Thirty-One Day No Spending Challenge Finale

This is a couple of days late…I blame having a real job 😉 Anyway, I just wanted to recap and state that March was a long month. There were FIVE weekends which made this challenge even more difficult. We played a bit of tennis, took walks and read books. It was a very rewarding, albeit boring, month. We saved an additional $659 over what we already put into savings each month! So I would call March a success! We are happy to be able to go out with friends again though! We would like to say thanks to everyone who put up with us through this as it was a bit aggravating at times! The thing we realized most about all of the cooking and staying at home is how much we ran the dishwasher! We usually run it about 2x per week. During March we ran it every other day which is a bit much with two people!

Would I ever do it again?….probably not! Not eating out for a month is pretty restrictive. After a busy day at work sometimes cooking is the last thing I want to do, so it is nice to have the option to go out to eat or to pick something up! I will still cook the majority of the meals we eat but convenience is key sometimes! Giving up shopping was easier(although I still missed it) because we live in such a small town that doesn’t really have any shopping temptation anyway! 
We’re already enjoying April and cannot wait to get back to some fun and frugal activities!

March No Spending Challenge

Tomorrow is the last day of the month! March is upon us and I wanted to share with you that the Arnold’s are going to be spending our time knee deep in a savings challenge that we are bringing upon ourselves. Last year was a crazy expensive year with our wedding, honeymoon to the Dominican Republic, Disney trip and Vegas trip. Do I regret one dime from any of it? NO! But I do wish we had the chance to save more in 2013. However, we are rectifying that in 2014 and have already made strides to put away a lot in the last two months, but in March I want to really reach and see what we can do.

In all, for a young married couple, we are pretty frugal when it comes to purchases and our spending but the eating out has gotten out of control. It’s so easy after a long day to just go out or pick something up on the way home but as much as I love to cook I have no excuse not to whip up something easy even when I get home after work. I also love using the crock-pot so that would be an easy set it and forget it, no excuse way to cook. Last month I set an eating out budget and we more than doubled it. That’s when I first knew something had to give. Around that same time while chatting with a friend she had informed me that she and her husband had done the 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero Challenge which I had never heard of before. She revealed that they had saved quite a bit and her husband even lost 10 lbs just from not eating out! Now I am not expecting to lose 10 lbs but it is true for me that when I eat at home I tend to eat much healthier.

As for Mike and I, we will be participating in the challenge with a little modifications such as having a small budget set aside for a movie night(tickets only) as Divergent comes out in theaters and I am not willing to wait to see it. I know this goes against the plan but you cannot deprive yourself of everything or you will binge later and I plan to spend the money out of my personal fun money so that nothing leaves out joint account. So here is an outline of what we are considering as Essential and Non-Essential for us. Those things may mean different things to you but for us they mean exactly how ‘bare-bones’ can we live for the month. Also, by doing that we will appreciate all of the blessings we have and learn how to fully love what we already possess.

Would you ever take on a no spending/saving challenge? The hardest thing for me will be when I see a good deal and have to pass it up but I know the reward will be far greater if I just say NO! Also this will force us to get out there and see what our community has to offer at no cost. We can head out to the wildlife refuge for a hike or take a long walk around campus. There are always things we can find that cost nothing at all we just have to be open minded about it!