31 Day No Spending Challenge Week 1


31 Days of Zero Spending


The concept behind this post is from Ruth at Living Well Spending Less.  Please visit her blog for the details!


I think it’s safe to say that our first no spend week for the month has been an exercise in frustration.  I’m not sure how or where the confusion came in about our new healthcare benefits, but it seems they already started taking money out for health insurance.  That change alone has thrown our budget off by over $300.00 for the month.  So far, it doesn’t look like we’re going to hit the goal to pay off 6 bills.  I’m annoyed.

The second factor that I am really struggling with is not smoking.  If I am going to be completely honest with myself, I think I am going to have to ration myself back down to a lower number of cigarettes through the month and try to officially quit over Memorial Day weekend when I am off of work for 3 days and have little to no responsibility in the outside world.  I tend to become very short-tempered when I quit smoking.  My husband becomes very “I must correct everything you say” and I respond with a “Shut the hell up or I’ll rip your head off and shove it…” well, you get the point.  I’m NOT nice when I go through withdrawals.  I am promising myself right here and now, and to everyone in blog land, when I get this nicotine out of my system I am NEVER putting myself through this again.  It’s hell.

It actually only takes 3-5 days of not smoking to get nicotine out of your system.  Once you’re past those days, it’s actually all just breaking the habit.  The last time I quit (cold turkey for over 8 months straight) I remember getting really frustrated and annoyed because I started asserting myself more and giving people in my life boundaries.  There were A LOT of people at the time who were really doing some inappropriate things, and when I said NO, I was told I was just being cranky because I wasn’t smoking.  We’re talking months down the road here, and not a day or two into it.  I always found it funny that someone else’s bad behavior was somehow excused by my broken addiction, but I won’t allow that again this time.

Onto the positive stuff so far, I made homemade hummus for the first time and from scratch.  Our blender died, but we had a Magic Bullet in the house, so while it took forever to run 4 cups of Chickpeas through it, we finally got it all finished up.  I’m excited to take it to work and have a co-worker who has never had it before give it a try.  I tested a bit, but added A LOT more garlic to the recipe and decided to let it rest and see if it gets better.  Unfortunately, it was a little bland to me.  We’ll see!

I was able to do our big stockpile grocery shopping and we’ve been excellent at packing lunches and not spending any other money outside of the home so far!  I was also able to pay off one more of our smaller medical bills and that check has already cleared the bank!  WOOHOO!

We’ve done really well so far with the challenge this week.  It’s been pretty great actually and very liberating to easily have a reason to say NO when it comes to spending!  One week down, three to go!


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!

8 thoughts on “31 Day No Spending Challenge Week 1

  1. Homemade hummus…yum! I have been dying to make some. Congrats on a good start to the month!! My husband gets EXTREMELY grumpy when he quits to. That stinks! Good luck this memorial day… I am going to try to hold you accountable 🙂 maybe my husband will try to quit with you guys!

    • There are varying opinions on how it came out…LOL! I like it. The co-worker who never had it before thought it was “bland” and needed salt. However, she literally carries beer salt in her purse to lick when she wants, so her salt addiction is probably what makes her think it was bland. My other co-worker liked it A LOT and the hubs thinks it just tastes like lemon and garlic…lol. If I can find that recipe for you, I’ll pin it to you.

      You want your husband to quit with us? She we’re going to 3 way call and all cuss at each other a lot? LOL!

  2. Mmmm hummus! I’ve been meaning to make some myself, but don’t have a blender at all. As for smoking, when I quit, I found that the habit is all in the hands, and if you find something to keep your mind busy, PLUS

    • (dang it hit the wrong button) …PLUS your hands, it makes it go much easier. I think your quilting will be very useful for this!

      • There are lots of things I can do to occupy my time and keep myself busy when I quit. Quilting will help, but there is also a lot of cleaning up to do too. I can ALWAYS find an inside or outside project to work on! LOL. Gagging Rob might help too. 😀 I’m sure he would say the same about me though…

      • Seriously, if you restrain him, I want pictures!

  3. I am not looking forward to quitting smoking in the fall, both my husband and I are going to give it a go….again! We shall see how it goes come August or September. I would love to do a no spend month, I have talked with my hubby about it in the past and I think the very fist time we try it, it will be in February, the shortest month ;P As far as health insurance goes I have been having difficulties with that myself, apparently we are getting ready to change insurance types at my work and I am just now learning about how it all works with what I have GRRR! I feel your pain!!!

    • Not smoking is rough. I am going to have to wean down again. Bleh!

      February is when a lot of people do a no spend month. We chose this month because it has 3 paychecks in it for us. 😀 This week was harder, but we’ve been living so frugally anyway, it hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be!

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