Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June and the No Spending Challenge

I have decided it is time for another Fighting Foreclosure No Spending Challenge. I just keep looking ahead at the summer and there not any extra work available, which means my options for bringing in nine hundred dollars in income in are pretty limited. What's my other option? Well, when you can't earn it, you've got save it instead.

I was pretty successful at my No Spending Challenge when I did it in March. However, there will be some changes for this month and that should make it interesting. Last March I was so busy working and volunteering, that I barely had time to shop - that isn't quite as much of a problem this month! So, since I have lots of time on my hands, I am going to look for other ways to make my budget...

The first thing I am going to do is try going to an envelope system for my two "problem" categories - Groceries and Home Improvement. If I go over on my budget it is almost always in one of these two categories. My grocery budget is $125 and my home improvement budget is $50. I am actually going to double my home improvement budget to $100 this month. I know that probably sounds odd seeing as how I am trying to save money, but one of the key aspects of setting goals for yourself is not to set yourself up for failure. It's June - I am still working on the lawn at the house and the cabin, I have repairs to make, mulch to buy, and other things that will improve the long term value of my property. It is far better for me to give myself a little breathing space than know going in I am going to blow it from the start.

I get paid this Friday. I am going to take $225 out of my checking account and put it into two properly marked envelopes. My goal for the month will be to not only not go over in my spending, but also come in under and have money left. However, if I spend every penny and don't go over in either, I will consider it a success!

For grocery shopping I am going to really work on eating down whatever I already have in the cupboards. This is going to be a good opportunity for me to only purchase the absolute necessities and to clean out any dry goods that have been sitting and waiting to be used. I actually have a pretty well stocked pantry so this shouldn't be too hard. I am also going to try to take advantage of the Farmer's Market. Food is better and usually far less expensive there than at the grocery store.

Much like in March, I am not going to limit my dining out or gift budgets. I have two gifts to buy in June, and already have the money set aside for those. As for dining out, just like in March, my No Spending Challenge is not an excuse to be a hermit. I have a a dining out budget of $100 and will not change this for the Challenge. (Honestly, this shouldn't be a problem - last month when I was over in just about every other category, I came in under by about half in dining out.) I have a couple of folks on my list I would really like to spend time with this month, and if we want to go out and have dinner - that is what I am going to do, by gum!

What I am going to try to limit is all other spending. No dining out alone, no little miscellaneous purchases. I am going to stick to necessities and work hard to keep utility bills in check. I'll also be keeping my eyes open for income opportunities and working to get some eBay and other sales going again. Let's see if I can't surprise myself in June, shall we??



Photo by: Darren Hester

11 comments:

Sharon said...

Dawn!
Glad I'll have some company this month! Good luck, I'm sure you'll be successful!
Sharon

Dawn said...

Hey Sharon - the more of us the merrier! We'll keep our pocketbooks nice and full this month!

Grace. said...

You must go to different Farmer's Markets than I do. I love them, love their food, love their produce, love their meat. BUT, the prices are NOT the same as the local grocerty story. The quality is higher and so are the prices.

Dawn said...

Grace - most veggies are far less expensive at our market. Oddly the one thing I have noticed that is more is cabbage. Much cheaper at the grocery store - not sure why that is. Meat and bread is quite a bit more expensive at the market rather than the grocery store, but this time of year I am hoping to buy less of those items and more of the fresh produce anyway.

getting stuff done said...

hey Dawn - best of luck. I am trying a different method to try and control the grocery budget this month. am doing online shopping and daily shopping. we have a great organic veg market just around the corner and a fabulous butcher. neither are cheap, but the quality is really really excellent. so much so that it really makes a difference - in a good way. am hoping that not being in the supermarket will help control spending even though the local shops are pricier.

Together We Save said...

Good luck. I am trying to run on a very tight budget. I am also have a yard sale this weekend to help bring in some money.

Dawn said...

GSD - I think you really have something there - the supermarkets are bad for my budget. Maybe I will see what happens if I try to avoid them all together this month. Hmmm.... thanks for the idea!

Together We Save - Good luck on your yard sale! May you sell many knick knacks!! I am planning on having one next month. I always have fun at mine because I do it with my best gal pals. We know how to make a sale fun... and make a few extra dollars. Hope yours is smashing!

Frugalchick said...

I like that your focus is "not dining out alone." Lately I have been far too tempted to pick up inexpensive meals when I am out running errands or too lazy to think up something to cook for myself for lunch. I will have to repeat this mantra to myself!

j9 said...

Good luck this month! I've had some extra time on my hands lately and have been blogging about clearing out an extremely overstocked pantry (not mine, I'm helping out). Hopefully your pantry foods are more 'up to date'.

In my area the farmer's markets tend to be more expensive but there is a local farm stand on every corner and they have great prices. I guess it depends on the area of the country you are in.

:)

Dawn said...

Frugalchick - I love eating out alone - absolutely love it! However, I try to save my dining out dollars for social time with friends - then that money is not just going to food, but also towards spending time with people I love. It makes it all worthwhile, you know? I am not fond of fast food, so that rarely is an issue for me, but I love good ethnic restaurants. It is better for me to share that with friends though.

Dawn said...

j9 - Fortuantely none of my pantry items are too out of date! I keep things pretty current. Since I am single, I tend not to stock up too much food - there is only so much I can eat. Good luck on your pantry clean out though!