This second week of No Spend Month was harder than the first. I would love to go out to eat one night soon. I sure don’t take it for granted anymore, but I guess that’s the point. We spent $44 this week, which seemed like a lot compared to $13 the week before. Then I realized that we’re halfway through the month, and we’ve only spent $57 total!
The second week:
- We spent $44 on groceries. I bought the good, expensive juice this time, because the cheap kind last week was really, really bad.
- We didn’t have to buy gas, because we only used 1/4 tank.
- We ate food from the freezer and some meatless dinners.
- I dreamed about going shopping at a J. Crew sale, and every skirt was the perfect size and style. I didn’t want to wake up.
- I finally learned how to make delicious iced coffee! I’ve always been confused if I should make regular hot coffee and then chill it, or steep the grounds in cold water. Finally this recipe (via How About Orange) explained why cold-brewed iced coffee tastes better. It could not be easier! I followed the recipe and used my french press to filter it. I didn’t need to add much sugar, because the coffee tasted so good. I’ll be having this every day.
A little about budgeting:
In a typical month we use our debit cards, try to remember how much we spent, and then hope it comes close to our budget at the end of the month. This month, though, we switch to a cash budget since every dollar counts.
At the beginning of each week, we start with $50. Most of it goes to me to use for groceries. I write down how much we spend, and at the end of the week, I compare the total to the cash left in my purse. If there is money left over, it gets carried over to the next week, since we’ll probably need it for gas or more food. We try to leave a few dollars for unexpected or fun things too.
We came up with our $250 limit by thinking about how much we normally spend on groceries, and then making that cover everything, including gas. We thought having a tight budget like this would get us out of the habit of getting take out and going out for coffee. It works. It definitely is easier this second time around, because last year we had spent quite a bit more at this point.
Anyone have some budgeting-success stories to share? Let’s hear about them!