HOW MUCH DID WE SPEND? HOW MUCH DID WE SAVE? WAS IT WORTH IT? FIND OUT IN THIS NO-SPEND FEBRUARY RECAP!
I’m laying it all out in this post! A Life on a Dime participated in No-Spend February. Spoiler alert: it was much harder than I anticipated! I’m sensing a pattern here with these challenges. Remember the No Plastic December Challenge? Here is my No-Spend February recap.
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NO-SPEND FEBRUARY RECAP – BY THE GUIDELINES
Referring back to the no-spend guidelines, spending was banned in several categories. I’ll go through each one and tell you how we did on them individually.
NO CLOTHING PURCHASES
I was initially going to budget socks and underwear as we’re slowly replenishing these items, but after we strayed in another category. You may have already heard if you watched the No-Spend Challenge YouTube video (you can read all about that below if you didn’t). I chose not to continue with this for February, so we actually did better with this one than I anticipated.
NO MAKEUP OR JEWELRY
I don’t wear a lot of makeup so this one wasn’t very easy. In January I had just replaced the chain for my favorite pendant and accidentally snagged it clean off my neck with the hairbrush fairly early on in the month. I put it away for safekeeping and will replace it later. I didn’t wear it for over a year before I remembered to get a chain while I was out, so another month or two will be okay.
NO DINING OUT
There were a few nights I found I had missed something on the grocery list or we didn’t have enough leftovers for leftover night. A couple of those times I managed to whip up a homemade meal anyway from the pantry without wreaking further havoc to the meal plan. Then there was the time or two it didn’t…
It was a little too easy to go out to eat once fairly on in the month. Dinner wasn’t working out according to meal plan and I really wanted curry. We quickly decided to adjust the budget and treat ourselves the one time. So we loaded up and stopped at the local Asian restaurant… only to find it was closed that week.
We drove on into the next closest option, but it didn’t seem too kid-friendly (looked more geared for the college crowd based on all the signs in the windows) and we decided not to mess with it. So we drove back to the local Mexican restaurant that is a tried and true favorite with us all and I shared an order of quesadillas with the toddler.
It was a lively meal and we enjoyed the time together, so I have a hard time calling this a fail. The next two times we ate out didn’t come from the budget, so I’m not going to feel guilty about that.
NO ALCOHOL, EXCEPT ON VALENTINE’S DAY
We did well with this one and stayed under budget. I continued to try to up my water intake this month as per my monthly health goal, but coffee consumption increased dramatically for me due to a toddler who boycotted sleep almost every night. I have decided to give up coffee for Lent since I’m feeling a little too attached to it right now. Pray for me!
We forgot STEAM night at the school was in February. Admission is free, but all the activities were raffled or required tickets/money and there was a food truck. We sat that one out. The Glow Dance party is also in February. We considered going, but the kiddo opted to go to Dairy Queen for a rare treat instead. The cost was about the same, just under $12.
TOYS AND GAMES
We actually identified a few toys that could be donated this month. We stay away from toy stores and toy aisles with the kids so this really isn’t much of an issue. Problems only arose when the kids fought over the lone set of mega bloks. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have them saved on my Amazon wishlist.
NO CONVENIENCE FOODS
We did not spend money on any random convenience foods or drinks at the register. There were no special little treats purchased while grocery shopping, or for my husband while out and about at work. This did save a bit of money
Our first grader did not participate in any school-sponsored sports last summer as we had her in martial arts as a birthday gift. I made a rookie mistake then too of not asking what the price to continue was and the “affordable” classes soon looked more like a second mortgage would be needed just to stay in for the year.
We had talked about enrolling her in T-ball or another sport this coming summer as a fun activity and to give her some much-needed socialization. She is a very social child and prefers to be surrounded by other kids her age. When we found out that T-ball registration was in February and it would be $50 we knew we were signing her up no-spend month or not.
Luckily, due to her age, we don’t have to purchase much equipment, but they did recommend athletic pants and a mitt. She needs new tennis shoes anyway as she has just about torn through the toes of the pair purchased just before school started. We bought a bit big so luckily they still fit her.
NO-SPEND FEBRUARY RECAP: SO HOW MUCH DID WE SAVE?
We did manage to put an extra $250 to savings. That is a success in itself. That may not seem like a lot to some readers, but we live on a single income and this was a significant increase to our monthly savings. We send money to savings every pay period, but it was very nice to see it add up just a little faster.
All in all, I’d say we did alright. We did manage to save more than usual, which put us closer to our current emergency fund goal. Having said that, I am so glad it’s over and I am more than ready for March!
I am so excited we’re going minimalist this month! I really hope you join in as a frugal friend and go minimal for the month with us! I’ll be back with another post on Friday, and until then stay frugal and minimal my friends!