No-Spend February Recap

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  That seems to sum up my efforts at frugality in February.  :/

I tried really, really hard but it’s been almost impossible to survive on income #1 (while saving income #2 like we’re supposed to).

  • Jake’s B-Day…$50 Heelies, $50 Van’s, $125 dinner at Olive Garden and $40 game for his 3DS
  • I got my new washer and dryer, about $1250 out-the-door) in early-Feb.  We paid right at the end of January, so this doesn’t necessarily explain February’s cash-flow issues.  Or maybe it does.  Really not, since T gave me $2400 to “seed” my accounts for February.  (Still trying to figure out where it went!)
  • I purchased a new bike for around $200, mid-February.  That isn’t a whole lot really…not enough to explain the issues.
  • I spent $200 to have movers move a hand-me-down sectional from my friend as well as an awesome fridge from my dad and my mom’s old roll-top desk.  We needed the sectional for seating in our TV room  and it was generously FREE, so how could I say no?  I also needed to pay to have the fridge moved if we wanted it (26cu freezer-on-the-bottom GE, YES PLEASE) and it was safer to have movers move the roll-top since it is very heavy and T’s back isn’t all that great.
  • I guess our personal training sessions, $300 on Jan. 15, $300 on Jan. 30 and $300 on Feb. 15 accounts for a lot of it.  We prepaid 12 weeks of sessions for $900 divided into three payments.  We have something like 7 weeks left and they’re paid for now, so that’s good!
  • Katie’s voice lessons are $72/mo.  Not a lot again.
  • I didn’t buy any clothes for anyone in February.
  • I bought Katie and Dakota each a new pair of shoes (much needed).  I spent about $50 combined.
  • I didn’t buy any gadgets, small appliances or camera gear.  OK, I’m lying, I spent $13 on a plastic macro-ring set.  And I spent about $50 on a hand-held Foodsaver and some containers and mason jars.  I’m seeing a lot less spoilage since I started storing lettuce, cheese, etc. this way, so I think it’s a worthwhile investment.
  • The grocery budget really killed again too.  While I managed to spend only $800 total at Fry’s, there were several $100-$200 Walmart and Target trips, mostly for groceries and household supplies.  Adding back grains for most family members, but keeping things gluten-free has been pricey and a learning experience.  It may or may not be as expensive as being paleo/primal.
  • I also had about $200 in “easy-pay” payments, which paid off my Dyson and my carpet cleaner and a couple other things (not doing “easy-pay” anymore…)
  • I spent about $30 on photo storage boxes, as I’ve been charged with the task of organizing all my family’s old photos and there are many of them.
  • The good thing is that I won’t need laundry detergent for at LEAST 2 more months as I got three HUGE boxes of Surf for about $6 each with coupons/sales.
  • Oh, I did spend $250 or so on our garden and yard.  That includes plants, seeds and starts, soil, fertilizer, some planters, wood for a raised bed, barrier to keep the dogs out, etc.  Last spring’s garden was a bust (I stopped maintaining it after my mom passed away) and I didn’t bother with a garden last fall…we’ll be here another 20 months or so if we can renew our lease an extra year, so I hope to get a lot of use out of the new bed if I garden in the fall/winter this coming year.  That would be two springs, two summers and one and a half falls.
  • No big vet bills or other pet expenses this month.  I do have about $200 due to me from our pet insurance–I need to do some work to get the claims finished (company claims they cannot read the invoices…).
  • I didn’t buy any craft supplies or fabric.
  • I also have things to sell (old washer+dryer plus several instruments, a few photo things, a bike and our double BabyJogger) but I’m hoping to save that $$ for our trip and not put in back in the general budget.
  • T and I do a “date” every weekend, which usually includes around $30 for a dinner out.  We also take the kids to a restaurant at least once a week.  We’re trying to cut back on a lot of this.
  • I got bronchitis and spent $$$ on a Dr’s visit (haven’t received the bill yet) and meds…hopefully that won’t happen again for a while!  Being THAT sick really cut into my coupon’ing and budgeting though!

Improvements for March:

  • get more serious with coupons…there are a lot I can’t/don’t use due to our dietary restrictions, but there are a lot I CAN use…if I can only keep on top of having them organized and ready, and I pay attention to match-ups, etc.
  • continue the spending embargo on everything possible
  • continue to NOT buy household cleaners but rather use vinegar, etc.
  • take the time to make a weekly club-store trip because what I’ll save buying in bulk will be worth what I spend on gas, especially if I combine the trip with other errands
  • remember to use my Fry’s fuel points for $1/off per gallon, before they expire (tons expire in a few days)
  • continue to minimize food waste…I keep finding almost-full cups of expensive organic milk or almond milk
  • sew some “snack mats” so the kids stop going through 50 thousand plates a day…snacks don’t need stoneware and I don’t want to buy disposable
  • sell the things I have to sell…stop putting it off, bank $$
  • finish the Petplan claims and bank that $$
  • STOP ending up at the grocery store nearly daily!!
  • order things bulk on Amazon with Subscribe & Save, to save 15%+ compared to buying locally (mostly our gluten-free products)
  • follow through on homemade soaps/shampoos (I already have supplies to make months’ worth…and then I won’t have to buy these things)
  • cut restaurant/treat spending–I won’t give up date-night so at least for now, family restaurant dinners and frozen yogurt trips are going to have to suffer
  • Lane Bryant owes me $100 and change for an order I didn’t get around to picking up at the store…I need to straighten that out and get that $$ back.

I’m looking forward to the new month–wishing we weren’t having a leap-year so it could get here sooner.  🙂

Planned spends for March:

  • new yoga pants for me….I’m sorry but I just can’t stand hitching up my yoga pants anymore.  I live in them and wear them to work out and it’s gotten out of hand.  I’m looking at getting 2-4 pair in the next size (or two sizes) down…should be around $50.Went ahead and ordered them now, since I had a 20% off code.  $49 for four pair plus 3 pair of flip-flops (I am so in need of shoes!)
  • floral decor while 50% off at Michael’s….I still have my fall decor out because we need plants to cover the top of the hutch and armoire that are unfinished…I’ve budgeted $50 to make 4-5 arrangements that I can use through summer.
  • a couple cans of chalk paint to spiff up some of our Ikea junk…budget, around $60
  • materials from Ikea for additional storage and workspace in our homeschool room/craft studio…$300 or less…hoping to stick to $200 or so
  • order some prints for the walls, probably will have mounted cheaply rather than framed, but we need to brighten up the house and show off my work a bit more (I have some credits at a couple canvas companies that I can use, so I may not have to spend much at all on this one)…$100 or less
  • a few cans of spray paint to rejuvenate some of our stuff….$20 or so
  • taxes…we’ll certainly owe at least something…might wait till April depending on just how bad the bad news is 😉






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