I Survived the No Spend Challenge! (And You Can, Too!)

Can I just say how excited I am that it is FINALLY the end of this No Spend Month? I mean, I don’t think October has ever seemed as long as this one did!

At the beginning of the month, Andrea (from Saving Joyfully) and I embarked on a No Spend Challenge, complete with guidelines we’d each set for our own families. Fast forward 30 days and, while I’m excited to leave the No Spend behind and look toward the upcoming holiday season, I can’t wait to tell you all about what I learned this month.

Tip: Planning your own No Spend Month? Grab my FREE Resource to help your success! Find it HERE!

The Struggles

It goes without saying that a No Spend Month can be really hard. This one was no different. I found myself really wanting to purchase items that I never would have considered if I hadn’t been restricted from doing so. I mean, I’ve been wanting to put a new lamp in our dark living room since we moved in three years ago, so why now, in the middle of this challenge, was that such a hard thing to refrain from doing?

Another struggle we had was the desire to eat out more this month. If you read my guidelines for the No Spend, you know that was one of the categories of our budget we cut for the month, intending to save $100 by doing so. We still managed to save that money, but it was not easy. I think we felt especially deprived by not being able to eat out, even though we don’t typically do so.

And, of course, we had to purchase a new barbecue. If you missed my post What Happens When You Fail In Your No Spend Month, then I highly recommend checking it out for more details on this “failure”.

The Successes

Our grocery budget was a huge success this month. We saved over $150 simply by carefully planning our meals and sticking to the grocery list, and this is definitely something we plan to carry forward into the next few months. Additionally, that decrease in our weekly budget from $125 to $100 was so effective that we plan to keep that $100/week food budget going forward.

We saved in a lot of other areas as well, including the eating out budget, our miscellaneous spending budget, and several others and, while I could detail those savings specifically, I know that what’s most important is what we learned. We recognized once again our inclination to spend all of the money that we have available in a given month. Also, we started to consider other areas of our budget that we can cut back on permanently, and plan to eliminate those extras in the upcoming month.

Overall, I believe the No Spend Month was a huge success for the Brumley Family, and highly recommend you try one yourself if you haven’t had the opportunity.

The Future

Just yesterday Justin mentioned how thankful he was for our monthly budget. He said that, while the No Spend Month was difficult, it would have been a lot worse if we hadn’t already had our budget as carefully planned out as it is. Ultimately, we found that we have a budget that works for us each and every month and, while we might spend a little more in some months than others, we are still moving forward in the pursuit of our short- and long-term goals.

As we head into the next couple of months, the No Spend Challenge has encouraged my entire family to think more carefully about the decisions we make to purchase things, whether it be clothing, groceries not on the list, or whatever else we are drawn to. Even my girls have recognized the importance of saving this month and are more inclined to do so, knowing that they can be just as happy without more “stuff”. We intend to foster this idea of saving going forward.

Will We Do Another?

One of the questions I’ve received a lot in the last few days is: will we do another No Spend Challenge?

While I don’t think I will engage in another No Spend Challenge like this one, mostly due to how restrictive it was, I do believe that we will do some No Spend Mini-Challenges in the future related to specific categories of our budget. Stay tuned for more on that!

Did you participate in this No Spend Challenge with us? If so, let me know how it went by leaving a comment below!

Tip: Planning your own No Spend Month? Grab my FREE Resource to help your success! Find it HERE!