Positive reinforcement, you'll have to figure out a way to give it to yourself, there are different techniques that people have. One lady says she does the really important tasks at work first rather than procrastinating and rushing to get them done, after doing them, she rewards herself with some freed up time at the end of the day as a reward. What a relaxer!

It is the earning that makes us feel valuable, if you did not have to work for it, it has less meaning.

Thanks. I was thinking of it in a more childish way. Tangible items...money (that will get you back into trouble), a cupcake (but my other goal is the "old weight loss", so that wouldn't work. Now I have to give this some thought.

REDCATCEC, We use Express Scripts, but our prescription plan is through my husband's retired employer. I didn't realize people could use Express Scripts on their own. You learn something new everyday.

Have to admit, this is an assumption on my part that people can use Express Scripts on their own, I do not see why not though. I had access to  ES when I was working and still do now that that phase of my life is over.

It is a good perk to have if you have access. Will have to check that out. Thanks for your input.

Confession Time:  This weekend. I didn't spend a LOT of money, but I "wasted" money on sweet, sugary, yummy snacks that I did not NEED, which also broke my other resolution of weight loss. Oh, I had an EXCUSE! The website that my diet was on would not let me in. So I decided to restart Monday (today), which threw me back into my old habit of eating everything in sight the weekend before "THE MONDAY"! I didn't say it was a good excuse.

Also, I did eat out ONE time...BuT, I gave myself permission. I visit the sick from our church one day a week with my friend. She drives, I buy lunch. We had taken a break during the holidays which sounds selfish, but it was because our sick and housebound friends from church had plans and family visiting so THEY weren't available. 

On the other hand, I am preparing (I needed to use up my free credits first) to cancel a $50+ monthly subscription for essential oils. Savings $60 month/$720 year. Yay, me! I also plan to look over my other subscription services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, furnace filter, razor blades and Amazon subscription (needs), to see what I can tweak or cancel.

Hanging in there. How's everyone doing???

 

 

@dboothe, it's okay to take a step back every now and then, the important thing is to not let it get the best of you! 

I've been toying with an idea of a break punishment, kind of like a swear jar. The way it would work is to send an additional $25 or 50% of what you spend (and did not need to spend) to your savings account. The idea isn't super thought out yet, it's still in the planning stages. 

I've also been thinking about re-evaluating my subscriptions. I've yet to use Disney+, yet I've been subscribed since the first week. Additionally, My sister already has an account, soI don't see the need to have one. 

As for me, I've definitely spend some money I didn't need to since starting this. I am tacking the expenses, but have not yet inputted all my receipts. 

Good luck keeping up with the challenge and the weight loss challenge as well! I've been working on eating better and weight loss as well, I just didn't include is as part of my new year since I had been working on it before. 

Subscriptions can add up fast! Magazine offers come into the mailbox at least weekly, they must think everyone has nothing better to do than read the same stuff under a different cover. After they expire, that's it, no more, just go online and you can find pretty much everything...free. Plus you'll have less clutter.

We took a major step in reducing the cable bill by physically visiting the Comcast store. Hubby was worried he'd loose all his sports subscriptions, it all worked out minus channels we never watch or had any interest in.

My husband is a tv addict. I WOULD LOVE to get rid of cable tv or at least just have the very basic, but he would be very unhappy. He loves all the "special channels" that you only get in the upgraded packages. I did call the cable company. Apparently you can play a little game with them and get it lowered for a while. Then, you have to call back. I hate games. (like car buying). Just give me a reasonable price and let's get on with it.

I agree with you, I don't much care for cable either, with us, it got the bill lowered for 2 years, after that we are at some company's mercy and will have to resort to game playing for the best offer pitting one against the other. As they say, follow the $$$.

Hello fellow no- or low-spenders. It sounds like everyone is doing pretty well so far. That’s great!

I bought discounted movie tickets and will be having lunch with friends, but that’s important to me and is part of my entertainment budget. And I’m saving so much on not buying other things that I actually have an entertainment budget!

Recently I sold some clothes and accessories on thredUP, which is like an on-line thrift store. There are other sites that buy gently used or like-new clothes too. Now I have some credit on my account and can shop there for used clothes that I need.

one “game” I play sometimes is to make a list of all the things I want to buy or spend money on. Today it’s still early, but already my list includes various household organizers from Bed, Bath & Beyond like clear food canisters, drawer divider things to arrange all the kitchen utensils neatly, mesh baskets for cupboards, etc.   And the autobiographies of aging rock/pop stars. Then I look at the list and see how these items would provide instant gratification and fuel the constant desire for more, more, more! So I don’t buy them and feel very virtuous. 😂

 

Annemarie L, I got the giggles at your game. It's the kind of thing I do, but have never confessed to anyone. Mine is boring by comparison. I would look through catalogs (since I was a kid) and pick out items that I was "going to get when I had the money". I never saved for them or really ever tried to get them. It was just a game. What tickled my funny bone the most was your feeling of virtue at not buying them. I have felt that same virtue when I've decided not to buy something. Another thing that I pride myself on when I don't get these new things is that I am not adding to the clutter of the stuff.

Ok, for me, (assuming you saw my confessions yesterday), NO Amazon spending, cooking all meals at home except the one lunch a week with my church friend. no shopping (except groceries).   

If you are in search of cleaver creative ways to get things done inexpensively, you can certainly get them and lots of ideas by visiting "Hometalk" and ask your questions. This site providers multiple solutions for just about anything. Drawer organizers, canisters, a lot of reuse and recycle to save you oodles of money. Take a look at what they have to offer.

Thanks for the info about Hometalk, REDCATCEC. They say if you need to buy stuff to organize your stuff, you have too much stuff. 🤣

I’m glad you got a giggle from my game, DBOOTHE. 😁 I saw your post about buying snacks and then eating them because you couldn’t get on your diet website..sounds like something I would do!

Delaying gratification by not spending money, not eating too much, etc. is like exercising a muscle. It’s painful at first and you want to quit. But when you keep at it, it gets easier and you start seeing results! 

 

Annemarie L,  When you're right, you're right. At my age I know this, but it's still painful at the beginning. Actually, I've been doing the no spend challenge since Jan. 1 and it is getting easier now that you mention it. I'm not pining over what I may be missing on Amazon or that I can't eat out. I'm in the groove...now I just have to work on my mindful eating only what is good for my body (seems harder at the moment)! 

REDCATCEC, Also thank you for the Hometalk site. I haven't had a chance to get on there yet, but I really liked what ANNEMARIE L said about them stating if you have to buy stuff to organize stuff...well, you know the rest. 

Making PROGRESS...so, I looked over all of my monthly subscriptions. I had more than I realized.  I need to keep the furnace filter (every 3 mo) because we are BAD at remembering to change it unless it comes right to our door. I need to keep the dollar razor blade one because I could NEVER remember what kind of razor blade husband needed and would always vow I would remember next time...never did. I'm keeping Netflix for now. I use it and I like it. My husband and I were getting Prevagen (memory helper) auto shipped monthly, but CVS.com is closing. I found them cheaper at Walmart.com. (saving $6 mo. and actually $20 off retail price) We NEED them. They help. 

I did cancel my Young Living Essential Oils monthly order (saving $60 mo) and my Keurig K-cup auto delivery (saving $30 mo.). Now using reusable k-cup.

Have NOT been eating out (getting easier) and NO Amazon or other shopping except groceries... AND WE ARE HALF-WAY THROUGH THE JANUARY NO SPEND CHALLENGE. 

 

 

 

Woohoo, DBOOTHE! Good for you! 

I’m Still spending too much on groceries for 2 adults & 2 dogs, so I need to do more meal-planning and stick to my shopping list to cut down on the second half of the month. 

Today I had to buy a new car battery (boo) BUT my dr. gave me samples for a new prescription medicine that would have cost way more than the battery (yay)! It’s so wonderful when things work out like that.

keep up the good work...we’re halfway through the challenge. 😀

For your furnace filter subscription (honestly I have never heard of this) have you considered getting the kind where you cut it to fit and then wash it every 3 months? Maybe put a reminder on the cell phone calendar? Or for a reminder attach a label to the furnace of near it and write when it was changed? My husband has the dollar razor blade club too, he manages that-that's pretty cheap.

So good to hear you are using reusable K cups, that's a savings. Since we found a really good deal on the K cups and are in process of using them, what I do is recycle them in a different way. The lid and contents are compostable &/or recyclable, I use the actual plastic cup (if it has 1) to start seedlings for spring planting. If you do this, please label the cups with a magic marker or a label of some kind.

I never heard of reusable K cups! Our coffee maker comes with a little basket filter that you can use to make one cup at a time, so I do that. It’s kind of a pain to rinse out though.

what would you do with a whole lot of lemons, besides make lemonade? 😁 The ones on the tree in our backyard got ripe all at the same time. So far I’ve made lemon bars, lemon cookies, and lemon chicken. Any other suggestions? The desserts were delicious but full of sugar, and we’re trying to lose weight. My daughter suggested lemon curd, but I don’t think I’d use it. 

You are so lucky to have all those lemons! We live in Maryland so our citrus trees are in pots and we have to bring them to over winter. I will give considerable thought to what you can do with lots of lemons. You can cut the sugar by using Splenda, my husband is diabetic and that's all we use for cooking, desserts, home canning, etc.

Do your K cups look like mini basketball hoops with a mesh basket with coffee inside? If so, what you can do is let them dry out after use, take a small pair of scissors and cut the basket free just where it joins to the hard rim. The basket & contents can go to compost or the garden, recycle the ring, no rinsing needed.

Reusable K cups have to be dumped and rinsed out like your little basket, but it's cheaper than buying K cups.

Lemon curd is delicious, best on scones or muffins. You might want to try it.  Also, why not Google lemon recipes, lemon recipes with stevia, lemon-pepper recipes are popular. Good luck.

We are lucky, REDCATCEC! We live in Southern California, although it has gotten down to freezing at night here. Using Splenda is a good idea, although I’ve had mixed results using it for baking. Probably buying the baking mix kind that has sugar in it would be better than trying to guesstimate how much straight Splenda to use, which is what I usually do. 😂

The individual coffee cup filter looks kind of like that but isn’t meant to be recycled. It’s OK—if I get tired of using it, I breakdown and buy some k-cups. I try to avoid them because they get expensive. 

REDCATCEC,  I would LOVE having a washable filter, but honestly I've never heard of it and don't know where to get one. I suppose I COULD GOOGLE it!  (after the January no spend challenge of course).  I could wash it when I change my water pitcher filter which already has that little calendar on it. 

Good idea reusing the plastic K-cup for seedlings. If only I were a gardener. I have a brown thumb and kill everything by either forgetting about it or killing it with kindness...overwatering, overfertilizing, overfeeding. 

 

AnnMarieL,  To save money on your groceries, make sure you use whatever you have already in the house, then expound to include those items in your meal plans. It's amazing how much you can save when you use up all that you have and nothing expires. Win-Win.

I've been using GoodRx for a few years before I had Medicare and still use sometimes. It saves a lot. Starting this month, January, I did just get Medicare Plan D for prescription coverage so maybe I won't need to use GoodRx.

As for the No Spend, I've backslid a bit this week with the buying food I didn't cook myself. But, last week I did great. I had a plan. I made food that I ate off for about 4 days (mac, 1.5 lb ground beef, tomatoes w/chili peppers, good seasonings (my Dad used to call it goulash), and I had purchased deli meat and toasted sourdough bread for sandwiches for my lunch. I was proud of that, AND... then I slid this week. Back on the horse next week

Same as you, slid back a little after discussing only eat out once a week. Joined BJ's with a 3 month free trial, they did their best to convince us to open up our wallet and buy a membership, yes, you can cancel & get your money back, but it is still money flowing out. Bought lunch meat and caught them jacking up the price $1/lb, had to get a manager to fix it. They blamed it on lazy staff. We really need to eat what is already here.

I believe it's a good habit that we are more aware of cash flowing out. 

We have our slips, but I'm much more conscious of the waste...both in throwing away food that does not get eaten (partly due to eating out) and wasting money eating out when there is perfectly good food at home to eat. I picked it out...no one forced it on me. 

Using up what we have in the house before buying more food is a great suggestion. Still spending too much on groceries. 

I  definitely “backslid” a bit. But this month has been such a revelation! I had an amount in mind to have left in the bank at the third week of the month...and it’s twice that! Now there’s the peace of mind that comes with knowing we CAN pay our higher 2020 bills without dipping into savings. So worth it! 

ANNMARIE L.

So happy for your success.  Groceries are too much. One way to save on groceries is to make double and freeze half. It isn't quite as expensive as making the meal twice and there's that extra meal in the freezer when you're extra busy and can just pop it in the oven. Best wishes for continued success.

I had pretty good success with not eating out and using up what I had in the refrigerator and pantry. Some unexpected expenses used up the money I saved, but they would have happened anyway so I'm still ahead of where I would have been had I not done this challenge. 

Congratulations to everyone who attempted and/or completed the Jan. No Spend Challenge! It was a real eye-opener for me and now I’m looking at my finances in a new way. Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be debt free!! 

Best of luck AnnMarie L! Thanks for swapping saving ideas and accomplishments and making the challenge fun. I bought a few things this morning that that I had held off on last month, but really when I reconsidered everything in my cart, they were needs that I could just wait on during the challenge, so great lesson.

Continued success going forward. 

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