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Since February is a short month, I have chosen it as a “no spend month” which is #8 on my 21 for 2021 list. Basically, this means that my family and I will not spend money on wants (non-essential spending) but rather only on needs. We will temporarily freeze spending in entertainment/hobby/social related categories (movies, eating out, books, etc.) and hold off on major purchases until after February. This also means NO impulse buying! In addition, I generally cover non-essential items for Andrew (mostly books); however, this month he and I agreed that if he didn’t need it and couldn’t wait until March, he would have to pay for it himself. Psst, he only made it until Wednesday evening. HA! I jest because Andrew is pretty good about saving money, so I don’t anticipate this occurring again this month.

The purpose of me wanting to try this for one month is to evaluate our spending habits, get an idea of what we really need to spend monthly, and help us see how little we can get by with in a month. Additionally, with all the uncertainty surrounding us with the pandemic, if something changes with our household income, we know where we can adjust our spending habits and concentrate on the bare necessities.

Another aspect of this financial experiment is taking the time during the month to audit our monthly bills and track our spending at the grocery store with revamping our budget in mind. This will help us reflect on and revise our financial goals for the remainder of the year. With regard to spending money at the grocery store, we can examine ways of saving money throughout the month by taking advantage of sales, coupons, or using up excess food in the freezer. In fact, I already have a recipe to use up the ham left over from Christmas dinner.

With all that being said, I have found one loophole to dining out this month (#18 on my 21 for 2021 list: try one new restaurant per month). For Christmas, my hubby and I received a gift card for a restaurant that happens to be one that we have never tried; therefore, we will be able to try a new restaurant this month without spending any money allotted for February. Last month, I included extra money with the gift card to cover the tip. By doing this, the money for the tip was technically spent last month and not in February. I call that planning.

Even though this item on my 21 for 2021 may not seem fun on the surface, dear reader, I do think that it will give me a happiness boost when I see how much money we saved at the end of the month. And, I say this because I got a glimpse of the potential savings last spring when everything shut down due to the pandemic. Thus, I plan to approach this month of frugal living as an adventure. Happiness!

“By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.” ~ Agesilaus

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