Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September No-Spend Challenge: How'd We Do?

If you recall, we decided to make September a no-spend month. Between buying a new (to us) truck (and four new tires for said truck) and working our butts off to pay off my student loans and our Jeep payment, we felt like our budget needed a reset.

Here's where we screwed up spent unplanned money. It is detailed. It is boring. You can feel free to bail right now. I won't respect you less, and in fact, I might respect you more. 

September No-Spend Month Unplanned Spending:

4th: $4 at Subway. We had enough points on our cards to get the rest free, but we still had to pay for Bear's sandwich.

9th: $64 on Girl Scouts stuff. I had already planned on $20 for Bear's yearly registration fee and monthly dues, so that is not part of this total. But I ended up volunteering to be the assistant troop leader, which came with a registration fee, and then Bear and I went to the Girl Scout store and got her new uniform vest and accoutrements, so that was another $49 I simply hadn't thought about. But totally worth it, as we love Scouts and are excited about the new year. I regret nothing.

10th: $175 vet bill. Our doggie had a urinary tract infection and needed more heartworm medicine, too. Worth every penny to keep her healthy. We were planning to take her in for a regular check-up appointment next month, anyway, so that's just something we don't have to do in a few weeks. Again, I regret nothing.

11th: $18.44. Husband went out to lunch with co-workers and I gave him the stink-eye for it. The STINK-EYE, PEOPLE.  I even made it official. I said, "I have to give you the stink-eye for this. You know that, right?" He took it like a man.

And no, he does not normally spend $18 on the rare occasion that he goes out to eat for lunch. Someone bought him lunch a few weeks ago and he picked up their bill this time.

Anyway. This was not going well.

On September 14th, Husband got called in to work and was rammed by a deer on the way. In his brand-new (to us) truck. He was/is totally fine. It's a big truck and he wears his seat belt. But... $500 deductible.

At this point I began to give up on no-spend month. I managed not to cry, and I reminded myself that avoiding unnecessary spending had put us in a position to absorb the unexpected, so in that way we were quite successful. But it was very hard to watch all that money going out of our checking instead of into our savings. Very hard, indeed.

15th: We ate a late breakfast and timed out our lunch poorly and ended up stopping at a Penn Station up near the Cincinnati Nature Center, all full of bubbling hanger and frustration. $31.91. Because heaven forbid anyone but me just get a damned WATER. NOOOOO. Mt. Dews and lemonades for his and her highness!

I am resorting to blaming. It's not a good look.

18th: $17.51 at Wendy's for dinner. You can just hush. Just hush it up right now. I hate cooking a meal after a long day shopping. Also, I got water at Penn Station, so it probably all balances out. Ahem.


19th: $8 for my background check for Girl Scouts. Apparently they prefer that their volunteers not be dangerous criminals, and I support that. You'll be pleased to know I passed. Shut up! I did!

22nd: $4.60 at the Girl Scout store for another book. Not a mandatory book, but it's a bit of a long story, and this post is already hella boring/depressing.

Can my family make it eight friggin' days without spending anything extra? Can we just make it through eight more days?

The answer is, "Probably not." But I wouldn't know because I stopped paying attention in the last stretch. I know I didn't buy anything, but if Husband got lunch or something, I don't remember.

In conclusion, I'm glad we tried again. And this month of all months proved to be a good one for consciously attempting not to spend unnecessarily, because a multitude of unexpected but mandatory expenses cropped up and the money for those was there. We didn't have to go into debt because of an emergency, and we feel good about that. And actually, the $500 won't go out until this week (October!) because the repair place couldn't get Husband's truck in until today. So that's technically October spending.


And that is how I choose to end this post. On a classy note, as always.