Wednesday, February 26, 2014

End of No Spend January

Whew, January was a long month!  I am so grateful that it is over.  Our family did really well at the beginning of the month.  I was determined to stay within the $150.00 grocery budget for our family of 7.  By mid month, we were holding on with only having spent about $70.00.  Not bad... less than half our budget at the half way point.  But things got really hard during the last week of the month.

I will say that I did go over the $150.00 budget.  I am not exactly sure how much we went over but that last week really got me. I probably spent just over $200.00 on groceries for the month.  One of the reasons for going over the budget is that I ended up having to buy baby food.  I just assumed that the baby would eat regular foods and many of them she would not.  I probably spent about $25.00 alone on baby food.  I didn't realize how much it cost and that she would be eating so much.  But at 53 cents a jar, and 3 to 4 jars a day, it adds up. 

While we went over our projected food budget, I am happy to say that we did NOT spend money on eating out or on anything else that was not a fixed expense (such as rent, utilities, insurances).

Until this challenge, I never realized how easy it was for me to just buy something because I wanted it or it was there.  If I wanted to purchase something to do a project or organize an area of the house, I would just buy it.  If someone needed something such as new socks or underwear, I'd go to the store and get it. While some of those things may have been needed, they were not emergencies that needed to be purchased right away and could wait.

I'll admit that I really do LOVE a good sale and the after Christmas sales were really hard for me because by the time January rolled around, Christmas clearance was over 75% at most places.  One of the pitfalls of watching people post on Facebook is knowing what I was missing. 

For me to stay true to my No Spend January, I need to avoid going any place that I might be tempted to spend money.  I did not make any unnecessary trips to stores and even sent my husband to do some shopping for me.

I am blessed beyond measure and this month of no spending reminded me how blessed I am. 

Some of you have asked if it was worth it....YES!!! And I think I will do it again another month this year!.  Sometimes when we deprive ourselves, we realize that we didn't really need that item anyway or that we can take what we would normally buy ourselves and bless someone else.   This happened to me in January too! While I won't go into detail, I was able to use the money I didn't spend on myself to help someone else.

Was it hard?  YES!!  It took discipline not to eat out, run to the Dollar Tree for a measly little item or throw extra stuff in the shopping cart that I didn't NEED. F you remember my starting post, I have quite a stocked pantry as it is.   I learned that I can live without some things. I can spend less and still have my basic needs met. I can give and bless others instead of filing my pockets with more.

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