Our Crazy Goal For 2020: No Excess Spending For 365 Days

Ever since Miranda Anderson wrote about her year of no spending two years ago. I've wanted to do that in our home too, but have never had enough drive or will power to actually do it, or implement it in my own life. 

Yes I try to be frugal, but like anyone else, I fall victim to the Target Dollar Spot, and unnecessary trips to fast food joints, or getting a few new shirts, or whatever it might be. I also have really bad judgement when it comes to impulse purchases, like signing up for a random race that cost $50, or a blogger comes out with a new meal plan that I just "got to have!" I get suckered into some of the most random things, and in 2020 I want to be super mindful of what we buy. I don't know what all of Miranda's rules were for her challenge, but this is what we're doing in our home:

If it doesn't sustain life, we won't buy it.
The gist of this is, if it isn't necessary, it's a no. We'll buy food for the table, and gas for our cars. We'll pay our rent and our utilities, and all the things that are a necessity. If it doesn't fall into that category though, too bad. 

But there's always a loop hole right?
Yes. Obviously there are household items that we'll have to purchase. Markers and crayons for the kids, construction paper and the occasional dollar store coloring book are fine, but will also be part of our $100/week grocery budget. Printer ink, toilet paper, cleaning supplies etc... are all welcome into the home, but if it can't fit into the normal grocery budget, then we either have to make room or go without. Also, I feel strongly about my kids participating in extracurriculars like Kyle and sports, and Kinsley and horse riding, because they provide a huge benefit to both of our kids. We will try our hardest to save when possible for these activities, but they are still something we will provide to them.  

What about when your kids need new clothes?
As things wear out, or get too small we will replace our kid's clothes. This is a big part of sustaining life ;) However, I do want to actually thrift a lot more in 2020 (as compared to the 0 times I've bought something from a thrift store in my entire life.... minus ThreadUP I love that place!). That means when the kids need something, I'll be heading into Goodwill first. If that's a fail then I'll try ThreadUp. If that's still a bust then I really want to start purchasing and replacing clothing with more ethical fashion brands, and will slowly incorporate pieces when needed. 

What is the point of this?
The major reason behind all of this is that I want to buy a house in 2020, or at least move out of our three story town house that we pay astronomical rent for and move into a single family house in the same neighborhood where the kids go to school. Shockingly, we can rent a house in that neighborhood for much cheaper than what we're currently paying in rent. However, moving, whether buying or renting takes money. After I tallied up all the money I made this year in 2019, I realized that if I could use a lot of self control and just tuck all that money away, that would be an awesome down payment, or at least way more than enough money to move into another home to rent, where we can still keep saving for that new house at some point. 

My Accountability:
This is something that I know for me is actually going to be really hard to do, so I know I'm going to need accountability somewhere. I know I'm not going to be 100% perfect and there will be moments I'm sure where I fall short, but I think doing a monthly update here on the blog on with where we spent money, and where we saved, and how much we've been able to put into savings that month would be a really fun thing to do in 2020, so that is my plan. 

This is our big crazy goal for 2020. It's not so much an experience in minimalism like Miranda Anderson did in 2018, but for us it's more about telling ourselves no now, in exchange for something that we want even more in our future.

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  1. I love thrifting! My biggest tip is to go often - you start to know the store and their sales, and inventory changes over so often!

    1. So good to know! I feel like it's one of those things that you love the more you do it!

  2. I love thrifting. Its such a fun hunt. Just make sure to check for stains, seams that might need fixing/or cause you to replace something sooner than you want to. :) My problem with thrifting is I can find clothes for the same price brand new, especially with brands I know fit my kids if I just watch sales. But I will say, ask neighbors or friends if they have hand me downs they won't use. I have had several people give me all I needed for my son up until about a year ago...and he is 7. So put out feelers that way.
    I totally get wanting a house and saving for it. We lucked out and found a government grant that allowed us a down payment for our house. Maybe worth looking into. We did have to live in the house for a certain amount of years, but for the "free" down payment, it was totally worth it!

    1. We did a home grant program like that in Georgia that worked really well for us! We're hoping to do the same thing when we buy next year, but will hopefully add our savings to their down payment assistance as well for a little bit bigger of a down payment. And yes, that has been hard with thrifting for me too, I want what I buy to be less than new, but that's not always the case!

  3. You may have seen this site, but in case you haven't, Tiffany has some great ideas for saving money while eating real food (https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/) that might help you with your goal. I've been reading her blog for a few months.