It’s that time of year again! Time for new beginnings for a year full of hope!
I will be doing a No Spend month along with an Exercise Every Day month starting January 1st. We are all different, so we each have to set our own rules.
But after the holiday season and an excess of spending, it is time to slow down and track every penny in our budgets. It is also time to rev up the exercise after all of the rich foods consumed the last couple of months.
These are the things we will be doing this month for our NO SPEND month. We have already set our budget for the year so that we know how much we have to spend in each category. We will be tracking every penny so that we know what we are spending and where.
We each have items in our budget that have to be paid such as taxes, housing costs, food, utility costs, healthcare, telephone costs, insurances, transportation costs, etc.
However, some of the costs such as food, utilities, gasoline, etc. we can reduce the cost. For example, I have been spending $500. per month on groceries. I will be reducing that amount to $300. a month this year. I believe it is doable since we have a stockpile to work from. If the total for the month comes in under that $300. I will roll that money into the next month. I realize prices are rising and have been rising for months now. But we can do things differently, like make bread, cook from our pantries, cook as much from scratch as possible, waste no food, shop at the cheapest market, and eat the proper portions of food at meals.
We can reduce our electric and natural gas bills by being conscious of how much we are using and using less where we can. Hubby and I rarely use lighting during the daytime unless it is a very dark, dreary day. We cook using the appliance that uses the least amount of energy. We fill our washing machine when we do a load. We use cold water most of the time. We keep our heat at 62 from 11PM to 7AM. During the daytime, we keep it at 68. It doesn’t hurt that it has been a warmer winter so far. Our December bill was $27. less than the December bill last year. It was how warm it has been along with all the other ways we reduce it. We did well because there was also a rate increase.
We save on our water bills by never letting the water just run in the sink. Fill that sink up 1/3 to a 1/2 of the way to wash dishes and especially pots and pans. Only fill your pots and pans with the amount of water you need to cook that item. Don’t overfill them because that takes excess energy too. We take Navy showers. We don’t let the water run while brushing our teeth.
We researched cellphone plans and determined that we are already paying less for what we have. The cellphone carrier we researched was Spectrum. What they don’t tell you until you ask is that you have to switch to their Spectrum cable in order to get the cheap service. We have a grandfathered plan which is much cheaper so we are keeping that. Eventually they will put everyone on the Spectrum plan but then I have the option of cancelling cable. But maybe you can find a cheaper plan for how you use yours.
We can control our gasoline costs by staying home. When we do fill up, I use gasoline points to defray the cost. I had $ .90 off a gallon last week.
We will be using up the weird food items in the house. You know the ones you thought you would use, but they linger on the shelf.
West’s birthday is this month so we will be buying him a gift but that is a necessity.
I have a number of things in this house that need to be sold so I will be doing that. If they don’t sell, we will donate them.
We will not be eating out, doing takeout, or buying fast food.
We will mend our clothes when necessary. New clothes will not be in the budget this month.
We have Netflix now for the winter entertainment. When winter is over, we will cancel it.
I will be journaling every day what we are doing in January. If you are doing a No Spend month, feel free to tell us what you are doing everyday in the comments. This way we help each other.
As far as exercising every day, I ride my recumbent bike and fast walk on the treadmill. If you don’t have exercise items, there are many You Tube videos that you can watch and exercise right along with them. You can also run or take a walk outside. You don’t need to spend money on a gym. If you are not used to exercising every day, it is a good time to start so that you have a healthier 2021. I try to do mine first thing in the morning and it sets the tone for my entire day. I feel better and it gives me a ton of energy.
My son and granddaughter are arriving today so I will be back on the 1st. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve and stay safe.