I announced on my Instagram stories in late June that Dane and I were all-in on a No Spend July challenge.
I had seen a lot of people doing different types of no spend months, all with rule variations, but I really wanted us to focus and give it a go!
We had done it in the past and banked serious cash, so I was ready for a month full of saving!
The guidelines were simple: we were going to pay our mortgage and re-fill our gas tanks. I had gone to the grocery store and Costco toward the end of June to stock up, so I had no intentions of mindless grocery trips either! I really wanted to see how far we could stretch our dollars, not to mention eat what was already in our pantry.
This meant no date nights, coffee stops (SO GUILTY!), Target trips, late night online shopping binges, booking trips…none of it! We were ready to spend a whole lot of time at home with each other and the dogs, HA!
Photo: Cait Schlabach Photography
So first I’ll start off by saying, we didn’t quite make it the entire month. If you read yesterday’s post, you know why!
I would call our 21 days a success. We managed to bank a little over $1,700 that we would have spent on things we probably didn’t need, which to me – is huge! We calculated this by averaging what we banked monthly for the previous 6 months and comparing it.
The first week included Fourth of July and friends of ours were leaving the island so the temptation to go out and party was REAL. Instead, we took snacks and drinks to the beach and had them over to our house where we cooked a few meals instead of going out to eat somewhere. This not only saved us money, but calories, too, because I know for sure we would have indulged in some super sugary cocktails and bar food had we gone out!
The second week, I ran out of cotton balls and the cleaning spray that I swear by for all the surfaces in my house. ACK! Knowing that replenishing them would mean going to Target, I decided to manage with what I had. I legitimately Google-searched “what can you use instead of cotton balls to apply toner?” I got some pretty funny responses, but one that I love (and that is more eco-friendly) is to cut up an old t-shirt. BINGO! So I did that and I actually really love it, so that is awesome. Now, for the cleaner. This is going to sound RIDICULOUS, but I do have other cleaners in my cabinet, just ones I don’t love like I do method. So – I used the “back up” cleaners and you know what? It was just freaking fine!
I’ll be honest – week 3 brought a trip to the grocery store for produce. I wasn’t ready to start eating pasta or rice for every meal and I was DYING for fruits and vegetables. We go through a ton per week since we eat 2-3 fruits and vegetables at every meal, so in 2.5 weeks we had depleted our fresh and frozen supply. GAH! I stocked up and spent $56.00. I don’t know why, but I felt SO GUILTY going to the store and doing this, even though I knew it was a smart decision. I will say that I forced myself into laser focus mode while I was there and only got produce and left. No checkout magazine or sweet potato chips for me!
Weeks 2 and 3 also included Amazon Prime Day and the start of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – I was beginning to think I had lost my damn mind for scheduling this no-spend month during what is often considered the two best sales of the summer. But alas – I made no orders and life went on. To be fair, I didn’t see a ton I wanted, anyhow, but absolutely nothing was a need or necessity to my life!
And on Day 21, we splurged on dinner out after our road rage incident and took ourselves to a movie the following night. I was slightly disappointed we didn’t make it the full month, but sometimes life happens, you know? Either way, this was a fun exercise in saving and taking a closer look at the some of the “stupid spending” we do.
Have you ever done a No Spend month? How did you do?