Archive for March 2nd, 2009

No spend Challenge-Final Thoughts

I really don’t eat a lot of fast food, never have, but, oddly enough, when I see a to-go cup or a sack from a fast food place, it’s like the bell for Pavlov’s dog….I begin to salivate.  What is it about a Starbucks cup in someone else’s hand, that makes me think I need one?   Now that’s some really good marketing, folks.  You think that happens by accident?  No way.  Companies pay people really good money to come up with strategies to make people like me, WANT to buy their products.  To make people think they NEED their products to be happy!    Don’t you feel horribly manipulated?  Tricked out of your money?   Well, you should.

I went to lunch with a friend and let her buy, b/c it was my challenge month.  It still felt wrong, somehow (not the free lunch :), but the fact that someone spent money).  That’s when I realized that this month’s challenge was a mindset, not really a goal.   The spending was still happening, it just wasn’t coming out of my wallet. (by the way, thanks for lunch, Toni!  it was yummy and fun)

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.  See if you can follow my math…

I averaged our previous spending over the last 6 months (Aug-Jan) to compare with February’s spending.  To simplify, I just looked at 2 categories–Walmart and Braum’s (groceries + cash) and restaurants.  In the first category, we averaged $984/month in the last 6 months, and in February only spent $529–a savings of $455 in one month!   and at restaurants, we averaged $186/month, and spent $0 in this category in February.   That’s a $641 difference in these 2 areas alone!

If we did this for another 5 months, we’d have nearly $4000 extra in the bank!  After hearing Dave Ramsey talk about getting out of debt, saving for emergencies, and investing, I am dangerously fired up.    I’m about to go all weird and extreme.  I have  a tendency to do that.