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div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”a href=”” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”” width=”200″ //a/divbIt is September 30th and the last day of the 30 Days of Nothing Challenge is complete!/b Woo Hoo!! I have never been so happy for a month to be ending in all my life!br /br /I think we did pretty well in the no spend category. I did not withdraw $600 that is normally budgeted for our household. The envelopes I did fill were the groceries, eating out, clothing, and gift /br /bLet me explain my reasoning for these envelopes:/bbr /br /ibGroceries/b/i- We did not stock our pantry before this challenge. I am not a menu planner. I’ve tried and I’ve failed…ibmultiple times/b/i. I am not able to put together a menu and then shop for it for a month…or even a week. The other reason is we eat a lot of fresh produce. We are slowly changing our eating habits by cutting out processed foods. I did, however have about $80 left over for the /br /ibEating Out/b/i- I still filled this envelope even though we ate out MUCH less. My husband and I maintained our date nights which include dinner out. Ironically, I was in on a conversation with a friend who talked about the very frugal dates her and her husband used to go out on. She realized the stress of trying to make a next to nothing date every week was stealing the joy from the date with her husband. I totally got this. That is why this was my exception to our no spend challenge. Date night for us is a time to reconnect as a couple without stress. The value in protecting that far outweighed the saving that extra /br /i style=”font-weight: bold;”Clothing-nbsp;/iOur clothing envelope was filled because we only put $60 every two weeks in the envelope. Over time that adds up and we buy the necessities for our family. This month we did buy some clothing items. You can read about our a href=””date night purchases/a and the reasoning behind them. nbsp;We are not a family that just goes out and buys clothing for the heck of it. Every purchase has purpose and /br /i style=”font-weight: bold;”Gift Envelope- /iWe save for birthdays and holidays throughout the whole year. I continued to fill this envelope even though we didn’t buy any /br /bThe Lesson/bbr /The lesson I learned with this challenge is that if anything happened to my husband’s job i{heaven forbid}/i, we have the capability to cut out spending pretty easily bisince we live from our envelopes/i/b. We use 9 envelopes and I did not fill 5 for this challenge. I always knew we had the ability to do this, I just never put it in action. I also realized that I could easily cut out 3 of the 4 envelopes mentioned above if things became /br /bThis was a challenge in discipline./bbr /Not only was I disciplining myself in spending less I was challenging myself to write a post I secretly challenged myself to write a post every day from September 1st to September 30th.b It was not easy./b There were days that I just wanted to go to bed early and skip writing. Writing became difficult when I had to report that I didn’t spend anything. i{Kinda hard to find an interesting way to say the same thing over and over again}/ /br /Overall, I’m happy with what we accomplished. Six hundred extra dollars toward our HELOC is a great accomplishment. This challenge wasn’t perfect. I know there are areas I could improve on, but life is about learning and improving not beating yourself up because you weren’t /br /iThanks to Christie at a href=””Bushel and a Peck/a for this wonderful challenge. And thanks for everyone that blogged about it. It was great to have comrades in the battle.nbsp;/ibr /br /br /div style=”text-align: center;”Christie atnbsp;a href=””Bushel and a Peck/a/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”Shelley atnbsp;a href=””Finishing our Family from China/a/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”Kayce atnbsp;a href=””Our Boy and His Cricketnbsp;/a/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”Sweet Mama Luv U atnbsp;a href=””Little One Full of Giggles and Wiggles/a/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”Suz atnbsp;a href=””Just and Ordinary Family/a/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”Lynda atnbsp;a href=””From Guang Mei to Lauren Mei/a/divdiv style=”text-align: center;”a href=””Young Creations/a/divbr /br /a href=”” target=”_blank”img alt=”Anna” border=”0″ src=”” //a