Well, my husband and I found out a lot about ourselves and our spending habits by being extra intentional with our spending. We started out strong, using no credit at all, finishing up gift cards and paying cash (including change I found in the car and piggy bank) or going without. Then, after week one, I found out my hubby had used the credit card. Bum-bum-bummmmm! He bought a computer cord replacement. That kinda irked me. I didn’t see it as a necessity. We have two laptops, one “his” and one “mine.” We could have been ok using only one for a few more weeks. I’m all or nothing, right? If we’re doing a no credit challenge, let’s do this thing!! So my bubble popped a little there. However, something positive did occur in that we had to communicate about our expectations of the month a little better, and then hubs had a few “wait lists” for the upcoming months put on Amazon for things we’d like to get, and wanted to plan ahead for, instead of instantaneously ordering.
Yep, we discovered he and I define necessary spending quite differently. We could have kept up the beans and rice dealio…but my hubby requested that we use credit for “necessities” like food. He meant the particular food he wanted, which I saw as not really a necessity. But I value him more than a personal goal, so I got what he wanted, and we used the credit card.
Aaaand, since we had caved and used the credit card, and there was meat on sale, I went ahead and stocked up a little bit to put in our deep freeze. So that was also not just buying the bare minimum. But in the long run, I guess we do save money, because I got $5 off each on a few hams. So we’ll have that for Easter. And there was a fundraising opportunity for an adoption and something else I really believed in so we gave some money for those things as well. We did turn down a birthday party invite (but managed to find a gift to give later on super sale and bought with gift card money) because the venue costed. (And also, my kids don’t yet know how to swim, as the party was for an older kid at a YMCA; I was worn out anyways and didn’t feel like trying to keep two kids 5 and under above water on my own).
Anyhow, my conclusion is that if you know you actually have money to pay for stuff, it’s rather easy to not be uber frugal. I was a little disappointed in how the thing went, but it was good to use up those gift cards and loose change and in general spend a lot less, putting savings towards kids’ school and other important things. We’re not as hardcore as I’d hoped. Oh well. Do you have an awesome no-spend success story to share?