Saturday, January 2, 2016

My Very First No-Spend Month

I wanted to write this post to launch on January 1st but since I've been under the weather it got pushed to the back burner. 

Oh well....can't be helped. 

Anyway!

I first read about the idea of a no-spend month last January from Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick. I was very intrigued!!  However, it wasn't the right time for me to try it at that point. I was waiting to close on my new house and shopping all the good after-Christmas sales in preparation. 

And then it was moving day. And gardening season. And a million projects to get settled into the house. 


And then the Christmas shopping began. 

So....my no-spend month trial was put on hold. 

But I knew, come January 1st I was going to give it a go. Perfect timing, right? Because, let's face it, we all spend more in November/December than we normally would. 

So here we are, 2 days into January. And granted, I haven't spent anything yet. 

But I never got to start off the way I planned, because I was stuck in the house in my jammies with a nasty virus. 

So, tomorrow I will hit up the local market for the few necessities that are on my grocery list, fill up the car with gas, and launch my no-spend month....three days late. 

My plan is simple - I will only spend on absolute necessities for the rest of January. 


That means basically fresh produce and dairy. And perhaps a loaf of bread here and there. 

I will shop the freezer and the pantry for the rest of my groceries. 


Naturally, I'll have to pay all my bills, and if anything urgent comes up I'll have to weigh the situation. 

But I really think I can do this. It will be a good test in living simply for a month and being resourceful. 

My pantry is stocked, my freezers are full, and I believe I have all the beauty, health, cleaning products, and paper goods I will need for the next month. 

The Very Best Veggie Lasagna Ever
I will combine errands to try not to have to put gas in my car for a month. 

And I will ignore all the after-holiday sale emails that have been bombarding my inbox. 

Have you ever tried a no-spend month? If you did, I'd love to hear some of your tricks!

And some of your biggest hurdles. 

Wish me luck!


~~~~~~~~~~~








33 comments:

  1. Goodness, I wish I lived where 1 time filling up my car with gas per month would work. I think that is one of the areas that makes it really hard to save money. I do combine errands but since I live in a tiny town with no store and my grandkids and kids live in other towns, I do need to make at least 4 trips a month in my car at a minimum of 50 miles round trip each time. I'm really looking forward to reading how you do this month. I think I may try this next month since my son Josh is coming home on leave and I know with will be doing lots of running around to see friends and family and do some fun things. :)

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    1. Same as you, I have to drive a few miles to the neighboring town to buy anything at all - my village has nothing but a convenience store/gas station type place. Good for emergencies only like milk, etc. I have always combined errands when possible but will be even more aware for the next month, while trying to stretch this full tank of gas!

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  2. I have to live frugally. So I only go out if I have 2-3 errands to run so I don't waste gas. I order most paper products online from Walmart.com. I don't have to drive to get it because they deliver it. Free if over I think $40. I do eat fast food too much, so I need to work on that. I tend to work till mid-afternoon and then I'm starved! Good luck!
    Brenda

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    1. I do the same as you, Brenda - all my paper goods, laundry detergent, ziploc bags, etc come from Walmart as they are much cheaper than my little mountain top grocery store. I'm looking forward to seeing how I do with this challenge!

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  3. I'll be following you closely to see how you do. Interesting. When we were a young family of 5 it seems I spent many months living that way by necessity. I look back on it with fond memories - those were such happy times and we appreciated things more and enjoyed each other so very much. I hope your experience is a good one! Gurl, it'd be a treat to get to eat our of your freezer for a month!

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    1. Same as that, I struggled for what seems like forever...and there were many times I simply moved money around to pay bills, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. This is a challenge to myself to scale back and see how I can live a more sustainable, simpler life. I guess it would have been better during gardening season when I could eat right out of the garden....oh well, maybe that will be the second trial!

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  4. I think most people would be surprised just how resourceful they can be if need be. I think as a society we are spoiled. You can totally do this Deb! You've got food in the freezer, and your pantry looks stocked too, so other than perishables I think you've got the food part down, no problem. Gas is one thing that's a challenge though, but luckily it's gone down quite a bit.

    Good luck, and no, I have never done a no spend month, but I'll look forward to your journey and maybe I'll be a copy cat ;).

    xxx

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    1. I agree! I'm actually looking forward to the next month to test myself!!

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  5. I think it sounds great. We have a ridiculous amount of projects to finish around the farm so I feel like we are always buying things. We are living in what's going to be the guest cottage and need to finish my husbands office. Then we start the big farmhouse next Fall. Between caring for all the animals...feed, medicine, bedding there's always something to buy.

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    1. That's how things were for me for a long time when I moved into my house. Now things are settled, at least for now...it's a perfect time to give this a shot.

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  6. I think you are smart to pick January for your first month...and I agree with Doreen, I think we can be very resourceful too! When we lived in Canada we had a show on TV called Til Debt Do Us Part and it was amazing to me how the people/couples she was 'trying' to help had no idea how much money they actually spent a month, it was mind blowing to see her add it all up...it really made me think about how much money I actually spent and what 'I thought' I spent! Good luck with your challenge this month - you can do this!! :)
    I hope that you are feeling better!!
    Hugs, Kimberley

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    1. That sounds like such an interesting show - I'm going to google it and see if there are episodes on Netflix or Amazon Prime!!

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  7. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes for you, Deb! After the holidays, it really makes you want to cut back! Hope you feel better soon!

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    1. Without a doubt, Linda!! It feels almost as good as going back to healthier eating and clearing out all the Christmas decor!!

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  8. I live frugally every month and I am cutting way back as part of a more simple lifestyle. I'll be sharing that tomorrow on the blog. Good luck. xo Laura

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    1. Can't wait to read your post, Laura!! I checked earlier but it wasn't up yet. xo

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  9. Yay that sounds awesome. I'm excited to see how you do. I'm sure youll do great especially since you have so much stuff to shop from in your kitchen :) Good luck!

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    1. I doubt we'll starve, Ellen!! I tend to stockpile food...not sure why, I just always have! I buy things when they are on sale so I don't have to pay full price for them. So there's usually a backup in the pantry!

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  10. January is a good month to start a no spend program. I read Mavis's blog http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/ and she has a regular feature on how much personal spending she does a month and also her grocery spending. She gardens like you do and also preserves her harvest. I hope you are back to 100% soon! Good luck on your frugal spending. Hubs is looking at seed catalogs so there goes our no spend month.

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    1. I was reading that blog just the other day - I found it incredibly interesting!! What a resourceful and dedicated young woman she is - kudos to her!! I plan to go back and have another peek around and see what other tips I can learn from her. ps the seed catalogues came in the mail yesterday but I'm ignoring them until February! We can't get anything started here until at least mid-March anyway!

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  11. We live out away from town... at least 6 miles one way to the nearest good sized grocery store, and I do combine errands in order to keep wear and tear on our old vehicles and gas cost to a minimum. We could live a full month on what's in our pantry, but my husband would not play along with this plan since he likes to bake pies and cookies and if it's a kind he does not have all of the ingredients for then it's off to town again. OR, he needs something from Lowes to fix something. We are forever back and forth to town even with combining errands. UGH.

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    1. Same here, I have to drive to get to any store aside from a small convenience store/gas station. I'm fortunate to work only 2 miles from home so I think I can stretch the gas for a month since I'm hoping I won't have to hit the stores at all for 30 days!

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  12. In the past three years, we had to clean out my mom's house and both of my sister's moved out of their homes...downsized. What I saw scared the pants off me and sent me into a massive decluttering and simplifying mode. I rarely buy anything unless I truly need it. It has been good for my wallet and my soul! :) Good luck!!

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    1. I could totally understand that, Kim. I dread the day we have to clean out my mom's house...she's a bit of a packrat, although in a neat and tidy way. Lord only knows what she's got tucked away in that house!

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  13. You go girl!!!! I am rooting for you!
    Kris

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  14. Kudos to you for even trying! In our materialistic society, most of us would have a hard time not buying something in a month's time! I have been trying to be as frugal as possible, but trying to build a homestead is fairly expensive and we still need so many things. I can't wait to hear how your month turns out and what problems (if any) you stumble upon. When shared through blogging, it's challenges such as this that can teach us all! Thanks for being the guinea pig :)

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    1. Oh, of course, Vickie! You're not near done setting up your home yet, you couldn't possibly go a month at this point without spending! My house is done for the moment so this is a great time for me to challenge myself with this. I'm excited to see how I do!

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  15. I am so sorry to hear you've been sick. I had some kind of little virus going right after Christmas, but it was mild - just a nagging sore throat, headache here and there, and very tired. Never morphed into anything more than that - whew! I did a lot of natural remedies, so maybe that helped? I listed what I did on my blog post - if you're interested.

    I've never done the no-spend thing, but I've heard of it. I think January is a great month to start since Christmas is over. I'm not going to join the challenge though, because we really do need a new comforter for our bed and I've been waiting for the January bedding sales, and we also need cushions for our kitchen chairs. Other than that though, that's the only "extra" spending I'll be doing, so I guess that's not bad. ;-)

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    1. I'm glad to hear you beat your little bug, Melanie - I will definitely pop over and see how you did it! I don't think there's a single thing I "need" right now (I'm so blessed!) so this is a great time to test myself!

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  16. Oh what a wonderful and interesting challenge you have embarked upon, but I do think you are very well equipped to proceed and succeed!
    There is entire group of us striving to live simpler, healthier, smarter and embrace our world with honor and restraint.
    I do believe that living "out," several miles or more to local conveniences is a great catalyst to encourage one to shop smarter. ( I have started as well)
    I will follow you and this journey dear one.
    Also, please get better very soon!
    xoxo
    Jemma

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    1. I'm right there with you, Jemma - this is the first step for me! xoxo

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  17. Hi! I stumbled to your site and I am very much interested to read your blog. I'm single and earn one paycheck a month. This site really helps me big time. It's time for me to change my spending habit and look forward to do it next month of 2017. I know your site is 2016 but I enjoy reading your blog. Have a merry Christmas!!

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