31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero Challenge

So I took the challenge this month from Living Well Spending Less' Ruth for their 31 day no spend challenge.  

She explained at the beginning that this would look different for every family.  For us we already had some things on the agenda that would mean we are spending money.  For example I know that we are entertaining and hosting family from out of state this month.  We went apple picking this month.  And I know we are going to run out of toilet paper before the end of the month.  All things we know we will be spending money on and have budgeted for so we are prepared.  

For us what this means is that when we are out and about we will not get the extras: the starbucks, the costco icecream, the dollar section at Target's toys, the anything else I can think of.  Also, we have a huge amount of food in our home so we will be eating from that and figuring out meals rather than going out to eat or running to the store for more food.  By the way, typing running to the store while we have this huge amount of food at home seems weird but that is exactly what happens.  Lame, I tell ya,lame.  

So on day 3, which was a few days ago she challenged us to come up with meals.  Due to my monthly grocery shopping I have lots to chose from.  And I still have over $100 in my grocery budget left for the month.  Meaning that if I can feed my family from what I already have rather than continuing to buy more then I can pocket that $100 plus for other things.  Hello start on Christmas shopping!  

While I have never joined a no spend "challenge" or anything formal before we have done these no spend times on our own before.  I usually do them when the kids have been driving me nuts about toys.  

I cannot stand when they beg and beg and beg for something, you buy it, and then they care so little about it by the time you get home from the store that they forget it in the car.  Or when they HAVE to have something or will apparently explode or something and then lose it and have no idea what you are even talking about when you ask what they did with it.  These are all true stories, folks. Sad but true.  

So I've put no spending into place when I want them to realize what they have.  And it shockingly works!  Are you bored?  Let's go over to this art area where we have a million and one art and craft supplies and you can find yourself something to do.  You have nothing to play with?  Why don't you play with the 57 Imaginext sets you have that you haven't touched for 4 months. 

And before you know it, they aren't bored, I've drilled into them an important lesson, and I feel like we are saving money by not buying things that we don't even need anyway. 

So there you have it.  I'm not spending any money this month.  How about you?  Would you like to take the challenge as well?  You can head over to her blog and read all about it for yourself. It's amazing and organized and you can even get emails daily from her on what to do.

If you decide to hop on the no spend express, please let me know!  I'd love to know who else I am doing this with and we can all offer one another encouragement along the way!  And in case you want to get caught up on what she has spoken of you can check all of the previous days and challenges out here.