Thursday, December 8, 2011

My 1 Month, $0 Budget challenge (V2.0) starting January 2012 - Want to do it with me?

As you know, last March my husband and I made a decision to not spend any money on non-essential items. As I said then, March became our 'spend free' month....a moneyatorium month...a spending moratorium month. We didn't allow ourselves or our kids to spend money on anything other than what was absolutely necessary.  We could buy fresh produce and other essential food items but could not buy any meat or frozen veggies until all we had in the freezer was used up. We weren't/aren't having financial troubles; we were just shocked at how much we spend! We took a serious look at our spending habits and realized we needed to step back and re-evaluate what we needed to spend money on. See the full post here.
March's spend free month produced amazing results for us as home owners and parents. I spent days purging everything from my linen closet and kids clothes to crafting materials that I knew I would never use. We spend weekends as a family playing games and not rushing around a store. We gave more to charity in that month than we did in the entire year and we felt amazing for it.

Well, as this Christmas season is rapidly approaching and our credit card bill is even more rapidly growing, I feel I need to do this spend free month again. I thought January would be a good month because by the time our credit card bills arrive mid month, I will already by well into the month and I will be saving money. I won't feel quite as bad when I open those envelopes.

After receiving a very nice note from Mother Hen Strikes Again (who is also doing this in January), I thought this might be something we could all do together. Who doesn't love the support of thousands of strangers to get through a month of not spending?
What I am proposing is a month long challenge where we all vow to not spend money on non-essential items. No crafting supplies, no home decor, no clothes...nothing you cannot literally live without. If you are interested, I would host a party once a week and we can share with each other what we made, accomplished or any other thing we feel the others would benefit from. What do you think? Is anyone out there interested in participating in this? Please leave a comment a tell me what you think.

Now, do we all go out and stock up on crafting items (like hot glue sticks, modpodge, etc.) in the month of December in order to have enough for your spend free month...no. That really defeats the purpose of the spend free month. However, if you do, we will not judge. We are trying to support each other and help everyone out with saving a few dollars after Christmas.

I am sure many of you are just like me and have stashes of stuff all over your house. I think my first post will be photographs all my crafting materials to share with you how much crap stuff I have hoarded.Here are some photos from last year. I can guarantee this years will not be any better.
 I don't need ANY wood!
Fabric? I have three huge tubs of it..just in case I ever want to sew something.
 Spray paint anyone??? The worse part is, they are three deep!
Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions. I would love to hear your feedback and whether or not you would like to participate.

I hope some of you out there will participate and we can motivate each other!

Have a great Thursday everyone and I will have some cute ornament posts tomorrow.
Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas

55 comments:

  1. I think it's a great idea! My husband and I were just discussing how we needed to find a way to really purge our budget-I'm totally in!

    Kari
    Newlyweds on a Budget
    www.morganandkari.com

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  2. I'm in, my husband plans on quitting his job and we need to start cuttign back.

    Felicia
    (Stareifyou must)

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  3. I'm in! Two trips to Phoenix (from Georgia) in Feb and March... I have reasons to save!

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  4. I'm on the fence because we have a lot going on in Janaury and I'm pretty sure this idea will stress my husband out to no end. Def considering it though.

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  5. I'm in too. We have not used a credit card for the last 3 months. We would make a payment but then put that much back on the card and then some, so we said no, no, credit card. We are watching our account closely by the end of the month we are keeping our fingers crossed that nothing unexpected comes through, not spending at all would probably alleviate that scare all together.

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  6. I will as long as I can get an exception for a birthday party!!!!! My daughter's B-day is the 31st!!!!!!

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  7. I will!!! Times are REALLY tough here. I am a single mom with triplet grandbabies due this spring!!! I guarantee I don't need to buy anything...and also guarantee I can't afford to. I have already planned to start and will get people at work to join in! :)

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  8. I would love to do this and I know my husband will jump on board. Hubby is now officially "self employed" he has been out of work for over a year . I am a stay at home mom with 4 teenagers still at home. Saving is always a need around here.
    Can't wait to hear what and how everyone is doing.
    Glenna

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  9. I love it, what a great idea... for nothing else then a big ol' purge!
    I am in!!!

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  10. wow....this challenge is such a blessing. I am definitely in. Husband out of work, no insurance, 18 month old...the list of reasons to do this can go on and on.

    Thank you. This is an amazing idea. I am in, but I hope I can do this. Unfortunately, I am not the voice of financial reason in our family and do end up being the one spending more money than my husband.

    I am really going to need help doing this.

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  11. I am with you!! I like L2L need two exceptions I have 2 birthday parties for 2 of my kids. Otherwise, I am in!! My hubby is taking on a new job that we are totally excited about but it is a paycut so we need to really tighten the reigns. This will be a great!!

    Thank you!

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  12. Count me in!! Outside of the mortgage and regular bills and only the essential groceries and gas to get to work and back... no other expenses!!

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  13. I want in! meganturner06@yahoo.com

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  14. I am in, but begging an exception clause for my son's 10th birthday that we will celebrate the 3rd week of January.

    However, even with that I will draw up a plan that significantly cuts back on what we would normally do (food and presents) and pledge to instead devise ways to throw him a fun but (unbeknownst to him) frugal party.

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  15. I'm in. Crafts are my downfall. I have plenty of projects to finish without shopping any more. My only splurge prior is glue/tape. I already have those planned as I am OUT!

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  16. I'm definitely going to join you in this! Having the support of others, AND posting it on my blog for all to see should help make it easier to stick to!

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  17. I'm on board, this sounds like a great idea. I was planning to take a fresh look at my finances the 1st of the year and this is definitely a great start! I also starting going through stuff in last few weeks, getting rid of things I know I'll never us, but I’ve still got plenty to de clutter. I have to admit...not buying scrapbooking crafts is going to be the hardest for me!!!

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  18. I'm in! I am planning to make a lot of changes this coming year and this is a great way to start!
    I can host a party if you need :)
    I'm so excited not to spend anything!

    Kari @ The Sunset Lane

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  19. How do you host a party?
    -Kristen

    woodenflute (at) yahoooooooo (dot) com
    :)
    (I'm interested, just a tad naive but I have some ideas already!)

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  20. We're moving house in January which could prove ..urm...interesting when coupled with a no spend month...ah let's go for it....I'm in! xx

    www.handmadebymrsh.blogspot.com

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  21. I'm in. I need all my money for gas. Driving all over town to get my 2 kids where they need to go as I attend school full time will cost enough.

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  22. I just found you via pinterest...and have to say that I did this last year (Jan. 2011) and we were also so surprised at how much we were spending - and when we weren't spending we were almost giddy with how much *more* was in our bank! We are actually planning on doing this again this year...but are going to be pulling out the big guns and are going to attempt, gulp, to do this for the year. We're not doing any vacations, no extra clothes, home decor, etc. Of course, we'll have to buy more than just produce, but we're going to be cutting way back. We want to see if we can do it. My husband and I feel excited about the challenge...because it WILL be a challenge. I'll be checking back here for some ideas and motivation. :)

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  23. Count me in. I am by nature a frugal person, but it is amazing how the little "inexpensive" things can still add up. We are deperately trying to be completely debt free, including our house, in 10 years or less so these types of spend free months are totally necessary! Thanks for the idea.

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  24. What a great idea! We do not have financial issues, but have no reason to really buy anything not necessary either. With December being a gift giving & receiving month...what better way to spend January then to take the time to really appreciate your new gifts and take time to thank those that thought of you and gave you a gift.

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  25. That is a great idea! I decided to do handmade gifts this year for the kids. We just have too many toys and clothes. January would be a great month for me to try this.

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  26. Count me in! No more fabric purchases whatsoever! I am a divorced single woman who is retired and living only on my pensions. So this is a good chance for me to get ahead a bit. Great idea!

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  27. I'm in! We are struggling financially, so this would be a great time to get creative with everything in our home. Guess I better stock up the freezer now ;)

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  28. Woohoo! I can't wait to use up all the stuff I've got in my craft bags and boxes! Will be linking up to this post soon. I'm in the middle of several Xmas hampers and things at the moment and a teething baby! Good luck for January everyone. Happy Christmas xxc

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  29. I am totally in!! 3 kids 3 and under means I'm always looking for ways to save and new, fun craft ideas. I just don't have much of a 'starter area' for crafts.

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  30. Ok, so I totally need to do this...especially with craft stuff! I know that I need to stop buying new craft supplies until all projects are finished.

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  31. im in...hubbys wallet will be glad if I stay out of hobby lobby for a few weeks :)

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  32. I am in!! I have so much stuff!!! We are not having any financial issues but we sure do spend tooooooo much!! hubby will be glad to see some of this clutter go by by!!

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  33. I've blogged about this now, see here http://motherhenstrikesagain.blogspot.com/2011/12/january-000-spend-challenge.html xxx

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  34. I'm in, I think this will be a great challenge to start 2012 with. Life gets so hectic I think this will be a great way to spend a month. Although I reserve the right to window shop. Exciting.

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  35. I'm new to blogging and have limited knowledge in the correct way to link or share the work of others on my own blog (as sparse as it is). I clicked on your "Blog This!". Please advise me if I need to change anything.

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  36. I think it's a great idea. I loved it the first time and can't wait to see it again!

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  37. Awesome - I was just thinking about doing this for the new year. Financial hardships have hit us hard this year - and while I have so many plans for the house and crafts and organizing and...well, you get the idea...I need to just do it. Count me in!!

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  38. I'm in. We are newly retired and disposable income is way down. It will be easier knowing that there are others out there doing the same thing. Misery loves company?????

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  39. Sounds like a great idea...we just had our first child in March and after his 1st Christmas we have so many toys we don't know what to do with them. We are HUGE Dave Ramey followers and anyway to save $$ is a great idea for me.

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  40. I'm in. completely purging, rearranging, and decorating this month. And $0 income with husband out of work for the last 6 months from a horseback riding accident, at least 8 more before he can work again. Maybe I can even sell extra stuff instead of donating it all. Good luck everyone!!!

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  41. I'm in. completely purging, rearranging, and decorating this month. And $0 income with husband out of work for the last 6 months from a horseback riding accident, at least 8 more before he can work again. Maybe I can even sell extra stuff instead of donating it all. Good luck everyone!!!

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  42. I am all for this!! ;) Ready for the challenge! :)

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  43. This Is perfect! I'm a grown up girl that has loved bargins for years and has plenty! Craft supplies, gifts, invites, Christmas, decor. You name it. I've got it! Too much! We made a move mid June 2010 and our garage is still full of boxes. Unpacking and and sorting trash from treasure was already a new year priority, so your $0 budget challenge will 'dove tail ' nicely. I can hardly wait! Thanks for turning my mess into fun! I thank God, in advance, for the lessons I will learn and the discipline that will develop! The best is yet to come!

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  44. I would very much like to do this, in my case for financial reasons. It will be hard to do this in every aspect of life, because my husband doesn't seem to ever get on board with me on this type of thing, and I tend to say "OK, I just scrapbooked a dozen or so layouts with stash, now I need to get over to the store and find some special papers for just one." Maybe this challenge would help me push that a little farther, into February

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  45. I'm in for sure and will be blogging about it. I've already started a list of projects and chores I can do without spending a penny. We've also got a full size freezer full of foods that I can plan menus around. I'm so ready!

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  46. I posted it to my 9000 member Yahoogroup so you might get lots of people doing it. Thanks for leading the way. So sensible. "Use it up , wear it out, make it do, or do without!" Depression era saying that still works today. :D Bravo.
    Kathy Aho
    moderator of ScrappersChallenge Yahoogroup

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  47. I'm doing this and started blogging about it today! :)

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  48. Yesterday was only the first day, and I almost caved without even realizing it. We were out of Coke, although we had several other varieties of soda in the fridge. My husband, knowing how much I like Coke, offered to go to the store and get some. No, No, No ... I can live without Coke, really I can.

    How are others remembering to break those little sabotaging money-spending habits we don't even consciously think about?

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  49. I'm in. Sorta.

    I vow to only spend $20 a week ALL INCLUSIVE. That means even my essentials can only cost $20.

    http://themoney-pit.blogspot.com/2012/01/could-you-survive-on-20week.html

    Wish me luck! Yikes!

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  50. I'm late for January but I'm going to do this for Feb! Great idea!

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  51. I'm in! I know it's already the 15th but if I can make it to the end of January maybe I can do it all of February too! My family definitely NEEDS to do this!

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  52. OMG!!! I just found this and was getting excited until I realized this was from last year. How did it go? I definitely need to do something like this. Time to get a handle on spending.

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