Friday, December 31, 2010

No Spend January...Sort of

Last year I did "No Spend January" as an experiment to see how little I could spend in one month. Let me just tell you, I still spent a lot. I did, however, only use money I brought in separate from my regular paycheck to do that, so I considered it a success.

This January, I am moving. I am using some of my Emergency Fund money to cover the deposit and pro-rated rent on my new place, since I still had to pay my rent at my current apartment. I'm also paying for National Boards next month, so January is looking pretty expensive.

In light of that, I have decided to try to do another No Spend January. This time the rules are a little different...

-No clothes shopping (duh.) I don't think this will be very hard. I'll be really busy, plus I've pretty much broken my habit of impulse clothes shopping, so I know I can do it. I haven't clothes shopped since October actually.

-Shop for apartment necessities at thrift stores, Craigslist, and Freecycle. I will try not to buy anything brand new for my apartment during January. If after I look for a full month and can't find something used, I'll buy it new in February. Anything that can wait, will wait until I have a fully-funded emergency fund again.

-I will use gift cards from Christmas (Panera, CPK, and Yard House) for any socializing I want to do. And that's it! No cheating. If people want to hang out with me, I can invite them over to my new place, meet up at the gym, or use my gift cards sparingly.

-This is the big difference...I would normally say no eating out for convenience, but with a move, I know I'm going to have to grab something since I'm planning on eating all of the food I can from my old place before the move. I will try to grocery shop quickly and prepare food at home, but realistically, I'm going to have to eat out during the move. And I'll probably buy lunch from my school cafeteria on some days when I haven't cooked yet or am out of food at my old place. So, I am hoping to keep this amount to $75 for the month.

-Only free entertainment, like Netflix, a walk, playing Wii, etc. Again, not too worried about this part.

If I can do this, I should have at least $150 to put back in my e-fund at the end of the month. That will mean when my apartment deposit and my tax returns come back, I will have a fully funded e-fund, with money to spare that I can put toward my car payment or other needs for my new place.

Also, rather than update everyday, I am going to do end of the week updates on my progress on these goals. Last year's posts got incredibly tedious. I don't think anyone enjoyed that.


  1. I'm excited to sand down and paint that table and chairs set with you.

  2. Maybe you could call it "Cut Back January" since that is truely what you are doing.

  3. I also did! Love the way you write!

  4. Hey! This is my first time reading your blog, so I plan to start at the beginning (because I'm OCD that way). But I wanted to drop in and say good luck on your challenge! :)