April Shopping Audit [No Spend Month]

April Shopping Audit [No Spend Month]

April was a “No Spend Month” which I don’t think we have ever successfully done in the past – and I’ll let you know how successful we were this time after a brief COVID-19 Update…

***Carlson Family COVID-19 Update: We were under stay-at-home orders for the entire month of April.

Health: We are all healthy. In fact, no one in our extended family has been sick with the virus either, so we are very grateful. We have been faithfully respecting the stay-at-home orders to protect the vulnerable people in our communityeven missing Easter brunch which is my FAVORITE.

But we had a nice Easter at home.

Job: Brett worked from home until he was furloughed on the 24th. With no confirmation of when the baseball season will start (if at all), he may be furloughed for a while. My job is on indefinite hold, but I’m certain I can have my job back when the gym reopens. We are considering having one or both of us get another job for the interim.

School: Evangeline attended kindergarten virtually all month, and it was announced that Illinois schools will not reopen this year, so we will finish out the school year with this format. Monday-Thursday we receive a PowerPoint presentation from her teacher which contains the lessons for the day. It is labor intensive for me to ensure that she is doing everything, but not as bad as for some parents because at least Evangeline can read. I can point her toward the assignment and she can read the instructions herself. School usually takes two or three hours in the mornings. Every day she has a conference video call with the teacher to go over phonics and sight words. Friday is for catching up on anything we missed, but we get it all done so that Friday is like an extra weekend day to spend playing outside.

How adorable is this color wheel art project Evangeline did???

Family life: We spent lots of time outside and working in the yard. Brett and I have been doing lots of running. Our dog has taken more walks in the past month than in the entire last year combined!

We FINALLY decided to pick up one of the playground sets that are always being offered for free and Brett spent three whole days tearing it down and rebuilding it in our backyard. The kids LOVE it. I have imagined having one of these in the backyard since we bought this house – and now the dream is a reality! Thank you COVID-19.

With salons closed, I’ve started cutting Brett’s hair – and now he’s started cutting mine – which is nice because a trip to the beautician for me usually costs over $100.00!

The move: We are not certain that we will be moving to the city at all now. It depends on how this pandemic and subsequent recession impacts the housing market.

Ok, so there you have it. Now on to the April update.

What We Bought:

We did really well for the most part. Here are the only things we bought (outside of consumables like food and salt blocks):

Medication for baby: $4 – Eleanor needed a medicated cream for a rash. Didn’t see any way around this…

Tool for building playground: $11 – Brett needed a specific attachment for his drill to unscrew all the pieces of the play set (and put them back together).

Total spent: $15

Over budget: $15 (not perfect, but I still consider this a win)

What We Are Going To Do With It:

The medicated ointment will obviously be used and the tube throw into the trash. In some cases, waste is necessary. Medications is probably one of them.

The tool will be added to Brett’s collection and used again, I’m sure.

What We Got Rid Of:

This time has allowed us to go through even more stuff in the shed and get rid of excess. [Originally I was planning to get rid of most of our Halloween and Christmas stuff, but now that we may be here another year, I am going to keep some of it.]

Also, with the weather warming up, I traded out the kids clothes for the new season and am able to get rid of the baby’s clothes and my son’s clothes.

We even created a corner of the house to put all the things that will be given away as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

Donation bin

The contents of the bin total forty-four items.

Then there is what is on top and this overflow section.

Donation overflow pile

I think we are around 100 items leaving our home…as soon as we are able to leave our home, that is.

Now that we are both out of work for the time being, it is more important than ever to watch our spending. While we don’t plan to do a total no spend month again, we are cutting out unnecessary purchases – other than the bike pump we just bought yesterday…



9 thoughts on “April Shopping Audit [No Spend Month]

  1. I am sure that you are very glad that you hadn’t moved to the city before this all started. I couldn’t imagine being asked to shelter-at-home in the city of chicago. I live in Minneapolis in a two bedroom apartment (by myself) and I am going a tad stir crazy. I have personally gone on more long walks than I ever have in the past. I do think at this point though that the government needs to loosen up a little bit because this virus is not just going to go away and the shelter at home was only supposed to be used to build up supplies and they’ve had time to do that but not the governor’s appear to be on a power trip and are not considering the impacts that their decisions are having on their residents. IMHO. What are your thoughts on how this is being handled? Do you fear that you guys won’t have a job come the fall??


    1. I don’t really know what to make of any of it because the news is so polarizing it’s hard to trust anyone. I’m not worried about our finances because we’ve spent the last few years practicing living on way less than our income and so we will be fine for a while. I just have to trust in humanity that everyone’s doing their best – either staying home or reopening businesses – to protect the vulnerable among us. I thought the stay-at-home orders were to slow the spread so we didn’t overwhelm the healthcare system. So we’ve been staying home. I do feel for all the people who will suffer greatly as a result of the economic fall-out. That’s why we’re giving half our relief check to charities that are helping people. Today is #GivingTuesdayNow (shameless plug 😁) and a great time to help small businesses and local people who are suffering financially. And of course I hope restrictions lift quickly for you!! It must be so tough to be quarantined alone in an apartment. But I think the end is in sight – so stay positive!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. same with pout dog…he is getting endless walks!! Your yard looks huge on that photo…surely you would miss that moving into the city. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise?! 🙂 How is your diet going? I have failed at it and lost nothing:)


    1. Yes the dogs are loving it! And yeah we would miss this home in the city. We are tucked away in the woods. I think that this has caused us to rethink the move. As for the diet…it’s been rough for me too! I’m trying to get back on track this month! We can do it together 😁


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