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Inspiration from a Friend: Living on Less: January Challenge! Join me!

If you are a frequent reader of The Joys of Home Educating, you know that we have been cutting back, purging and "unsubscribing" in our home for a few months now.  Saving over $ 1500 a month in just misc. "STUFF" that was not needed to live our lifestyle!

Sammie with big eyes at the dollar store. 

January starts a new journey for our family and maybe yours!  I am inviting you to join us on a journey of lessening the "stuff"! 

One of my recent inspirations is my IRL and online friend, Mary from Homegrown Learners.  Recently she had the honor of going to Ecuador to assist with the passing out of filled shoeboxes for Samaritans Purse for the Operation Christmas Child campaign. You can see a beautiful recap in pictures HERE at her blog.

I know this trip touched her in a way that most of us will never know. 

Deep in the soul, to the core of her bones.  

Coming back home (to America) was eye opening. 

You see, WE have SO much in our country and waste so much and want for so much that truly is not needed. Not needed to live...not needed to fill our home with love and joy and not needed to be IN the Word, OF the Word.  

Following her journey,  reading about her trip and seeing pictures on Instagram while she was in the moment, living the moment, touched my heart and my soul. 

I am sure you might have seen trips like this on TV commercials where they want you to pledge money, and maybe you even have. But until you know someone and can take a journey with them (even through pictures) it's just not the same thing. 

This brings me to our Family No Spending Challenge

Our family is taking a No Spending Challenge for the month of January (to start).  We invite you to join us on the journey and take the challenge with us.  Simple rules...

1.  No spending on NON-essential items

Example of essential items are: food, gas, tithing to the church, medical expenses, bills committed too on a monthly basis.

Example of Non-essential items:  anything that you would spend money on other than essential items! (examples might include: take out food, coffee, wine, beer, birthday presents, impulse buys) 

Rest assured you will not be hung out to dry and do this alone!  I will be there with you, to hold you accountable, to encourage you, to pray with you.  I would love the same commitment from you.  

Don't think for a minute, this will be easy. We are creatures of habit and our lifestyle. But I do know that with discipline and prayer this can be done!  Think of what Jesus gave up for US. I am only asking for a month of your commitment. 

You can either start this challenge TODAY or any day up until Monday.   I ask that you leave a comment or email me personally ( so I can pray for you and your family during these next 31 days. 

I will be posting updates on how we are doing...ideas for NO spending family fun....ideas for living frugal, healthy recipes and more. 

If you join us, welcome! 

If you think you just can't commit to this, that is ok too. Maybe just cut 1 thing out or 2 things out to help your budget. 

I am excited to see how we do and to come face to face with the challenges!  

I look forward to having some of you join us on the journey!  

Until next time - Be Blessed and Spend Less!


Mary Prather said…
Melissa ~ Oh, my friend. You know my heart so well. I've been feeling so conflicted about my life right now. In fact, my Collage Friday post this week is about all the tears I've cried as I try to discern what matters most really in our lives. I may have to give you a call later this week so we can chat about it. I have a feeling you "get it".

I'm also going to speak with Hal about your no spending challenge. I know he would be on board 100%!

Love you, my friend!
Jen Dunlap said…
Melissa, this is a fabulous idea. I'm going to speak with my husband and pray about it with him, I know he will like the idea! Thanks for the idea and the encouragement.
Melissa N. said…
Yes yes yes. Join me. Call me. Pray for me. All of the above! Encourage and support!
Lynda S said…
This is a great challenge. We have been "paring down" on every thing throughout 2013. Cutting out cable, less computer time (FB for me, YouTube for my son), homemade rather than prepackaged, etc.

You would probably freak if you knew how little we were living on, but I know I could be an even better steward. I'm in!
Melissa N. said…
Excellent Lynda. We got ride of some cable also and recalling buckeling down. Glad you are in!
Sweet Knee said…
We're going to take this challenge, thank you for the idea!
Melissa N. said…
So happy you are joining me SweetKnee!
Caroline said…
I will do this after Monday but Liam's birthday is Saturday and although he is not having a "party" he is getting a birthday present. I can not promise my husband will do the same. One comment, I hope you mean I can have coffee at home, because that is an essential in my house. I don't go out for take out coffee, I have not in years. I can make a whole pot at home for the price of one out. Otherwise I am with you! I also want to try the 52 week challenge!
Caroline said…
I just typed a long comment and it seemed to have vanished into thin air. I am in after Monday!
Melissa N. said…
Excellent Caroline - yes coffee at home perfectly fine..I was referring to buy at DD or Starbucks etc...that stuff adds up!

Happy Birthday to Liam! I am leaning towards homemade gifts for friends/kids this year outside the home.

It's ok if hubby is not into it. You can make it a personal challenge!

Mary said…
I love this idea Melissa! I am going to tell my husband about it tonight.

This topic has been coming up a lot recently with my boys - the constant proclaiming of, "I need ________." has been the start of many conversations reminding my boys that they need nothing except Jesus, clothing, shelter and food. Everything else is a bonus. Hubby and I started purging the garage yesterday and frankly, it is shameful how much stuff we have as a family. Very little of our stuff are necessities.

Hopefully I will be emailing you letting you know we're in!
Melissa N. said…
OH Mary, that garage scenario is all to familiar with many of us. I pray you are on board! Waiting to hear!
Becca said…
Other than an already planned weekend trip to see friends out of state(no hotel bill and kids are free, just groceries and gas) to visit the Creation Museum, and a few birthdays we are in!
Melissa N. said…
Great to hear Becca!
Mary said…
Okay Melissa, we are in! I am praying for life changing transformation!
Melissa N. said…
Excellent Mary! Will put your family on my prayer list!
Amber Hockman said…
OK, miss Melissa, our family is on board! Our word for the year is "Self-Control," espcially in the areas of money and health! This challlenge is a GREAT way to kick off the new year!!!
Melissa N. said…
Great to hear Amber! Keep up with the blog for ideas and encouragement thruout the month! We are doing this together!
Karen said…
We are in too! Although we are very careful with our money I know I can cut back places. I am laid off until March so this is a great time to see how careful we can be. We actually don't eat out or anything like that. But it's crazy how much you can spend running to WalMart or Walgreen that is unnecessary.
Melissa N. said…
Excellent Karen! Yes it's amazing how much just jumps into our carts 8) hehehe

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