We’re on the home stretch of our no-spend month! Just one week left! We maintained our resolve to not spend money on food, entertainment, household items, or anything that isn’t gas or a regular bill. There were some temptations this week though.
It really helps to have all of you as my virtual accountability partners. Accountability was one of my reasons for starting this blog. Knowing that I will be writing about what I do with my money makes me even more conscious of how I handle it. I definitely recommend writing down your goals and telling someone about them.
I nearly fell into temptation twice this week. One time it was without thinking, when I was at home and my guard was down. The other time I was close to making a conscious decision to buy something, blaming it on an unplanned situation. Thankfully I stopped myself both times.
A couple days ago, I saw something on Amazon, that has become my biggest temptation. In fact, I almost ordered one without even thinking about it being a no-spend month. The new 7″ Kindle Fire is only $49! In fact, you can get a “six pack” where the 6th one is free! They are trying to market it as “one for every room in the house,” which is kind of funny to me, but really a fantastic deal.
For our family (we limit media quite a bit), it’s probably too much to get each kid their own device, but thinking about long car trips makes it pretty tempting. I’m thinking we’ll get one for me, one for my husband, and one for the kids to share (we’ll regulate their time on it). We will save them as Christmas presents.
They don’t officially release until September 30th, so waiting until October 1st shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t imagine the price will change before then. In fact, maybe I’ll see if I can earn some Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks in the mean time.
I had to take my littlest in for a weight check this week. At her four month appointment, her weight had fallen way off her normal curve (which is somewhere in the 90th percentile). The good news was her weight jumped way back to where it should be on her normal curve (instead of just correcting itself to somewhere in between). I really didn’t do much different since I just nurse her on demand anyway.
The bad news was that she has a rather bad ear infection. I had no idea, though her poor sleeping lately should have clued me in. I had them send her antibiotics prescription to the store across the street, which is most convenient, but it also meant that I had thirty minutes of browsing while I waited. Ugh. Not what I wanted to do during a no-spend month.
In my browsing time, I did a little product research on some things that are on my future “to buy” list. Then I remembered that there were some free Shopmium rebates (and some that were free after referral credit) that I could also take advantage of!
Side note about Shopmium: What I love about Shopmium is that your rebates are credited to your PayPal account within a day or two, unlike other cash back companies where you have to accrue a certain minimum before you’ll get your money. When you sign up on your smartphone and enter my code FKEEYMRJ, you’ll get a free Lindt chocolate bar.
I mentioned in my newsletter that we’ve been busy with a lot of fun activities this week. We went to the Circus on Friday– our first time ever! I got the tickets free with referral credit I had on Living Social. The kids were tempted to buy things while we were there (especially the three-year-old), but I sure wasn’t. It would be pretty hard to tempt me with a lemonade that costs $7 or a big balloon for $3. In fact I was pretty surprised at how many parents do shell out the big bucks for all the extras. Clearly I’m sheltered in my own frugal world. On Saturday we got together with friends for a very fun activity. I’ll be sharing more on it later.
We’ve been down to powdered milk for the past week. The kids and husband are troopers and never seem to mind (or notice) the difference. I’m the one who is not a big fan.
There are a couple things you can do to improve the taste of powdered milk. Since the kids don’t mind it, I usually don’t do these anymore, but for those of you who are having a hard time selling powdered milk to your family, here are a couple tips:
- Add a pinch of sugar. Yes, sugar. I’m talking like no more than a tablespoon. We’re not making Kool-Aid here.
- Add a splash of vanilla.
- Serve it very cold. One of the biggest turnoffs for me is that freshly mixed powdered milk is never cold enough.
With a couple of tweaks your family might be able to drink powdered milk without any complaints. For cooking and baking, they’ll never know the difference.
How About You?
- What spending temptations did you face this week?
- How are you doing on your challenge this month?
- Does your family like powdered milk?
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Linda Smith says
I don’t find powdered milk to be cheaper than fresh – good to have as a back up tho, when you run out of fresh. Our milk in Idaho is $2.00/gal but my daughter in Mississippi says hers is nearly $4.00! Their gas is under $2.00/gal and ours is still $2.77 so I guess it evens out. lol
Powdered milk isn’t very much cheaper, but it stores well. We haven’t bought any for years, but we have it in our food storage, so that’s what we use when we run out or have a no-spend month. When we do buy it we buy it in bulk, which does make it cheaper than what you would find at a regular grocery store.
Oh my, I’m so glad to have found your blog! We are doing our FIRST no-spend month and are on day 23 as well, one week to go!
We’ve also done fairly well these past 3 weeks, avoiding a LOT of temptations and really learning how easy it is to run out of a coffee or nip into the store for X thing (which always becomes X Y and Z things too!). We are out of dairy, and have been for a week now and are finding ourselves surprised at how much food is offered to us through various events, from birthday parties to snacks with friends while visiting. We have been blessed in so many ways by our community and I’m beginning to wonder if we can make it a no-spend TWO months, with the exception of purchasing dairy and meat in October. We still have so much to consume!!!
You’re doing great! Doing two months of no-spend is ambitious, but you can totally do it! 🙂
Stephanie, A couple of Halloween costume ideas for a family of six: each of you could be one side of a dice; different colored crayons; a litter of kittens… As always thank you for such good advise and keeping me motivated.
Thanks for the ideas Annie! 🙂 Different colored crayons was one that we had thought of– my husband and I did that our first year that we were married!
It’s an interesting idea to have a no spend month – I probably will not be able to do it but I definitely admire all the planning and execution. One thing I agree with is that making your plans/goals known to the public definitely helps you achieve it. Good luck! BTW, I love your blog – I will come back and look for updates!
Yes, public accountability definitely helps! 🙂
I had budgeted 27.50 for groceries for this no-spend month. This was made up of two grocery store rewards gift cards plus a bottle return receipt……well I’ve spent $43.61 over that budget. The good news is that is A LOT less than we normally spend.
I discovered an interesting Cost of Living site which is updated quarterly. https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/index.stm
Connecticut has the second highest grocery costs in the USA – only Hawaii is higher. Yes it is more expensive to eat in CT than Alaska! This doesn’t really make me feel better but it helps to explain the overspending.
I’m listening to the extremely quiet sound of my new dishwasher 🙂 Mostly paid for out of the no spend month’s proceeds!
I had no idea CT was so expensive! Yikes Libby! Going from the Midwest to California was a big shock for me!
Just a comment on Kindles and Freetime, since each of our kids got one before our 11 day, 35 hour road trip this summer. Freetime is awesome when you have access to wi-fi. If you want to use them in the car you have to download each individual game or book that you want them to use, and they can’t watch the Freetime videos without wi-fi. This caught me off guard, and I spent our first hotel night frantically downloading as much as possible. The parental guards are awesome–you can set time limits for apps, videos, and books that are all separate, and you can also blackout times (like can’t be used before 6 am and after 6 pm). For home it is great, but for the car it wasn’t as awesome as I thought. You could use hotspot access with your phone, but with my phone I can’t hotspot and have GPS on at the same time. Love your blog, btw:) I am jealous at the speed you are paying down your law school loans. It feels like ours will be around forever!
Thanks for the heads-up Cynthia! That’s good to know! Are the parental guards something that comes specifically with freetime or can you download something separately to get those? I haven’t looked into it yet, I’ve just heard that there are good ways to keep the kids’ usage under control. 🙂
I do have a question on your no spend months. What do you do about fresh produce? I’d love to do one, but at our house we can’t live without our fresh produce. I was wondering if you had any tips. Thanks!
Hi Emily! We like fresh produce too! We get some fresh produce from our garden. Right now we’ve got more than enough summer squash, tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, grapes, and watermelon.
Also, at the end of last month (knowing we were doing a no-spend September) we bought LOTS of apples, bananas, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, carrots and celery. We just ran out of apples today. I keep them in the fridge and they last a long time. We just finished off the lettuce yesterday. Now that we’re low on fresh fruit for lunches (I normally cut apples for lunches for my kids and husband), we’ll have applesauce instead. We also have lots of frozen fruit for smoothies too. We have bottled fruit too. Fresh fruit will be at the top of our list in October (though we still have watermelon and grapes)!
We are doing a no-spend month as well Emily and have found that although WE don’t have a garden, several of our friends sure do and are more than happy to trade produce for other things they may need – we keep chickens and eggs for produce is a great barter! We also operate an exchange group/community of Facebook for our area and many MANY families have produce to spare that would otherwise go bad, we have been trading up a storm and eating more swiss chard, kale, tomatos and apples than I’ve ever seen in our fridge before!
Way to go Sarah-Mae! That is awesome that you can barter and trade for produce! It saves money, prevents waste, and is a great way to make friends!
Well thank goodness I didn’t make September a no spend month, so I ordered a kindle for my daughter for Christmas. I did, however, not pay for anything extra that they offered before confirming the order. They wanted $19.99 for the extra microSD card with 32 GB of storage, but a quick search on the internet and I can find that for less elsewhere.
I hope you get affiliate $$ for my purchase. I also bought a Republican Wireless phone for my husband last year on your advice.
Good move Susan! I never buy the bundled extras that are so conveniently offered with purchases like electronics. A sincere thanks for using my affiliate link. 🙂
I don’t really have a comment on powdered milk. Other than that I really really don’t like it. My temptation is a new sewing machine. My last machine broke beyond fixing, one of the hazards of buying the cheapest ones albeit I used it for 12 years. Of course, I now desperately want to sew or even in some cases need one. But not right now.
One comment on the kindle for kids. Freetime makes the kindle very easy to limit what you don’t want them to see. Freetime Unlimited is a program that they don’t really advertise. It is a subscription service where for a few dollars a month they provide the content. Now don’t get me wrong- I do realize I am spending $2.99 per month! But it is like a library ever updating itself! The content is game apps, books, and videos. You can block the ones that you really don’t like, which for me is Power Rangers and Spongebob! I find it very handy.
I’ll have to look at Freetime Kelly. I also want to install something that limits the kids time and just logs them off when their time is up so I don’t have to referee the screen time and keep hearing “Just a minute! I just need to do one more thing!”
Liz S says
Can you ladies imagine how rich we would be if we got a penny for every time we heard those words? And so funny how just one minute then demands just one more, and just one more, lol
Ooo! Could I also get a penny for every “It’s not fair” and “It’s not my fault” too!? 🙂