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Last month I had a chance to read Trent Hamm’s book, A Simple Dollar.  There is a lot of good information in there, but my number one take away was the idea of a no-spend month.

I googled the term and found that it’s not a new concept to the rest of the world; just me.  Many authors described their successes and challenges with limiting spending for a month.  Every story included some purchases made during the month so the term is inaccurate but you get the meaning.

Why a No Spend Month?

With all the holiday spending (not only for others but also for myself), I feel a little out of control.  We didn’t add any new debt, but there were too many purchases on wants.

I bought a wireless printer so my husband and son don’t have to use my computer to print.  It was a great price and a nice convenience, but it could have waited until our debt-free day. We had already bought presents for our grandson when one of the items we wanted to buy him “someday” went on sale and we bought it.

To start off the New Year on the right foot, I decided to make January a no-spend month.

Planning Ahead

The goal is not to eliminate spending in the month, but rather to spend purposely and on needs such as groceries, gasoline, pet food, etc.  What I won’t spend money on is new clothes, daily deal coupons or unplanned restaurant visits.  All those great deals will just have to wait for a different opportunity another day.

My plans in January include attending the Blissdom conference.  Those expenses will be excluded from the monthly total since they’re paid for from blog income.

Budget Carefully

The normal amount will be budgeted for groceries and gasoline, but other discretionary spending categories such as entertainment and dining out will be reduced.  The goal is to spend less than $700 which is a 33% cut.  If it seems high, it is because I live in a high cost area.

Thoughts on Having a No Spend Month

I’m excited and a little anxious about how the month will pan out.  Have you had a no-spend month or would you want to?

Photo Credit: Saad.Akhtar

About Kay Lynn

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6 comments add your comment

  1. We have had no spend months before and we had great success. I just avoided the stores except the grocery store and at the grocery store I stuck to my list and didn’t stray. It made me realize how impulsive I can be especially when I stop by Target.

  2. Haven’t really given this serious thought, but with the changes coming up this month for our family and just following Christmas, this is something that will get some serious thought. Guess I’m taking my lunch a little more often so I don’t have to dip into our reserves too much.

    • @ Kristia, I’m glad to hear a success story from someone I “know”. I have been having to reel my husband in from buying things we could use but really don’t have to have today.

      @ Peter, little changes like taking lunch or preplanning meals for the week can make a big difference. Good luck!

  3. There is no way I cannot spend for a month outside of bills and groceries. I could do 2 weeks. I do that sometimes. There is always something that comes up. I don’t spend a lot, I am not a big spender by nature, but when I review our VISA bill at the end of the month, it’s never as low as I thought mostly due to the unplanned items for the family. I go through the items and it’s like: “Yeah.”, “Check, needed this!”, “Could not avoid it!”, “Needed it and was on sale”, and so forth …

    I’d need my wife on board too… and that’s a whole other challenge. Maybe I should cut her card 😛

  4. I would love to have a no spend month but so many things have been coming up. I would have to wait until I move into my new place.

    • @Passive Income Earner, we may have something unexpected but I want to think about buying it instead of automatically doing so. Maybe we really could put it off.

      @Briana, you’re right that doing this during a high expense month would be a recipe for failure. That’s why I didn’t do it in December. 🙂