Nothing New Challenge: Month 2 Update

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Talk about a busy month! Not only is school in full motion, but we were quite the travelers in the month of September. There were five weekends in the month of September and we spent a portion of 4 out of 5 of them in a different city/state. We visited:

  • Laredo, TX - Visit my wife's family
  • Portland/Eugene/Corvallis, Oregon -  Took my yearly trip to watch a Husker Football game
  • Kemah, TX - My wife and I ran in a 10K and made this into a little getaway/date night.
  • College Station, TX - We went to watch my wife's college team play football.

With all of the traveling, buying something new can be a pretty big temptation, but our trips did not lead us to purchase anything new (Score)!

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September Spending Report:

  • Auto: $899.25
    • Gas (includes gas for trips)
    • Tolls
    • Repairs (Replaced my battery and repaired the motor in one of my windows)
  • Cash: $40
    • Used for travel in Oregon
  • Clothing: $0
  • Dining: $340.52
    • Includes date nights and family nights
  • Donations: $391
  • Entertainment: $14
    • Kemah Boardwalk Rides
    • Game Tickets/10K Run all purchased over the summer - no cost in September
  • Gifts: $56.57
  • Groceries: $704.29
  • Health & Fitness: $116.90
  • Household: $251.79
    • Replaced 8 Smoke Alarms
    • Sprayed for Bugs
  • Insurance: $90.50
    • Homeowners Insurance
  • Medical: $394.75
    • My daughter got Hand, Foot and Mouth again...
    • Chiropractor for my wife/Massages
    • Eye Doctor Appointment/Replaced Glasses
  • Mortgage: $1,046.69
    • Interest
    • Taxes
  • My Kids: $1,128.45
    • Daycare
    • Ear Muffs/Diapers
  • Utilities: $537.26
    • Streaming TV Service
    • Internet
    • Water
    • Electricity
    • Natural Gas
    • Cell Phones
  • Vacation/Travel: $842.21
    • Hotel stays in Oregon/Laredo
    • Food/Snacks
    • Hotel Stay in Kemah was pre-purchased in the summer.

GRAND TOTAL: $6,854.28

The Good News: We spent $1,061.72 less this month than last month. The Bad News: We still spent $6,854.28. We need to take this number with a grain of salt, because traveling always causes expenses to increase. With us being on the road so often this month, that is an added consideration. 

Once again, the auto repair bug hit my car. It has been more often with my car, but I still would rather pay $500 for repairs and not have to pay for a NEW car. Let's hope our cars give us some relief in the repair category next month. 

When it comes to travel, our expenses will be down next month. We will be traveling to Galveston for our next 10K, but that is a lot less traveling when compared to September. 

Did we stay away from buying anything new in September?

Once again, we started the month of September on fire! We bought nothing, despite all of the traveling. When we started this challenge, we listed off items that were exempt like food, household repair items and car repairs (more was included you can read about it here).

This month we did buy new stuff that was exempt:

  • Diapers ($23)
  • Smoke Alarms ($200)
  • Car Repairs ($500)

However, we also did purchase two items new that were not exempt:

  • Ear muffs to protect my daughter's ears at the football game
  • Birthday Gift for a co-worker's kid

With birthday gifts, our goal was to purchase using points on Amazon. We were able to use the points to purchase a gift for my niece. It ended up costing us nothing, because we had the points. However, we didn't plan ahead with the second gift and bought it last minute at Target. Two gifts purchased - one was purchased to fit the parameters of our challenge and one did not meet the parameters.

Two Month Running Tally of New Items Purchased

  • August: (2) Portable Charger and Battery Pack
  • September: (2) Birthday Gift and Ear Muffs
  • Total: FOUR New Items Purchased


I honestly can't believe we have already completed two months of our challenge! It has been amazing to see everything that we don't buy, because of our challenge. With as much traveling that we did in September, the month flew by and it didn't even seem like we were tempted with new stuff (easy to do if you stay out of the stores).

I even asked my wife how she feels about the challenge. To summarize, she does feel like the challenge has kept her from purchasing new items that otherwise she would have bought for our daughter. I feel the same way. Even though we have slipped up 4 times now, I still believe that we are spending less and avoiding new, because of this challenge!

What are your thoughts? Would you take the challenge?

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