03 May 2016

Buy Nothing Month Review

At the start of April I posted about how we are trying to pay off our mortgage faster.

Chronicle of how the days went for us. It seems like we spend money every day, or discuss future purchases anyways. We need to be more discerning in how we are spending our money. This may be funny to read or just monotonous to you. Either way, I'm trying to be accountable here.

1. We started out on a Friday. DH was off work and he had been discussing an auction online (not eBay) that he was interested in bidding on in March. He made his bids in March and if he wins then we will pick them up and pay for them. We will see how that goes, but it's all stuff that would have been really expensive to buy new anyways. He put in the max bids that we were willing to pay at the end of March. We also tried to make sure that each of us knew the rules for this month of no spending. We decided that money on gift cards held would not count since that money was already spent.(I have about $70 for HD) We both have $105 of spending money, but once that is gone there is no more. (Also, I'm in the hole with my spending already but about $110, so I really shouldn't spend anything at all anyways. But, I do have a few things I know I will spend $5 on this month for quilting meetings.)

2. Today some friends came over to visit and help up put up the garage door openers I bought for DH at a garage sale last year. It was so kind of him to offer to help. The friend is an electrician and I do NOT do anything with electrical work on the farm. (I'm scared of it and I've been shocked too many times already now.) He also offered us some shelving that they are discarding from his work-for FREE!! Awesome...now we just have to watch those auction bids to see how many we are going to end up with. It's a good thing we have 2 garages I guess.

3. Today is Sunday. We don't usually have problems with spending money on Sundays. So, it was nice and restful for us. Or so I thought... until I asked DH what he was struggling with. He said he was making a to-do list and a lot of the things on the list need supplies to finish the jobs. He wants to finish these things, but doesn't want to spend the money. So, I guess it's safe to say I had a relaxing day...

4. DH talked about changing the plumbing situation in the laundry room. He said it would only cost $15. But, it's working fine right now so... I vetoed this for this month. I think he is keeping a list of all the things he wants to do in May and June now. LOL. We also talked about what we are doing for the chicken run we are building. We have some materials that we are going to use. I may not finish it this month, but we will get a good start on it.

5. Auction was checked and we are only winning about $45 worth of things now. We lost all the bids on the shelving. YAY!! (Isn't that weird to say we are happy to have lost it??) That doesn't seem so bad. I wanted to go to lunch with the Bible study ladies, but I resisted the urge and came back home to have lunch with my DH. We had leftover soup and I used up some pieces of veggies that went into a lovely salad. :)
Then I went to the co-op and bought groceries(on budget), went to pick up my rotary cutter and bought $20 of fabric, spent $12 on bee supplies and $2.50 at the bee meeting on raffles. I'd call the second half of this day a fail. But, Im going on. Tomorrow is a new day. Money spent-$34.50

6. Today I was dreaming of buying silicone hair ties. The ones I'm using stretch out so fast it seems. But, I use them multiple times a day, just about every day. What's the life of a hair tie anyways??
I went to pick up my chicks at the post office. We went to the gym and watched disc 3 of season 5 of  walking dead on DVD on loan from the library.

7. Worked on decluttering and sewing. I didn't spend any money today.

8. Worked inside since it snowed. I didn't spend any money today. I had a sewing snow day.

9. I bought cat and dog food (necessary and on budget) and some groceries for us, also on budget. I did get the chicken dinner deal at cub. I opted for the larger one so we could eat more out of it than just once. Their fried chicken is just SO good. It's kind of a treat for us since we can't (won't) go out and this is still technically grocery money. (Little bit more trash that I wanted with this though...)

10. Bought nothing. DH had to work a 12hr shift again, so I went to church and spent time at my neighbors house just chatting. It was a good day.

11. Laundry day. It's so nice out that I put my clothes on the line, therefore using less electrical power and saving money in the process. Did you know that your dryer is probably the most energy using thing in your house?

12.Took homemade lemon poppy seed bread to my ladies bible study. They loved it. No money spent.

13. I did a lot of gardening today. I also went to HD and took some things back that I didn't need for the entry way re-do. I picked up some things, but I used my store credit card. Officially I spent no money. In fact I still have money on that store credit card.

14. I tilled up more of the garden. I planted my honey berry plants, bleeding heat, some of my flower seeds for the bees, lettuce, cabbage and some onions. I did a lot of work, but I was satisfied with everything and that I got plants and didn't spend any (more) money on them. I had a beer(It was already in the fridge.) and just relaxed over looking my homestead.

15. It was a friend's birthday so we went out to eat. I spent $12. Then she wanted to go garage sale hopping and to a few antique stores. In most of the stores I would pick something up that I wanted to have and carry it around for awhile. Then I reminded myself that I wasn't trying to spend money and I would put it back. I faltered when I saw a mirror that I wanted for my entry way re-do. I did not buy it, but I took a picture and came home to show my DH. He was not impressed with the fact that I wanted to buy it, but he was that I didn't. I did get a $10 baby gate for our dogs at a garage sale.
Money spent: $22

16.I did more work in the garden today. I planted what was left of what I didn't get to on Thursday. Went over to my neighbor's house and talked with her for a few hours. We both had an enjoyable time. No money spent at all. :)

17.Went to church today. The sermon was about generosity. Funny that. Here I am doing a no spending month and we are learning about how God loves a cheerful giver. I try to be a cheerful giver, but sometimes I'm not. Hey-I'm not perfect. But, I want to be able to give more of my time, talents and money with a glad heart.

18.Today  I worked around the homestead on things that have needed doing for awhile. I'm finding that as I spend less money I have more time to devote to projects that I've already got going. I'm really enjoying that aspect of it! I went to a friends to help her with installing her bees. It was fun. We talked for awhile at her place and she plans to come over tomorrow to watch me open my hive.

19.Went to Ladies's bible study and then to lunch with some friends. They wanted to go shopping after, but I didn't buy anything except some batteries for the dogs collar and that was on the budgeted items list. Then another friend came over and we opened my bee hives. WE walked around the homestead and she looked at all the things I've been doing. We talked for a good long time as well. I had a wonderful day, and only spent money on lunch out.  Money spent: $12

20.Today was DH's birthday!! I had bought his presents months previous and so I didn't need to spend money on that. I reused some gift bags and paper to wrap them so no trash and no spend there. I made him a fancy biscuit sandwich for breakfast and he went to sleep. (He had just got done with night shift so when he got up we went out!!) We went out to celebrate DH's birthday at our favorite Indian Restaurant and then to a bar that does Karaoke. We went there to do karaoke, but we bought a few beers. Money spent: $45.

21.We stayed home and ate our leftovers and moved trees and planted the trees that I ordered in March. It was a beautiful day and I was busy planning and watching the weather.

22.Again stayed home and planted things...Mostly the strawberry plants that I ordered.

23. Today was tough. I went to the grocery store to get the cake and the food for the party? Does this count for buy nothing? I knew I would be doing this, so...I tried to plan accordingly. I'm going to be angry when we look back on the month and realized we've spent more in April than other months...

24. HA HA!! Fooled him... I made DH think that Wednesday was his only birthday celebration. I threw a surprise birthday get together for him after church on Sunday. Time spent with friends is really the best birthday/anniversary celebrations in our opinion. So, he really enjoyed this!
He was so touched that so many people showed up. If you were one of them-THANK YOU!!

25. I still had strawberry plants to plant, but it rained really hard all day and was a bit cold. So, I stayed in a sewed a dress. Then I went to ladies Pinterest party at church and then to book club.Money spent:$10

26. Went to the last Ladies Bible study group, we had a brunch. It was nice. I went out with some ladies shopping. It was fun. I did spent some money, but it was for things that were previously discussed with DH. So, it was budgeted. I didn't think that I would even go out to get these things, but since some of my friends wanted to check out the new hobby lobby I figured they might have some things there that I could use. We re did the entry way in our house. I'm still looking for a few pieces to put in there and I will be doing a separate post about it later.

27. Didn't do much today, it rained so I sewed a lot.

28.I spent $35 at the quilt store. They have a "birthday sale" and I won a gift card. It had to be used that day. I got $100 or more worth of fabric, but I was a little disappointed in myself today. And I was SO close to the end. Money Spent:$35

29. Did regular chores and we had 3 baby bunnies arrive today!!

30.We stayed home and planted more things in the yard and gardens. It was the most enjoyable day! We talked about how we felt moving forward into May and things that we noticed that we needed/wanted to buy. We planned a big trip to Home Depot.

All totaled up I spent $158.50. I know you're probably thinking WOW, that's a lot of money. But, it's not too bad for me. I usually spend that much with one shopping trip to Home Depot. (They get SO much of our money right now...) This will come out of my personal money. I got $105 this month so I'm over by $53.50. So, I just can't spend as much in May on personal things. I plan to be busy with my garden and all the new life that is coming, or has come already, to our homestead.

Thanks for keeping me accountable in this month of 'No Spend.' I know it's not a true no spend month, because I did spend money, but it has taught me quite a lot about myself. Mostly, I've learned to think more about what I think I want or need in my life to be happy. We require so little to be truly content in our lives. Our basic needs are met and we need nothing else in our lives.

Have you done a 'No Spend' month? How did it go? Would you consider doing one? I'd love to hear about it if you decide to do one.

Here is another blog about it to get you started if you are interested.

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