This February, our family has decided to spend zero money on non-essentials during Frugal February. I am excited to announce that we made it through the first seven days with absolutely ZERO spending and not a single trip to any restaurant, retail or grocery store. Our month of zero spending was even a feature story this week in the Omaha World Herald. I’ve been hearing many positive comments from friends and blog followers who are also taking similar challenges in their lives. One friend analyzed her own budget and made changes that will save her family $300 every single month! I’m very excited that others joining us during our no spend challenge and making changes in their own spending habits.
Honestly, one week of no shopping or spending did not seem like much of a sacrifice and it has already made me more mindful of the money I spend. In an average week, I would have made at least one trip to the grocery store and another to CVS. My husband fought the urge to purchase food at the snack bar at work and I resisted every temptation to get coffee at the local coffee shop. My husband was really disappointed when he realized he could not take the older kids to the Lego Movie, but it is not a necessity. There really is nothing we absolutely need and reminding ourselves of our long-term financial goals keeps us motivated to continue this challenge. This week, I’ve realized much our spending is on those small purchases throughout the week, like snacks and coffee, that really add up over time. I estimate we already saved about $100-$150 during our first week of No Spend February.
The Biggest Challenge
The most difficult struggle for me this week is that I ran out of cigarettes (my on and off-again habit for the past 18 years) and cannot buy anymore during Frugal February. I quit smoking when I was pregnant and nursing each of my children, but started the habit again about a year ago. I’ve quit cold turkey several times before and it is never fun. However, I am determined to make it through February only purchasing necessities. My health and pocketbook will thank me for quitting a horrible habit.
Week Two – Staying Focused
I’m looking forward to week two of our No Spend Challenge and have already planned our meals. I will have to make a run to the grocery store for milk, cottage cheese, bananas and salad. I have some free Hiland dairy product coupons and a $3 catalina from Baker’s, so I plan to spend less than $2-3 at the store. I will post a picture and record every penny I spend on the few perishable food items we consider necessities.
Are you participating in Frugal February? What changes have you made in your own spending habits? How do you feel about this challenge? Please leave a comment.