Monday, January 27, 2014

No Spend: Week Three In Review

Hi Everyone.  I'm here to tell you how the most-difficult-week-of-my-life went.  Ok, I'm being a little over dramatic but it was no walk in the park.  It seems the 3rd week of our "No Spend" challenge has proved once again to be the most challenging.

Let me you remind you once again what our "No Spend" challenge is all about:  After a month of holiday spending, my hubby and I are taking the month of January to get our finances back on track and have officially made January a "No Spend" month.  This means we gave ourselves a $200 budget for the ENTIRE month which includes all expenses (excluding gas for our vehicles and normal bills like our mortgage).

We started out the week by going to our favorite restaurant, Culver's.  We did pretty good here, for the three of us that ate, we managed to keep our bill at $10 with coupons.  We used a gift card to pay for night for us!  Woohoo.  All three of us also managed to get free custard with some vouchers we had saved from previous visits (although I'm still bitter I had to share mine with the baby, for as much as that kid can eat, I have no idea how he is only the 10th percentile).  Double score, free custard!  While we did really good this night, this trip seemed to open the gates to other spending.  Spending we weren't so good with: like the online stamp purchase at Papertrey Ink (yeah, weak willpower on their release night), a splurge trip to TJ Max that resulted in me walking out with alcohol artist markers (that were a good deal but I still should have skipped this deal), and another night out for dinner at McDonald's.

Ugh, it was a looooong week.  I chalk it up to the fact that I worked a lot of hours (you know, at my real full time job) and coupled with really crummy weather, weak willpower, and self talk that kept telling me, "I earned it", I just gave in.

There were some bright spots this week.  My oldest son (5) was invited to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and we managed to buy all the above for $25 as a gift for the birthday girl.  Count it, that's four canvases, 10 bottles of acrylic paint, and 10 paintbrushes.  Great deal, right?  The canvases were all half off. Even better, I used a gift card so nothing came out of our bank account.  I love this gift.  It is so hard to find nice gifts that are not over commercialized, I thought this was the perfect gift for a budding artista (and my son's future wife).

I made this card to go with the gift.  I love making cards that fit the theme of the gift, it makes for such a nice little touch.  It tells the recipient that you put some time and thought into the gift that you just gave to them.

I think our gift was a hit and it is hopefully coming in handy right now on these bitterly cold days (-40 degrees with the windchill, even for Wisconsin, that's cold).  

Well even though that week didn't turn out the way I had hoped, we are not giving up.  We're still sticking to our "No Spend" challenge.  With a 10 day stretch to go, I'm feeling pessimistic that we will make our goal, but hey, even if we don't, we're still walking away winners.  

Here is a summary of our spending this week:

$22.58   Papertrey Ink purchase
$7.37     Groceries (rice and frozen strawberries)
$.16       Lunch @ Noodles (free voucher)
$16.67  30 pack of artist alcohol blending markers (was $30 but I used a $15 gift card)
$10.56  groceries (apples, milk, and butter)
$10.68  Dinner at McDonald's
$68.02  Ouch!  

I'll be back later this week with a recipe that will not only save you a few bucks at the grocery store but will knock your socks off with how delicious it is:  Homemade Yogurt.


  1. Hey meh, I've been following your blog for almost 6 months now without leaving any comment so I decided to quickly say hi today.
    Regards, Daniel from