March 4, 2016

February's No-Spend Challenge

I wasn't specifically trying to cut back in February. I was just very interested in seeing where I'm spending money.  And because I'm naturally curious, I like seeing where/how others spend their money too. I figured since February is a short month (by, like, one day but it seems short), this was the time to try and track.
This does not include bills. This does not include anything Scott bought (obviously). Using my Starbucks app doesn't count because that is made up of giftcards and not money I've put on it. This is just my day-to-day spending. Some days I spent nothing (it was too much of a pain to include dates but it is chronological), some days I spent money on 5+ things.  Usually it's Saturdays that I spend the most money.

Audiobooks: I look for daily deals to pop up in my wish list. For the $4.95 one (The String Diaries), it'd been on my list for two years. Later in February, another book on my list popped up for $3.95. I have a standing $14.95 payment to Audible each month but since that is that is considered a "bill" I didn't include it. I don't mind spending money on audiobooks because I rarely buy actual books and actual books lead to clutter anyway. Audiobooks just take up space on my phone until I delete them. No shelf space required. 

Safeway: I did not need that $27.27 at Safeway. I was feeling weak and needed chicken for dinner and a bunch of other stuff made its way into the basket. I DID need the $10.57 purchase though. 

Eating Out: You can see that I don't really eat out. The Starbucks breakfast sandwich was not paid for on my app because I didn't have enough money left, so I used cash. I was out running errands and was starving so that's what I got. This could've been prevented with better planning.  And the Chick-fil-a thing...I knew Scott was at home and it was Friday afternoon and I didn't have it in me to scrounge up dinner.  It was easier to stop. Major fail. 

Michael's: These stores are rabbit holes for me. The first stop was for Valentine party supplies and my co-worker and classroom supply fund reimbursed me. The second was for some R+F Glo Pack supplies. Along the crafty route, Books are Fun is just an organization that sells stuff in the teachers' lounge and proceeds benefit the school. I bought some wall art I'd been eyeing up. 

And because it wouldn't fit into one screenshot, here's the rest of the month:

This one starts with "Panera". The first 5 are a repeat...

Panera: Did I need an iced coffee? Probably not. But Panera coffee is my absolute favorite and I happened to be at the Michael's next to a Panera, so when in Rome...

Safeway: Ugh. I had to stop for a small bag of dog food because the Chewy order hadn't arrived. Then, I spent $50 there later in the week because we were having friends over for dinner and I needed a few things for that. THEN, I spent $73 there just on Monday because I needed groceries for the week, and it should've been cheaper, but then I saw that they had Sonicare toothbrushes on sale for half off. I've had one on my list of things to consider for awhile now (the dentist told me I would benefit from it because I brush too hard) and they're at least $50 on Amazon. So I ended up with an extra $23 on my bill. But I actually only saw them because "toothbrush" was on my shopping list to begin with. So it kind of makes sense.

PX: This is the Post Exchange on base. Scott needed socks and then the dogs were out of the treats I usually buy and they don't sell them on So this wasn't really for was just a necessary stop.

BBW: Bath and Body Works soap is not a necessity...soap is, but seasonal soap is not. For anything that I just want, I use my Rodan+Fields money. Since it's a side hustle and doesn't factor into what I consider to be my salary, it's my fun money. 6 soaps, 1 lip product, and 1 lotion + shipping for a total of $41 is a bargain (I think).

I didn't need ALL of the stuff I bought this month but I also didn't really buy anything fun (clothes). I have some clothes shopping planned for March because I currently hate my closet (a lot). I think I will also track what I spend in March (because it's addictive in a weird way).

Linking up with Steph for the Wallet Watch!


  1. Looks like you did a good job of not spending on frivolous stuff. I found that after we did a month of no-spend, the last two months have been pretty easy not to spend either. I have a feeling that's gonna get harder once the warmer weather arrives and I want new clothes for the season haha

  2. The hardest part is when you go into a grocery store hungry. Things seriously just wind up in your cart before you even realize it. You did a good job throughout the month, though!

  3. I get it - I really like seeing where my money goes. It's easier to see habits / why I spend like I do. I am similar with groceries...needed this, picked up some of this, etc etc. That is one area where I really buy a lot of things I don't need or even have a plan to use. I am better at that when I order groceries online, but I haven't done that this past month.

  4. Haha, Michael's is my weakness. I go in "just to look" and $40 later...I feel ya.

  5. i love seeing how people spend their money, and i like the way you showed every expense here. i might do this next time because when i do my no spend months, i still sometimes accidentally on purpose sneak things in at the grocery or something lol. did you see audible had a great sale yesterday? i bought 4 books (already failed my no spend) and put my account on hold for 90 days so i don't have to pay the $15 for 3 months. woo.

  6. Ice cream and candy sounds like a standard supermarket run for me! My sweet tooth will be my downfall. Also, I do that thing where I go to the shops just before people come to dinner but Then I panic buy a whole bunch of stuff I don't need. So I'm working on that one.

  7. I just have to often are you getting gas that you're only spending $13-15 each time!?

  8. I am maniacal about tracking my purchases. I have a compulsion to know where and how I'm spending my money. When I feel myself caring less or not being as careful, I'll do a no spend challenge for a few days just to get it back under control.

  9. Yes, Audible has a $5.95 sale going on right now. Check it out if you haven't already. I try to utilize Audible's Deal of the Day, too. I spend so much time commuting, I can go through 4-6 audiobooks a month just listening in the car. No way I'm paying full price for them.

  10. I think you did a great job!

  11. The Dollar Tree is my go-to place for party supplies and treats. While I'm not super crafty, it's better for me to go there than to Michael's because I tend to want to buy everything in that store. Haha


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