Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘no spend day’

January recap & February goals

On Monday I got the dreaded you have reached 100% of your monthly usage allowance. 😦  In an attempt to reduce our overage I banned everyone from using the internet unless it was school related.  When I checked this morning we were 6 GBs over our limit.  This will be an additional $12 on the next bill.  I would love to know what had changed this past billing cycle as we haven’t gone over our 60 GB limit in a long time and usually sit at less than 45 GBs each month.

Oh well, on to business.

January Goals

  1. Fiscal fast for the first 8 days of January, with the exception of a lunch on Jan 7Done
  2. No-Low Spend Challenge

    • Come in on or under my reduced budget – I was over by 4% if you don’t count my tickets to The Lion King, 18.5% if you do
    • No eating out (except for the lunch I have on the 7th) – Nope, my cousin invited me out and I also paid for the meal my BFF “treated” me to as she has not paid me back yet and I don’t intend to ask for repayment as she frequently takes me out to eat.
    • 15 “no spend” days – I had 22
    • Continue to track my spending – I did this and for the first time ever my spending only took up 32 lines on my spreadsheet. (It’s usually in the 50’s)
    • Shop my freezer – Mostly, but I still stocked up on some pizzas towards the end of the month
  3. Exercise 20 times – I tracked 27 workouts
  4. Read 2 books – I only read The Time Traveler’s Wife
  5. Give the blanket to my BFF ;) – Done!
  6. Pick up one of the unfinished crochet projects I have – Nope, I have not looked in the bin yet

Not bad.  I’m starting to think that multi-tasking is not my forte.  But I worked out and tried to keep my spending under control, which were the important goals to me.

February Goals

  1. Stop eating after 8pm.  I find myself snacking while watching the 11 pm news. 😦
  2. Read 3 books
  3. Pick up an afghan and work on it
  4. Shop my freezer
  5. Get back on track with my daily morning and evening reading
  6. Continue to workout at least 5 times a week


On a different note, I forgot to tell you that I stepped on the scale on Saturday and pulled out the tape measure.  I am down almost 4 lbs and 4 inches.  I kinda expected it would be more as I am feeling rather lean.  I am one pound away from where My Fitness Pal thinks I am.  Blasted summer holiday weight gain that is fighting to stay with me. 😦  My cousin gave me bad news.  She said once you get closer to your goal it gets harder to lose the weight.  WTF!?! Well, I am taking that as a challenge and putting on my big girl panties. 😉

The Fiscal Fast is done!

Here’s how my spending went.

Jan 1 – $0.00
Jan 2 – $0.00
Jan 3 – $0.00
Jan 4 – $0.00
Jan 5 – $0.00
Jan 6 – $0.00 (gave monthly cheque for maintenance but the $ is still in my account 😉 so I’m counting it as no spend)
Jan 7 – $17.00 sushi lunch (planned)
Jan 8 – $0.00
Jan 9 – $0.00

I did a bit of grocery shopping on December 30th, mainly to stock up on milk.  Diva when not “supervised” can drink a bag (1.33 L) of milk a day.  She was warned that I was not shopping for the first 7 days of January.  We started with 6 bags of milk.  We are now on our last bag.  

I used the milk as my “guide” as to when to go grocery shopping.

My fridge


My fridge reminds me of when Simply Being Mum does her weekly “No Waste Tastes Great” posts.

According to Diva, I MUST go shopping as we have no food.  The freezers still are full, but Diva is not convinced.

So far this month I am extremely happy with our food consumption.  We have used up most of our produce with minimal spoilage.

I strayed away from the meal plan again.  I found some turkey pepperoni and a green pepper.  It’s amazing how things jump out at you when the fridge is empty!! LOL  Since I had some spaghetti sauce left over from yesterday’s chicken ravioli, I combined pasta, pepperoni, green pepper, onion, the sauce with cheese and baked it.

Pasta bake


Princess said it tasted like pizza. 🙂

Add in some broccoli and we are happy and full.

Pasta and broccoli


Since the fridge has not been this empty in a long while I am going to use this opportunity to give it a good scrubbing before refilling it.  I will also be looking at the expiry dates of everything before putting it back.

Many thanks to Sharon for suggesting this Fiscal Fast.

Jan No-Low Spend Challenge update #1

Jan No Spend Challenge

So far so good.  I am on day 3 of a fiscal fast and no money has left my pocket.  The iTouch purchase yesterday gave me the “thrill” of shopping without the expense as Diva used all her own money to fund her new toy. 🙂

I still have 3/4 tank of gas.

Princess and I will be having the leftover Mexican lasagna with steamed Brussels sprouts, her favourite veggie.

I am taking Diva to her BFF’s house tonight for a sleepover.

Then attend a viewing of a friend of a friend.  I am going mainly for moral support.  If my friend wants me to go to the funeral tomorrow then I will go, but I would prefer not to.  The family of the deceased did not want to acknowledge that their loved one was ill.  In fact up until 3 weeks ago very few people knew she was sick or even dying.  It’s all very sad.

At some point this weekend I should help my BFF with her move.  I don’t think she’s started packing yet and the movers are scheduled for the 15th.  If I am not going to the funeral tomorrow then I will head up to her house after picking up Diva.  If I do end up at the funeral then I will go Sunday.

Being busy this weekend should help me keep my hands out of my wallet. 🙂



December recap & January goals

Another month end.  Time is passing far too quickly.

December Goals

  1. Exercise 16 times – 22 times!!  Whoo hoo!!  20 minutes really is my sweet spot.
  2. Read 2 books – I read The Dinner and Better Than Good Hair
  3. 15 no spend days – Only 13, so close.  I would have hit it if I didn’t take my sister to do her eyebrows twice.  Really need to put her on a schedule that corresponds with a day I am already spending money. 😉
  4. Shop my freezer – I was doing this!?!  LOL  I don’t think I did this well at all. 😦
  5. Finish Christmas shopping by Dec 10 – I was finished on the 12th.  Close but not quite.
  6. Finish putting together the blanket for my BFF – The blanket is put together now I need to sew in all the loose ends.
  7. Make Apple Pie cookies – No.  I was planning to make and take these to my Dad’s for Christmas but I did not take the recipe off the internet so when I lost internet just before Christmas I was SOL.
  8. Stick to the budget – Not even close. 😦

4/8 …

January Goals

  1. Fiscal fast for the first 8 days of January, with the exception of a lunch on Jan 7
  2. No-Low Spend Challenge
  3. Exercise 20 times
  4. Read 2 books
  5. Give the blanket to my BFF 😉
  6. Pick up one of the unfinished crochet projects I have

I think that’s enough given the no-low spend challenge is going to keep me on my toes.

I still have to decide on what, if anything, I want to accomplish this year.

September recap & October goals

Last month …

September Goals

  1. Go back to meal planning – Done, but I didn’t always follow the plan
  2. Exercise 20 times this month – While I worked out 10 days this month, I did a am/pm program so I worked out twice a day so I am counting this as a win!
  3. Do another cleanseDone
  4. Read 2 books – Nope, not even one 😦
  5. Track my calories daily – Done
  6. 10 no spend days – Done, 12 days booyah!!!
  7. Declutter 30 items – Nope, I forgot I was doing this

No/Low Spending Challenge Goals

  1. Use only cash, time to pull out my beautiful hexie budget wallet – Not all the time.  I was 70% good
  2. Stick to $670 for the month or $22.33/day – Nope, I was over budget by a lot 😦

5/9.  To think I was feeling that this month was going to be a good month … Bahahahahahahaha, I was wrong.  Good thing there is a whole new month starting so I can try again. 😉

October Goals

  1. Exercise 15 times
  2. Read 2 books
  3. 15 no spend days
  4. Stick to $650 for the month
  5. Shop my freezer
  6. Continue to meal plan
  7. Declutter 60 items (gotta make up for last month)

There are some repeaters as I find that when they are not on the list they don’t get done.

WSR – 2/11/13

So the last time I did a spending report was January 21!?!  Frick. 😦  Where does the time go?

Alright let’s get the party started.

Jan 21 – No Spend Day

Jan 22 – No Spend Day
+2.02 this is what was left for vision care for Diva’s glasses

Jan 23 – No Spend Day

Jan 24 – No Spend Day

Jan 25 – +12.37 returns to Michael’s
$60 gas
$4.24 postage

Jan 26 – $3 sushi lunch tip
$59.89 dinner
$2.26 windshield washer fluid

Jan 27 – $2 parking
$35.41 detox
$22.23 groceries
$10.16 clay mask
$113.67 groceries

Jan 28 – No Spend Day

Jan 29 – No Spend Day

Jan 30 – $57.01 gas
$33.88 contact lens solution
$158.43 groceries

Jan 31 – No Spend

Feb 1 – +$3 survey payment

Feb 2 – $7 parking

Feb 3 – $78.39 birthday gift

Feb 4 – $32.56 groceries
$12.78 groceries

Feb 5 – $22.11 groceries

Feb 6 – No Spend Day

Feb 7 – No Spend Day

Feb 8 – No Spend Day

Feb 9 – $6.15 groceries

Feb 10 – $74.74 groceries
$3.94 magazine

Grand Total: $799.85 – $17.39 = $782.46 NET
9 No Spend Days

Man I spend a lot on food.

In January I was doing well until that last week.  I need to figure out how to make the momentum last.  I seem to be able to stay on track for the first 3 weeks of the month, then it’s like I rebel and break loose. 😦

So far this month I am on track.  I went to cash only and my hexie wallet is getting used. 🙂  I took out most of what I needed for last week and only some grocery money for this week.  Don’t ask.  My thoughts were why am I taking out money when I haven’t spent all of the money from last week yet?  I can already see problems with this line of thinking but for the moment I will go with it.

I have to take the kids to the dentist tomorrow so I will be kissing some more cash good-bye. 😦  Can’t wait until the braces come off.  Thankfully Princess’ braces came off.  So only one kid to pay for. 🙂

On the food front, I bought another hunk of salmon from Costco and baked all of it yesterday.  Diva is really enjoying this fish.  She asked me to continue making it even after I have finished my cleanse.  My “hates anything organic and healthy” child is eating salmon and quinoa for dinner.  It’s a wonderful sight to see. 🙂

This week’s menu looks like this:

Salmon and brown rice/quinoa & broccoli
Salad with salmon for me / cheese pizza for the kids
Chicken, salad, sidekicks & broccoli
leftovers until the fridge is empty



WSR – 1/21/13

Jan 14 – No Spend Day

Jan 15 – $10 CPR course for Princess
$13.32 drug store

Jan 16 – No Spend Day
+$146.22 refund from Princess’ glasses

Jan 17 – $17 sushi lunch

Jan 18 – $8.5 magazines
$26.84 groceries
$99.98 glasses for Diva

Jan 19 – $0.21 dinner at South Street burger joint
$14 beef patties

Jan 20 – No Spend Day

Total: $189.85 – $146.22 = $43.63 NET
3 No Spend Days

Not bad. 🙂  I actually thought it would be worst.  I still have yet to hit 4 “no spend days” in one week.  Maybe this week.  I am trying to stop randomly running errands.  I am determined to “shop” my freezer this week.  I still have 2+ bags of milk which is over 2.75 liters for those of you who don’t buy milk in bags.

Tonight’s dinner was salmon and accordion potatoes.  No broccoli or corn as I forgot. 😦

Tomorrow’s dinner will be meatball subs on home-made rolls with broccoli.

WSR – 1/15/13

Jan 7 – $57 gas
+$22.50 credit from NSF
$4.36 groceries
+$2 lottery win (from when I was feeling lucky)
$6 bus fare

Jan 8 – $15 sushi lunch
$256 dentist

Jan 9 – No Spend Day

Jan 10 – $180 Diva’s grad trip (part 2 of 3)

Jan 11 – No Spend Day

Jan 12 – $10 lunch with friend
$3.98 lunch at Costco for Princess
$239.98 glasses for Princess (a portion of this will come back to me)
$104.54 groceries
$42.11 drug store

Jan 13 – No Spend Day

Grand Total: $918.97 – $24 = $894.97 NET
3 No Spend Days

Well there goes the no/low spending for last week.  I have not decluttered.  I am spending money like a “baller”.  I have taken my eye off the prize.

I was attempting to do 4 days of no spending in a row but then an old co-worker passed by and we went to lunch on Tuesday.  I semi-forgot about the latest instalment for Diva’s trip.  I knew that the next payment was due, but it wasn’t until Monday.  I decided to pay it early while I remembered.  I really want her to go on this trip.

As for the glasses … well Princess got a new prescription back in September.  When we went looking for glasses we did not find frames we both agreed on.  I bought her contacts at the time which she refuses to wear.  I mistakenly believed that my benefits were $200 each calendar year so I waited until January to get her glasses thinking that the coverage would start fresh.  It doesn’t.  It seems like it’s for each 12 month period. 😦  So I will get money back just not the whole $200. 😦

The saddest part for me right now is that $100+ for groceries did not include any meat. *silent tears* 😦

I am going to take a minute and get back on track.  We will be eating out of the freezer and other than milk and produce I am going to try to stay out of Costco and the grocery stores.

As for the decluttering … during the week is not the greatest time for me.  By the time I come home, work out, fix up dinner then spend time with my kids … it’s relax time for me I have no interest in doing anything else.  So this week-end I am going to have to step up my game.

WSR – 01/07/13

I am still writing 2012 when I am not looking.

OK I am a little in shock as I just realized that my last spending report was 3 weeks ago!?!  I’m blaming the holidays.  They got me all turned upside down. LOL

Since it’s a new month/year, I think I’ll just start fresh with January 1.

Jan 1 – No Spend Day

Jan 2 – $1.13 construction paper

Jan 3 – $2.05 dinner out with Princess (gotta love group buy deals!)

Jan 4 – $45 NSF 😦 (until my account is credited I am recording the full amount)

Jan 5 – No Spend Day

Jan 6 – +$10 pay out from market research company
$19.70 groceries

Total: $67.88 – $10 = $57.88 NET
2 No Spend Days

If I take out the stupid tax then this was a pretty good week. 😉  I have come up with a weekly budget amount of $195.  This includes groceries and gas and anything else not budgeted for.

My plan is to go grocery shopping today and fill up my car with gas and see if I can do a fiscal fast until … I was going to say next Monday but I believe I have a lunch date with an old co-worker on Saturday … so Saturday it will have to be.  I think this is actually better as I will most definitely need milk by then.  Diva drinks it like it’s going out of style.

I think this month will be the start of meal planning for me.  This way I can ensure I use up what’s in my fridge/cupboards.  This year will be the year we reduce food waste, come what may.

Monday: curry chicken and rice
Tuesday: leftover spaghetti sauce and pasta baked with cheese, cause everything is better with cheese 😉
Wednesday: chicken strips and potatoes
Thursday: any leftovers from past nights
Friday: frozen pizza
Saturday: potato and Costco chicken
Sunday: chicken soup

My co-workers and I started doing soup/salad Mondays where we take turns bringing in soup with/without salad for all.  There are only three of us participating so it’s not too overwhelming.  Next Monday is my turn.  I am leaning towards chicken noodle.  Today’s soup is spicy Thai carrot.

WSR – 12/17/12

I can’t believe I am 2 weeks behind. 😦  Oh well, hopefully the end total will not be too shocking.

Dec 3 – $14.67 chocolate

Dec 4 – $14.41 Christmas gifts
+$16.80 Old Navy returns
$22.58 Christmas gifts
$28.66 groceries
$59.50 gas

Dec 5 – No Spend Day

Dec 6 – $14.45 groceries

Dec 7 – $17 dim sum lunch

Dec 8 – $9.48 burger lunch
$7.56 groceries

Dec 9 – $0.57 bristol board

Dec 10 – No Spend Day

Dec 11 – No Spend Day
+3 survey payment

Dec 12 – $0.88 groceries

Dec 13 – No Spend Day

Dec 14 – No Spend Day

Dec 15 – $20 ear-piercing for Diva

Dec 16 – No Spend Day

Total: $209.76 – $19.80 (returns & survey) – $36.99 (Christmas budget) = $152.97 NET
No Spend Days

I can’t remember when last I have spent such a small amount in one week much less two!!!  I am doing a little dance as I type. 🙂

The ear-piercing for Diva was an unplanned expense.  My sister wanted to go get her ears pierced for the first time.  Diva has expressed some annoyance over the fact that the piercing on one of her ears was too high.  So I figured why not see if she can get her ear re-pierced.