Family Who Lived on $100 a Month Spills the Secret

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While the economy is, allegedly, improving, many people have found themselves downsizing. Sometimes it's a necessity. Their income has declined and they have to adjust to the new normal, but other times it's something they do because they want to simplify and scale back the consumerism.

There are people following this all over the Internet to the point that it's something of a movement. Buy Nothing Day on the day after Thanksgiving, a San Francisco group who made a promise to buy nothing new for one whole year, and a New York City blogger who pledged to not eat out for one full year. Which, if you live in New York, would be like going on a fast in the middle of a posh buffet.

The latest is a guy named David Hochman, who pledged, along with his wife and young son, to go a month without spending any more than $100.

They excepted their mortgage, utilities, and their son's preschool tuition, but everything else, and I mean everything else, including gas and even Internet access, fell under that $100 spending limit.

They ended up discovering the wonders of Freecycle and the magic powers of baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water, and found that some of their more frugal habits stayed with them. Instead of rushing right out to a restaurant or loading up on groceries, they actually stayed home and entertained themselves with time they would typically spend shopping or on the computer.

Cutting back, whether on purpose or because circumstances demand it, does make you think a lot about what you spend and why. You may find that much of what you are currently spending your money on doesn't actually make your life more fun.

Would you go on a spending fast?

 

Image via AMagill/Flickr

budget finds, recession guide