No Spend February 2013 Edition

It's that time of year again here at September Acres.  It's No Spend February!  I believe this is the fifth year we are doing this and I am more than ready.  The rest of the family is not quite as excited though - as with past years.  But they know it's coming...

I call this a 'no spend' month but realistically it's more of a 'controlled spend' month as I still buy some groceries (perishables, for example) and pay for LM's gymnastics lessons.  But other than that things get pretty frugal around here.

Here's what no spend February means for us:

  • No vacations.
  • No extra-curricular shopping activities.  This is a big one and probably the one place that most unnecessary spending occurs.  Those trips to the Target dollar spot really add up and will be cut out this month (and maybe beyond).  We've also just come off Christmas and birthdays so no one needs anything.
  • No eating out.  As in years past, we'll go  if we're being treated but that's it.  This could be good for our waistlines as well.
  • No activities that involve spending.  Trips to the movies & bowling are out but the park is okay.
  • Eating from the pantry.  Over the past few months we've built up our pantry and now it's time to use what we have.  We also try to use our personal care items that we've accumulated over the year.  I can usually go for the month or more without purchasing shampoo, lotion, etc.
I pick February as our no spend month for a couple of reasons: first, it's a short month!  Second, we have been spending for the previous months on things like Christmas and birthdays and it all adds up.  

February does present one challenge for us - an out of town hockey tournament.  Luckily, we know about this far in advance so we can plan (and save) for it.  Our hotel stay is paid for using our rewards points from Marriott and the hotel provides a complimentary breakfast.  Our other meals are eaten at the rink where the host team puts on a fabulous feast all weekend.  It's much more reasonable than eating at a restaurant and tastes much better.  We bring waters, gatorades and snacks from home.  The rink is at a huge park providing lots of play space for the kids when they're not playing a game.  It's also usually warm enough to head to the pool after a long day.  I feel like we do a pretty good job of spending as little as possible during this weekend.

I actually love having a no spend month - it makes me realize each time we do it how much unnecessary spending goes on around here.  And how little we really need to live and be happy.

Do you have a no spend/controlled spend month?

Linking up to Wendy's Frugal Friday.


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