Author Topic: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.  (Read 11988 times)

meteor

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Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« on: January 22, 2014, 06:37:05 PM »
Other than consumables , I want to try and not buy anything for a month. Basically the rule would be that:
 I cannot bring any physical object home unless it is a consumable (food, toothpaste, etc).

No books, No clothes, No shopping for landfill items.  I'm curious to see if it is possible and/or easy.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2014, 06:38:58 PM by meteor »

lizzzi

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 06:41:08 PM »
OK, I'm in. I just bought some Babylon 5 and Crusade DVDs on Amazon, and am feeling majorly guilty. It's not really my fault, it was sunspot activity. Those electromagnetic rays, you know. But anyway, February will be food, gas, toiletries only as desperately needed, and medications. That's it.

ace1224

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 07:47:51 PM »
I'm in. Food, gas, toiletries, child care and a new coat for my son is all I'm going to allow myself to buy. And for me food means only what I make at home, no take out this month

olivia

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 08:02:50 PM »
I'm in…I did this in August (Austerity August!) and it was fantastic and changed my habits completely.  However, I've totally been slipping lately…I think Christmas got me on a consumer bent again.  Frugal February it is!

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 08:06:42 PM »
Great!  I'll send everyone a reminder the day before.  And Olivia, if you have any advice to offer up from your past experience, let us know.  I've never tried anything like this before.
-Kate

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 08:25:24 PM »
Great!  I'll send everyone a reminder the day before.  And Olivia, if you have any advice to offer up from your past experience, let us know.  I've never tried anything like this before.
-Kate

My biggest weaknesses are eating out first, and buying clothes/shoes second, so meal planning was key for me and my husband.  Plus I stocked up at my office with cans of tuna, salad dressing, etc., and would bring in leftovers and a bag of salad.  To help curb the shopping I unsubscribed from all email lists so I wasn't tempted by sales or coupon codes. 

I think identifying workarounds for your weaknesses is key!  That and reminding yourself that you can do anything for a month, and if you actually desperately need something, it will still be there in a month.

ashley

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 11:15:44 PM »
I'm in!

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2014, 04:18:23 AM »
This should be easy! The only thing I could think of is that I wanted to make little Valentine's day cards for my toddler to mail to her grandparents, godparents, teachers, etc. I think I have plenty of pink scrap paper sitting around + blank envelopes + stamps, so I'll just reuse what I have around the house. There's also a book that is coming out Feb 4 that I really, really, really want, but I did submit a ticket to the library to consider purchasing it next month - hopefully if that is successful, I am assuming that won't count. LOL. Otherwise, I will wait until March for the book or submit another ticket to the library. Since DH will be out of the country for a portion of the month, I'll still be working on stretching those grocery and gas dollars too. Thanks for the challenge!

oldtoyota

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 11:50:12 AM »
I did this for January. It's easier than one might think!

If spouse is up for it again, I will be too. =-)

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 01:47:20 PM »
I did this for January. It's easier than one might think!

If spouse is up for it again, I will be too. =-)

Oldtoyota,

Can you give the rest of this some pointers?  I've never done this before.  What were the things you eliminated?  Just physical objects, or also eating out food, etc?  What are some tips for preparing to do this?

Leggo

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 09:17:52 PM »
I'm in.  No landfill items.  My son has a b-day this month, and I will spend money on him, but I will give him an experience (like a trip to the zoo) rather than things.  Also...plane tix for the hubs to come see me don't count.  :-)   Now to get DH on board...

sekritdino

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 09:44:31 PM »
I've been doing a No Spend Month for January. It has been surprisingly easy, actually. There were a couple things I have cheated on (I spent $35 on a cab to the airport so I could spend two extra hours with my boyfriend, who I was visiting across the country, than I would have gotten to if I had to take the train, but this was the worst of the purchases), but for the most part it hasn't been bad at all. I do have it kind of easy; at work our cafeterias have subsidized food and it is very good, so I allow myself to buy lunch at work 1-2 times per week because sometimes it ends up being cheaper than the cost of me making food at home. I have also made some great headway into eating all the food I have squirreled away in the pantry and cupboards! If there is one thing I spend too much on, it's impulse grocery purchases, so this challenge as really helped me to be more away of what and how much I actually buy at the grocery store. I have a week left to go this month, but I think I'm going to continue on for a No Spend February.

meteor

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1 more day before the Frugal February.
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2014, 01:00:32 PM »
Tomorrow is the last day before Frugal February, when we start the month challenge to not buy or bring anything into the house except consumables.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2014, 01:19:10 PM »
Super excited for this. I was a little worried because a book that I have been long looking forward to coming out is doing so next week. While I do have an Amazon gift card to cover the cost, I wanted to keep with the challenge of not buying anything to undermine all the decluttering and selling I've been doing. To keep with your challenge, I submitted a purchase request to my library last week and just got an email today that they approved it & I'm first on the list when it comes in. LOL


meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 03:17:09 PM »
Super excited for this. I was a little worried because a book that I have been long looking forward to coming out is doing so next week. While I do have an Amazon gift card to cover the cost, I wanted to keep with the challenge of not buying anything to undermine all the decluttering and selling I've been doing. To keep with your challenge, I submitted a purchase request to my library last week and just got an email today that they approved it & I'm first on the list when it comes in. LOL

I LOVE your workaround.  I was hoping this exercise would help me come up with creative and alternative solutions like yours. Can't wait to see what happens.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2014, 03:22:14 PM by meteor »

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 04:38:30 PM »
I'm pretty sure I can do this, though I've been haunting Craigslist for a rowing machine, and if the one I'm going to look at tonight doesn't work out, I'd make an exception if the right one comes along in February.  This will keep me from buying any stupid trinkets on my Florida trip.

February's a short month; should be easy!

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2014, 04:53:20 PM »
Super excited for this. I was a little worried because a book that I have been long looking forward to coming out is doing so next week. While I do have an Amazon gift card to cover the cost, I wanted to keep with the challenge of not buying anything to undermine all the decluttering and selling I've been doing. To keep with your challenge, I submitted a purchase request to my library last week and just got an email today that they approved it & I'm first on the list when it comes in. LOL

I LOVE your workaround.  I was hoping this exercise would help me come up with creative and alternative solutions like yours. Can't wait to see what happens.

Thanks, meteor! I'm looking forward to ideas from others as well.

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2014, 09:11:12 AM »
Yahoo!  First day of No Spending, someone gave me a link to this FREE book for Kindle:
925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire: So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World

http://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Money-Retire-Millionaire-Leave-ebook/dp/B00ADQMB6W/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1391268195

lentilman

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 09:17:57 AM »
Yahoo!  First day of No Spending, someone gave me a link to this FREE book for Kindle:
925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire: So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World

http://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Money-Retire-Millionaire-Leave-ebook/dp/B00ADQMB6W/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1391268195

The book is free, you don't need the referral link.

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2014, 09:21:33 AM »
Yahoo!  First day of No Spending, someone gave me a link to this FREE book for Kindle:
925 Ideas to Help You Save Money, Get Out of Debt and Retire A Millionaire: So You Can Leave Your Mark on the World

http://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Money-Retire-Millionaire-Leave-ebook/dp/B00ADQMB6W/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1391268195

The book is free, you don't need the referral link.

Yes *as above* I said it was free.  This link is not a referral link.  It it just the url that was listed for this book.

Here is also a website someone forwarded me with instructions on how to not spend for a month. Looks great! http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/31-days/livingwellspendingzero/
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 09:59:32 AM by meteor »

ace1224

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2014, 09:28:12 AM »
first day and i already want to spend.  i had to come in to work on saturday to make up for the lost time in regards to the "snowpocalypse".  i ran out of coffee and want to buy more.  instead i will drink free work coffee and feel sorry for myself lol

horsepoor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2014, 09:33:46 AM »
Are you not buying consumables either?  Coffee would be a non-negotiable for me.

I just realized that I might be screwing up.  Found a saddle on Ebay I would really like to have, and it's not something I am likely to find another one of next month.  OTOH, if I buy it, I would be selling the saddle it's replacing.  Will have to do some hard thinking before I bid again (auction ends Monday night).

ace1224

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2014, 11:14:49 AM »
oh no i'm buying consumables, i just meant that i ran out of the coffee i bring from home (in an extra large travel cup).  sometimes when i run out i want to go to dunkin donuts and get decent coffee, instead of the crap free coffee at work. 
i have coffee at home, and if i run out this month i will be buying more.  i just can't go buy some out because i want to whine about the shitty coffee here

horsepoor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2014, 06:32:12 PM »
Ah, that makes sense!  I've been avoiding popping out for coffee by making tea at work.  Our work coffee isn't free, but it sure is nasty.  There's a Starbuck's across the street, but luckily my partner in coffee crimes doesn't work at my office any more, so it's easier to choose the tea and save a couple bucks.

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2014, 02:29:53 AM »
I'm in as well! Good luck everyone!

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 11:31:41 AM »
My neighbor was throwing away a gallon of paint last week so I decided to take it off his hands and paint my living room. Now I've run out of paint and didn't plan on buying any...uh oh.

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2014, 12:26:32 PM »
I haven't bought anything so far this month so I am going to jump in on this challenge.

I find books to always be the tough thing for me to hold off from buying (new, used or ebook) because the local library just can't carry everything.  But because of this I've expanded the variety of types of books that I read and that has been nothing but positive.

I just realized that I might be screwing up.  Found a saddle on Ebay I would really like to have, and it's not something I am likely to find another one of next month.  OTOH, if I buy it, I would be selling the saddle it's replacing.

I think an exception is ok if you definitely sell your other saddle (providing we are not talking about a huge price difference) and more importantly your horse is more comfortable with the eBay saddle.  I've never ridden before :)

horsepoor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2014, 06:42:52 PM »
I think an exception is ok if you definitely sell your other saddle (providing we are not talking about a huge price difference) and more importantly your horse is more comfortable with the eBay saddle.  I've never ridden before :)

Well, it got bid up higher than I was willing to go, so I didn't have to make the decision after all.  Whatever I get will probably be about 3x the price I can get for my current saddle because I'll be upgrading from mass-produced synthetic to a handmade in England leather saddle.  However, prices tend to be lower in winter than in spring when everyone's gearing up for the season, so if the right deal comes along, I'll probably go ahead and make the buy.

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2014, 02:21:59 PM »
Is everyone still going strong? I'm doing ok, but I do have a birthday and a graduation party coming up this month, so I will buy some gifts (although technically, I didn't buy them, since we are giving a larger gift with a whole group of friends, but I will spend money on that).

Does this mean I'm out? How do you guys handle gifts this month?

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2014, 02:54:41 PM »
Is everyone still going strong? I'm doing ok, but I do have a birthday and a graduation party coming up this month, so I will buy some gifts (although technically, I didn't buy them, since we are giving a larger gift with a whole group of friends, but I will spend money on that).

Does this mean I'm out? How do you guys handle gifts this month?

My rule is to give consumables.  Ideally something you can make (cake, etc). If you are into sewing I just found this cool recycled scarf to make: http://www.sewingworkshop.com/blogs/247-endless-loop-knit-scarf

p.s. no one is "out."  I think this is a learning experience to see how far you can draw the line and how money can disappear without you knowing.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 02:56:17 PM by meteor »

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2014, 02:57:50 PM »
Are you not buying consumables either?  Coffee would be a non-negotiable for me.

I just realized that I might be screwing up.  Found a saddle on Ebay I would really like to have, and it's not something I am likely to find another one of next month.  OTOH, if I buy it, I would be selling the saddle it's replacing.  Will have to do some hard thinking before I bid again (auction ends Monday night).

I just realized the solution to your problem is to stay off ebay this month.  LOL  I've been staying off Amazon.

horsepoor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2014, 05:23:36 PM »
Are you not buying consumables either?  Coffee would be a non-negotiable for me.

I just realized that I might be screwing up.  Found a saddle on Ebay I would really like to have, and it's not something I am likely to find another one of next month.  OTOH, if I buy it, I would be selling the saddle it's replacing.  Will have to do some hard thinking before I bid again (auction ends Monday night).

I just realized the solution to your problem is to stay off ebay this month.  LOL  I've been staying off Amazon.

Lucky for me, the more rare saddle I was coveting was purchased for more than I was willing to pay.  This challenge is at least making me shop longer and hold out for a better deal.  I've also located a cheaper alternate that I can buy any time, so the purchase will most likely be delayed.

It's actually been kind of a relief to be freed from shopping.  I didn't realize that it was something I felt like I needed to do, or that it was taking up a significant amount of my time.  Don't I feel dumb now.  But at least I'm on the road to getting richer and smarter!

Dicey

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #32 on: February 05, 2014, 11:15:32 PM »
LOL! I haven't read all the comments yet, but I love this idea. I did this hardcore every February for about six years to achieve FI. Hardcore as in NO MONEY AT ALL, not even food and no stockpiling allowed, either. I read Amy's Big Blue Book (The Complete Tightwad Gazette) during the month for motivation. This was, of course pre-MMM days and I was single then. Now I'm FIRE, and married with a family of four adults. I don't think they'd be up for this, so I'm doing a modified stealth version this year.

My Cash Diet was fun and completely worth doing. One year, a friend was dying of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and was worried about paying her rent. It was so incredibly awesome to tell her not to worry, that I'd cover her for the next two months. I did this with the dough I saved on my February Cash Diet. Sadly, the money did last to the end of her life, but at least she didn't have to worry about her cat and her belongings being turned out as she lay dying.


ace1224

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2014, 07:16:52 AM »
Epic fail sort of.  I was donating some stuff to goodwill and made the mistake of going inside. I ended up finding a Columbia winter jacket for $5!!! I don't own a jacket/coat at all just hoodies so I bought it. And it's black, yay!!!
So bad that I spent in a no spending month but so excited I found that deal

lizzzi

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2014, 08:36:38 AM »
Fell off the wagon--spent $57 on Amazon for DVDs--movies and boxed series-- and did not even look at the library catalog first. That one-click Amazon prime is my Waterloo. I did check the library later, and only one DVD that I spent $10 on would have been available from the library--the rest, not. We're still saving over 50% of net income, even with these kinds of lapses on my part…but I know I need to watch it, and not be stupid.

horsepoor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #35 on: February 10, 2014, 03:12:52 PM »
Diane C, what a great gift you were able to give your friend due to your no-spend months.  I'm sure she was so grateful for that peace of mind.

I am going strong.  I was tempted to buy Kindle books a couple times, and thought they might be exempt since they're not a physical item, but this challenge in the back of my mind kept me from doing it.  I also have a brief lapse while at a street fair yesterday and almost bought a beautiful handmade cutting board.18 days to go.  It's also helping me take my time and be fussier with my saddle shopping.

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2014, 11:06:27 AM »
Forgot I had to go to the dentist. It costs $700 for a crown (and that is at the inexpensive dental school with students).  It would have been a lot more at a regular dentist.

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2014, 11:09:13 AM »

My Cash Diet was fun and completely worth doing. One year, a friend was dying of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and was worried about paying her rent. It was so incredibly awesome to tell her not to worry, that I'd cover her for the next two months. I did this with the dough I saved on my February Cash Diet. Sadly, the money did last to the end of her life, but at least she didn't have to worry about her cat and her belongings being turned out as she lay dying.

Wow.  You are an amazing person.

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2014, 08:50:40 AM »
Yahoo!  Found out my local library has volunteers the next few months who help you do (and file) your taxes for free.

Bateaux

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2014, 10:38:58 AM »
I plan to save more than I spend.  I've bought some building materials, light bulbs and bike tubes.

Paulie

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2014, 12:43:55 PM »
Only 12 more days to go! How is everyone doing? Except for a few gifts I haven't bought anything this month yet (and planning to keep it up!).

ruthiegirl

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2014, 01:31:03 PM »
I was thinking that I could never do this, but I just went over February's credit card statement.  I bought exactly 3 things this month that were not food, tp, soap, cat litter, or gas for the van...

A bra to replace one that snapped.

A bathing suit top to replace an old one.  I was at the pool and my friend casually mentioned to me that my top was a bit 'see-thru'.  Oh for fucks sake.  It was more than a bit see-thru...I was completely baring my breasts to all the moms and toddlers in the kiddie pool. 

And a small toy for my son who turned 6.   

So, very little bought and now my girls are well covered. 

Paulie

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2014, 01:51:05 PM »
Hahaha, I guess that was a real emergency!

Carrie

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2014, 02:01:02 PM »
I'm going strong here.

I haven't gone out to eat at all (no drive thru- no take out - no lunch or dinner out), I haven't bought any clothes for myself, but DH bought himself a pair of jeans & our son one pair of pants for school.  Now my child has three pairs of pants that are long enough to wear to school.  These were almost necessities -- my son grew about 4" since I bought his school clothes in the fall, and my DH only has two pairs of jeans and one just got a hole in them --- this is what he wears to work.  On top of no extra spending, I've had a good grasp on the grocery budget.  We've spent about half what we spent last February (on food).

I have some expenses coming up -- I have to pay a fee of $30 for membership to the Craftsman's Guild, and I have pool membership dues coming up by the end of the month (but I'm thinking VERY hard about suspending the membership, I have until next week to decide).


meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2014, 05:26:06 PM »
Had to pay $110 for an emergency dental appt. today :(  That's $450 in dental so far this month, but that does not seem optional.  So far the only thing I bought off the (no buy) list was a can of paint because I underestimated how much a free can of paint would cover.

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2014, 05:36:57 PM »
I have the same goal! Only for next month, too. I only need to buy my own gas, the rest in my situation is provided (although I did pay $5 to get into a night club last week... is that considered "consumable"? >.<)

horsepoor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2014, 06:23:45 PM »
I bought 3 items of clothing at the consignment store on Friday.  Really didn't need to, but since they're used, and I've gotten rid of a TON of clothes, I don't feel to badly about it.  Still saddle shopping, and might buy my horse a rain sheet too, but I can probably put that off until March.

I also registered for two races today, but that's not STUFF, so...

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #47 on: February 19, 2014, 09:44:16 AM »
Fell off the wagon today.  I was very aware of doing it while it happened.  I found my favorite noise cancellation headphones on dirt cheap sales just because they were  the color pink.  They can retail up to $40 but these were only $8.  I bought 2.   I use these to fall asleep at night (listen to rainstorms/nature sounds) and they are the only ones that don't hurt my ears when laying down. My plan was to put a pair in my online shopping cart to buy March 1st (because I can't find my pair at home), but after seeing the sale, I was afraid they wouldn't last long.  Well, I'm hoping I can get through the next 10 days without another slip.

Paulie

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #48 on: February 19, 2014, 11:37:44 AM »
Fell off the wagon today.  I was very aware of doing it while it happened.  I found my favorite noise cancellation headphones on dirt cheap sales just because they were  the color pink.  They can retail up to $40 but these were only $8.  I bought 2.   I use these to fall asleep at night (listen to rainstorms/nature sounds) and they are the only ones that don't hurt my ears when laying down. My plan was to put a pair in my online shopping cart to buy March 1st (because I can't find my pair at home), but after seeing the sale, I was afraid they wouldn't last long.  Well, I'm hoping I can get through the next 10 days without another slip.

Ah well, I guess part of the challenge is to become more aware of what you are buying, and you obviously were! Great bargain!

meteor

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Re: Challenge: Don't buy anything for the month of February.
« Reply #49 on: February 26, 2014, 10:16:15 PM »
How did everyone do so far? 2 more days left?  My only downfall has been:

1. A can of paint (borderline consumable) about $25
2. On sale noise cancellation headphones I use a lot for sleeping. $16
3. 1/2" Elastic, because I lost my hair tie and wanted to make another one. $2.75

I think I spent $43 which wasn't perfect but I learned A LOT.  I never realized I shopped for sport (when bored) as much as I did.  Real eye opener.