2020 No Spend Year - FEB Update and Frugal Five
saving money

2020 No Spend Year – February Review + Frugal Five

We made it through February – woohoo! There were some unplanned expenditures this month, but we still saved money in the end. So how did we do in our No Spend February?

Follow along on our No Spend 2020 >>>
2020 No Spend Year – Rules and January Review

2020 No Spend Year - February Review + Frugal Five
#frugalfive #nospendyear  #nospend #frugalfamily

No Spend February – Expenditures

February was a little bit of a weird month. While we had vowed to not eat out, we did. We had dinner out twice in February and Dan had lunch out once or twice. But we aren’t beating ourselves up about this! We know that our no spend year won’t be perfect and that’s okay. The key here is having grace with ourselves.

Camping and other outdoor gear was a BIG expense this month. Dan and my dad went backpacking in early February because the weather was warmer than normal. While my dad is a seasoned backpacker, my husband is not. A lightweight tent and a few other things were purchased from Academy. Why are things that are small and lightweight so expensive??

No spend february
Tiny, light-weight $130 tent…

A big project my husband undertook this month was organizing the garage. This meant putting shelves in. We spent $71 at Home Depot buying wood, brackets, and few other things to make these shelves happen. It’s so organized!

Here are some of our “unnecessary” expenditures:

  • $30 – Oil/filter for our SUV
  • $71 – Miscellaneous home improvement projects
  • $15 – Checks for our checking account (we hadn’t ordered new checks in over 6 years!)
  • $230 – Camping/backpacking gear, fishing equipment
  • $47 – Eating out

Fishing has also become a big-time hobby for Dan. I don’t get it, but he really enjoys it. Which means I’ll tag along when needed and let him do his thing. Over the next few months of spring and summer, I expect our “hobby expenses” to be higher with camping fees and fishing gear being purchased. And that’s okay.

No Spend February Activity - fishing!
#nospend @hellobrownlow
Tiny human is perplexed at this good-sized bass.

Tax Refund Time!

‘Tis the season for taxes. We filed our taxes for free through Credit Karma. And we actually got money back from both the state and the feds. That NEVER happens (especially here in Oklahoma).

What did we do with that money?

We saved it! It went into our emergency fund as an extra buffer.

Why didn’t we spend it on something luxurious?

Because that’s not who we are. Spending that kind of money, whether it is hundreds of dollars or thousands, doesn’t align with our goals. I would rather be one step closer to financial independence than have a new TV or designer handbag.

For more on enjoying frugality >>>
How to Enjoy Frugal Living

February’s Frugal Five

I’ve decided that every month I am going to share with you our top five frugal things we did for the month. And frugal five seems like a thing… so I’m jumping on! Be prepared for family photos!

1. We found loads of free activities to do. Our annual pass to the zoo gives us plenty to do… and loads of space for our toddler to run around. There is also a nature center close by with hiking trails and an interactive visitors’ center.

Zoo train! Kiddo’s favorite.

2. Never have I checked out so many books from the library! Little Guy has a longer attention span now and will sit to read books with me. He has also learned the word “book” and can sign it too (proud mama!).

No Spend February - library books are the best! #nospend @hellobrownlow
We read anywhere we can sit!

3. For Valentine’s this year, I made the boys a cake. It’s my family-famous red velvet cake. It ain’t pretty. But it tasted good!

See? It’s totally not pinterest worthy.

4. While I tried to do a “pantry challenge” for February, it just wasn’t in the cards. However, I did make do with a lot of recipes by using ingredients that we had on hand rather than going out and buying new. (See The 4 Principles of Frugal Living for more on this!)

Don’t judge my photography skills.. but this loaded corn bread was the bomb!

5. I love freezer meals. But I am not a super huge fan of making 10 at a time and taking up three hours of a Sunday. So I tried doubling up recipes! It worked great. You just double the recipe – half for now, half for later!

February's Frugal Five
Veganized version of Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole. Yum!

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