No-Spend Month Day 20: Birthday Dinner #2

Last night, we took my mom & dad out for a nice meal for my mom's birthday. After using a coupon, the total came to $45, quickly pushing our monthly spending over $100. After dinner, we ran to Costco to pick up a 40-lb bag of dog food for $22, since we're scraping the bottom of our last one, and the dog has to eat. He gets very whiny when he hasn't been fed. Even if he hasn't been fed for like an hour. But I digress.

So, does the fact that we spent more than we have in the last three weeks in just an evening mean that the experiment has failed? The experiment is about being faithful to the original goals, not numbers. Unlike many others who have set out on this No-Spend Month, I didn't set a Spending Goal of $X- I just said "No spending, except for necessities". I think we're sticking to that, as we understand it, without bending too many rules. As I said in my last post, gifts of experiences and relationships matter to us, so this night was worth it.

If you're playing along at home, this means that we've spent $70 of the $121 we've spent this month, almost 60%, on "gifts" for friends or family (and slightly more if you take into account the pennies I've spent at CVS for stuff I gave away).

My friend the Queen of Free has a great post today about making small changes in your life and spending for a big result over time. This month has been a big change for us that has ended up being less disruptive than I thought it would be. Will we continue in a No-Spend mindset? My pantry and freezer are looking thin, so we're going to have to go grocery shopping at some point. There are some house projects that will need to be completed with a trip to the hardware store. For the next week or so, though, until September 1st, we're committed to trying to keep this up, and learning from the process.

How's your month going?

Previous Total: $54.65
New Total: $121.65

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