Friday, November 21, 2008

Update on Consumer-Free November

Sorry for the huge lapse in posting! I swear I haven't forgotten this blog! In fact, it's quite the opposite, so expect a bigger better Naked Ledger sometime soon.

It turns out we're doing really well with our plan to just stop spending money this month. Here's the damage, by category, as of today:

Booze $100, spent $168
Clothes $200, spent ($68)
Dining out $150, spent $14
Entertainment $100, spent $71
Food $700, spent $547
Gas $350, spent $196
Household $300, spent $131
Kids $50, spent $0
Other $50, spent $0

Total Budget $2000, Total Spent $1,059

I can't remember a month when we've done THIS well. Of course, we DID go over budget on booze, but let's be honest, this was NOVEMBER 2008, the month containing the most critical election in my lifetime. I'm sure we aren't the only ones who drank a little extra (either in celebration or to drown some sorrows). We actually bought a couple of bottles of nicer liquor for our Election Night sleepover and that right there was $70, so it explains our overage. Booze is spendy in Washington.

I think the big thing I'm noticing is that I don't even WANT to be spending money right now. The simple act of just making up my mind not to spend was all it took to curb my desire for stuff and things. Sure, the Christmas aisles at Target are bursting at the seams with shiny pretty things (like mercury glass, gah!), but since I know I'm NOT buying anything, nothing calls my name when I walk by. I wish I could say the same thing for dining out, but I am REALLY itching for a date night with Dave. I've been trying to perk up our weekly menus with more exciting fare, but still, a night out sans kids is pretty much a requirement for us. I think this weekend we'll go out to a movie together since there's no way I can wait until December to see Twilight.

I should note that we HAVE still been contributing to the economy this month. Dave and I both did our bonus spending and I'm typing this entry from my new MacBook ($1200 after discount and sales tax). Dave ended up spending a good chunk of money at the gun store, which was sadly unavoidable given the massive run up on guns before and after the election. It was basically buy now or forever hold his peace. I'm just glad that we were able to contain our regular monthly spending, so the only hits our savings account took were the ones we had saved for and anticipated. That's what good financial planning is all about.


Leticia said...

I think here's one more way in which Twilight contributed to your life -- engrossing so much of your life that you were able to be more successful at your November Challenge. :o) Hee! Make sure to post reviews about the movie.

Anonymous said...

You are such an encouragement ... now, will you come to my house and sit with me during December so that I can mimic your November challenge?

Sigh ... I have the best of intentions!

Jimmie said...

What about Thanksgiving coming up? Are you going to be shelling out $$ to entertain and host a big dinner? (I'm not trying to be obnoxious, promise! Just wondering if it will throw your good progress out of whack since it's in November and I know that can get pretty spendy!)

livingmyrichlife said...

Congratulations. That's quite an achievement. I don't think I've ever come in under budget like that and this month is going to hurt with unexpected car repairs and a roadtrip with visiting relatives.

Mandajuice said...

Leticia - Ha! I'll remind my husband of that. Maybe he'll forgive me for ignoring him for a week!

Naomi - I've decided to continue my non-spending into December as well, so I'll just hold your hand from afar.

Jimmie - Thanksgiving should be mostly just groceries. I've got plenty of food left to stretch me until then, so I should be fine. My MIL always buys the turkey, so I'm guessing the rest will be around $100. Maybe I'll even stay under my grocery budget for the month? (I'm only having my parents here, so I'm not hosting a huge dinner anyway).

Anonymous said...

so ... I need to go back through and read archives ... (I think I've been with you for about 8 weeks ... or so? First post I read was about the laptop ... the bonus $)

Discretionary ... as you use it .. pertains to anything NOT required to keep warm, covered and transportation (utilities, housing, car payments, etc.?) Right?

Two friends of mine and I are going to do a "Inspired by the Naked Ledger" Challenge for December (and hoping to carry on as well) ... any specific posts of yours I should check out to get us started?

rex said...

Shouldn't this: "buy now or forever hold his peace" actually been "buy now AND forever hold his PIECE."

ktjrdn said...

You're the first other blogger I've heard whose husband immediately went to buy gubns after the election. parts are seriously marked-up now!

Katy, Planet Perspectives said...

We stopped spending money for 2 weeks in November, and saved over $2000 for the month. We did pay our regular bills, which also included a veggie farm share, and 1/2 gallon of milk and eggs - that helped us survive. We didn't buy any groceries - except $6 worth, and two tanks of gas! While we saved a ton of money for those two weeks, it helped us be a bit more frugal in the following weeks as well. Now we are facing the month of December! But I think we'll have some more incentive - the Washington Post is doing an article about us - and I think a lot of friends and neighbors will be interrogating us about our "experiment!!!

Tiffany said...

I have a question for you. Could you please give advice on what you would do if your income was slashed in half and you were having trouble paying your regular monthly bills. That's the boat we are in right now and trying everything we can not to lose our home. Any advice you could give would be great maybe im just missing something. We have a mortgage, 2 car payments, 13000 in credit cards which comes to 300 mo in min payments and the utilities to cover. Thanks