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No spend month

We just finished up a no spend month in March. I say we but it was mostly me. I wrote on my Facebook about the process. The following is the posts and then I will try to add a bit and sum it up. …

This March I have decided to not spend any money. Obviously there will have to be regular spending like gas and groceries. We also have a birthday dinner to attend which will be outside of the plan. What I mean is Starbucks, subway, clothing and other things I do not need. Today is day 1. I brought lunch and resisted Starbucks. I spent $10.10 on a regular prescription. So far so good. Could you go a month without discretionary spending?

Day 2 of no spending March! I bought a little gas, $5.55, but will have to get more tomorrow (only want to use cash and didn’t bring much with me). Picked up milk and hotdog buns, $8.68, to complete the grocery shopping my husband did yesterday. Hard not to just buy up random things like a coffee. What’s your guilty spending habit?

Day 3 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth

I filled up my tank today ($37.17). My car is very fuel efficient so that normally will last a long time but I have to drive to Richmond and back Thursday. I also had to pick up some work supplies but will be paid back for them tomorrow. I’m getting used to ignoring temptations. I even cooked some KD for work lunch tomorrow. I am ok and I can stick to it but it really sucks when you want an after work drink and there’s no pop in the house and you can’t go and buy any. Must add to grocery list.

Day 4 and 5 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth

Yesterday went well. I brought my lunch and made coffee at work. We went to the birthday dinner last night that was planned before we decided to do this no spend month. Our bill was $75.92 with tax and tip. As I am only listing my spending on this page, my total spending was $37.96. We went to Romers and it was delicious. Today I survived a Costco trip to activate our Groupon membership we bought in February. We only bought food and avoided all socks and other random items including the cheap fast food in the way out. The boost of food in the house will help with lunch making and dinner planning 🙂

5 day total unnecessary spending = $37.96

Days 6 and 7 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth 

These past two days have gone well. I’m saving all my money and looking forward to spending some of it in April on bills and a new pillow. At least that’s the thought. One blogger Annieandeverything.com suggests making a list throughout the month to keep your spending at bay. Later you can look at the list to see what you really want, need and what was just ridiculous. 

So far my list would include:

-a pillow because mine is ancient 

-a Himalayan salt crystal lamp

-sushi

Nothing too drastic. 

7 day total is still under $40 because I have been sooooooo good. 3 weeks to go. 

Days 8 and 9 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth #fiscalfast #financiallent Yesterday my oldest son finally won me over. He’s been wanting to go to a corner store to spend his money. After some chores and homework we went to 7-11. Since he’s technically not on the fast I think it was ok. He got to take a random loonie that was on a side table to add to his change. I don’t count that as me spending because I can’t remember where the loonie came from. He bought a candy bar for my husband and a slurpee for his brother. I resisted temptation. Today I’m driving to Richmond for work. I will be packing a big lunch. Tomorrow we might give the kids some change for treat day at school. Tbd. 

So far so good. 9 down 22 to go!

Days 10-19 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth

Hey this no spending is easy and hard. I did give in and buy some gum. We realized that gum is an essential item in our lives and I would count it in with toothpaste and toothbrushes. Better breath is best all around. We went to Costco today. We did buy some refillable water bottles for my husband to drink water instead of buying a pop at work and a lot of gum but otherwise just bought food.  

A few days ago my husband bought a bottle of wine and some beers. He says because he bought it that it doesn’t count against me. I still drank the wine though. Maybe it could be considered a prescription or a grocery? If the wine was $10 and the gum $2 then I’m still around $50 for the month. 

11 days to go.

Here’s my list so far of wants and needs.


Days 20-21 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth I’ve started to sell things on a local bidding site again. I do this on and off to declutter and make a few bucks. In some of the blogs I read to prepare for this month they talk about selling stuff on Craigslist or Facebook groups to have extra money for the month. I’m doing it to see if I can make a small dent in the $50 I spent unnecessarily. So far I have made $3. I have a few more things listed. Wish me luck 🙂

Days 22-25 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth

I bought more gas today and a few days ago for a combined $45.18. The total I have spent on gas this month is $87.90 which is not bad considering my tank is full with 6 days to go and I drove to Richmond and back. We’ve also been “shopping” our pop from my father in laws mini fridge. I made 9 egg mcmuffins that I froze to defrost for breakfasts. Unfortunately I’ve been defrosting them and then forgetting them in the microwave. I also noticed a free starter subscription for music ended and I was charged $9.99. I’m not sure if I should add that to my total. If I do I’m still under $60.

Just tried making a new dishwasher detergent recipe. 2 cups washing soda, 2 cups borax and 25 drops of orange (or grapefruit) essential oil. Hope it’s a winner because my other recipes have a dry time that makes me crazy.


Day 26-28 #nospendmarch #nospendmonth

The month is almost over. 

This month has been very stressful but actually the act of trying to not spend and to buy groceries with thought has helped. Today I gave in and bought a bottle of wine and some candy crush points. Total $23. With my $8 I earned selling stuff on a local bidding site I am still under $75. 

Next no spend period will have some alcohol in the essentials. 

3 days to go.

It’s finally over #nospendmarch #nospendmonth !! 

I definitely hit a wall on the last three days of no spend month. We ordered sushi 🍣 one day and I bought some coca-cola and candy today. I’ll round my inessential spending to $100. When we do another month I will add in a bit of date money and booze money so I’m more realistic 😉

I will try to write a blog post to sum up the month asap. 

Next month is #selfcaremonth #30dayselfcarechallenge

I’m going to do things for my own well-being to survive what will be a continued stressful time in my life. Any ideas would be appreciated. 

Tomorrow I plan to have a bubble bath, light some candles and start writing a letter to my future self.

Ok so that’s all my posts. I’d like to add that I haven’t bought anything on the list except for the gum from Costco because it’s a necessity. I feel like a date night or something special needs to be included I the month so that you don’t feel deprived. That and some wine 🙂 I could and will do this again but maybe 28 days. 31 seemed hard. My husband tried but definitely cheated a lot. I believe it taught him a lot. 

As stated above, this month is self care month. That doesn’t mean spend all my month month. Simple things for self care can be a walk, a bath or even just lighting a candle. So far I’m sucking at this challenge but I have a few more weeks. Wish me luck!

Have you ever done a no spend month? Any advice?

-Stephanie 

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About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.

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