Inspiring stories can be found in the most surprising places, and this one comes from the October issue of Reader's Digest. Like many Americans, the Hochman family (Ruth, David, and four-year old Sebastian) realized they were being weighed down by pointless expenses, but instead of consuming as usual the family formed a drastic plan.
They'd have $100 for 30 days, to be used for what they call essential items like fresh fruit and milk, and of course they'd continue to pay the mortgage, utilities, and preschool tuition. Everything else, including parking, gas, and Internet, were off-limits. Find out how the Hochmans learned to live lean when you read more.
Habitual spending is a hard habit to break, but the Hochmans were adamant about sticking to the plan. When their shower clogged they pirated the neighbor's Internet and found a solution that worked on thriftyfun.com; David entertained Sebastian by taking him to Costco for the free samples; they used Skype for free phone calls, the public library for DVDs and books, and Freecycle or Craigslist for free stuff.
During the last week of the experiment, Ruth and David volunteered at a local charity that serves food to people in need in a restaurant setting. This final experience made them realize how much they really have, and how much other people live without every day.
How do you think your household would do with this (almost) no-spend month?