Sunday, November 2, 2008

An almost consumer-free November

Since we were so extravagant with our Halloween spending this year, I thought for the month of November, we'd go as consumer free as we possibly can, just to see how much we can save. This means I'm slashing some categories until December first. I plan to not buy any:

- Clothes (I did buy Dave a pair of shoes today, but that was only because his only pair of work shoes BROKE). (Savings: $130)
- Non-essential household stuff (no antiques, make-up, hair stuff, decorations, Target dollar aisle crap, etc). (Savings $150-$200).
- No eating out. At all. (Savings $150)
- Nothing for the kids. Sorry. Christmas is only a couple months away, so I think we can go a month without buying any more toys/accessories/junk, etc. (Savings $50)
- Nothing in the "other" category. (Savings $50)

Basically, we'll be buying food, booze, movie rentals and gas. I'll be decorating for Thanksgiving with whatever I can find that we already own. I'll put off buying a new coat for another season. I'll buy household stuff, but only CONSUMABLES like shampoo, paper towels and zip lock bags.

My guess is that if we stick to it all month, we can EASILY save $500 to $600, so that's my goal.

There is one MAJOR exception to all these rules and that is my plan to simultaneously get all my Christmas shopping done this month. I'll be posting my shopping lists and budget soon, but I'm hoping I can get it all done before we even enter the crazy month of December. I'm hoping that by thinking it all through and being rational and thoughtful, we can save ourselves from our usual last minute spending spree.

So, necessities ONLY. Christmas shopping. Should be an interesting month!


Anonymous said...

Love that booze is still on the list.

So glad to have found you .. you inspire me!

Alias Mother said...

This actually is probably a great plan, because any urge you have to shop can be channeled towards Christmas. Sometimes when I'm on a really restrained budget (like, um, now) I find the itch to buy something, ANYTHING, gets really strong and takes serious willpower to ignore. I don't know why, but I suspect it is a genetic leftover from the hunting and gathering caveman days.

Anyway, good luck.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like some basic suggestions for making a budget. I don't know where to start. Truthfully, I don't even know exactly how much DH and I make (in the low six figures though, which although it sounds good, is quickly eaten up by our high housing costs and childcare/tuition expenses). I have no idea where to start or what to do. DH came up with a rule that our credit card (which we put pretty much everything on except property taxes, mortgage, nanny, tuition and other things you can't charge) bill should be $3000 or less per month.

I am in awe of your budget and organization but have absolutely NO IDEA where to start, what to prioritize, etc.

I need real help *blush*

Anonymous said...

I just recently found your blog and it couldn't come at a better time. I just recently (I know, I know) started a budget. I am a SAHM to one child. I am trying to figure out what we should plan on spending for Christmas. Typically my husband and I don't exchange gifts. We have to buy for a few gift exchanges (about 4 gifts @ $30 each), plus about $200 towards gifts for parents. What I want to know is what is a reasonable amount to spend on a 4 1/2 year old boy. No big ticket items this year. We are trying to do this without dipping into savings and without any credit card debt. My husband gets one of his bi-annual bonuses next week, so we are hoping to use some (not all) of that for Christmas.

LizP said...

We only buy booze when we go home to CA so it's a once or twice a year thing.

Alison said...

I'm also curious about your Christmas spending. I always feel like we go way overboard, but we have so many people to buy for. Can't wait to see how you do it! :)

Rachel said...

Hey Manda...I found your blog from your facebook page and I'm glad I did. I'm terrible at budgeting, mostly because I make totally unrealistic budgets I can't stick to. But I've decided to study up so we can start in 2009. Any suggestions for good books to read to get an idea of what realistic budget amounts are? I welcome your input.


Megan said...

We came to the collective decision with our family and friends that none of us need anything and the non profits are struggling in the current economy. Therefore we'll be making donations to the charity of choice per our family and friends. This will make shopping so much easier and help those two truly need it this holiday season.

Sara! said...

I'm interested to see how this works out for you too! I'm almost always on a basically consumer free thing- but not usually by choice...such is the life of a student. But can I brag for a second? I'm 3 gifts away from being done with christmas shopping! three!! And I stayed well within buget! The thing I'm most proud of though is that I didn't buy my son a bunch of STUFF that he doesn't need slash won't play with anyway. He's getting a kid friendly camera and swim lessons. period.
Good luck!

Katy, Planet Perspectives said...

We're right there with you on an almost consumer-free November. We took a vow not to spend any money for 2 weeks, starting November 3. We're a week into it, and it hasn't been so bad, and we have saved about $500 - $600! We have saved sooo much because we haven't bought any food at all. Christmas presents still need to be bought, but hopefully we'll set a good budget and find some good deals. I invite anyone who has ideas to let me know at my Planet Perspectives blog - just click on my name. I'll be back to the Naked Ledger to read all about Manda's holiday shopping plans!