The 31 Day No Spending Challenge- May 2014


If you are working on frugal habits and making life awesome while living well, you’re missing out if you’re not reading Living Well Spending Less.  Ruth runs a monthly NO Spending Challenge on her blog with a Facebook support group.  When I first saw this challenge all I could think was “NO WAY!  That has to be nearly impossible and we’ve already cut back so much!”  However, that was when my husband was looking for a new job and we had cut back.

I’ve been seeing a small trend again with my husband back to work.  We’ve been eating out a bit more and nickel and diming ourselves more than before.  I haven’t been working as hard at the budget and I haven’t been really planning things out.  Conquering our finances is priority #1 for us this year and I don’t want to see us fall back in to bad habits.  My poor car is in horrid shape right now, it needs new tires, and my Christmas present was a broken windshield from a fallen tree branch.  Both of these are safety concerns for me and both need to be handled ASAP!  I’ve been really thinking about our budget and what we can change. But…I thought my husband wouldn’t be willing to try.

I need to give my husband more credit for being on board with this.  You see, I’m the nerd and my husband is the spender.  He likes to claim he’s not, BUT HE IS. (Love you babe!)  A month ago I bet him $20.00 out of our budget that he couldn’t keep $3.00 cash in his wallet for a month without spending it.  He has a slight vending machine addiction.  When I found out there was a vending machine at his work I knew the deck was stacked in my favor.  He proved me wrong when he politely informed me  rubbed my face in the fact that he still had $3.00 a month later and I owed him a $20.00.  I suggested the 31 Day No Spending Challenge to him and he was all for it.

May is the last month we will be without health insurance (WOOHOO!), and all of our insurance will come out of his checks.  So, it’s the last month we will have to really put everything we make towards finishing off the emergency fund and really digging in to our debt.  Here is how it will work for us:

31 Days of Zero Spending

I will spend my next paycheck paying off some final smaller regular bills.

We will do a HUGE shopping trip.  Unfortunately, our stockpile is pretty small at the moment because we have been VERY frugally grocery shopping.  I will have to bulk up the pantry a bit for us to get through the month.  I am also going to make sure our normal temptations are in the pantry so we don’t cheat!

I am going to give us $100.00 for the month in groceries -$25.00 a week for fresh fruits and veggies, milk, and other items that can spoil.  I hope we can stay well under that budget, but we have to have food!

This is the big one, We’re going to quit smoking.  I don’t even want to admit how much money we spend on cigarettes per month.  No lectures please, we know all the other reasons to quit! We’ve heard it all before. However, looking at the actual budgeted number that we are spending each month makes me sick to my stomach.   I also apologize in advance for any random tirades I may have the next month.  I’ve quit cold turkey before and handled it fairly well, but it’s not easy!

We will budget for Mother’s Day and for something small on Memorial Day, it might only be hot dogs on the grill, but we’re celebrating!

Absolutely ZERO dollars will be spent on eating out, coffee, or ice cream.  My hubby will also have a strict soda budget and if he runs out, then he’s out.  He should probably save his $20.00 “prize money” for that!

I may also break my “I don’t really post recipes rule” for this month.  There is going to be a lot of cooking going on around here!

If all goes well, I am estimating (I haven’t done the math yet) we will be able to save almost $500.00 in a month.  There is a possibility there could be another $300-400 because my husband gets paid 3 times in May.

Is anyone else interested in taking this challenge with us?

Pssssst! Hey you there! I have a goal to reach 100 Facebook and Blog followers by the end of April! Would you help me out with that? Just look to your right and click the links to follow me by email or on Facebook! I would love to see you there and to meet this goal! Thank you for helping out!

Author: Jill Stewart

I am a 37 -year-old woman from Arkansas who is happily married to a Scottish immigrant aka “the hubby” “the hubs” or if I am calling him directly “YO YOU!” We’ve been married for 3 years and it’s been a crazy ride, and unfortunately our finances have been beat to death in the last few years. We have two dogs and a cat, no kids. The Blog- What’ll you find: Financial Information as we try to become debt free My attempts at working and trying to maintain a home to the standards I like My adventures in learning how to sew Arts and craft projects Funny tidbits from my life including living with a Scottish person, the dogs, and other oddball things that happen to me. What you won’t find: Much on children. I don’t have kids and I can’t have kids. Recipes- I don’t mind cooking, but unless it’s something really special, don’t come here looking for the weekly recipe! You won’t find it- unless you ask my husband. If you’re interested in what you see, please follow me on Facebook or sign up for emails! Most of all, leave a comment or ask a question! I am always happy to hear from you!

12 thoughts on “The 31 Day No Spending Challenge- May 2014

  1. Wow…good luck with that. I wish you guys the best of luck. No spending….Hmmmmm…yes I’m pretty sure I’m not there yet.

  2. I’m impressed! The fact that you two are willing to attempt this is awesome! I sure hope it works! That’s a lot of money to save in one month!

  3. My husband quit smoking for like 3 weeks and now he is back to a pack a day!!! It was so nice on the budget those 3 weeks. So for the no spend month you can spend on groceries and a few things you have planned but you have to cut out any extras? Maybe I should try a no spend week first! lol

    • It is normally a situation to break the habit of buying just to buy. A lot of people who coupon especially and have HUGE stockpiles always have them sitting around “just in case”. It’s to encourage people to help clear out stock piles and use what you have before buying more and on top of that, not spending on ANYTHING extra. No eating out, no sodas from a convenience store, gadets, toys, movie rentals, everything is off limits!

      We have quit smoking before…for 9 months. Then we had a small tradgedy in our lives. My husband caved first. I am one of those people who CANNOT have cigarettes in my house. I can’t smoke just one, so yeah, they have to completely go. We need to, but the budget REALLY made me have a what the heck moment!

    • And a no spend week sounds good too. It’s all in what you think you can manage!

      • My husband stopped buying packs recently and started rolling cigarettes. This helps because he cant just smoke a cigarette whenever he wants. When he rolls he smoked 6-7 cigs a day vs. 20. So that helps a little.

        The couponing thing can really be addicting. If it’s a good deal you want to buy it even though you don’t need it. I have stopped buying a lot of things unless it’s free or nearly free. I am going to try the no spending May. I will take it one week at a time!

      • We were using a machine to roll our own at one point and it kept us from smoking as much. I’m just ready to quit though, it’s such a waste of money!!!

        I’m so glad you’re going to try it out with me! That’s exciting!

        I was thinking it’s a waste to coupon at all during that month, but maybe I will try and see if I can just get stuff for free! That way I can get back into the hardcore coupon habit and look for free stuff only!

      • A machine?? My dad always talks about getting one. I always have my eye out for free stuff! lol

      • Here is the exact one we used. Not the same tobacco though!

      • I was expecting a much bigger machine. Its so small and handy!

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