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No Spend January

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I have decided to start my 2019 with a bang! Our No Spend October led to an incredible last quarter for us financially. Some of my financial highlights from the last few months were:

  • Saving $1,700 for a Thanksgiving trip to Texas
  • Paying an extra $2,500 toward my tax debt
  • Putting $1,000 more towards my EF

Why Another No Spend Month?

With that being said, I have decided to do it again. Here are my thoughts on why this is a great month to do it:

  • My pantry is stocked with the last of our food stamps.
  • All of the kids have their winter clothes in order.
  • There are no kids activities until the middle of February. (Princess is going to play on a rec volleyball league beginning mid-February.)
  • It’s cold and rainy  outside so staying home is always a great idea.
  • The new semester of school is starting, with all three in college classes, so they will need study time.
  • And there are no holidays or birthdays coming up.

It’s the perfect time to do another No Spend Month.

Having the motivation to meet or exceed my last debt payoff prediction, and it being the first of a new year which always means new beginning and new hopes for me, it’s a great time for me to laser focus on work. Not only continuing with my current workload but also expanding and growing as well.

What is a No Spend Month?

What this No Spend Month will look like:

  • Other than paying the month bills, there will be no extraneous spending (no eating out, no entertainment, no shopping.)
  • No grocery shopping unless absolutely necessary. We will essentially eat through the pantry as much as we can. (Which is going to mean more Chicken Noodle soup than any of us like since I accidentally bought two cases instead of one.)
  • All budget money that is not a monthly bill just gets stockpiled.

There are two exceptions to the No Spend rule though:

  1. My car is due for an oil change and tire rotation. So that money will be spent this month.
  2. I have to register Princess for the rec volley ball league staring in February this month. I believe it will be about $60.

My goal is twofold:

  • Stockpile money without thinking about it since I try not to look at the bank accounts during no spend month (so I’m not tempted to make rash decisions.)
  • Grow my business by being laser focused on work and homebound without distractions.

I will tell you this now. I may have already mentioned it. We are planning to go back to Texas for the kids’ Spring Break. It is not in my budget. And I’m going to have to put some thought into it. Before you say “Oh, Hope, not again,” my mom’s health is not good. I don’t want to have any regrets for not being there. And I don’t want my kids to have those regrets. That is the sole reason I will make that trip again. There are just some things that are worth more than money.

Want to join me with #nospendjanuary? Use the hashtag on your Instagram to share your money saving, free entertainment and financial wins through January. Follow the hashtag #nospendjanuary and encourage others on this debt free journey!

 

 


Hope’s Winter 2019 Budget

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I have settled on a Winter budget. I anticipate sticking to this budget for the first quarter of the new year.

I really appreciate your comments and suggestions when I posted my first draft. And I really considered them all.

Without further ado, here is my budget for the beginning of 2019.

Hope's Winter 2019 Monthly Budget

DescriptionMonthly Budget
Total Personal$2,769
Rent$650
Groceries$600
Household (hygiene, cleaning, etc.)$10
Auto - Gas$120
Health Insurancemedicaid ($305)
Auto/Rent Insurance$100
Utilities (gas, electric, water, trash)$290
Life Insurance$23 (paid quarterly)
Buffer
Kids Activities$50
Entertainment/Clothing$150
Auto - Maintenance/Fees$30
Debt Payments - minimum payments
Car Payment$400
Collections #2$246
Credit Card$0
Collections #3$0
Student Loans$100

Things to Note

  1. I’ve cut my personal hygiene budget after reviewing my numbers from this past year.
  2. I left my Kids’ Activities and Entertainment and Clothing budgets as they were. I looked at the numbers, what is coming for us all in this coming year and feel they are reasonable.
  3. I cut the Auto Maintenance numbers after reviewing this past year, and with continued hopes that my car will hold up with minimal expenses this next year.
  4. I removed the budgeted money toward my credit card debt as I continue to use it as a revolving line of credit.
  5. BIGGEST CHANGE – I have decided NOT to payoff  the tax debt (Collections #2) this month. Instead, I am adding that $1,000 to my existing EF, bringing the total to $2,000. This means, I will have to continue to pay the $246 for 4 months (unless I have a fantastic month during the first quarter.)
  6. Finally, I am going to pay a $100 towards my student loan debt. It just doesn’t make sense to me to be decreasing all my debts, but this one grows by $70+ per month. It seems counter-productive.

Hopes

My hope is that as my business continues to grow in the new year, I can stick to this budget and pour any additional income to paying off my debts. But worse case, I will have Collections #2 paid off before my full payments for my student loans kick in. And will hopefully, also have Collections #3 settled and paid.

So my debt priorities as we start the new year are as follows:

  1. Grow EF by $1,000 – done
  2. Pay off Collections #2 – no later than April, possibly sooner.
  3. Pay off Collection #3 – as soon as Collections #2 is closed out.
  4. Credit Card.
  5. Car.
  6. Student Loans.