Thursday, January 5, 2012

And the journey begins

I have determined that we spend too much money. None of us think twice about going to lunch or dinner many times a month. If I want something, I buy it. Same goes for the hubby. Kids ask for something? Nine times out of ten I say yes. We have tons of clothes, shoes, toys, grown up toys and random other junk that we didn't really need but wanted and so we got it. Who knows how much we could have in our savings account if we actually were making good choices about what we spend money on. So I have a new proposition for the family: 365 days of no spending money. Obviously we will need to pay the bills, buy groceries and gas for the car. But what would happen to our net worth if that's ALL we spent money on? We are about to find out.

I don't consider this a New Year's Resolution but a challenge for my family. Hubby and I will get $20 per month to spend on incidentals. The kids will get $10 each per month. That's a total of $70 per month for gum, candy, new clothes, going to dinner/lunch and the movies. After the bills are paid and the groceries are purchased the rest will go into savings.

In addition to this challenge I am going to see how much money I can save by making different decisions. For example we bought little plastic sandwich containers rather than sending the kids lunch in a ziploc bag everyday. It's good for the pocketbook and for the environment. We are also going to try to make our own laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. Good for my allergies, the environment and the pocketbook. I think we can do so many more things to save money and grow our net worth that I am going to blog about it and share what we are doing and how much we have saved.

It's going to be a huge shock to our lifestyle at first but I think it will be worth it when we see the balance in the savings account at the end of the year.


  1. Wow, Shannon, that is an amazing challenge! I'll be sure to follow your posts. Maybe it will encourage me to be smarter with money as well.

    You're a brave woman. :)

  2. I myself have wanted to do so many of the same things!!! You are definitely already inspiring and challenging me to adopt the same pricinples! I can't wait to hear and read about this journey you are going on.
    I am very curious how you will address the clothing/shoes situation, as your allotted amounts seems a bit less than what you might need.

  3. Does Jared KNOW about this yet? :)

  4. Yes he knows. He was onboard for now. I suspect the first time he needs to buy something and I say no then he won't be so onboard.

    And Leslie unless the boys outgrow something they won't be getting new shoes/clothes. That goes for us too. Although I hope to be shrinking into a new wardrobe personally.

  5. I love this Shannon. I am all for it but you need to add an expense to your budget.... Fun with the Feild Family!

  6. I made it a year without buying new clothes. Its not that hard. Brining lunch and breakfast also save TONS of money. I lost 35 lbs that year. There is a lot of benefit for spending minimally.

  7. I know from reading your posts that you are a wonderful cook and wondered if you are going to also start any new eating habits? More veggies, less meat, that kind of thing. In that vein, I just came across this this morning. It's a two week menu from Bon Appetit. Shopping for my pantry will blow any food budget I have for a while. :)