I am counting Spending Free October as a success. We are three days into November now and I still haven't purchased any groceries with no plan to until Saturday. Our family had a great month without really feeling deprived. Looking at our bank accounts compared to last month, we were able to save more than $550!!!! That may sound low to some, but its a lot to us. And that doesn't include generous monetary gifts from our church family for pastor appreciation month. We are beyond blessed by the Lord regardless of our bank account. He will provide no matter what.
Cutting out spending for groceries and essentials, limiting gasoline usage, and other expenditures in October will help us get one step closer to owning a new-to-us van without payments. I encourage you that anyone on any budget can do this with planning.
Here are few things I learned during our Spending Freeze:
1.) We have great people in our life. Our parents encouraged us, visiting through this month as well as taking us out to eat -a big treat! I hope that we will be like you in how we love our kids in adulthood. First Baptist Church honored the pastoral staff with a banquet, cards and gifts. They also humbled my heart by praying for us during a Sunday service. Thanks to the Lord for these that love our family!
2.) I kept track of everything. I now know how much laundry detergent, hand soap, dish soap, etc we go through in a month. I found out with cloth diapering most of the time, we can stretch disposables a long way. I know how much produce we go through and how much meat. This will help in future stocking up.
3.) We didn't lack for entertainment. We enjoyed time with church family, our families, camping, and visiting friends without spending extra money. We had fun Halloween costumes and did lots of fall crafts with the kids. And lots of outside playtime.
4.) I was surprised what I didn't think of. I ran out of nail polish remover and had painted my nails on Oct 1st. Being ever stubborn, I let it wear off instead of borrowing. I also got a little nervous about our toilet tissue supply, it was close, as I forgot to get that the last part of Sept.
5.) My kids didn't miss it. Livi asked why we weren't going to ALDI a few times. Overall she thought it was fun to have creative dinners and more time to play together. John's tummy was full and his cheeks kissed so he was good too.
6.) I got more accomplished. I have been able to keep up my house, and work on projects for the business. This may or may not have been connected with the Spending Freeze, or just because it was needed.
7.) I missed cheese and Coca-Cola. My "Vices" On Sunday nights I usually do all of the laundry for the week and a few cleaning chores while having a 50 cent can of Coke. I missed it a bit, but not enough to go buy one. We ran out of cheese around Oct 18th. I made some cream sauce pasta to substitute...not as good as eating a slice of cheese. My mom spoiled me rotten last week by bringing us several slices of 5 different kinds of cheese. We still have some in the fridge. -Thanks Mom!
8.) God is in Control I have said it before, but all that we have is because God has allowed it. This month has taught us about His generosity. We have learned contentment in Him and His provision. He works in our hearts to help us learn to give and trust. Thanks be to God in all things great and small. We thank Him for taking care of us through this month.