Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A No Spend Month

HAPPY TUESDAY MAMAS! Time for....

Here's what you do:
1. Write a post about ANYTHING baby {or pregnancy} related.
2. Add my button to your post.
3. Link your post with the link-up tool found at the end of all of my posts.
EASY PEASY!


This Tuesday I'm not-so-much talking about "baby" stuff but instead linking up with my pal Erin to talk about budget and financial related things....which is totally part of being a mom, right?

Let me start by saying...

OH EM GEE, we did it! 

This past month Jason and I followed in the footsteps of my financial idols, Sallie & Perkins, and attempted a "NO SPEND MONTH". That meant NO meals out, NO shopping, NO Starbucks. NADA. The ONLY things we spent our money on this month were groceries {which I budgeted}, gas and our bills. NOTHING else. OK...that's a wee bit of a lie. I did book a plane ticket but ONLY because fares were starting to go up and if I didn't book it this month I'd be booking it next month. AND the couple of times that we enjoyed a meal out or I got coffee was done using gift cards from Christmas.

Before I go into the nuts and bolts of our financial plans for 2014 and the success of our first month of the year, I have to brag about my husband. Jason started a new job with the same company in October, a sales job, and since has been the top salesman on his team every single month. He has worked so hard and has won bonus pools, received extra incentives and has given our family much more flexibility in the budget department. I couldn't be more proud of him and cannot express how happy it makes me to see my husband working a job that he really loves and is absolutely dominating. Thank you honey. 

Last year, I shared my handy dandy budget spreadsheet that I use to track our spending. With an amped up version for 2014, we were able to lay out and budget all of our bills and our grocery costs for the month. I am absolutely tickled pink that EVERY.SINGLE.CATEGORY on our spread sheet this month is GREEN, meaning we were UNDER budget! To top it off 11 of the categories had a big fat zero next to it!

With all this extra money in our account we sat down and talked about our current debt and financial plans. We agreed to start the journey to "Financial Freedom" by way of Dave Ramsey. Our situation is just slightly different, however, because we are trying to save money for a down payment on a house while paying off debt. With that in mind I created a separate page on our budget spreadsheet to track our progress and keep track of our debt owed.
It looks like this:
I went through and entered what we have in our savings account, all of our credit card debt, student loans, car loans, etc., how much is in our 401k and how much is in Kenley's College Savings account. This gave me a great base to get our game plan set and I will update it each month with the new amounts / balances.

I am so proud to say that after just one no-spend month we were able to check step #1 off our list as well as pay off 2 of our consumer debts {paypal & a credit card}! That debt list and amount is still daunting but even getting two small balances off there felt amazing. We then took the paid off credit card as well as my credit card {which we're still paying off} and put them in an envelope so that we can't use them!


In addition to not spending this month, reaching $1,000 in our emergency fund AND paying off 2 of our debts, we took the very first steps towards buying a house! We now have what I call an "out of sight out of mind" bank account where we are auto-depositing a percent of our income to save for a down payment. This account isn't attached to any of our other accounts, so we can't easily transfer money out of it. As we pay down our debt the plan will be to add that extra money to the house fund!
Next stop....
via

It's really amazing to see how much money we can actually have when we don't spend it on frivolous things. I think we learned a lot this month and I look forward to using this new knowledge in the upcoming month.

To check out other no-spend month related posts, check out my buddy Erin's blog.

25 comments:

P!nky said...

WOOOHOO! You go girl! That is so awesome! one day I'll try a no spend month...one day :)

WinterBenson said...

Great job! My husband does all the budgeting and he's pretty hardcore about it. I just go along for the ride :P

Bridget said...

WOOOOHOOOOO!!! I am seriously so giddy with joy right now! I am slightly obsessed with Dave Ramsey and have been a follower of his plan for over a year now. Tate and I are proof that it does work if you just follow the plan. Is it hard...yes, does it take discipline...of course, is it worth it...you can bet your bottom dollar it is!!! I am so glad you guys had great success in your first month! I'm cheering for you guys!!!

Jess Beer said...

That's awesome! Great job, mama!

Anonymous said...

Good job Fawver Family!! I am proud of you. xo m

Carolyn said...

Go Beeb! :) So proud of you!

Erin LFF said...

So proud of you guys- seriously. HUGE progress this month and I know you'll keep rocking it! :) Again, I need to move into that house with you!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Huge progress this month! Great job!

Thanks for linking up!

Ashley said...

Wow!! That's SO awesome Kristin, way to go! I keep seeing these no spend months mentioned everywhere...was it hard to stick to? Will you be doing more throughout the year?

lo @ crazy ever after said...

Good for you! Jesse and I are in a similar situation. We just qualified yesterday for a mortgage (waiting for the other shoe to drop so writing those words makes me feel like I am jinxing it) and are super excited to start that process as soon as someone can point us in the direction of the teensiest, cheapest houses in the TC metro. ;) I am bloggy friends with Marla (another host of this challenge) and was so inspired by reading about her month of no spending...and yours too! Saving money can be difficult, but when you see results it makes you want to keep going.

MIL said...

CONGRATULATIONS J AND TO YOU KRIS FOR YOUR GREAT JOBS!!!!! Soooo proud of you both. You make a Mama proud!
Kiss Kenley for me, pat Bailey for me, love you all very much AND miss you!

Danielle said...

This is amazing!!! We might have to do this someday... agh!!! Scary!

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

Wow!! You totally rocked this! I need to get my emergency fund in good shape- they saw three times your monthly bills? I have a LONG way to go!

Ashley said...

Great job!! We need to get stricter on the budget, especially after seeing how this Reno is getting out of control with little things that have come up. Hopefully the extra in the budget will cover, but I'm afraid to check!! Lol. That house is gorgeous!!

Chris said...

I am so inspired right now! We have some big financial goals over the next year after we move between paying off my undergrad loans and saving enough for a downpayment on a possible "forever" house. This is going to take some serious discipline but this is so encouraging!

Chris said...

I am so inspired right now! We have some big financial goals over the next year after we move between paying off my undergrad loans and saving enough for a downpayment on a possible "forever" house. This is going to take some serious discipline but this is so encouraging!

{Jessica} said...

This is amazing! What an inspiration. Thanks for sharing, sweet girl:) My husband and I are just riding out the last few months here while he finishes up his schooling and haven't been able to make much headway in saving money or paying off debt since he is a student and we are now a single income family. But, as soon as he starts making a paycheck mid-summer, we will start attacking the debt/saving money and I am so looking forward to it!!!

Joanna said...

WOW! Great job! I'm totally inspired. My family and I are trying to buy a new house and this would be such a big step toward that. February is a short month so maybe this would be a good way to start. :)

Jill @ Bluegrass Belle said...

Congratulations! That house looks AMAZING!

Nikki said...

it's amazing how much more budget friendly we get as we get older.

Katie @ yellowmangolife.blogspot.com said...

Wow!! Good for you...that is beyond amazing! I don't know if I could do it but you should be proud of yourselves for sure!

Celeste Aslanyants said...

WOW I need a no spend month…January was so bad for us! We ate out like crazy allllll month long! Good for you guys, that is awesome!! Oh, and I want that house. If you get it, I'm coming to visit.

Kate said...

I can't believe you posted this! Bryan and I have decided to go on a spending freeze this month. I did it about 2 years ago and it was completely successful. I'm nervous for this month though...

Congrats to your husband! Bryan is in sales also, so I know how hard these men work and how important commissions and bonus' are. Way to go Jason!!!

Question -- Would you e-mail me your budget spreadsheet? I would like to start using it... Thx!!

ajs {of MN} said...

i love that erin! errr i mean sally!! ;)

Courtney B said...

You guys are AMAZING!! I love how aware you are of your finances. Totally motivates me to be better.
And I especially love your out of sight out of mind bank account for your house fund! We will be setting one up asap, thanks to you!