NO Spend Month


Rock star Wesabean CymbidiumKelly kicked off a great discussion in Groups last week:

We are gearing up for a NO spend month.
We have worked really hard over the last few months, but our resolve is slipping, and we have virtually erased our EF [emergency fund].

So as a means of replenishing it, and saving up for the Christmas holiday (and 3 of our kids have birthdays in the winter), we are cutting out ALL spending for one month.

My goal is to start on 10/25 so we can end it right before Thanksgiving and enjoy a big Thanksgiving feast!

Basically we would only spend money on essential bills. Mortgage, credit card min. payments, life and auto insurance, car payment, school for our daughter, utilities, gas to get back and forth from work, and to our son’s school, and our cable “bundle”.

So no food, eating out, clothes, odds and ends, craft supplies, etc.

A lot of people seem to like the idea, and are joining CymbidiumKelly in her project. They’ve also added some fantastic tips for making it work. Think of it like a crash diet for your wallet — but with a difference. Instead of going back to your old habits at the end of the month, taking a break from your discretionary expenses can give you a real sense of just how discretionary they are! When my wife and I did something similar a while ago, we found that we were having a lot more fun and eating a lot better by cooking at home each night, rather than going out to eat so much.

Congrats to CymbidiumKelly and everyone joining her on a great project. We’re pulling for you! If you’re interested in joining in, drop by and add your name to the list. Ideas and support from others are a great help in making a project like this work. Add yours!

4 Responses to “NO Spend Month”

  1. Pete Says:

    How do you rationalize cable, but not food?

  2. Caleb Nelson Says:

    This article falls sort of right in line with an article of my own about how much money I saved this pay period by not eating out at all. In a year (keep in mind I don’t have kids), I can save over $2300 just by eating out less and going grocery shopping. Not to mention my health will be tremendously better.


  3. CymbidiumKel Says:

    Hi Pete.
    We have a contract with the cable company, it’s our phone/internet/cable all together. We made a decision when we moved into our house to bundle our services because we need internet for my husband’s work, a phone line for emergencies and the included long distance, and the cable was about $20 after those services. Since we can’t cancel it for the month, we’re keeping it on the list. 🙂

    Also after much discussion between us we decided to stick to buy groceries every other week (and replenish perishables weekly). We will stick to a strict budget for this. Some people could probably eat from their pantries or cupboards for weeks!

    Caleb, thanks for sharing your article. We don’t eat out much, but when we do it costs SO much! And like you said the food is usually not that healthy or good!
    Good luck.

  4. Shaina Says:

    I’ve been keeping to a strict no spend month for a few months now, and the extra money I’m saving instead of spending does add up. I came down with the flu last week and couldn’t work, so I lost about 1 weeks worth of income. Because I wasn’t spending so much, I was able to still take care of my other finacial obligations and wasn’t set behind. It helps to minimize and prioritize spending.

    Its not always fun, which is why thinking of fun free ways to spend time is important. I think its great also, because then it taps into your creative side, which is always unpredictible and rewarding.

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