My family and I are kicking off the new year with a 31 days of nothing challenge. This will be our 4th year doing this type of challenge. You can read all about our first year here. This was what really kicked off our frugal lifestyle and made me change the way we live. You can also read about lasts years adventure here.
This 31 days of nothing isn't just about not spending any money. It's also about being more aware of how we are living. Not being wasteful by leaving lights on or keeping the water running. Being more earth friendly by composting, recycling and making our own cleaners.
My family and I have sat down and planned out some rules. Here are the rules we have set for our family for the month of January.
1. The ultimate goal is to spend NO money except for necessities. For my family I consider necessities to be gas for work and appointments, monthly prescription medications, groceries (although very minimal, more on this later) and our basic bills and utilities. Necessities may mean something different for your family.
2. There will be no consumerism. My hope is to stay out of the stores completely. No new clothes, books, or any other impulse buys. No shopping the deals!
3. Groceries. I am allowing $25 per week for grocery shopping or $100 per month. I really just want to stick with eating from the pantry and freezers as much as possible. We will need milk for the baby, as well as fresh produce so I am setting money aside for those things. We should be good on most other items because our freezers and pantry are very full. I usually budget $500 for the month.
4. Zero money spent on entertainment. No eating out, we will cook from scratch and eat at home each day. No money spent on movies or impromptu ice cream cones. We usually budget $150 each month for entertainment.
5. Allowance. Everyone is giving up their allowance for the month. There will be no money in our pockets tempting us to spend it.
6. My gas budget is up in the air right now. I need to actually keep track of what we are spending so I can get a more accurate number. For this month though, I want to just try and stay home as much as possible. Combine our errands so that we aren't making multiple trips each week.
7. Get back composting, recycling, and shutting off. Our compost bin has been missing so scraps have been being tossed in the trash which makes me crazy. We are great at recycling but the bins need to be cleaned up. My family has gotten extremely lazy about shutting off lights and unplugging items when not in use. This is going to be enforced more.
8. Cutting back on water usage. Our water bill has done nothing but climb. We use alot of water. Mainly because of long showers and children playing in the sinks. Showers will be timed and sink time monitored to make sure we aren't being wasteful.
I will add to this list if I think of anything else.
So what do you think? Want to join me on this 31 days of nothing challenge? You can make up your own set of rules for your family. You can join for 1, 2, 3 weeks or the entire month. It is a great way to kick off your savings or even pay off some of that Christmas debt.
I will be hosting a weekly linky each Friday. I will be giving my weekly report and will post a linky here for anyone who wants to join in and link up their blog. I only ask that you make sure you link back to Learning the Frugal Life or display this great little button. Just copy the html code and add it to your post. Don't have a blog and still want to join? Leave a comment letting us know how your family is doing.
I am really looking forward to this challenge. I encourage you to join in with me. It could really open your eyes to how you spend your money. It is a great way to start living more frugally and learning to be content with what you have. Who knows, it may change your way of living forever.