February is a bit of a challenge. 4 weeks means I need to take care of 4 items on my to do list. However, one of the items on my list is to spend no money for a month. This means I have to be pretty strategic with the other goals I try to accomplish this month. My motivation for this “to do” came from an article I read online a year or two ago. I really wish I could find the original article but I will summarize. A young adult, living in New York City, pledged to buy nothing for a year. Regular bills like rent and utilities would be paid but nothing would be paid for new items like shopping, dining out, and groceries. I was amazed at the lengths this person went to. Gifts were hand-made, food was grown or acquired from dumpsters of nearby restaurants and bartering was necessary if something new was absolutely necessary.
I know myself well enough t to know I can’t do this for a year, but I wanted to try it for a month. To make this a little easier, I selected the shortest month of the year. Here are my ground rules:
Obviously, utilities and other required bills have to be paid.
I cancelled the following:
- Gym membership
- Hair appointment
- Nail appointments
I can only eat out if I already have a gift certificate for a restaurant (in anticipation of this activity, I asked for gift certificates to a few places for Christmas gifts last year.)
No grocery shopping. Paul and I were very deliberate with our final grocery shopping trip of January. We spent $75 on food and another $50 on toiletries/paper goods/adult beverages. We purchased A LOT of canned vegetables. We do have an advantage as we butcher our own meat so we have a freezer full of beef and pork. This means our $125 at the grocery store can go a pretty long way.
Driving will be kept to a minimum. We filled both cars on the 31st of January and I am hoping to go two weeks without filling up again.
Wish me luck as we see how frugal we can be. I am excited to clean out the freezers and the pantry of items that we just never seem to cook. I am curious to see how much money I can save in a month. I wonder how many “necessities” I give up in February will be permanent, once I realize I really don’t need them. I will update you at the end of the month to let you know it it goes.
Note from the editor/Paul: It is day 4. We are already out of chips, only have two onions left and are running low on bread. Send beer!