1st Week of No Spend Month

20080708 - Picnic

Date night — picnic in the park

For the first week of No Spend Month, we spent a total of $13.  We’re pretty happy with that!  The $13 went toward basics like dish detergent, salt, bananas, and chicken.

The first week:

  • We ate leftovers from having family visit us earlier in the week.
  • We started eating food from the pantry.
  • We combined trips and walked more, so we only used 1/4 tank of gas.
  • Doug ate peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.  Once he went out to lunch with his friends from work, and he only ordered water!  Go Doug!
  • We went to the park instead of Starbucks.
  • We learned to bring water and snacks with us so we wouldn’t be tempted to stop somewhere.

Both of us remember what it felt like last year to not have enough money at the end of the month, so we’re trying to be really careful now.  I have a coupon for a free iced coffee, but I’m saving it for later in case I get desperate.

Jenny and Denise are both doing awesome on their No Spend goals!  I know a lot of other people are really being careful with what they spend too.  Tell me, what’s something you did this week that you’re proud of?  Did you save some money at the grocery store?  Did you decide not to buy something after all?  Share it!

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Gosh. I’m feeling convicted.

    The past few weeks have been a “Spend! Spend! Month” for me rather than a “No Spend Month”. We thought a business deal was gonna close soon and give our bank accounts a healthy boost. So I got the itch for extras, thinking that we could live just a little more comfortably this month. Well, we just found out that the deal fell through. And I dread adding up my receipts.

    But reading your post is still an encouragement to me. What one family can do, another can do. Right?

  2. Jill, we’ve been there too. I’m sorry the deal didn’t work out. There will be more opportunities, and a few weeks is short in the grand scheme of things. I dread going through receipts too, but sometimes it’s a fantastic motivator. When Doug & I go through phases of spending more than usual, the next few weeks of trying to spend less usually feel like a relief. You can do it.

  3. That’s awesome! We’re moving this month so I feel we’re spending money left and right. I’m sure that will carry over into August a little. Come September, I’m going to be spent (no pun intended) and ready for a no-spend month!

  4. Not doing as well as YOU might I add! But it’s about {progress} right!??!

    Have a great day!

    jenny :)

  5. i found myself itching to buy a lot this past week, but i only caved twice. and once was for an item that’s been on the “buy it someday when it’s not so expensive” list.

    i wanted a basket to put my knitting in, but the size i wanted was always like $50, which is more than i wanted to spend. over the weekend i found one, being sold by a wonderful amish man, for half that! to me, that’s a purchase worth making … it had been on my list for over six months, and it was half the cost of what i would have paid in a regular store.

    otherwise, doing well. hope to keep it up!

  6. Hehe, I have the same free iced coffee coupon that I’m saving for a week moment of desperation. :)

  7. I am simply amazed…. 1/4 tank of gas – wow. I have an interesting gas story I blogged about today: http://letterstoelijah.blogspot.com/2008/07/monster-truck.html

    So far my “low spend and no fast food month” is going great. My oldest son works at McDonald’s – I didn’t even think about getting anything from there after dropping him off at work this weak! Yeah! I am showing my grocery spending on my blog – it’s like confession time for me :)

    So what’s on the menu for the rest of the week?

  8. bentlyr says:

    I’m going to have to pitch this kind of idea to my gf and see if we can save up a little extra $$$.

    Awesome work so far btw.

  9. Robyn, you waited and watched for the right time to buy something you really wanted? Sounds like a great purchase to me!

    Nice link, Dana. I like the picture too.

    Alana, I know what you mean. Moving is so hard on the budget. It feels like money just flies out of your hand with all the different costs involved. Congrats on finding your house!

  10. scribblerist says:

    $13???? For a whole week? Brilliant. Well done. Hats off.

  11. I’ve spent more than you but only on the necessities – gas and groceries. We are driving only to work and close to home. AND, I think I kicked my starbucks addiction once and for all! Over 10 days without : ) Did I mention I live in Seattle where they are everywhere.

  12. Great job Denise for letting go of Starbucks! I know that’s a big deal.

  13. $13 for whole week?

    Not for a family of 4,

    2 screaming kids pestering for cheese and chocolate every other hour…

    Wonder what they have at daycare?

  14. That is awesome! You guys are doing great! I am so impressed! We are staying home a lot more because of the gas prices so we are saving money that way. We have been entertaining at home and doing a lot of stuff in our backyard this summer instead of going places.

  15. Amy, you make staying home sound fun. We’re trying to come up with ideas like that too.

  16. don_mae says:

    I love your blog. I am going to start my own No Spend Month… soon. Thanks for sharing what you and family are doing.

  17. i LOVE this! BUT i am not sure how well it would work out for our family…

    (any help with ammendments would be great! :)

    we have 6 people, we live in the country so EVERYTHING is a drive…we don’t have a lot of excess ‘pantry-wise’. i am very good about not buying anything other that what we need food wise, usually…there are some occasional splurges for trail mix/mixed nuts @ the bulk food section.

    hmmm…and what would the total be for our lot?? how did you come up with the $250/month quota??

  18. This idea may not work for everyone, but I have two cards…1 is my debit card that I would use to pay for everything. The problem was that I never really saw how much I was spending…it would automatically come out of my account. The second card I have is a student credit card that has a limit on it. When I switched to this credit card, I was worried 1) that I would go over the limit, so I was very careful and TRIPLEY asked whether I needed something, 2) I would actually have to go through the statement to make sure everything was right (this allowed me to see where my money was going, and 3) having to make that large payment from your debit card to pay off the credit card makes you relive all those purchases. So, after a few months, I really toned down my spending because I wanted to lower that overall bill at the end of the month.

    Like I said, if you don’t have a credit card with a low limit like mine, it may not work out…or it may not work out if you aren’t disciplined enough to pay off the card before interest starts accruing, but it may be another idea…