In January Colby and I participated in our very first No Spend month. I did an entire video about it as well as wrote a blog post talking about what I hoped to learn. For the month of February we knew we still wanted to save money and decided to do a low spend month instead of a complete no spend. You can read about our rules for our low spend month here. Tomorrow is the last day of February and with all of our bills paid and money accounted for, it is time to talk about our low spend month and how it went.
Our goal for February:
Our goal for February was to spend less and cut back in certain areas and really think before we bought something. This didn’t mean we couldn’t spend any money we just wanted to spend less and be more mindful of our purchases. We were hoping to save an extra $800 to $1000 by doing a low spend month.
What really happened?
The reality is that while we did spend less than we normally do I am not sure I would call February a low spend month. Our goal was to spend $300 on groceries and we did end up going over that by quite a bit. I am not sure what happened here. The first two weeks went great and we were right on budget but the last two weeks we somehow spent more than we wanted to and it seemed like we ran out of a lot of things in January that simply needed replaced in February. Our entertainment/eating out fund we budgeted $50 a month and we did end up eating out a couple times but more than we planned. Colby ended up eating out quite a few times for lunch as well. We all joked he was making up for lack of eating out in January. The funny thing is every time he went out to eat he said the food was horrible so in all honesty it truly was a waste of money. In February we also bought a gun, a purchase that Colby had been saving up for for months and he finally had enough to purchase the one he wanted. The money for this came from his personal spending money so it didn’t alter our budget in any way BUT we did end up spending money to go to the shooting range and purchase ammo.
How much did we save?
While we didn’t save the $800 to $1000 I was hoping we would, we did still save money from being a bit more mindful of our spending (even with purchasing items we hadn’t planned for and going over our eating out and grocery budget). In the end we managed to save an extra $450. So an extra $450 is going towards our debt on top of our normal debt payments that we allocate for each month.
Although January was a successful no spend month, seeing how February went does make me wonder if no spend months are worth it. Although we spent significantly less than we normally do in January, it felt like come February we had to restock supplies in our house and ultimately spend more in certain areas than we normally would because we needed to replenish from the previous month. I also don’t think doing a no spend and a low spend back to back was necessarily a smart idea. It made February, which is actually a shorter month, feel so much longer. The last two weeks felt like they dragged on and on.
I know I am going to get asked if we will be doing a low spend March and the answer is yes and no. While we still want to save as much as we can come March, I am definitely not calling it a low spend and I will not be restricting our budget as much as I did in January and February. I will however be selling a lot of items. I have a bunch of items packed into totes just waiting for me to photograph and list.
Overall I am pretty happy with how January and February went and how much money we were able to put towards debt and I’m even happier that here shortly that debt will be gone once and for all.
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