The Frugal Frebruary Challenge

It’s a thing. That’s because we just invented it*.

Here’s how it works: in February, you can’t buy any stuff. That’s it.

You can make your own rules, but below is our version. It is a little extreme, and we’re pretty sure we’ll fail. But it’s an experiment worth trying.

We’ll have to eat – so buying groceries is acceptable. Paying our electric bill, phone bill or current debts is necessary. We just can’t buy any stuff. We’re already pretty lean on acquired stuff, so this is just taking it up a notch.

Alcohol is stuff. Gasoline is stuff. Anything at Starbucks is stuff. Even though it’s food, we’re eliminating restaurants – services count as stuff. All stuff is stuff. It’s an experiment. It’s a challenge. It’s supposed to be hard.

We picked the shortest month, so that’s a bonus. You don’t have to grow a mustache or dump a bucket of water on your head. You just have to dig down to find your minimalist most frugalist self. Maybe you’ll discover something important. Maybe you can live without something you thought you couldn’t live without. Maybe you’ll save enough money to do something really fun. Maybe you’ll reach budgetary nirvana and figure out how to retire early. Besides, the best things in life are free – right?

Zero is probably impossible, but we’re going to try. At the end of the month, we’ll post our results.

*after posting this I did a quick search to see if anyone else had ever thought of this. Of course, someone did. Ours is different, though. Frebruary. Totally different.

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12 thoughts on “The Frugal Frebruary Challenge

  • February 1, 2015 at 5:31 PM
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    How much alcohol did you buy on January 31?

  • February 1, 2015 at 6:00 PM
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    We came up with the concept rather quickly and did no pre-planning or pre-purchasing. That would have made it pretty easy.

    Instead, I opened the fridge yesterday to realize that we had no beer for the Super Bowl. I almost gave up on day one.

  • February 1, 2015 at 6:09 PM
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    What if I buy alcohol but give up electricity, does that count?

  • February 2, 2015 at 4:43 AM
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    Make your own rules. I would suggest only buying enough booze to equal your electric bill and then pull the plug.

  • February 2, 2015 at 5:42 PM
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    Suffice it to say I did not make it 12 hours. I’m sure ya’ll would approve of my purchase – 2 one way tickets to MDE. We are going to sail for a few days.

  • February 3, 2015 at 5:56 AM
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    tried, but failed… yesterday went to a “fuente de soda” and order a meat-avocado sandwish and beer.

  • February 23, 2015 at 7:00 PM
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    I love this idea – the way you’ve expressed it is precisely the same way I thought years ago: “Why do I need money EVERY day to live and how long could I live without it?” I was very frustrated by this.

    Eventually I learned it’s challenging and takes the kind of preparation you’d need to be out in the wilderness all month. Wife and I have gotten to where we can do it for 7 or 8 days at a time. So instead of doing a “no stuff month”, we do “no stuff weeks” and can manage to do 1 or 2 of them a month. So at the end of the year, we’ve accumulated almost three months of “no stuff weeks”.

  • February 23, 2015 at 7:01 PM
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    Please – will you summarize your results at the end of the month? I’d like to know where you ended up and what things you absolutely HAD to buy?

  • February 24, 2015 at 8:19 AM
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    James – The ‘no stuff week’ sounds more doable and may achieve the same results – you still have to really think about what makes something a necessity. Our end of month update is coming… 😉

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