5 Simple Rules for a No Spend Challenge


photo by me












Hobbies are expensive, addicting and “OMG I JUST BOUGHT ANOTHER PLANNER!!”  My hobby for quite a few years was for a renaissance group which came with all sorts of expenses like camping equipment, fabric for clothes and fees for events.

Over the past year and a half, it’s been all about the planners or washi tape or stickers or stalking the Target dollar spot.  I’ve been to hardware stores and found things I can use in my planner!

So every once in a while, we need to give ourselves a spending break.  Many in the planner community call this a “No Spend” month.  Basically, you make a chart and ya don’t spend for thirty days! (WHAT!?)

I noticed that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for this challenge so I came up with five of my own.

The Rules

  1. Food and Shelter Only (that’s rent/mortgage, electric, gas, phone, & groceries)
  2. No Planner Related purchases. (No pens, paper, stickers, washi, ephemera, or crafty supplies)
  3. No purchased breakfast or lunches during work week (this is so I remember to make my healthy lunches and breakfast smoothies)
  4. No thrifted purchases of planner goods (clothing ok)
  5. Total amount spent during challenge must be multiplied by 7 and either tithed, saved or given to charity. (i.e. one purchase of $31.99 would be a tithe of $223.93 for me!) I figured that if I were to go on a freeze, then a consequence had to happen if I did spend.

Are you up for the challenge!?

Health update

After much thought, debate, talking to myself, answering myself and napping; I have come to a conclusion.  I swore two and half years ago that I would not make this blog into a “woe is me, I have a chronic illness” diary of sort.  I know for certain, that I don’t want to read about it, so why would I write about it?

The truth is, I have a chronic illness! There is never a moment in my life that I don’t deal with it, explain it, whine about it or work around it.

Dragonflykeep will be about the journey of me, how I manage my illness, my hobbies, my freakish delight in paper goods and a few health related posts plugged in as well.  You may not really see much change, but in my head I have finally came to peace with the focus of my blog. With this, I will be recommitting my collaboration with Spoongeeks and will have monthly topics that will be discussed here on my blog and a video on you tube.

Yea, it’s the same but different.

Be sure to check the Spoongeeks site for my FrainBoggedMoments vlogs!

Follow me….

to YouTube!  That’s right, I am taking a big bold step into the world of vlogs! Well, not such a huge step. I have been a very slow participant on a collaboration with my BFF and her hubby over on Spoongeeks (yes, I owe a vid, I know!)

But, guys, look…I’m making my own vids on my planner obsession, err, setups.  I’m calling them Vlogtini’s…why, I have no idea. It just popped into my head and no one else seemed to be using the term so I went with it!

Below are my first two episodes! Take a look, subscribe and comment!


Round Up

Remember this guy…my piggy, Mr.Chan! He’s a bit sad it’s not the Year of The Pig but he’ll get over it. 2_2_15

If you remember from previous posts, I have been utilizing the techniques set forth by Dave Ramsey. A cash envelope system…’member? Well, anyway, when I use cash to purchase pet food, health/beauty supplies (like soap) or even my thrifting envelope…I save the change.

When I make a purchase from my cash envie, I keep the change.  Even if the purchase is $3.01, those 99c go right into Mr.Chan’s belly.

This past December Mr. Chan went to the market and depleted his belly into the coin counter…which I turned into an amazon gift card.  I figure I save about ten bux in coins per month in round-up coins. That translates into several news books, a midori insert or sticky memos!

So give it a chance, create a little slush fund and then do something fun with it!!


Is there a Superhero of Budgets?

2015 seems to be my year to get my ass stuff in order and that includes working in my finances. Along with the release of my crap, er hoard. I am also releasing my spending habits as well. This is not news and certainly not a new topic. Just a new strategy.

I did some pre-work in the fall of 2014, setting up a new budget, emergency savings and annual expenses savings. For this, I used the templates from A Bowl Full of Lemons (2015 Budget Printable). Her kit can be downloadable and is geared to making goals and covers income, debts and expenses. I didn’t use all the sheets she provided, I had already set up my own income sheet but I updated my accounts, debts and goals.

To achieve my 2015 savings goal, I will be using the 52 week savings plan.  Pinterest is full of printables for this!!  Since I am paid bi-weekly, I added the amount needed per pay period in my budget. I also set a monitor for the goal directly linked to my savings account. Once that is fully funded, I will work on the next step. My “steps” are loosely based on the Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunts Debt Proof Living.

So what, Lissy…what’s so new about this strategy? Well, life is a constant change and as with everything in life, if you don’t learn to bend, you’ll end up broken.  As I have said before, I am a drunken sailor on his first shore leave when it comes to spending money. With Dave’s budgeting philosophy, every dollar as a purpose and is accounted for. That gives me a set budget for car expenses, thrift shopping, savings, and annual expenses…what a wonderful feeling that is.

I am looking forward to sharing what I am changing, keeping, and developing of the course of the year…hope you join in on the fun.

Hello 2015

In the last six weeks of 2014,  I unloaded 12 boxes & 4 shopping bags of donations and at least 3 full bags of trash from my little lofty living space. I just had too much stuff. I am not a hoarder…I can at least vacuum and clean my space…but I would consider myself at least a pack rat apprentice.

Due to my current living situation of three combined households, most of my walk-in closet is used for storage. But with running an Etsy storefront, clothes, crafts and the general cry of “I don’t know where to put this!”. It was becoming a mess. And I get a little antsy-pantsy when there is an avalanche waiting to happen in my closet.

I started small, I created a station for shipping and mailing out the etsy purchases and snail mail. Also, this area houses my filing cabinet (which I had reorganized and cleaned up earlier on the year). The next major area was setting up an accessible section for JJDPCO  and the last was paring down the clothes.  So over the six weeks, I took it a box at a time. Consolidating and shifting the space allotted there be some breathing room.  Some Spring clean…I Fall clean.  My energy is not so depleted due to weather and my creative instincts are in overdrive during that time of the year.

Work behind the scenes on the blog happened too. I created a YouTube channel called Dragonflykeep Vlogtini’s for a bit of variety here. I can only commit to a vlog a month for Dragonflykeep. It’s an experiment for me so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be doing reviews, unboxing of subscriptions and planner setups.

Soooo, I guess I should explain a bit more about the title.  Not too long ago I was part of a non-profit historical re-creation group and most of my time and money went to traveling, fabric and such.  Since that is no longer a part of my expenditures, money has been spent on planners, paper, stickymemos, page flags, pens, inserts and other various necessary I HAD TO HAVE items!  And, dude, I gave into some mighty good peer pressure!

After the decluterring phase, I decided to nix the purchase any more such items. Srsly, I have pens to write with till I’m 101!  I asked Santa for a few things that I felt I couldn’t live without and kept a couple of subscriptions. Yes, Yes, I’m getting to the point! 2015 is going to be all about using what I got! (if you follow me on instagram, it will be under the hashtag #usewhatyagot2015).

I am setting up a Midori Travelers Notebook with a Hobonichi Weeks planner (vlogtini ep 1) in an effort to keep myself to one planner system for the year (too much detail for the this post…see the first vlogtini episode!!).

This isn’t just about my undying love for stationery and other kawaii items…there are some changes coming to my finances, health and additional areas for 2015….this is going to be an awesome year!