No Spend Challenge: Conquer Your Spending This Month

The past few months have been hard when it comes to our finances. We’ve had several “emergencies” come up that have depleted our reserves, spent more than we expected to on summer vacations, and paid down less than we hoped to pay down on debt. Perhaps you are feeling the same way?

Knowing that we need to buckle down this next month, my family and I are going to embark on a No-Spend Challenge.

Interested in participating?

I knew you would be! I even have a FREE printable to get you started. (You can find it HERE).

The “No Spend” Guidelines

In order to be successful, every “No Spend” Challenge should come with a goal. If you don’t have a goal, you will be less likely to stick to the challenge and will have nothing to show for at the end of the month.

Our Goal

Our monthly goal is to place as much money into our Emergency Savings Fund as possible so that the following month we can start placing money in a fund for a motorhome we want to purchase. Although our motorhome fund already exists, we have made the decision that we will not put any money into it until that Emergency Fund is back to where it should be. Without this challenge, it could be a couple of months before that is possible.

How We Will Accomplish Our Goal

“No Spend” Months vary considerably from one individual to the next, and are completely dependent on the goal set and where you can cut back with regard to your current spending. As you read through my methods, begin to think about how you could implement some, or all, of these changes in your own budget. (And any others I don’t mention.)


Many families have a stockpile of food in a pantry or a freezer full of meat and are able to go the entire month without stepping foot into the grocery store.

Our grocery budget only covers one month at a time, so we don’t have the ability to go without it. What we have done in order to meet our challenge, is created specific (and simpler) menus that will allow us to stay within a smaller budget. While it won’t be gourmet food, it will keep us fed and we will be able to save money at the same time.

Additionally, we will make a more concerted effort to look at each item we place into our cart and decide if it’s truly necessary or if we could be happy without it. My guess is that we will find many items we can live without. (It’s only a month, right?)

Our weekly grocery budget this coming month will be $100 for a total of $400. This is down $25 per week from our typical budget, but we know it can work for us if we put our minds to it.

We also have a household products line item in the amount of $100 per month. It will stay in place as it is how we pay for toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, and other such things. We might just be able to find some savings, though, and I’ll be sure to let you know if we do!

Eating Out

Our “eating out” budget is typically around $100 per month and will be reduced to zero. As a family, we normally go out to eat once per month, but we are all in agreement that we can go without during this challenge and come away with $100 saved.

Minimum Payments

Of course, we will be making ALL of our minimum payments, no matter what they are for, and you should, too. Getting behind on payments, including house, rent, debt, and utilities, won’t save you any money in the long term. In fact, you’ll likely end up spending more on late fees and interest.

Clothing and Household Items

We are completely giving up any purchases related to clothing or household items. Back-to-school shopping has just been completed so there is no reason for anyone to “desperately” need clothing this month.

Overall, we should save close to $100, just by zeroing out the clothing line item in the budget.


The only other category we have that will need to be watched this month is our “Miscellaneous” one. This is the catch-all for anything in our budget that doesn’t fit somewhere else. It’s typically budgeted at $100 and, while I plan to leave it like that for the month (just in case!), we are also going to work hard not to place anything into that category.

Just think: that could be another $100 to the Emergency Fund!

The Partnership

Of course, it’s no fun to be in a challenge by yourself and that’s why I’m excited to announce that I’ve partnered with Andrea from Saving Joyfully in an effort to bring you two very different perspectives throughout this “No Spend” month. We will both be posting our successes, struggles, and (hopefully not) failures in an effort to encourage you throughout the month.

Join Us

Interested in completing a “No Spend” Challenge of your own? There are a couple of ways to do so!

Step 1: I’ve created a FREE printable worksheet to keep you accountable to your goal this month. (Get it HERE.) Fill it out and decide, with your family, what you want to save for and how you will make it happen!

Step 2: Keep up with the blog posts here on the blog and also over at Saving Joyfully. I promise we’ll provide fun information to keep you going throughout the month. (We will also have an end-of-the-month recap for you to see how we met our goals!)

Step 3: Leave a comment below to let us know you are planning to join us!

And So It Begins

Andrea and I are so excited you’ve decided to embark on this challenge with us! Leave a note in the comments with any questions you might have.

Happy Saving!

Tip: Don’t forget to grab your FREE resource to get you started. (You can find it HERE).