Thursday, January 1, 2015

No-Spend January

No-spend January is pretty much what it sounds like, No Spending.
 Or, No Spending but the Absolute Necessities.

Different people have different No Spending goals, depending on their particular needs.

Some things I'll be doing (most I already do, so not a lot of change for me):
- Utilities: cut down on water and electric usage. Run washer/dishwasher during off-peak hours. Hang dry clothes instead of using dryer.
- Groceries: eat from pantry and freezer.  Homemake convenience foods.
- Gas: combine errands. Stay home. Don't make unnecessary drives.
- Entertainment: Free Redbox codes. Free books on Kindle.
- Earn Extra $$: Listing items I don't want from around the house, or things I make, for sale on Etsy, Ebay, Craigslist, and local Facebook Yard Sale groups. 

January is a good time of the year to do a No-spend challenge.
For one thing, it's cold, and makes me wants to stay home where it's warm.

Also, it's right after Christmas.
For a lot of last year, I contributed to my own Christmas Fund account, saving a little money here and there through the year.
By the time November, Black Friday, and all the Christmas Sales and deals came along, I had money to spend without taking a big hit to our checking account.

I not only got great deals on gifts and things we'd been wanting, on some things I earned Bucks, Rewards, Points, Rebates, etc.
So I'm starting out with a good bit of Gift Cards and Credits and Free coupons, so if I do need/want something, I can probably use what I have to pay for it.

What I'm starting with:

$10.00 ECB from CVS
$25.00 Gift Card from Hobby Lobby (Birthday gift)
$50.13 in Gift Cards from Best Buy  (Gift, Coke Rewards)
$20.00 Gift Card from Walmart  (Coke Rewards)
$31.11 in Gift Cards from Target
$10.00 $3.72 Gift Card from Sears  (Shop Your Way)
$7.73  in Points from Sears/Kmart  (Shop Your Way)
$15.00 in Gift Cards from Amazon (through Swagbucks. I also have 1,727 Swagbucks not yet cashed in, I can get more $5.00 Amazon Gift Cards for 450 Swagbucks each, or $5.00 CVS Gift Cards for 500 Swagbucks each.)

$10.00 Gift Card from Publix (Free $10 Gift Card with $50.00 Purchase Coupon)
FREE Artisan Fresh Spinach Artichoke Dip Coupon from Sam's Club

(2) FREE Small Sundae Coupons from Dairy Queen
 $20.37 in Gift Cards from Steak-n-Shake
$5.00 off Purchase Coupon from Steak-n-Shake
$33.18 in Gift Card from Chili's/Macaroni Grill/On The Border/Maggiano's

*Expecting $50.00 VISA Rebate Card from Kohl's

*No Ca$h, but I'm 12 weeks ahead on the 52 Weeks Christmas Savings Challenge:
 Most of the 52 week saving challenges start at $1.00 and go to $52.00, but I liked this chart better going backwards, saving the most money at the first of the year when I don't have as many expenses (and I'm saving money during No-Spend January!).

I actually had some money left over from this past year, so I rolled it back into the Christmas savings. I've already got saved the first two weeks, $52 and $51, plus I saved the last 10 weeks, $1 thru $10 ($55.00), because I usually start spending/stop saving about November/Black Friday when the Big Sales start.

*I also have another Savings account called a "Sink" account...
Not exactly sure why it's called that, but maybe it's so the expenses won't "sink" us at the end of the year.
That would be our Property Taxes and Insurance that comes due in November.
I "sink" about $25 a week into a savings account all year, starting as soon as I pay the bills in November, so a year later I have the money to pay them without taking a big hit all at once.

*I also have another savings account that's supposed to be Dave Ramsey's Baby Step #1 - $1,000 to start an emergency fund, but haven't been able to keep up with that one as well.
I plan to do better with that this year, and hopefully moving on to working on Baby Step #2 - Pay off all debt.

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