in January for 5-7 people. The reason for the change is my mom is here 3-5 days a week, eating snacks and meals and we have my DSS every other weekend. DSS is 14 YO and a healthy eater.
I stocked up on DF's pop and Toilet Paper so I did start Feb's budget early. I guess the the real test will be to see how I am at the end of this month. Now I have bought DS#1 and DS#2 shoes, in addition to DS#1 mittens and gloves, he lost his and what is a person to do? Can't have the kid with cold hands, we have a lot of winter left! So already have $50 of the budget gone...
My mom really throws the budget off but it's not like I can say, hey do you know what that box of crackers cost me? She is doing things like paying for our vacation but it does make my budgeting more challenging!
Honestly I think January went pretty well since the things I bought and stocked up on will last us through the end of March and maybe later. It is just difficult with kids who are picky eaters.
Muttley: Sorry to hear of the cut hours. You are resourceful and will get by fine. I know how difficult it is. I have faith things are starting to slowly turn around in the economy.
Post by dakota4600 on Jan 31, 2011 22:22:50 GMT -5
I'm starting to feel better. We are hunkered down awaiting the 10-16 inches that is supposed to fall tomorrow. Luckily my boss decided this AM to declare tomorrow a work from home day. DH's district has cancelled already. So we are going to hang here tomorrow and hope we don't lose power. The snow isn't supposed to start until tomorrow AM.
Muttley- There are a couple pics of DS that you posted that he looked a little onery. Sorry about the 2 day a week lay off, hope it is really short term.
Renee- It is nice to hear that there are people willing to do something nice for someone else.
SES- Good luck on your project.
Okay I got to run and put a certain little boy back in his bed for the third time tonight!
I am transfering this from the January thread to keep it in front of my face.
I am setting a challenge for myself this month. Last week a friend and I were talking about the use (and abuse) of food stamps (or SNAP). The next day I was visiting with KCgal and the same topic came up. I live in the most poverty stricken county in my state. Much of that due to the high percentage of college students, I am sure. Frequently we see grocery carts of foods being paid for with food stamps and so much of it is expensive and not especially nutritious. I have searched and found the AVERAGE food stamp allotment per person in my state to be $112 per month. Some will get more than this and some less. Since it is the average, I am going to live on that amount for my groceries this month. I realize many using food stamps don't have many of the advantages I do (a place to cook, a working freezer and fridge and most important, access to a good supermarket. Therefore, I am going to live within certain parameters, no couponing since this is not available to some neighborhoods, as much"real"food as possible vs packaged food and since I have to monitor my diet due to diabetes close attention to nutrition. Today I am going to create a balanced menu and grocery list so that as soon as the snow lets me go shopping I can. I will be posting my progress to keep myself accountable. And no I didn't plan to do this now since February is the shortest month.
I have planned a menu for the month that includes seven breakfasts, six lunches, six dinners and three snacks a day each week. The two unplanned meals are for using up leftovers. Eating light snacks so often helps keep my blood sugars balanced. I also try to eat the bulk of my starchy carbohydrates at breakfast or lunch for the same reason. I try to eat as many whole grain and high fiber foods as possible. Since I monitor my sugars closely I tend to avoid fruits in favor of vegetables. I don’t have a fixed meal for a fixed day because that feels too rigid and locked in, although I seem to eat that way anyway. I also prepare one dish that creates eight servings each month and freeze in serving portions (enchilada sauce, chili, and pasta sauce) and then plan to eat eight of these meals each month. This gives me more variety than I might get otherwise. If I make a small casserole I try to divide it into serving portions and freeze individually.
These are the meals and snacks I have planned. Add in 6-8 glasses free tap water per day. I have one question—do food stamps have to be used in the month they are given or can there be carry over if there is any extra?
If you are not being treated with love & respect, check your "price tag". Perhaps you have marked yourself down. Its you who tell people what you're "worth" by what you accept. Get off of the "clearance rack" and get behind the glass where they keep all the "valuables"....bottom line is.... "value" yourself more..Repost if you like... You might help someone get off the clearance rack...
I'm in. I need to do better in keeping track this month. Although I did well last month, I really failed at keeping track. Goals for this month are 7 NS, 20 CS.
We are getting slammed with snow this morning. I'm not sure if I'm going to try to venture out to work or not. They are saying it's going to stop around noon and not start again until overnight, so, I might be able to get out to go to work for a few hours. I just don't know if it's worth it. The 20 mile drive can get pretty bad...tomorrow is looking worse than today. We're supposed to get about 16" by the end of tomorrow. Big fun...
I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they're right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. ~Marilyn Monroe
Post by WholeLottaNothin on Feb 1, 2011 8:43:41 GMT -5
My goal this month is to get 15 NSD. I have not yet hit that since I started here over a year ago. : (
I also want to try to go the whole month without getting lunch out. I hope that isn't too bold of a goal.
The snow here is horrendous. I can't believe they didn't cancel school. And they are calling for another foot tomorrow.
I am pretty sure that food stamps do carry over from month to month, though I can ask my friend who works in a group home for mentally and physically handicapped just to be sure, because I know they use them there. He just wrote back, they do carry over from month to month.
I have reviewed my budget again, and am working diligently to plug the small "leaks" where a little bit of cash keeps draining away.
I know today and tomorrow will be no spend days, I have my lunch packed for today, stocked up on groceries, and tomorrow I am working from home because of the snowstorm, and I won't be going anywhere to spend any money!
Post by sheilaincali on Feb 1, 2011 9:29:49 GMT -5
February Goal: 20 NSD, 25 NEO, 7 lbs lost
We did pretty decent in January but there is always room for improvement. Need to get the Boy a second pair of gym shoes (needs a pair at school and a pair for when we go to the gym after work). But we have a gc that should work and not cost us a dime
Plugging away at work. Have an auditor with the union coming in a few minutes to verify that no "non-union" people worked for us. After that I would be thrilled if they close schools early for a snow day and I can sneak out!
Post by muttleynfelix on Feb 1, 2011 9:58:42 GMT -5
I'm in. We need to be careful this month. I'll spend the next 2 days coming up with goals. I was going to donate some of the cloth diapers we aren't using, but now i think I'm going to try to sell them and of course I don't need to buy any more. I had actually just bought some new inserts and some used ones thinking that we weren't going to be laid off 2 days a week. Anyway, we hunkered down for the Snowpocolypse. I have a list of a dozen things to do. I won't get them all done, but at least I won't get bored even if the power goes out (and we have a generator) and I have 5 new books from the library to read (and I got DH 3). I do think I am going to spend the money to have DS go to the Kindermusik classes. I just think he will get a lot out of it and deserves the chance to be around other kids more than just during church.
In case no one is left over in January, my final numbers from the month: Here were my original goals:
5 NSD (nothing!) 10 CSD (under $5) Drink work coffee on Tues/Thurs (every little bit counts, but I can't totally give up my coffee from the cart guy) 15 hours working out 10 NEO days
I totally forgot I wanted to differentiate between NS and CS days, so I just totalled them up. I also forgot about the whole not buying coffee twice a week thing... oops. January Final Numbers: 10/15 NS/CS Days 21/10 NEO days (WOW!!! So proud of us there! Didn't realize we did so well!!) 3.5/15 hours working out (utter failure. better luck in february!)
Post by MittenKitten on Feb 1, 2011 10:33:07 GMT -5
Muttley: Are you planning on having more kids? If you are I would store the diapers otherwise you will just have to buy them again. I have all the kids stuff stored for the next kid. We only started getting rid of the stuff DD outgrows when DF was permenantly fixed....
Reenee: I have to second that I am SO happy you got to see your DBro. Glad kindness exsists still. I know I had a "friend" from Austrailia that stayed with us for two weeks. He claimed he had lost his money etc, so we did help pay his way but then found out he ran up our phone bill around $450 when we TOLD him not to use our phone for long distance. I can't remember if we loaned him any money. I just looked at it as if I were in the situation he SAID he was in, I hope someone would have done the same for me. Thus I figure Shame on him not on me.
DS#2 is home ill. It may be possible the rest of the kids and DF have it also. OMG getting DS#1 up and off to school was a nightmare. I was lucky I only had him to get up today or I never would have accomplished getting them both off to school. It was so bad I called his teacher and told her he is in a mood and to watch him. If he seems like he is going to lose it back off.
Post by muttleynfelix on Feb 1, 2011 11:25:19 GMT -5
mk - It is possible we might have more kids, but the ones I'm thinking of selling didn't work for DS. They aren't our main stash at all. Just a few fitteds that I bought used that didn't fit and a pocket diaper that I hate. I am thinking of destashing some of the pocket diapers that no longer fit just because I bought some better ones, but those are the ones I'm not sure of because we would use those with another kid.
Happy February! thinking today will be my biggest spend so I can book my plane tickets. LOVE that this trip can combine business, clients, friends and more friends.
Anywho, started the day with a call at 7:45am I wanna sleep! But now that I'm awake I have 3 hours of calls and lots to do.
The bookkeeper for my client also emailed last night to say there's no way I could have billed that much (he knows I'm working a ton of hours but not THAT much). I reminded him that I also bill for my minions and he called to apologize and we talked strategy for awhile. Definitely need to get incorporated ASAP. Maybe in Feb.
Goals $100 spending money, gas & groceries as normal, bills all count as NSD. I want 14 NSD so I can take that $ and put it toward my trip back east. I don't really worry about food when I travel, I've got to eat wherever I go so I just decrease grocery spending before/after I go so nothing is wasted. But I do want some cash for the incidentals.
Post by dianartemis on Feb 1, 2011 12:27:01 GMT -5
I had 2 good things happen so far this week. 1) My DOM's reading Total Money Makeover and told my DOD that she wishes they'd been able to read the book 30 years ago. For some background info, she's been talking about a new house and new car and this that and the other for the last 8 years, and I've been giving my DOD PF books so he just doesn't cave. 2) About a year ago, I gave a co-worker some budgeting spreadsheets and why flexibility w/in a budget is important advice, and he just told me that he and his DW have been paying off their CCs and are down to their last one. He even thanked me for the advice. I don't think he's ever thanked me before.
11 NSD OFFICIAL JANUARY FINAL UPDATE I will post what I spent outside of my regular bills in a little bit but I have a question. I paid a total of $200 for little league sign-ups but they have not cashed my checks as of yet. Should I (would you) count that as a spend for January since I already have it counted on MY balance sheet or should I count it spent when they actually cash the check. I know this may all boil down to personal preference but I would like to see what that would be for you all.
My spending has been out of control for the past few months, so I'd like to rejoin you this month. I think that I'll set my goals at 10 NS and 18 CS days, plus 15 MOAN days.
Muttley - I'm sorrry to hear that your hours have been cut. I think that your DS will really enjoy the Kindermusic classes. I just did the same thing last month and signed up DD2 (19mo) for Music Together. It's her first chance to interact with kids her own age and without her outgoing big sister leading the way. I think she likes it so far, though she's still very reserved in class.
Very cold morning here. After I got up and dressed in three warm layers I had the courage to check the temp. -11* at 10 am, brrr! It was upto -8 by noon so there is no chance I will go grocery shopping today. I hope those of you east of me are are all prepared.
I started my food stamp challenge with a bowl of hot, yummy oarmeal, perfect for such a cold morning. Mid-morning I had a few almonds and I have an enchilada heating for lunch. So far so good.
Spruby-- I read those articles about the congressional members trying to live on food stamps for a week. $21 per week in 2007, demonstrating the need for changes in the food stamp program in the Farm bill in congress. I found it interesting that the congressman didn't make it past midweek. Although I will admit doing this for only a week would be much harder than for a month, there would be no chance of buying even small quantities in bulk. Their experiences must have influenced the bill somewhat since I now have a $28 weekly amount to work with. AZmom--I count money spent as soon as it leaves my hand and budget. I can't let someone else's pokiness influence my budget. Seriously, I think once someone else had the check contractually the money is theirs and therefore spent.