40-DAY FRUGAL/FINANCIAL LENT CHALLENGE
Hi guys, lent is almost here. It will begin on Wednesday, February 14th and end on Thursday, March 29th. it lasts about 40 days.
We are not overly religious but every year we participate in lent. We try to find good habits to adopt/strengthen or bad habits to drop. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so lent is a perfect time to try to do so.
So what frugal, financial, money… habit are we are going to adopt, strengthen or drop; or things/luxuries are we going to give up?
Without further ado?
40-DAY FRUGAL/FINANCIAL LENT CHALLENGE
Almost every weekend especially on Saturdays, we eat take out. Saturdays are usually busy days. That’s the day we clean up the house, do laundry and grocery shopping. By the time we are done, we are too tired to do any cooking, thus we end up eating take out.
We love fine dining, that’s our guilty pleasure. When we first started dating, we used to fine dine almost every day. Then it decreases to about once a weekend, and now it’s down to once or twice a month. For the next 40 days, we commit to no more fine dining unless we are invited by friends.
We are the types who really don’t like public transport. We have always preferred driving to everywhere. For example, I was driving to work everyday and wasting money in gas and another $30/day for parking.
However, a couple of years ago, during another lent challenge, I started taking the train and I ended up keeping the habit. I basically drive to the train station about 10 minutes from home and then I take the train for an hour, and then walk to the office for another 15 min or so.
And now, for the next 40 days, I’m going to stop driving to the train station. I will park the car, and just start taking the bus. The bus stops right in front of our house so it shouldn’t be too bad.
Hubby works from home but he does use our second car to drop off and pickup the kiddo from daycare. He will also start using the bus instead or just walk for some father-daughter bonding.
There are so many people who don’t watch TV and we always thought they are crazy. Or maybe we are the crazy ones who waste countless of hours watching TV? Let’s find out for ourselves.
In the next 40 days, we commit to not watching TV at all. Will we love our new found free time and end up cancelling cable and Netflix permanently? Stay tuned for the update after 40 days.
A little bit of cheating?
We did a little bit of cheating: Valentine’s day is on Wednesday, the same day lent starts. So we decided to do a Valentine’s weekend gateway to Niagara falls, the weekend prior before lent starts. Valentines is Mr99to1percent’s favorite day, so there was no way we were going to skip it.
We also have our dating anniversary towards end of March. We will delay the celebrations for a few days, until after lent is over.
What we will do with the money
During the 40-day lent, half of the money saved will be invested, and the other half will be donated/gifted. See here our favorite ways of gifting money.
Other people who have joined the challenge
Rich from PF Geeks
“My wife and I don’t normally observe Lent, but committing to something for a 40-day period is a great way to instill a new habit! One of our biggest weaknesses when it comes to budgeting is eating out on the weekend whenever we are exhausted from a long week of work.
It kills our wallet and usually our waist as well! This year for 40 days, we are going to commit to NOT eating out on the weekend out of laziness. Our exceptions will be family outings or social gatherings with friends. This should save us at least a few hundred dollars over the course of 6 weekends! The money we save will go into our sinking fund to help us offset the cost of a new set of tires!”
Mike from BudgetKitty
“For my 40 Day Frugal Challenge, my goal is to not spend a single penny on food at work. I used to be pretty good about bringing lunch every day and keeping snacks in my desk too, but we started getting busy and I let myself slip.
Lately I’ve been buying lunch almost every day and it’s costing me a fortune. It’s time to get back to my good habits and there’s no better time to start than now! I’m going to take all the money I save and put it towards paying down our debt.”
MrsKiwi from KiwiAndKeweenaw
“I find that challenges really help me focus on my goals, and I am excited to participate in the 40-day frugal lent challenge! This year during lent I plan on eliminating 40 things from my home. In theory, this will be one item per day, in reality I will be traveling for some of the month, so I will do this in batches.
I hope to sell some things to help fund our big home renovations we planned this year. However, I will mostly donate or give away to people in my community who will use it. I plan to track the items that are leaving my home, to encourage me to buy fewer things saving money and reducing our environmental impact.”
Jon from MoneySmartGuides
My new habit that I want to adopt is more meal planning. We waste a lot of food and money by waiting until the last minute to figure out what we want to do for dinner. Because we are exhausted, we tend to pick the easiest option, take out.
This ends up costing us a lot money. By planning our meals ahead of time and even cooking some ahead of time, we can drop this expense and eat healthier. And long term it will have benefits on our health too, which could save us money on healthcare as we age.
Shawn from Thesmartfi
I would love to join your frugal Lent challenge. Actually, my wife and I would love to join. My wife is the spender in the relationship and really thinks I have fallen off my rocker with the personal finance blogging thing. So when I pitched the idea to her she reluctantly agreed.
I am frugal by nature really don’t buy much for myself. My wife on the other hand decided to forgo a couple of her crutches. So my wife decided to give up two luxury items and I would create one good habit.
1) give up iTunes song purchases = $20/ month
2) give up wine = $65/ month
1)Create a real budget on mint.com and implement a cash only grocery budget.
Mr and Mrs Adventure Rich from Adventure Rich
Throughout the 40 days of Lent, Mr. Adventure Rich and I will be working to make several frugal/lifestyle changes. We have four primary goals.
1) Mr. AR and I are both avoiding alcohol, so we will also be avoiding the purchase of alcohol (both in-store or at a bar/restaurant).
2) We have decided to avoid eating out, including meals, snacks or other incidental eating. To this end, we plan to prepare snacks or sandwiches for our days out and about.
3) Mr. AR has been making bread… so we have decided to avoid buying bread. This is actually a big one… we have a 2.5-year-old who is fueled by peanut butter and jelly so bread is a hot commodity. Being prepared for our “sandwich needs” by dedicating time to baking bread will be a challenge.
4) Our family would like to become more “waste conscious”. So, we are adding this on to our Lenten frugality challenge 😊 We will be working to compost, recycle, and avoid excess waste in our household.
So there you go… no alcohol or bread purchasing, no eating out, and increased “waste consciousness”. Here’s to 40 days!
Laurie from TheThreeYearExperiment
Awesome challenge! I have been thinking about what to adopt/give up for Lent, and this is a great call to action! I’m going to commit to no buying during Lent. I’m only going to purchase groceries and gas for myself (exceptions will be if the boys or Mr. ThreeYear need something, or if I need to purchase a gift).
But it will be a good test to challenge myself to go without or figure out another solution, apart from buying something, during these 40 days.
Ms Ziyou from MsZiyou.com
I will do no chocolate or cake* for Lent. I have a sweet tooth. And I’m a no cake or all the cake kinda gal, moderation is not an available option for this achilles heel of mine.
*Note I left out biscuits, taking advantage of the HMRC cases on the difference between a cake and a biscuit.
Joe from HendrixJoseph
I talked to my wife last night, and we’re going to not go out to eat unless it’s with friends. We already committed to eating out less this year (3x a month instead of once a week), plus we need to save money for the upcoming baby, so it was a natural fit. Of course, lent is pretty much that last 40 days before the baby, so it’ll be difficult.
I also asked her if I could give up shaving for lent. She said definitely not.
I’m giving up anything with added sugar in it. I can still eat food with natural sugars in it, like fruit, veg and dried fruit. But no tomato ketchup, bread, cakes, sweets, fizzy drinks, biscuits etc.
I’m also going to do a no spend period – i.e. no spend days for as many days during lent.
Mr & Mrs Money Magnet from MrAndMrsMoneyMagnet.com
Usually we give up something for Lent and i hate it before it even begins, but this year i am pumped up!
We decided to join you and here is what we are doing for the challenge:#1 No eating out
We are not big on going to a restaurant to eat out but we will admit that we do pick up a drive thru at least once a week while out running errands.
For the challenge we will just have to pack a snack bag or lunch while we are out and about.#2 Get rid of 40 things we no longer use/need
We do consider ourselves to minimalist to a point, but we do have a few things that we can do without.
We will either sell, donate or give away the items and the goal is to post how well we are doing along the way.
Kris from ChroniclesOfAFatherWithCents
I’m in. Going to reserve a couple of books at the library and try to finish reading both within 40 days!!
Allie from Simply-Uncomplicated
I am going to start something rather than give something up! I am going to start meal planning! So in a sense, I guess I am giving up throwing away old food that doesn’t get used in time. Conveniently, we actually started to do this the week of the 11th, so I guess we are still fitting your timeline! Second week in and it is going well. Side benefit is that I love how empty and easy it is to clean the refrigerator each week! Thanks for sharing the challange!
Full posts about the challenge
- 99to1percent – 40-DAY FRUGAL/FINANCIAL LENT CHALLENGE
- KiwiAndKeweenaw – 40 Days of Decluttering
- TheSmartFI – 40 Day Frugal Lent Challenge
- AdventureRich – 40 Day Frugal Lent Challenge
- TheThreeYearExperiment – The Most Romantic Lenten Sacrifice
- MrAndMrsMoneyMagnet – 40 Day Frugal Lent Challenge
Do you also want to join the challenge?
You don’t need to be a Christian or religious to join. Everyone is welcomed.
If you want to participate, leave a paragraph in the comments about what frugal, financial, money… habit you are going to adopt, strengthen or drop; or things/luxuries you are going to give up. If you want, you can also include what you will do with the money you will save.
We will provide a backlink.
If you are a blogger, you can also create your own full post and we will give you at least 3 backlinks.
Happy Frugaling guys!
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