Reflections on month two of our no spend summer

by Karen on July 30, 2009

We were not as successful this month as last month. We made a handful of unnecessary purchases on our debit card in desperation, not because we needed things but because we wanted them. I know, I know, we’re bad. But this is an experiment. In the beginning we set a goal, and even though we’ve had some setbacks, we’ve still accomplished our main goal: getting through the summer without spending our savings.

We made a short trip to Myrtle Beach to see The Wallflowers. It was a lot of fun, and aside from the tickets we bought in May and a couple gallons of gas, it didn’t set back our budget at all.

We also made the decision to splurge on concert tickets to see Paul McCartney. While this wasn’t part of our no spend summer plan, it wouldn’t have been possible if we hadn’t spent the summer saving.

The biggest benefit we’ve experienced this month is we’re getting much better at sticking to our grocery budget. I’ve learned to estimate the cost of items based on past experiences, so we have no surprises at the checkout. I know when we’re over budget, which allows us to reprioritize, cut things out, and come in at the right amount. If that’s the only skill we’ve learned through cash budgeting, I’d say it’s absolutely worth it.

While it’s been more difficult this month and we’ve faced more setbacks, I’d still call it a success. After all, we haven’t touched our summer savings, and we’ll even have enough extra money to buy new tires and do some necessary maintanance on the car without dipping into our emergency fund.

How’s your budgeting going this summer?

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