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January 1

January 2nd, 2018 at 05:07 am

I am personally not into the "no spend" month thing. I think balance is delicate and I don't see messing with the delicate balance we have achieved with our finances. Just to say why I usually sit these things out. (I could just see having a no spend month and then going hog wild the next month, and generally feeling out of whack).

That's copy and pasted from the last no spend challenge. Not sure what it is, but I way prefer the uber frugal challenge. I really like Frugalwoods, and her challenge make more sense to me. I was never a fan of the no spend challenges, in contrast. Whereas I enjoyed the blog entries during the last UFM.

That said, I still personally feel the same way about my own participation. It's been a while since I have done any spending tracking in my blog, and I will participate in that way. But I don't have any motivation to cut back our spending at all. I will just be listing daily spending.

I feel that we are infinitely more lax in our finances these days (our household W2 income was up 6% last year, or about 6% higher than it's ever been!), but we are also still very frugal and mindful of our spending. Considering the mountain of gift cards we have and MH's free movie schemes, I don't see why we would spend much this month.

January 1:
-0- Spending
Dinner: Chicken Satay, brussel sprouts
+ fresh baked chocolate chip cookies

I did book a hotel stay today. MH wanted to get away for his birthday. He didn't say this specifically, but was longing for some time away, though we had probably otherwise discussed that we had put his parents out enough with our Europe trip last summer. Anyway, it was too last minute to get a free timeshare stay anywhere we'd want to go. I found a hotel near Napa $100/night with a kitchen/suite. It's so reasonable because it's outside of Napa. It's possible that we will be able to cancel this reservation; MIL is trying to get the place we usually stay in Napa. That place was $700 for the weekend if we booked on our own. HA! The place we ended up with is a Hilton property with similar accommodations. It won't be so picturesque or "new and shiny", but that's okay. We just wanted something with a kitchen where we can mostly hole up inside and relax. Is only 10 miles from where we usually stay in Napa. Anyway, it was $0 to reserve, and I will cross my fingers that I can exchange this reservation for a free room.

Now that MH is off work, we are going to plan a Friday lunch at Ruth Christ Steakhouse. I have a gift card, but they are only open for lunch on Fridays. That will be our other planned big "splurge" for the month.

7 Responses to “January 1”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    The truth is a no spend is NEVER no spend. There are still bills to be paid, food to buy, and needs to purchase. Many of us here are likely already frugal, so I see your point that it wouldn't change much. I do think for those desiring to save more or pay down debt, or even change to more frugal spending habits these types of challenges can be helpful. Some may go back to their old hog wild spending days, thus it meant nothing, but those that use the challenge to spend less for a month to put that money towards debt or more to savings are the real winners of these types of challenges.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    @ccfree - I was just speaking for myself. My finances would get out of whack if I went to any extreme. I feel balance is very delicate, and I wouldn't do anything that would intentionally knock it off kilter. Just to be clear I am only referring to myself. If I cut back any further I know I would feel deprived, which would just probably mean I'd spend more in the long run. Which is not helpful to me at all.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I do understand you are saying it isn't for you. Smile

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    I just wanted to be really clear that when I said "hog wild" I Was talking about myself. Big Grin

  5. snafu Says:

    When I 1st tried the 'no spend thing' a few years ago, I genuinely believed I wasn't an 'impulse' shopper. Oops, the discipline of 'no spend' days was an eye opener. The unanticipated benefit for me was better allocation of time. I'm doing better with self discipline. It's fallen into a routine, certain days are 'shop/expense' due dates controlled by vendors like utilities. I can manipulate my time to run errands, shop off my list, monthly/bi monthly to discount/liquidator for equipment, detergent, items where brand doesn't matter and Dollar Store in the same strip mall. If I forget an item on my list, it just waits or requires me to think out a temporary substitute.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Napa sounds like a fun birthday get away!

  7. creditcardfree Says:

    snafu, that is what I find too. I'm not as quite to run to the store for an extra item (which can involve more than the item sometimes) and try to make due. It's really just more of an awareness exercise!

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