3rd Week of No Spend Month

20080722 - Paintbrushes

The third week of No Spend Month felt like a blowout when we spent $55 on food, and $54 on gas.

  • We invited friends over for dinner instead of going out to eat.  We fixed chicken, brown rice, and homemade rolls, and our friends brought a great salad with leafy greens and mango.  For dessert we snacked on fresh blueberries and cherries.
  • I thought about quitting No Spend Month once I realized how great the cherries are this season. I bought a big bag, and they’re already gone. Maybe I will buy more this week.
  • We finally bought gas, and I think that will be the only time this month.
  • Cooking dinner at home and washing dishes together can be pretty nice.

Purposeful and Deliberate

I’ve been receiving a few emails from people who want to try a No Spend Month, but think they will miss the goal because of an unavoidable expense. So let’s clarify:  the goal isn’t to avoid spending any money, because that’s impossible. Money is a tool, and its main purpose is to spend it. If you didn’t spend any money, there would be no use for it at all. And there’s nothing grand about being miserly or cheap.

The true goal for No Spend Month is to practice making expenditures planned and purposeful, rather than impulsive and temporarily satisfying. Because it’s not about the $250, or whatever the budget may be, it’s about good habits and a clear perspective. As Nancy said, it’s a good feeling to plan for expenses and then come in under budget.

Here are more good ideas:

Denise is getting resourceful with meals and selling stuff like crazy on craigslist.

Tisha made a creative envelope for a cash-based budget (a plain white envelope would just not do).

Laura takes short-term steps for her long-term goal to pay off her mortgage and move to Portugal.

About Rachel

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


  1. Thank you so much for the link Rachel.
    Purposeful and deliberate is the way to go. Its constant miscellaneous purchases that cause the problems.

  2. Rachel..
    I just wanted to thank you. Your blog has really motivated me this month. I’m no where close to where you are with having a no spend month – but I’ve made amazing improvements. I have not had any fast food this month – that is incredible for me. Over all my spending is down by close to half.. HALF!

    So a big thank you.

    ps… I made plans tomorrow night to go to a “in home party” so you will see this week some planned spending on my blog :) This was planned last month.

  3. thanks for the inspiration Rachel.
    Everyone’s goal needs to be their own goal…what works for them and their family. We would not have made it on $250 or even $500 this month for just gas and groceries. What we are doing though is only buying what is needed and not wanted.

  4. Y’all are welcome! Dana, I think that’s amazing!

  5. bermudaonion says:

    I think your no spend month is a great way to become aware of all the ways we waste money with impulse buys.

  6. Rachel – thanks for the link. If nothing else, I can say that my spending decisions have been conscious ones this month! At least I’m aware of where our money is going. I’ve not had lunch out for 3 weeks; been brown bagging it from home every.single.day.

  7. maleesha says:

    What a great idea.

  8. I saw this idea after the month had started…

    I think I’m going to do it in August, I’ve been more conscious of my spending this month and have done better about not wasting money but I think setting a limit would help even more.

  9. That’s great- after getting all this stuff bought for my son’s school, we could maybe consider doing it for September. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  10. I really appreciate your posts on No Spending. My husband and I did the same thing only in January. I think we will make it an annual event, also.
    It was hard at first but we both (especially me) learned alot about our spending habits. Since last January, I don’t shop as often and use what we have on hand, more often. Much easier during the summer, with the “victory” gardens.

    Hanging in there!


  11. Wow, I’m truly so impressed by everyone’s efforts to be mindful about spending.

  12. Just found your site…a friend posted a link in our crafting group.

    “The true goal for No Spend Month is to practice making expenditures planned and purposeful, rather than impulsive and temporarily satisfying.”

    That is a wonderful goal…and I bet a hard habit to break for many of us.

    Thank you!


  13. Greetings! Thanks for the link! I have been so happy to see everyone rally around a good cause! We have been having a great Compact. When you don’t give yourself the choice, the choice is easier.