No Spend Challenge Update


So we are almost done with month one of our NO SPEND CHALLENGE!! So how’s it going? Well not bad. I have kept to the weekly allowance that I have gotten for gas, food and bills and because I had saved some money from not buying as many groceries (thanks to the Garden) I got to purchase a new pair of running shoes!!! I was starting to get shin splints and I have had my shoes for 9 months!!!! I didn’t touch any other money, but the money I saved Smile

Now we did buy a car, but that was something we have been planning for a while now and we did go to Palm Springs, again another thing that was planned before the challenge. However, we did use a Groupon that saved us over $200!!! LOVE GROUPON!

So what has been helping is the PAYING WITH CASH SYSTEM!! Every time we go back to this, it always helps me save.

Paying with cash forces you to stick to your budget

When I know that all I have to use at checkout is the cash in my grocery budget envelope, you better believe I carefully evaluate every impulse purchase or great deal I come across: “Do I really need this?” “Is this in the budget?”

Sometimes, it truly is a great deal and I have the money in my cash envelope to pay for it so it goes in the cart. Other times, I decide it’s a good enough deal that I skip buying something else on my list that we can do without in order to afford it. Or, many times, I put it back on the shelf.

The Cash-Only Challenge

Maybe you’re one of those extremely responsible–and very rare!–people who can stick to your budget while swiping a card. If you are, props to YOU!!!

However, if you find yourself struggling financially and wishing you could figure out why your grocery budget is so high, can I challenge you to take a Cash-Only Challenge for 3 months and see if it impacts your grocery spending over the course of a three-month period? IT CHANGED OUR LIFE!!!

Here’s how the Cash-Only Challenge works:

1) Commit to only spend what is in your grocery envelope for the next 3 months.

2) Go to the bank and withdraw cash in the amount of your pre-determined Grocery Budget.

3) Leave your credit/debit cards/checkbook at home and only bring your cash envelope with you to the grocery store.

4) Calculate your purchases on the calculator as you add them to your cart. This will motivate you to carefully evaluate all purchases, will make you aware of how much items actually cost, encourage you to look for the best deal, and force you to get creative if your list is longer than you have room for in the budget.

5) Pay with cash when you checkout and see significant grocery savings–hopefully!

6) Decide you’ll never go back to paying with your credit/debit card.Well, okay so you might not get quite that drastic, but I can almost guarantee you that going cash-only for a short-time will have taught you something worthwhile!

Have you tried a cash-only system? If so, what benefits have you found from doing so? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Hawaii is in less then 70 days, so we need to stick to our cash only plan. We have already purchased our plane tickets, but still have to pay for the hotel and car rental. Staying on track has not been easy, but the more I avoid the grocery store and TARGET the better off I am. I also have quite a few Starbucks and Jamba Juice gift cards that have help me with some of my addictions.

The next 70 days we will be…

  • eating out less
  • car pooling more
  • making less trips to the market
  • do more projects at the house on my days off instead of driving!
  • appreciating what I ALREADY have

Speaking of Hawaii, we are still looking for a great place to stay in Maui? Any great recommendations of great condos to stay in?


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