A no spend month – sounds a little daunting doesn’t it? We thought so too. But then, we started to think…. what if we really cut out the unnecessary things in life like, alcohol, shopping, craft store purchases, eating out, and so on? How much money would that really save us?
To have “no spend month” you have to think of what is really important to you and what your goal would be if you were to not put it toward your normal expenditures. Our goal was to beef up our emergency savings account. We had been throwing so much of our “extra funds” towards paying off my car over the past few months that our savings was a little lacking. What if something catastrophic was to happen? Like I wrecked my newly paid off car for instance (It was paid off for five days. FIVE. Part of our saved funds will go towards car repairs as well unfortunately.)
It was time to look at the numbers!
Through our number crunching we eliminated: eating out (lunch and dinner), entertainment (alcohol, movies, etc), craft store shopping, clothes shopping, and “run over” money that we end up spending on shopping anyways. During a normal month, that runs us $950-$1000. Wowza! That’s a lot of money to spend on things that do not contribute to our survival (although we did contemplate alcohol as a necessity for a moment).
We decided to budget for items for our house and yard since they are going to be maintenance items and for my husband to get a hair cut since he needs to look professional for his job.
For couponing, we will still spend money on newspapers every week (~$8), but if I want to buy anything for our stockpile, I have to use money earned from rebates that I have submitted. You may ask, “Why would you spend $32 a month on coupons you probably won’t use?”. On the contrary my friend. When I don’t use a coupon to boost my stockpile, the rest of my coupons go for allergy medicine and food. Those coupons for allergy medicine are INSANE sometimes we are talking $10 or more off the purchase which with that one coupon more than makes up for the newspapers every week.
So let’s say we put this extra $1000 that we have now towards our savings. What would that do for us? For our emergency savings account, the ideal figure is $15,000 to $20,000. Let me tell you right now that this figure is NOT what we have in our savings by a long shot. But we are working on it. Yes, it’s a lot of money to have in a mediocre savings account with a lower yield, but it is easily accessible money that equals 3 months’ household salary. I don’t want to think what it would be like if we didn’t have that money saved and one of us lost our jobs or got sick and couldn’t work. Yikes. As of right now, I know we could definitely not live on just one salary.
I will, of course, keep updating posts as our journey continues. It’s only day one but it’s looking good!