Tomorrow is technically the last day of our no-spend month, but this will be the final update. I think it’s safe to say that we made it and did pretty well.
As most of you know, our normal budget is already pretty trim, as we’re working toward our goal of paying off our debt by the end of 2016. The only real places for us to cut during a no-spend month are food, household, entertainment, and clothing, and even then our normal monthly allowance for those categories together is typically under $500. Still, that’s $500 to go toward our goal that we would have otherwise spent.
Normally what we saved from our no-spend month would go toward our debt goal, but because of all the car drama this month, what we saved will be doing toward our new van fund. We will be getting another van sometime very soon.
In addition to saving money, a no-spend month shows us that we really can cut down our expenses. Between making things, borrowing things, getting thins for free, and doing without, there are plenty of options besides buying. These options are viable whether it’s a no-spend month or not!
During this last week, we did have some unplanned spending. Our new van had been randomly stopping on occasion. We had planned to bring it in eventually, but not necessarily this month (it only happened on two different occasions and would always start after resting a little). Well this month, a fuse started blowing every time we drove it, which would cause it to not start up the next time. Getting that looked at cost us $247 and did not yield an answer. You can see Friday’s post for the long story.
I had some credit in my Thredup account and I wanted to take advantage of a free shipping promotion while using my credits. I started browsing and filled my cart with items that I was really excited about. I was happy that I kept the total within my allowance of credits and the shipping was free. What I didn’t account for was the tax. I was pretty attached to the items by this point, so I paid the tax on my free clothes.
My husband, on the other hand, resisted temptation like a champ. One time, totally forgetting about the no-spend month, I suggested that he stop by and pick up a Redbox movie for the kids, but he said “We can’t do that since it’s a no-spend month.”
Your Next No-Spend Month
After I had already planned for September to be our No-Spend Month Challenge, I found out that Ruth from LivingWellSpendingLess.com is doing a no-spend challenge in October. She has her challenge set up via email so you get an email each day.
She recently put her challenge into book format too. In fact, just last week Ruth sent me a review copy of 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero. If you’re not patient enough to wait for each daily email or would like to see the whole challenge at once, then you’ll love the book. It’s full of practical advice that helps you set yourself up for success.
Even though I won’t be implementing a full no-spend month in October, I’m currently devouring Ruth’s book and I plan to put some of her advice into practice, starting with some of the organizing projects!
How about you?
- How did your month go?
- What did you learn?
Our no-spend month went fairly well til the 19th when I was woken up at 4 AM with a very painful eye that was red and wouldn’t open all the way. Any other body part I would have waited til the urgent care opened in the morning, but I don’t mess with eyes and the pain was excruciating, so it was off to the ER. Was told I had a corneal abrasion (no idea what caused it). Haven’t gotten the bill yet, but am expecting it to be rather large 🙁 I have no idea at this point how much insurance will cover as I haven’t received the EOB yet from them for this visit.
Planning on doing a no-spend October as well (aside from food and whatever last minute additional expenses I incur next weekend when I’m a matron of honor).
Yikes! A Corneal abrasion sounds painful! I hope October is less painful, both financially and physically!
After reading your car saga and Holly’s September, I’m thinking there was something happening in the stars. 🙂 My dishwasher stopped working this month and drained into the basement through the floorboards – yuck. I bought a new DW and while I was at it a new refrigerator.
I know I wrote about this before, but I am SO GRATEFUL that I nervously joined your challenge this month. I don’t have savings to show for the month, but I was able to pay a significant amount of the appliances from the no spend month and take the rest from emergency savings.
I can’t believe how much food I still have in the house. I made buttermilk biscuits for breakfast this morning but didn’t have buttermilk. I went to add milk and realized “shoot” no milk BUT I had some cream left. Biscuits ended up being made from a mixture of cream, water, and vinegar. They were delicious!
The no spend/low spend month prompted me to check out an Asian food market for produce. I’ve been meaning to go in whenever I’m in that area.
Thanks again Stephanie for organizing this challenge!
Oh dear, financially September was a bit of a disaster.
Started well with a £270 rebate on overpaid gas and electricity. Hooray!
Income was minus £50 due to a gas safety inspection on little property I rent out. And a bill for £240 for insurance, ground rent and electricity on that property.
OK, I thought, one cancels out the other, can cope with that…… Until…
Long standing neck/ shoulder problem re- emerged and after a weekend of awful pain 2 trips to the physio were needed–£50.
Then I returned home from the second treatment to find a blood stained dog— trip to the vet £112. Was really cross when they charged me £30 for a check up later in the week when no treatment was needed. Changing vets, I think.
We staggered on, we all ate, all bills are paid and got to today with £5 left!
Yikes! That sounds like a rough month Holly! Something left is better than being in the hole!