February No-spend Challenge to Save Money
I've decided to do monthly goal setting, and this month is a no-spend challenge. Part of Lining Up Ducks is all about helping you reach your goals one small duck at a time, getting them all lined up in a row.
One of the ways to get your financial ducks in a row is to set goals and cut your spending.
Our big goal for the year is to get our family paying cash into an RV by the end of the year. In order to make that happen, I needed to plan our monthly goals.
So breaking that big goal into small monthly chunks makes it much easier than just looking at this large number that we're supposed to be tackling by the end of the year.
I've decided that every month, I will set my goals for that month and write them down.
I'm hoping it makes you way more likely to reach your goals if you write them down, and I'm hoping that sharing them and helping you be my accountability partner makes me much more motivated to finish these monthly goals.
For this month, I chose the following goals; feel free to adjust to your own financial needs:
Okay, so February is the shortest month of the year, and my husband and I decided this would be a perfect month to do a spending freeze. So we are doing a spend-free February, 28 days of no spending.
The rules we have set for ourselves are we are allowed $25 per week for grocery money. Now, we have a reasonably well-stocked fridge and pantry at this point, and it's not something that's usual in our house, but we needed to eat through all of this food. So this was a great time to do it.
We are allowing ourselves $25 a week for perishable grocery items and milk because we still have many kids in the house. That $25 is also if I'm missing one ingredient for a meal, but there won't be any going out and buying all the ingredients. $25 per week, that's it for groceries.
Also, in our spend-free February, I will be making dinner every night. My husband will bring his lunch to work, and we will cut down on our gasoline usage.
Now, we do have to use gasoline to take ourselves to and from work and get the kids to and from school, but for the most part, unless we agree on it together, we will not use any extra gasoline this month.
Hopefully, by the end of the month, we will have a large amount of money left in our cash envelopes that we can then put towards our RV savings.
Do our taxes
The second goal for the month is to do our taxes. I do our taxes every year, and getting those done is one of my top priorities this month because we are probably looking at a refund. I would love to get that money in, get some of our sinking funds fully funded, and put the rest into our RV fund.
Increase income by $1,000
Goal three for the month is to bring a thousand dollars into the house. That won't be easy, considering I have made $58 on my Etsy site. But hey, $58 is better than nothing. This month's goal is a thousand. It sounds like a lofty goal, but let's see if I can hustle and hit it.
My last two goals for the month revolve around my home. I still have lots of ducks I need to get in a row around my house. I am not the queen of housekeeping by any stretch of the imagination. Somehow, that gene missed me.
My fourth goal for the month will be to do one load of laundry every day. I have been doing laundry once or maybe twice a week, but with six people, it just mounds.
The volume of laundry that comes out of six people and then doing it all in one day is overwhelming. The sorting and putting away seem to be bogging us down, and you would not believe the current mound of laundry I have sitting on my couch waiting for me to sort and fold.
So I decided at church today that I was tired of the mounds of laundry, and my goal for February is one load of laundry every single day.
My fifth and last goal for the month will help my laundry situation drastically: finishing paring down everyone's clothes in the household. The kids' clothes and my husband's and mine, and getting us into one closet for all our clothes.
We'll have to pare everything down for the RV, so why not go ahead and start now?
We are moving all of my children's clothes into mine, my husband's, and my tiny little closet back here, and that will give us a good idea of the spatial limits of what we should and should not be keeping for our RV journey ahead.
So that's it for my no spend challenge, which started with my five goals for February.
Are you doing a no spend challenge? What tips do you have to make it successful? Share in the comments below.
Next, learn these 10 Simple Principles of Money to Help Your Family Budget.