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No Spend Week Update + Black Friday Shopping

I contemplated not giving you all an update on No Spend Week {sheepish grin}.

Really, I didn’t do to bad, and if No Spend Week was Sunday-Thursday, I would have a perfect report to give you.

Where I got in trouble was when I headed out to Black Friday shopping. I have never participated in Black Friday shopping, mostly because I was a bit scared of it!  It seems the only stories to hit the news are the ones of crazy shoppers hurting each other to get a good deal.  But, when my 13 year old Teagan asked (begged) to go, I thought it could be fun and maybe, just maybe I could get a chunk of my Christmas shopping done.  We also celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday evening, and had a ton of quality family time at home on Thanksgiving day, so getting out was appealing.

Back to the no spend week,  let me explain; if we have a budget set aside for a certain item, then spending money in that budget was ok during ‘No Spend Week.’  For instance, we have a certain amount we budget and save for Christmas.  We know it is there and we know what we can spend. Same with groceries, we have a grocery budget and same with clothes, we have a clothes budget.  The key for me during ‘No Spend Week’ was to be extra thoughtful with each penny I spend, even in our set budgets that I could spend from.

I noticed where I saved the most money during ‘No Spend Week’ was going out to eat.  I meet a friend for lunch at least once a week, and I frequent coffee shops to work on New Nostalgia.  During ‘No Spend Week’ I had a friend come to my house for brunch. I made Coconut French Toast & Salad with Homemade Dressing.  We had talked about going out for sushi, but when I decided that this was the week for no spending, I asked her if she would like to come over for brunch instead.  We had an awesome time and it was a great way to save money.

I found myself really struggling with no spending on Wednesday of last week, because my older two girls had school, but my youngest one didn’t.  Whenever I find myself alone with one girl, I like to find a way to spend some special time with them.  We call them “Mommy Dates.”  I really wanted to take her out for a pastry or grab some lunch with her, but I fought the urge and stayed home!  We still had quality time together.  She helped me in the kitchen and we had lunch together, it was just in our own home at our own table.

Back to Black Friday shopping.  Here is the deal.  I LOVED IT.  My Teagan and I had so much fun, we created amazing memories together and I have 90% of my Christmas shopping done.  I was able to buy gifts for my family that I never would have been able to afford if they were not on sale.  I found I was able to buy gifts that were practical and will be used, but still very nice quality which makes a great gift.  I felt like I was supporting the economy while at the same time being wise and frugal with our money.

I did not experience rudeness.  I found the opposite to be true and I was quite surprised.  I met people in line who had holiday cheer and were friendly.  It was a super fun atmosphere.  People were polite.  If I dropped something, it was picked up for me before I had a chance to get it myself.  Christmas music was playing and we had a blast!  We created memories that I know my girl won’t forget, like sharing spaghetti in the mall food court at 4 a.m.  She loved that.

So, Black Friday was a super positive experience for me and left me pleasantly surprised.  I stuck to the Christmas budget which was following my ‘No Spend Week’ rules, UNTIL I saw an outdoor fire pit for 60% off.  Ugh.  I have wanted one of these for years and have been watching for sales, but whenever I see one for sale the timing is not right with our budget.  Well, I couldn’t resist and bought it.   We also couldn’t resist eating spaghetti in the mall food court…we were STARVIN’ by 4 a.m.

I admit, I am glad ‘No Spend Week’ is over.  I will have another, but not until January!

 It really did help save some money, and more importantly it changes my thinking to be more purposeful with my spending.


How about you?

Did you shop on Black Friday?
Was it a positive or negative experience?
Have you ever had a ‘No Spend Week?’  Is it something you would consider doing?

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  • upnorth
    November 27, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I have always wanted to do Black Friday and I’m planning on it next year. I usually work on Friday, but for some reason I will ask for the day off. Our spending for Christmas is very affordable as we don’t have alot of people to buy for anymore. I’m excited.

  • Melissa
    November 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    My first time shopping on black Friday also. Had a blast with two other friends and found all cheerful and pleasant people.

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