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I think that's what my problem is with no-spend days. I aim to make every day a no-spend day which in reality is impossible. When something comes up that I have to pay for I haven't planned it. For example last week one day I bought a pack of stamps. Had I planned for it I would have bought some already and had a no-spend day.

Any tips on how to get more no-spend days would be great.
 

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I've seen this mentioned now several times in various places.

I don't mean this in a negative way, but I guess I don't really see the point. If we need something, we're going to buy it, and it doesn't matter which day it is. I can't figure out how it's saving any money to, for example, buy gas on Friday instead of Wednesday. It's going to amount to the same thing in the end and won't save any money.

I can see the point of a no-spend day if someone is into recreational shopping or so-called retail therapy. Then it makes sense to me to avoid that kind of thing because in that case, people would more likely be spending money on non-essentials. But in the case of things you must have anyway, such as stamps, what's the advantage of buying on a certain day?

As I said, please don't take this as a criticism. I'm just trying to understand the point of buying essentials on a certain day or not buying them on another day. The money has to be spent regardless.

I realize I'm clueless about this idea, so please be gentle and enlighten me. :)
 

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I think it's having a couple days or so that's are total No Spend days, and the other days are no spend, except what you have to buy. You only buy gas when you need it, so try to get your groceries just once a week, and not go every day. (Okay, sometimes we forget something for that big family dinner, and have to send someone to the store, but maybe they can get the one item and maybe a few other things so you don't have to go for a day or two.) Get your stamps when you're headed to the store (getting two errands done in one trip out of the house saves money spent on gas for going out more than once...)

But, just my thoughts.

(This little "smily" is cute: :candle:)
 
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i think the idea of a "no spend" period of time is a personalized goal that doesnt fit everyone...

i dont personally think of it consciously... but i have more no-spends than i do those where i end up spending... so for me, i'm successful that way.

i'd say not to beat yourself up because you bought something that's necessary/needed.
Now, had you just gone out & decided to buy things you wont/dont need/use/like... then that's just a waste... but to go out and spend money on something necessary and feeling guilty because you forgot earlier, could've planned better had you known, etc... is silly.

if you need it, get it. if you run out today, get it.
if it's a last minute, but you need/want/will use it, get it.
just don't beat yourself up about it.
we all forget things sometimes. ;)
 

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maybe you should rename it 'no frivilous spend days'.....
 
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
maybe you should rename it 'no frivilous spend days'.....
Every day is a no frivolous spend day for me. I now feel guilty buying a new pair of jeans for $36.99 plus tax plus hemming cost from a Levi's outlet knowing that I could saved tons of money by going to a thrift store. Since joining this forum I've really tried hard to make good choices with what I buy. I've stockpiled, used coupons, kept my heat low, washed in cold, washed/re-used zip-lock bags, looked for deals in fliers only paying attention to the things we need, etc. DH has slightly changed his spending habits, but he could do much, much better. Since I've become frugal I've saved about $100 a week. To me that's awesome because it means we can pay off our Line of Credit even faster!
 

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The no spend days are trying to get what you have to get in one trip and making those trips count. If you run to town often you end up buying more things than you really need. It seems the more you stay away and make do with what you have the less likely you are to buy things you don't need. I don't think true bills should count as a spend day, those happen every month and are "have to's". Groceries are a spend day, you plan for them, its the little run to get somethings and end up buying some unplanned for things that really cause the money to slip through your fingers without thinking. By planning your spend days it helps keep more days of no spend.....and it does help me save money. JMHO
 

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hey 'quiltin mama' i know what you mean...fv has taken all the FUN out of life haven't they...haha... i too don't want to spend for anything anymore....i even look at some of the thriftstore stuff now and catch myself saying maybe i could get that for less at a garage sale...

and i look around at some of the stuff i already own and want to 'kick -myself'....i have become a 'monster'...a 'frugal-monster' that is....

BUT....on the flip side....look at what it has done for us....like you said...you are saving money that you didn't used to...me too....
and i love a good challenge (i NEED to win)...so my competition with the utility bill is keeping me on my toes....it's all good.......
 
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We don't go into town often, so I pretty much plan my spending days. I too look at everything wondering if I could do without it. :)
 
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Okay, I think I'm getting it. We already do pretty much what you're saying, buy groceries once a week, don't run into town for little stuff that can wait, etc. I guess that's what had me confused.

I agree, running for the little stuff and just picking up the extras because we're there and happen to see them can be a problem. We're pretty good at not doing that except at the grocery store, and we're doing better with that, too. I think the problem with buying excess at the grocery store is that it's ingrained that groceries are a necessity, so what we spend there doesn't count. We do pretty well overall, but could do better and are focusing more on that aspect lately.

Some projects just can't wait though. I recall once last year when we were doing some project and needed a $2 item in town, at the cost of $4 for the gallon of gas to go get it. Yes, we went, and it was so worth it to be able to complete the project and scratch it off the list! But we don't make a habit of it.
 

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I am definitely not a recreational shopper, but I find if I have to run out to get things very often, it's easy to slip into the habit of just being out and about. That wears me down. So one reason I try to have as many no spend days as possible is that on those days I rarely go anywhere except to work. That keeps me at home as much as possible, and that's where I'm really happiest.

Also, if I can confine the shopping to a day or two a week, I just feel like I have so much more free time. I hoard my time more than my money, and no spend days help in this regard.

However, I'm not terribly stern about it. If I need something specific, and can overcome the inertia of homebound happiness, I will definitely go get it.
 

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Keeping a running list of items when you run out of them/think of them, so when you go to the store, you're less likely to forget. At least that's what I've started doing since I now can't just hop in the car and go on a whim. Works wonders.
 
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I am using the spend/no spend days as an organizational tool for myself. I do better with a routine. It helps me keep my sanity. It sounds from reading the posts that most of the people here really have it together! That is what I love about this forum. Really nice people who love to share their tips! If I am using having a no spend day as a goal I work harder at trying to get everything that I need whenever I do go to town. And it makes me question whether something is a necessity. However I do have to say that if I really need something I do go buy it or if I am invited out for something fun, I will gladly and with great relish have a spend day (with allocated money)
 
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I haven't started any of the challenges--I haven't really looked at them yet. But I did start a personal challenge of my own, and that is to do no grocery spending for 21 days, except milk and bread. This is my second time doing this. The first time was a total impulse, and I actually wasn't prepared. Before our second 3-week challenge began I prepared, trying to figure out what we'd need, then got all my shopping done.

The reason I need to do this is that even though I take a list with me to the store, I tend to buy a lot more than what's on the list. Or I make the short trip (5 minute drive max) to the store to pick up something I'm craving. Or I go for something we need and pick up something else as well. So even though I'm allowing milk & bread, I know I'm not allowed to get anything else (Dh is not allowed either).

This way, when I'm shopping for our next 3 weeks, I can still pick up a couple of impulse items, but it's really not 3 weeks worth of impulse. It tends to be the same amount I would do on a regular shopping trip. So I'm getting just 1/3 of the non-essential items now, and when that runs out we have to be creative and make do with what we have.

I have a sticker chart on my fridge, and I get a sticker for each day I do not do any grocery shopping (this includes TP, HBA, etc...). I like getting my sticker for the day!
 

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if you need it, get it. if you run out today, get it. if it's a last minute, but you need/want/will use it, get it. just don't beat yourself up about it. we all forget things sometimes. ;)
...and sometimes we occasionally buy stuff we don't really need, but know we'll use eventually... okay, so I didn't really need those post it notes... but at least it wasn't another t-shirt! :D

slap my hand, tell myself No, and remind myself that I have to get that window motor fixed on my car 'cause the back window is stuck half up, and the gears in there are locking in down, too. It's winter and it's cold driving around with just plastic duct taped over the window. I'm going to get the other window motor fixed, too, on the same work order, but 2 different trips into the shop (this other window has been stuck up for years, though). I hate having to dip into my EF, but it'll cost me about $900 overall. Yikes. Then there's those dents from the sliding off the road in November, but that's going to wait...

Sorry for the ramble. Seems someone doesn't want me to save money. (Grumble.)
 
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A big reason for the "no spend" challenge, and one that most people who join it for the first time find out, is to make you realize how often you spend without even thinking about it. The most common statement made is, "Wow, I didn't realize..." or "I thought it would be easier...."

It isn't so much about frivolous spending, as we all are guilty of sometimes buying stuff we don't REALLY need, as it is about thoughtless spending.

I find that what works best for me is to designate a certain number of no-spend days per month. That way, I don't feel stressed to never spend, and I have a buffer for the unplanned need for stamps and such. But I also have a goal to not spend for approximately half the month. In order to keep that goal, I have to plan out my spending to some extent. And to keep that goal, I have to not grab a soda from the downstairs cafeteria, plan a lunch to take to work instead of not thinking about it and eating out, have coffee supplies in my office to resist the temptation to step out for a mocha, etc. When I do buy a mocha, it is after a moment of thought where I have to decide that mocha is worth losing a "no spend" day, and USUALLY, the mocha loses. :)

When I do have an "Oh, I need stamps" moment, I do one of two things: I either stop and think, "What else do I need?" and try to take care of it in the same trip, or I think, "Do I really need those stamps today, or can I incorporate them into tomorrow's grocery run?" and wait to buy them.
 

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i try but it usually doesnt make a difference. i only buy what i need so it just depends on when i need it and when i can get to it. :hocus:
 

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I'm so set on a schedule, it is not even funny. So my spend days and no spend days go off without a hitch. On the first Wednesday of the month I pay for Angel Food. I shop on Saturday for my big shopping trip, pay all the bills on Sunday. Lately I have been having to Walmart on Fridays for my cokes (they are cheaper there than anywhere else). I usually did not deviate at all. That's sad, I know. My suggestion is just to make a schedule and stick to it. Obvisouly it works for me. :hocus:
 
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