If your family is anything like mine, you spend money and sometimes have no idea where it’s all going. You just know that all those times you eat out and the Polar Pops you stop and get add up. My husband and I decided to do the no spend month challenge recently.
I chose February. Quite frankly, I chose the month because it is the shortest, and I wasn’t too sure about this whole process. After all, I like to be able to run and get a diet soda or a fast lunch somewhere. I enjoy ordering something online when I want it.
Still, our budget is out of control and I know if we want to ever be able to save for retirement and the many other things coming up in our lives, we need a no spend month desperately so we can see where our money goes.
What Is the No Spend Month Challenge?
I first became interested in no spend month after watching one of my friends go through it earlier this year. She tracked her adventures on Facebook, and it was quite entertaining to see how she adapted to challenges thrown her way.
You can read her blog Homemaking 911, where she shares tips about homeschooling and running a household. I first met her during our homeschooling days, and I just think she is brilliant and very inspiring. It isn’t surprising her No Spend January challenge grabbed my interest.
You set the rules for no spend month. For us, it was that we would pay bills and if we needed fresh fruit, vegetables or another food to survive that we would buy it.
We can eat out if we have a gift card or sell something or have cash such as in a coin jar. We can’t just buy what we want.
Suggested Rules for No Spend Month Challenge
- Pay your bills! Seriously, don’t mess up your credit. However, you can pay them early if you want to truly spend nothing during your month.
- Stop eating out.
- Use up food in your freezer and pantry. For us, I usually keep a big stockpile. I’m going to attempt to whittle that down without having a panic attack.
- Stop wasting food! If you cook it and there are leftovers, eat them!
- No ordering stuff online.
- No buying things you see on marketplace.
- If you truly need/want something, you can sell something you own on marketplace or elsewhere and use that money.
- If you have gift cards, you can use them, but you aren’t allowed to just run out and buy a bunch ahead of time. We did buy each other one for Valentine’s Day instead of other gifts. That will also be what we use to eat out that day. We spent what we normally would on a gift at that time.
So, you get the idea. Stop spending money. Let everything settle out. See where you’re really spending and how much you can potentially save.
Our No Spend Month Challenge So Far
I’m only on Day # 3. You can get updates on how we are doing from time to time on social media (follow Crabby Housewife on Facebook). Here is how it’s gone so far.
- Day # 1: Both daughters asked me to buy them things. Told one no, ordered for the other, but sold something on Marketplace to pay for it.
- Day # 2: Granddaughter is now pulling her diapers off and refuses to wear them at 21 months. Went to Sam’s Club and exchanged a new box of unopened diapers for Pull Ups. The Pull Ups were cheaper, so we have an extra $10 on our credit to play with.
Came home and realized we are almost out of enzyme carpet cleaner. It’s EXPENSIVE. It was about $66 to order more, so we will have to sell something or not use one of our several gift cards to balance that out.
- Day # 3: Got a free cheeseburger from the McDonald’s app, bought a $1 soda with money in my purse to buy the grandgirl a happy meal. My change is going to run out fast doing that. I may have to bake some goodies and sell them!
- I will update this as the month goes on, so feel free to bookmark and check back. x
I’d love to hear if you’re planning to do a no spend month challenge. Our goal is to let things settle for a month and then redo our budget. I’ll keep you posted and update here when I have more news!
Happy no spending!