Author Topic: Do you ever go a day without spending money?  (Read 6026 times)

nexus

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Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« on: October 02, 2017, 04:54:11 PM »
I'd wager in a given month I might go between 5-10 days without making any transactions if I'm lucky. I guess as long as I stay on track of my plan it doesn't matter if I spend a little everyday, or just a few larger transactions per month.

Any thoughts/input on what you guys think? How many days per month do you not spend anything? Lately I just can't seem to go a day without spending money, whether it be on gas, automatic bill pay, trip to the grocery store because I'm out of xyz, etc. I know it all adds up.

Laura33

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 05:54:32 PM »
15?  Honestly, it's most work days -- I tend to group spending stuff (groceries, errands, kid clothes, eating out) on the weekends.  On weekdays, OTOH, I brownbag breakfast and lunch, then come home and cook dinner and hang out at home -- I frequently will get $200 at the ATM at the office and still have it 2-3 weeks later. Probably every other Friday I let DH and the kids get takeout or we go out; once or twice a month I get the bug to have the stupid chicken mango salad for lunch at the takeout place right next door to my office; and we have recurring dairy delivery (every other week) and monthly Amazon Subscribe & Save.  So the baseline here is probably @15 of @22 work days -- with the caveat that I have no clue when the automatic bill pays are set to pay (I know we have most set to transfer on the 1st or the 15th, but there are always stragglers and such).  So maybe 12 to be fair, assuming those extra things don't double up on the same weekday?

The big asterisk is that this last month or two has killed me -- I am having back issues that have led to 5-6 medical appointments per month, all three cats got a nasty bug that required multiple vet visits and tests and medicines, and one cat has had a bunch of tests and food changes for what probably is going to turn out to be cancer, so not only have I been bleeding money, I have had like 8 vet trips and multiple Petco visits to deal with.  So last month was probably more fail than succeed -- it just wasn't for "fun" stuff.

undercover

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 06:12:43 PM »
I've seen this "zero day challenge" BS floating around and I can't say I understand it.

If you plan on sleeping inside a home tonight then you're technically consuming/spending money everyday.

What are you really accomplishing if money never technically leaves your bank account for a single day anyway?

ixtap

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 06:15:17 PM »
I've seen this "zero day challenge" BS floating around and I can't say I understand it.

If you plan on sleeping inside a home tonight then you're technically consuming/spending money everyday.

What are you really accomplishing if $0 leaves your bank account for a single day anyway?

It is a way of cutting out the fluff. If the OP is regularly running to the grocery store, are they picking up anything extra? If not, then the number of trips only matter in so far as fuel and time are wasted. If they are, then fewer trips would likely result in fewer or no extra items.

bobechs

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 06:24:13 PM »
I've seen this "zero day challenge" BS floating around and I can't say I understand it.

If you plan on sleeping inside a home tonight then you're technically consuming/spending money everyday.

What are you really accomplishing if money never technically leaves your bank account for a single day anyway?

And meanwhile the meter is still running on all the periodic items; utilities, sewer& water, insurance, property and other taxes.  You can't even avoid accruing them except by moving into a culvert somewhere.

Ah, living free under the bridge!

nexus

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 07:07:47 PM »
Iím not sure exactly what my point is. Iím just wondering if anyone else struggles with this. Iíve also had some random expenses come up. Iíve been the middleman between friends whoíve been trying to sell/buy things so Iím having random fluff expenses (that zero out) in my transactions. Oil change. My tires have 54k miles on them so itís due time to buy some new ones, albeit my Ford Focus is part of the lemon law lawsuit (and after 3 fixes  Iím on the verge of taking it in again because it still shudders/shakes when I accelerate from a stop randomly).

Other random stuff has just come up that I normally wouldnít budget for, so it sort of feels like this universe is just trying to slow down my FI progress (albeit each month I still invest at least 50% of my income.) part of my sort of feels like saying screw it and just splurging for a while until things settle back down again.

Laura33

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 07:34:27 PM »
Iím not sure exactly what my point is. Iím just wondering if anyone else struggles with this. Iíve also had some random expenses come up. Iíve been the middleman between friends whoíve been trying to sell/buy things so Iím having random fluff expenses (that zero out) in my transactions. Oil change. My tires have 54k miles on them so itís due time to buy some new ones, albeit my Ford Focus is part of the lemon law lawsuit (and after 3 fixes  Iím on the verge of taking it in again because it still shudders/shakes when I accelerate from a stop randomly).

Other random stuff has just come up that I normally wouldnít budget for, so it sort of feels like this universe is just trying to slow down my FI progress (albeit each month I still invest at least 50% of my income.) part of my sort of feels like saying screw it and just splurging for a while until things settle back down again.

Yeah, ok, so there's your problem.  All of the stuff I mentioned above is in my budget;* when I actually hand over cash or write a check is 100% irrelevant.  Oil changes and new tires are entirely predictable, known aspects of car ownership; you may not know exactly when it will happen but there's no doubt that it will happen.  So you'd better budget for it.  If your friends are selling stuff, and you want to buy, you need to plan for that, too.  Etc.

In short, you don't feel like you are treading water because of the number of days in which you have some sort of financial transaction.  You feel like you are treading water because you haven't planned for all your known expenses.  Your budget is a fiction, a pretty picture that you can never live up to. 

Look, my commute to work takes 16-23 minutes, depending on traffic variability.  I can plan on 16 minutes if I want to - and I might even hit that a few times a month.  But the other 20 of 22 days I will be annoyed because I failed to hit every single light perfectly, and it took 18 minutes, or 22, or whatever, and now I'm late, and dammit why can't the city just get its fucking lights timed correctly?  Or, you know, I can plan for it to take 23 minutes and generally arrive on time or even with time to spare.  Sure, once a year or so there'll be a huge fubar and it takes 45 minutes, and I growl and complain.  But then the next day it's back to 19 minutes and I'm back on track.

Tl;dr:  Set yourself up for success, not failure.  Figure out what your life actually costs, in the real world that you actually live in, and budget around that.

*Except for the damn cats.  But I have a big enough cash stash that that's not a problem.

YoungInvestor

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 07:42:04 PM »
I've seen this "zero day challenge" BS floating around and I can't say I understand it.

If you plan on sleeping inside a home tonight then you're technically consuming/spending money everyday.

What are you really accomplishing if money never technically leaves your bank account for a single day anyway?

It's a good way to cut off eating out our Starbucks or random purchases. Sometimes I'll try to do something with whatever's in the fridge instead of eating out, etc...

My credit card bill is noticeably lower when I try to have X days without purchases.

Zikoris

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 11:52:45 PM »
According to Mint, we had eight days in September with zero spending. There were also a few days with $1 or $2 spending.

We don't really do that on purpose, we just sometimes get too lazy to leave the house and go do things that cost money. So we stay home and play video games or read books we already own, and cook meals with ingredients we already have.

marty998

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2017, 12:47:02 AM »
It can make a lot of sense to schedule all of your spending on one day (shopping, groceries, appointments etc). If only to optimise your time.

I'd call it a result of planning, rather than contributing to any meaningful reduction in timing. A zero spend day usually just means there's more spending on another day.


Cranky

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2017, 05:23:06 AM »
I do think that "not going shopping" is a good way of not spending money shopping - if I don't go to Target, I'm not tempted by a million things that I see at Target.

But overall, my spending is planned. I don't drive, so during the week I'm pretty much limited to the stores within my walking range - a small grocery store, the drug store, Family Dollar, a thrift store. I do run in to pick things up as needed, but they aren't exactly a big shopping experience. (I do spend $2-$3 at the ReStore most weeks.)

I keep a list for Amazon, and try not to impulse purchase there, too.

But I don't think that running all my errands on Saturday morning necessarily reduces my overall spending.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 06:38:27 AM »
I'd wager in a given month I might go between 5-10 days without making any transactions if I'm lucky.

I might be there somewhere. But I do tend to spend money very often. I tend to shop groceries twice a week, trying to follow a shopping list and not buying other stuff. But I also order a lot of things online. Often small things, but they do add up. The car needs a fuel refill from time to time.

Sometimes in the weekend I drive to a free event without spending any visible money, but the car uses fuel and the road toll is automatically paid.
I mostly feel good on the days in the weekend or during a holiday that we can do everything from home, don't need to drive anywhere. And don't need to visit shops. When I walk to work from time to time, I also often don't spend anything.

pachnik

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 06:41:35 AM »
I do go a day or two per week without spending.  For me, it is a small psychological boost. 

I don't think that in my pre-MMM days I ever had a 'no spend' day.  A big part of my problem was frittering money away constantly on lots of little things - take-out coffee probably 6 days a week etc.

marielle

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 07:01:43 AM »
Most days I don't buy anything. The only days I really "spend" is Wednesday (pool league but only pay if I play), and Sunday (groceries). Sometimes Saturday I eat out but trying to avoid this going forward this year. Plus whatever day I have to buy gas and other occasional purchases like vet trips, etc. On weekdays I'm either at home or at the pool hall and I never buy drinks at the pool hall. I don't like coffee and have too limited of a diet to get snacks or whatever from the vending machine/gas station.

Mainly it's because I'm too lazy to make errands and random trips around town during the week. But I can definitely see how it can happen especially if you have kids and are always out.

teen persuasion

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 07:37:47 AM »
Most days I don't buy anything.

Mainly it's because I'm too lazy to make errands and random trips around town during the week. But I can definitely see how it can happen especially if you have kids and are always out.

This.

Our spending is lumpy on an annual basis - more than 50% is big, once per year bills: property taxes, school taxes, oil prebuy, car repairs, house repairs/replacement, insurances.  Regular monthly utilities are maybe $100, and weekly food <$100.  Gas for the cars is the irregular expense, we just fill up when needed.  Living far out in the boonies makes shopping for sport less fun, so I just don't.  Besides, at this point we don't need more stuff, we need to get rid of stuff - that really kills the urge to buy stuff.

I've got most bills automated, so I'm not really aware of when I'm "paying" them.  Gas and food are my most frequent in-person purchases, and those are only as needed - once per week for food (with a serious stash of basics), less for gas - pay at pump, no going in to get high priced convenience things.  So I might buy things 5x per month, in my view, and DH a few more gas stops.

mm1970

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2017, 05:44:33 PM »
Occasionally?  Like last week, spouse was traveling.  FT job and doing all kid dropoff/ pickup means no time for errands.  Of course, spouse was on travel, so money was being spent every day.  But that's what per diem is for.

I don't sweat it really.  I have occasionally aimed for no spend days or weeks, but honestly...the way I shop for groceries, I have a goal of using less plastic/ generating less waste, and spending less money.  That means I shop at several stores, and often that is during my lunch break.  So I might hit one store on Monday.  Today I went to Sprouts at lunch and will hit Costco on the way home.  Not stopping at Costco today doesn't save me money.  We are out of milk.  Costco is cheaper than the grocery store.

lhamo

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2017, 07:26:59 PM »
I'm trying to have as many no-drive days as possible, and lump all the errands I can into the days I do have to drive.   For example, I have some groceries I need to get this week and some library stuff to return/pick up.  I am going to visit a friend on Thursday, and taking my mom to the Dr. on Friday, so I will lump those other errands into one of those two days.   I feel this approach does lend itself to less impulse spending.

PoutineLover

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2017, 07:54:13 PM »
There are definitely days where I don't spend any money, but I don't think it makes it makes much difference in my overall budget. I basically divide my income into three categories, savings,  fixed costs and everything else. Since all three are predetermined amounts I don't worry too much about how or when the everything else gets spent.

MBot

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2017, 08:03:19 PM »
I believe YoungHouseLove (the design blog) used to practice this in their daily lives - they only spent money on a designated day or two a week.

Typically I walk to work and don't bring my debit card with me. I spend on days I run errands or weekends.

It removes the temptation of making small poor choices on the other days.

BTH7117

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2017, 08:14:12 PM »
Absolutely. When I was a law student, I'd see how many days in a row I could go without buying a coffee, soda, sandwich, etc. It was a good game to keep my spending down when I didn't have an income coming in.

zinethstache

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2017, 08:20:29 PM »
We are full time FIREd travellers with annual housing paid for each Dec. We typically go 10 days a month with no spending. Fuel, propane and food are our non scheduled expenses and we typically will group food and fuel together as they can be a 30+ minute trek into town from whatever RV resort we are currently at.

Since our ability to order supplies is limited by each RV park's shipping rules, we tend to order in spurts. During our 5 1/2 months on the road this summer there were only two parks that allowed non medical/emergency packages to be delivered and we took advantage of that when we could. Otherwise we go without. (we keep a list of wants/needs on the fridge)

We are in our home area now and have been hemorrhaging $$ with required Dr. Appts, labs, auto repairs etc. September was not a good month to calculate days not spending any $ but we still managed 4 days with $0.

I have scheduled all our recurring spending to be complete by the 10th of the month, it was not intentional but I like that I can get a good idea of our spending that early.

Our income also arrives by the 10th and it varies so on light income months, we buckle down and spend as little as possible. A fill up of our vehicle is an $80+ spend and we can save that by staying in the park. Same with food, we always have a stash in the pantry so can stretch our supplies when needed.

This is our first year EVER with such a limited yet variable income. It has been interesting adjusting to it, trying to stretch our dollars as far as we can.

Dicey

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2017, 09:13:48 PM »
I thought I'd replied to this on a different device, but I don't see it here. This response is aimed at the "No Spend Month" concept. Here's a story I've posted before, but it bears repeating, IMO.

Long before MMM existed, Dicey was lookin' to get out early. Amy Dacyczyn was my guiding light. I'd read YMoYL, but I didn't want to live in a dilapidated old rental house in Berkeley with scads of roommates and wear Birkenstocks*. Joe's message was interesting, but not the one that spoke to me. I was so focused on saving, I thought I knew where every penny went.

One year, in the early part of the century, I decided to do a No Spend Month** in February, because it is the shortest month. I literally bought nothing. I had a $20 dollar budget for fresh vege and milk, but everything else had to come from the fridge, freezer or pantry. At the end of the month, I had over $1500 extra, which was a LOT on my small income. A couple of weeks later, I was speaking with a dear friend who was ill. She had taken a turn for the worse and was going to be hospitalized. She couldn't work and was unsure of how she would make her rent. I sent her a check for two month's rent and a Trader Joe's gift card (her favorite store). Yup, exactly $1500. I didn't hesitate because I knew I had the extra money.

Sadly, my friend did not live long enough to pay the second month's rent, but I KNOW it gave her peace of mind not to have to worry about it. You see, she had a beloved kitty, and she didn't want to abandon her to the streets. After she passed, her favorite nephew took all of her lovely furniture and Anabelle, the kitty. I never said anything about the money, but as her sole heir, I know he got the remainder and I hope he took good care of Miss "A" with it.

*Nothing against Birkenstocks, except they are not meant for people with long, bony feet.
** It was not called that then. It had no name. It was just a thing I wanted to do to remind me to be aware of my spending. I might or might not have been a badass even then, but that label didn't exist then, either.

tl:dr - Just try it, you have nothing to lose and maybe something wonderful to gain. If you choose not to, don't mock others who do.

Lance Hiruma

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2017, 10:23:59 PM »
Technically no. I spend money everyday.

I pay income tax, and it is based on work. I work almost everyday.
There are also insurances, housing, health, food, water, AC/Heat, etc.
Yep, it costs money to live and exist.
Not shocking eh?

GuitarBrian

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2017, 11:22:34 PM »
I've gone without spending money many days. Sometime weeks. When you live on a sailboat and are anchored out at some deserted island... Nothing to spend money on within 20 miles.
Also we spend a fair amount of time in the mountains. Backpacking and camping. No stores there :)

But, everything takes preparation... So money was spend on food, and equipment, and fuel/transportation...

Still is nice to wake up with the same amount of money you woke up with yesterday (actually more because of investments).

catccc

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2017, 08:45:17 AM »
For a few months a couple years ago, we would aim for 2 no spend days a week. 

I get that some people think this is silly, and yes, we are incurring costs every day we live.  And yes, if today is a no spend day so you don't buy a shirt you saw and wanted, you could easily go buy it the next day.  But if I wanna grab a takeout dinner after a long day with kids because I'm tired and don't want to cook, and it's a no spend day... I will take the extra effort and try to whip something up at home.  Even if I get take out for dinner the next day, it's not like I'm going to buy two dinners that next night.  So money is saved.  Also, it gets my family out for stuff we wouldn't otherwise do.  Like, lets say it's a weekend day and the kids want to go to bowling.  But it's a no spend day.  We can say, oh, today's a no spend day, lets go for a hike instead.  Yeah, I get that some families would already be opting for the hike, but hey, different strokes for different folks.

I think my husband liked the challenge; we should bring it back.  I think without the effort, there are very few no spend days in a month.  It looks like in September we had 4.

honeybbq

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2017, 09:10:00 AM »
It can make a lot of sense to schedule all of your spending on one day (shopping, groceries, appointments etc). If only to optimise your time.

I'd call it a result of planning, rather than contributing to any meaningful reduction in timing. A zero spend day usually just means there's more spending on another day.

Yep. I often don't spend anything, but watch out Costco day!!

Ann

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2017, 12:03:11 PM »
Lately I just can't seem to go a day without spending money, whether it be on gas, automatic bill pay, trip to the grocery store because I'm out of xyz, etc. I know it all adds up.

I do go days without spending.  I actually break down "fixed expenses" and "variable expenses" -- I don't count days I pay automatic bill pay, rent, paying my credit card as a "spend" day.  It goes into my monthly budget and log sheet, but I know I haven't actually SPENT more on rent October 1st than I did September 15th . . . same with electricity and other utilities.  Certainly paying the credit card!  I "spent" that money the day I purchased the item.  I don't count purchasing stock/index funds as "spending" either.

With that out of the way, I do sometimes challenge myself to go a certain number of "no spend" days in a row.  Or set a certain day of the week as a "no spend" day.  This is a motivational game I play with myself -- it means I will stop myself from going to a vending machine at work, I will eat the food in my house instead of going to the grocery store, and I may even not drive somewhere to prevent myself from having to fill up.  I "should" be doing/limiting all these things anyway, but challenging myself makes it more fun and "feel" more like an accomplishment.  This obviously wouldn't help or motivate everyone.

To answer you question, it looks like that I went 14 "no spend" days in September (by my generous rules) and 16 "spend days".

I think you should at least consider eliminating automatic bill pay from your "spend days".  After all, you didn't make a decision to purchase anything that day, you are paying for a monthly service.

MrsPete

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2017, 04:56:10 PM »
I frequently go days at a time without spending a dime -- though, as others have said, I am living indoors using electricity and water, and I am eating food I've already purchased, so -- yeah -- I am still consuming resources.  I don't find it difficult to go a day without a run to the grocery store or the fast food drive through. 

I do think that "not going shopping" is a good way of not spending money shopping - if I don't go to Target, I'm not tempted by a million things that I see at Target.
Half and half.  I went to Target today to pick up vitamins and an item from office supplies, and -- as I always do -- I walked through the meat section looking for reduced-for-quick-sale items.  I bought five packs of the "good" ground beef marked down to $3/package.  So, yeah, I did buy five packs of meat that I hadn't intended to buy, but now I can have five inexpensive meals in the future instead of spending full price.  I consider that smart shopping instead of yielding to temptation. 

Cranky

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2017, 06:59:28 PM »
When I go to Target, I don't come home with marked down ground beef but useless stuff I don't need like vitamins or office supplies, so I'm better off just skipping it. ;-)

Cassie

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2017, 03:19:02 PM »
I think if you go to the grocery store a lot you will spend more $ then if you do not. WE do a big grocery shop 1x/month. Then we buy perishables as needed but never more then once/week. It is easy to get in the store and buy stuff that you don't need.  WE have days every week where we don't spend $. Every once in a while we won't buy as much stuff and then we eat down the freezer and pantry to avoid waste.

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2017, 02:35:53 AM »
I can easily go 1 week..... after 1 week i have to gas up the car.
I normally gas up once a week, go shopping every other week.
Then once a month all the bills and CCs are paid.


BlueMR2

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2017, 11:37:49 AM »
I have more non-spending days a month than I do spending anymore.  Cutting out the going out to eat and trips to the work vending machine really helped in that regard.  :-)

Linea_Norway

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2017, 12:26:13 PM »
I guess it doesn't count when you send your spouse to the grocery store insed of going yourself. At least I provided a shopping list.

ender

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2017, 01:46:49 PM »
I don't really know why this matters.

I just ate lunch. I didn't have a cash outflow for that today (it was a leftover frozen lunch) but it still cost me money to make.


MrsPete

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2017, 06:20:45 PM »
When I go to Target, I don't come home with marked down ground beef but useless stuff I don't need like vitamins or office supplies, so I'm better off just skipping it. ;-)
Yeah, I've heard people call Target the $100 store.  I used to be bad about that when I was younger, but I'm pretty good now at avoiding impulse buys ... but, as I said, I always look at the marked-down meat and clearance groceries.  Things I absolutely will use.

MrsPete

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #35 on: October 14, 2017, 06:23:18 PM »
I think if you go to the grocery store a lot you will spend more $ then if you do not.
We shop relatively often, but we keep records and are quite pleased with how we spend our grocery dollar.  I think the real answer is -- regardless of how often you shop --- having a plan and being honest with yourself about how much you're spending.  The grocery store is a place where money can slip through your fingers.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2017, 06:41:15 PM »
I'm trying to have as many no-drive days as possible, and lump all the errands I can into the days I do have to drive.
EVERY DAY IS NO DRIVE DAY.

More seriously, yeah grouping is the way to go. Some people think of their cars as the natural extension of their bodies, so they'll get in a car 2-3 times per day for the slightest non-urgent thing. Drives (get it?) me nuts.

rubybeth

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #37 on: October 14, 2017, 06:48:18 PM »
I used to feel this way, a long time ago, maybe before I got married? It felt like I was bleeding money. A bill would arrive and I'd regret doing whatever it was for--even something like seeing the doctor, which I needed at the time.

A spending plan (some people call this a 'budget') really helped me get over this feeling. I know how much I will need to spend each month based on tracking previous months/years of expenses. I don't feel bad spending on groceries, because I need to eat. I don't feel bad about paying the electric bill, because I like having lights and electronics (and cold food). We also budget for stuff that isn't essential but we know we'll want to spend on--donations, gifts, occasional entertainment or a meal out.

On an average day, I probably don't physically pull out my credit card or use cash at all--I walk to work, pack my lunch, have a short drive to my gym or exercise outside, have enough food to cook from our weekend grocery shop, entertain myself with items from the library, etc.

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #38 on: October 14, 2017, 06:55:46 PM »
I'd wager in a given month I might go between 5-10 days without making any transactions if I'm lucky. I guess as long as I stay on track of my plan it doesn't matter if I spend a little everyday, or just a few larger transactions per month.


My bank limits the number of transactions I can do per month to 25 before imposing a fee for each transaction.  When reading the fine print I thought "25 is so many, how could anyone make more charges than that?"  Apparently, many can.
Looking through my statements it seems I make about 10-12 transactions per month.  Often there will be 2-3 on a given day (usually a weekend), so I'd say I actually "spend*" money about 5 days each month.

* of course almost all of us spend continuously; my mortgage, internet and electricity are paid for monthly but could be construed as a daily, almost continuous expense.

aceyou

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #39 on: October 14, 2017, 08:28:12 PM »
I would say about 15 days/month I don't actively buy anything. 

- I live 2.8 miles from work and my route doesn't pass any business of any kind.  I drive a prius, so only need about 10 gallons of gas/month.
- We only eat at a restaurant about once a month or so, and pick up pizza once a month, so that's infrequent. 
- I buy all my groceries on one day each week, and usually combine that with other small errands if they are needed. 

Yeah, it might actually be more than 15 days/month, I just don't buy much these days. 

*Disclaimer, I'm not counting driving down the road spending except for the days I actually have to buy gas, I don't count turning on the lights as spending even though it increases the monthly bill.  I don't think that's what the OP is talking about. 

nexus

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #40 on: October 16, 2017, 04:44:00 PM »
When I go to Target, I don't come home with marked down ground beef but useless stuff I don't need like vitamins or office supplies, so I'm better off just skipping it. ;-)
Yeah, I've heard people call Target the $100 store.  I used to be bad about that when I was younger, but I'm pretty good now at avoiding impulse buys ... but, as I said, I always look at the marked-down meat and clearance groceries.  Things I absolutely will use.

I call The Dollar Store the $20 Store. Can't seem to get out of there without spending close to $20. That's why I don't go very often anymore. Pretty much the only reason is to purchase packaging tape for stuff I sell on eBay, or restock the drawer at my office desk with snacks so I'm not as tempted to run out and spend $10 for something at lunch.

Thanks for all the great comments on both sides. I like what one user said about not buying dinner on a no spend day. You're right, that means you didn't give into temptation and take the easy way out via fast food. You very well might have reduced your spending on food that month assuming you didn't cheat and go out for dinner on another day instead.

Ultimately, for some folks it sounds like a psychological boost that does result in more dollars in the bank at the end of the month. It also sounds like other folks have a pretty solid system/schedule/discipline that works for them so they don't notice or care how many days per month they spend money.

I think I really only notice it in times when I'm spending more than I should. An unhealthy example is realizing you've had beer/wine/cocktails four nights in a row so you probably should lay off the sauce for a day (or ten). Have my habits changed since posting this? Not really, no. However, I seem to do a mental check in and on those days when I don't spend* it feels like a small victory.

*Sure, I still have 3+ meals in a given day, but eating at home is cheaper than eating out. The groceries are already paid for and by eating them I am "spending" less. Maybe $1-2 in groceries are consumed vs. $5-10 in convenient food & I'm not putting wear and tear on my vehicle. I am using electricity/appliances to prep food, but I imagine this is cheaper/safer than using a vehicle to go get something.

:D

chasesfish

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2017, 05:02:32 PM »
I'm in the 10-15 days a month category.  Really only spend personal money on weekends and 1-2 mid-week grocery trips to buy some sale items they don't carry at Costco

gggggg

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2017, 05:06:56 PM »
Plenty of times. I've gone weeks without having any transactions, in fact, I try to make a game of seeing how long I can go without spending sometimes. If you mean literally NO money, that's hard to do. I'm not going to go turn my electrical breakers off or shut down my water connection, etc.

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Re: Do you ever go a day without spending money?
« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2017, 06:28:45 PM »
Yup, especially when traveling for work and they pay meals.