The No Spend Month: the 3rd Week

A No Spend Month starts to feel successful when you stop noticing it, and it’s just another circumstance instead of an issue to think about.

After I got my feelings of being annoyed out of my system last week (solved with less staying up late, more sleep, and less work), I settled in to do some work around the house.

This is when I think I should have something more interesting to tell you, but it’s been a quiet week.  My house looks clean. I finished the ironing. Stuff is put away. Instead of shopping for a new bathroom light fixture, I made the bathroom look better by scrubbing it clean.

The kids haven’t noticed any difference about our spending this month except for fewer chips. They play in the sprinkler, go to the library, and play with friends (and watch movies when it’s too hot to do anything else).

On Friday the shelves in the fridge were almost empty, which seemed like a good time to clean the refrigerator. Then we went to the grocery store and spent $80.54 for meals for the next several days. (We planned to spend $80 to stay on track for the month’s total budget, and I was relieved that it was so close.)

Thanks for your encouragement for last week, only about ten more days to go.

p.s. I just reviewed an activity box designed for kids ages 3-6 that gets mailed to your house, and there is a giveaway for one over at Alpha Mom (hurry, ends Sunday night).

About Rachel

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


  1. ha, I always find it easier to blog about the new things in my life than the same contented days. It’s harder to figure out how to document a happy, quiet day. I like blogging because it can force me to notice the normal days, too.
    Margo, Thrift at Home´s last post…Midsummer Garden

  2. This sounds like a good week. Sometimes I like those weeks because they force me to deal with the stuff in front of me. Finding the perfect bathroom light is fun, but it also creates another project, and probably means the house isn’t very clean in the meantime. Sometimes it’s nice to get that new light, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a clean bathroom.
    Katherine@YeOldCollegeTry´s last post…A Few Things, One Being a Granola Recipe

  3. Those quiet days are precious – and a wonderful reminder to savor all the blessings in your life. As Gretchen Ruben says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

    • Suzanne says:

      I have always wondered who to credit this quote to. I say it often and it always helps me get over the hump of the moment. Thanks, Elle.

      • Stefanie says:

        I’ve wondered the same thing. It’s become my standard “advice for the parents/bride/couple” when attending a shower and they ask the guests to contribute to an advice book/cards/jar etc.

  4. One idea for next year’s no spend month might be to also use the time to generate income by consigning stuff, selling on eby or having a garage sale. The money earned could be used for a special activity or even given to a charity of interest to your kids.
    Jill´s last post…For Sale: Children’s Historical Fiction & Landmarks

  5. It sounds like you are having a perfect week. Days spent at home, with the family members puttering around doing their own thing, but all under the same roof, are so rejuvenating.
    Heidi @Adventures of a Thrifty Mom´s last post…Wall of Fame

  6. I have not done very well having July be a no spend month but I am planning on trying to do this sometime soon, when I am in a different frame of mind. I love the idea but this month has been crazy for me.

  7. Esther Waluyo says:

    It’s always encouraging to read how positive you have been toward the parts of the process of having and finishing this no spend month. Having less doesn’t always mean you can’be a blessing to others… by sharing your experience you have been a blessing to many. May you find more enjoyable moments during the next 10 days… Thank you… and Salute…

  8. We’re still on track too! I’ve been doing more cleaning, we’ve been doing lots and lots and lots of puzzles, and this week I only spent $19 on groceries, thanks to a $25 Costco giftcard that Noel won at work.

    Also, I was in charge of a brunch for our women’s group from church last weekend, and so I took home the items people left behind, including some baked goods, a bunch of fruit, and several big containers of yogurt. So we’ve had awesome breakfasts all week for free, woohoo!

    Love how as we buckle down the finances, fun little freebies like that keep cropping up.
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…I’ve Been Meaning to Read: _________

  9. Sounds like life when I was growing up in the 50s/60s except for movies. We still had to go to the theater and pay 25¢ to see them! My mom was probably glad to get us out of the house on movie days.

    • Another Suze here. Cool! We can’t do no-spend in July, we’ve been able to do January. Soup goes a long way in winter.

      • I agree that a no-spend seems like it would be easier in the winter than the summer – I always spend less when I’m in a routine, and I’m never really in a routine in the summer! Unless you count a routine of unplanned trips to the ice cream store:-B I haven’t done a no-spend month, yet, but when I do I will try it first in the winter, and then maybe try again in a different season.
        Bronwen´s last post…Booker prize 2012 long list (with wine gums)

        • Kelly Heavener says:

          When your kids are school-agers, it may be hard to do no spend month in July. It won’t matter if it is homeschoolers or going to public/private school. I am so glad that I bought the kids back to school stuff this month. I am done. The malls are packed!!! I may plan for a no spend another month. Winter is easy. Stay inside and watch movies and read. Congrats though.

  10. I love that not spending money makes little difference to kids. It’s not things that they want as much as time with us, and taking money out of the equation probably allows you to spend even more time with them. Good luck with the wrap-up!
    Erica {let why lead}´s last post…Grasscloth Roundup

  11. Glad to see you are over the hump, or out of the slump, as the case may be. Interesting observation above about how new household purchases beget messes and work in the house.
    Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…{pretty, happy, funny, real}: Obsessive Gardener Edition

  12. I love the looks of that fridge, and I love where you write “Instead of shopping for a new bathroom light fixture, I made the bathroom look better by scrubbing it clean.” I’m so prone to amusing myself by shopping – when cleaning is actually so much more satisfying and beneficial. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your no-spend month!

  13. Now you’re in the home stretch. I love how not wanting to spend money forces us to look at projects that we already have in a new light. I’ve been tackling stuff at home to, so I don’t have to go put more gas in the car. :) It has worked out great because the house is looking better and my to do list is getting old projects checked off!

    Good luck as you finish off the month!
    Amy Lynne´s last post…Our Story {part 2}

  14. The part about cleaning your bathroom really spoke to me. Too often, I look around my apartment and see things I need to buy to finish projects. But when I finish cleaning it, I realize how much I already have, I donate some of it, and then I feel blessed to have any of it.

    Cleaning is a great antidote for want. Thanks for reminding me of that.
    Jennie´s last post…{this moment}: Project Progress

  15. Glad to hear your feeling better about your no spend month :)
    Question about your frig….doesn’t it cost more to run it empty?

  16. “solved with less staying up late, more sleep, and less work” Isn’t it amazing how helpful this is for almost every problem.
    Steph´s last post…Being Truly Countercultural

  17. I love how empty/clean your fridge is! Ours is getting there. We’re only about 1/2 way through our Month and we’ve had some ups and downs. My husband is having a harder time than I am, but I think he just keeps thinking it’s hard and therefore, it IS hard (you know what I mean?). The hardest thing for me is breaking my habit of spending money and realizing that I actually don’t “need” to go to Walgreens or Target. Old habits die hard.
    Kristin´s last post…10 days in – we’re 1/3 of the way done!

  18. what a great idea! I often think about trying this. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Katie @ Imperfect People´s last post…Where is God when bad things happen?

  19. I semi started my no spend month. I decided to start out by giving myself a $10 allowance each week for “spending money” and when i go to the store, I stick to groceries and necessities only! Wow! I am really proud of myself, I have spent way less than I normally would!!! I can’t thank you enough for your inspiration!!

  20. You are such an inspiration! Although I know you are choosing to have a “NO Spend Month”, we have had several of those months during times of unemployment, but it was a HUGE time of creativity. Actually some of our closest family times too. Your blog is an amazing reminder for me to keep being productive and to simplify to make a more quality life! Thank you. (I think I hear my refrigerator calling me to clean it now…:D)
    “Keep Buggering On!” – Winston Churchill

    Deanna S.
    Psalm 20

  21. Lara Gantcher says:

    I want to try No Spend Month as well but I don’t think I can do it. It’s nice to know that’s you’re doing fine with that. Any tips you can give to help me get started perhaps? :)
    Lara Gantcher´s last post…for my website go here

  22. Rachel, you are such an inspiration! Thanks for posting :)
    angelvalerie´s last post…more on consumerism as a religion…