Family who lived on $100 a month spills the secret

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.

More from The Stir: How to save hundreds on groceries

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.

More from The Stir: 7 tips for saving money online

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

Written by Amy Kuras for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

More from The Stir:

Dude cracks Lottery code -- How you can win big too!

Highest Super Bowl ticket price? Your girlfriend

Teen girls set booby trap (literally) to rob ATM users

Is shoplifting a rite of passage?

Financially Fit Feedback:Take our Survey »

Follow Shine


What extra baking essentials do you purchase?

Poll Choice Options


  • Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013
    Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013

    Don’t let these bad financial habits keep you from your long-term spending goals. Identify your weaknesses and start remedying them. …