One of my goals for 2012 was to save more. We all want to do this, right? So, I got started on January 1st. I declared January as a "no-spend month". I told my husband and four teenagers that I would not be spending any money on extra stuff. I would only buy food and gas, and pay our monthly bills. That's it. And, surprisingly, they were on board with this idea. So there were no trips to the mall for that 'after Christmas' sale, or impulse shopping online. Nothing. For the whole month.
So, how did we do? I give us an A-. Here's what happened. When I declared this no-spending month, we all changed our mindset. Everyone put their wants and needs on hold. We found ways to use stuff we already had instead of thinking we needed something new. For example, I finished up some projects around the house that I already had supplies for - instead of going to the hardware store to start new projects.
Unfortunately, some expenses popped up that we couldn't put off - a car repair bill, my son's boots (I hadn't bought him boots in a long time - and he needed new ones for an outing. I couldn't put it off.), and a lamp from Salvation Army that I picked up for $1.49. That was too good to pass up. :-) And there were a few other odds and ends during the month.
But I know that we saved a ton - just because we focused. There were so many things that we didn't really need to go out and buy. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to declare February a 'no-spend' month too!