What and Why You Should Do A No Spend Month

Why in the world would anyone want to put themselves through the torture of (almost) completely freezing their spending? The answer is so you can save a bunch of money really quickly!

Before we go any further there is one thing we just need to get out of the way. It is not easy to complete a no spend month. Nope. But is it worth it? Oh yeah!

Do you know what a no spend challenge is? Let me show you how our family cut over $400 out of our monthly budget all by starting our first ever no spend month and how YOU can save even more money!

If someone were to ask me a year ago if I wanted to do a no spend month, I would have been like, “What in the what is a no spend month?” But once I did a little research, a little prep, and got the family onboard with me, I was all in!

Man, did this experience change so many things for our family finances and spending habits!

Why should anyone do a no spend month?

There are two main reasons I have found that the majority of people do a no spend month. The first might be to significantly change their spending habits. The second reason might be to save a chunk of money quickly.

You might have habits that need to be broken that you don’t even realize exist!

When our family did our first no spend month I thought that we were already very frugal and was skeptical on how much money we were actually going to save. As a direct result of the spending shock we experienced in our no spend month, our family of five was able to cut our monthly spending by over $400!

Now remember, we were already living pretty sparingly. So if that isn’t you, imagine how much more money you could be saving!

Now the possibilities of what to do with that money are really endless and also very specific to what your personal needs are.

  • Pay off debt quickly
  • Get ahead of your bills! (this is my favorite reason!)
  • Vacation
  • Clothes
  • Birthdays
  • Christmas

These are all examples of things you might use your savings towards.

So what is a no spend month?

This is the opportunity for you to drastically change your spending habits and to save a nice chunk of mo-la in a relatively short period of time. You are going to do this by cutting out all unnecessary spending!

That’s the key. You need to be realistic with yourself when determining what is necessary. Paying your mortgage or rent, necessary. Buying a half-gallon of ice cream, not so much. Get the picture?

The Rules of a No Spend Month

  1. Pay your bills! This is not a get out of jail free card. Not paying your bills is going to turn your finances into a mess. So please pay your bills!
  2. Cut any and all unnecessary spending. Decide right now what is going to determine what is necessary. For our family, if we can live without it for more than a day, then it’s ruled as unnecessary.
  3. Set a small budget for fresh groceries. In order to keep our family happy and relatively healthy, we choose to allow ourselves a very small budget so we can buy fresh fruits and vegetables and also milk and eggs during our no spend month. We have a family of five and set our weekly budget at $20. You might want to consider creating a similar fresh produce budget but keep your budget small!
  4. There is an allowance for preplanned activities. If it’s someone’s birthday or there is a holiday, set aside a small budget for the occasion. But again, this isn’t a complete freebie. Set that budget at a reasonable level. Shoot to set your allowance on the low end of what you would normally spend.
  5. Start now! I don’t want to hear, “Well maybe we will start next month because it’s our anniversary this month.” Trust me, there is always going to be something. If you want to drastically change your spending habits, then start now!

So who is ready to save some money? Make sure to check back in a couple days when I will be talking about what to expect during a no spend month and how you can prepare.

Of course, if you have any questions you can leave them down in the comments below.

Talk to you guys soon!


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  • Elyse
    April 25, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Love the no-spend months! We actually have been on a no-spend 6 months(this is the end of almost . The only things we can spend money on are essentials, things that we already have that break so they need to be replaced and once a month date night(not to mention our 3 date nights that we spend zero on!) . We’re doing this because we are moving in June across the country which means we will need first/last months rent, shipping costs and plane tickets. It’s actually really freeing!

  • Elyse
    April 25, 2016 at 6:45 am

    We are just completing our fourth month in a row of no spending! Our rules are 1. Only grocery essentials 2. One date night a month we can use money and the other 3 we can’t. and 3. Only things we can buy are to replace things that may have broken. It’s going really well so far and I’m feeling pretty confident we could continue this for another 6 months if we wanted too! We are doing this because we are moving across the country in June and we will need to have first/last months rent, plane tickets, moving truck costs AND we will need to buy furniture for our new place(not all but some).

    • Brittany Cooper
      April 27, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Elyse that is amazing! I have never done several months in a row but I can definitely see how that would be very beneficial! What were some ways you got your family to get onboard with the idea?

      • Elyse
        April 27, 2016 at 7:22 am

        It’s easy since there was only one other person to convince – my husband. BUT that doesn’t mean it’s been perfect. Sure we miss going out for dinner with our friends but we’ve discovered other fun things we can do with them that don’t cost money like frisbee or going for a trail walk. It’s been great!

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