Tuesday, August 02, 2011

No Spend Month

I've been reading a variety of new-to-me blogs on a variety of topics. I've gotten inspiration and great ideas for uncluttering my life, focusing my priorities, warming up my home, firming up my finances and bettering my blogs.

One of my new faves is Small Notebook by Rachel Meeks. She's a warm and engaging writer. Each year in July, she and her family have a No Spend Month. They set a total dollar limit on what they will spend on flexible discretionary non-bill items like food, entertainment, gas, household necessities and the like. The idea behind it is to take a break from the consumer mentality, lessen their "desire to acquire", and ultimately keep the finances in-check.

During this time they do not go out to eat (she says letting friends pay is cheating), think of free/cheap ways to entertain themselves, consolidate errands, put off non-essential purchases and look around the house to use (up) what they already have.

Rod and I have decided to make this month (August) our own No Spend Month, taking after Rachel's idea.  It's more like Low Spend Month.  You still need to get some fresh food, gas and other essentials, of course!

We won't do it with cash as Rachel and her husband did it, but will keep a receipt tally instead so everything still gets electronically registered through our bank and into our YNAB (You Need A Budget) program.  

Since this is new to us, we'll see if we can cap it at $200, as Rachel and her husband did the first time in 2007. They raised it to $250 in subsequent years because of gas price hikes.  I believe she said they decided not to do it this year because they felt they had already retrained themselves so well.

I'll try to give updates on how it goes/went, and if there are any "take aways" from our experience.

Have you ever done something like No Spend Month?
What did you think of Small Notebook?

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