February 06, 2011
No Spend Month Goals
First of all, I am participating in this No Spend Month and will continue this into next month in order to surprise my husband with extra cash by April 1st. Why? We had to pay a $500 deductible in order to get our son’s (actually the car is in me and my husband’s name) repaired after an accident. That amount kind of dwindled our savings and I want to surprise my hubby with extra cash. So, yes, I am keeping a secret from my husband. Again, it is only bad if I am keeping debt a secret from him. I don’t think cutting back on the budget to surprise him with extra cash is a bad.
In our household, my husband pays the bills. Over the years we have traded back and forth and now it is his turn. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know what our finances look like and what bills we have to pay.
Each month we have money budgeted in the categories of household repairs, clothing, entertainment, food, car repairs and etc. If we don’t use what is in those categories, the amount leftover is carried over to the next month. For example, we have not spent any money in the clothing category for months but we keep adding to that category so that when we need to buy a big ticket item such as a suit or coat, the money will be there. It is all put in the same savings account, but it is accounted for separately on an excel spreadsheet.
Most of the spending that I do is in the realm of variable spending such as: food, gasoline, entertainment, eating out, clothing and miscellaneous spending. Miscellaneous spending consists of pet food and supplies and other items needed for our home.
Since variable spending categories is where you can cut back in a budget and save the most, those are the areas that I will work on to save the money for the No Spend Month.
Here are the areas that I expect to get my savings.
Food: My budget will be $30 to $40 per week.
Gasoline: We have been spending $150 to $200 per month depending on what is going on in our schedules. For example, if we have to drive out of town to see my in laws, it will take a tank of gas versus many months when we stay in town. With gasoline going up in price, I will be cutting back in order to keep the amounts the same or at least to the lower end of our budget being $150.
Entertainment and Eating Out: Our entertainment budget includes cablevision, internet and Netflix. Beyond that we budget for a movie (matinee) if there is one we want to see in town. We won’t be doing anything special for entertainment this month as cablevision, internet and Netflix seem to meet our entertainment needs. As for eating out, we won’t this month. We usually eat out once or twice a month.
Miscellaneous Spending: This includes pet food and supplies and anything else such as copy paper and ink for our printer.
Clothing: To my knowledge we do not need anything. If we do, we have money in savings so I shouldn't have to spend anything extra. I will of course check out the sales and the consignment or thrift stores first.
Our fixed expenses are mortgage payment, car payments, insurance payments, utilities, debt payments, savings, charity giving, property taxes, phone, cable/internet/Netflix, college fund and 401K. I hope I haven’t left anything out.
The one extra expense that we will have this month is paint. I will be painting our living room and entryway. These are large rooms, but the money is already saved for this household expense.
In looking over this budget I should be able to save $200 for the month of February from our variable spending categories.