The No-Spend Experiment: Coming Soon!

It all starts on Saturday. August first through the thirty-first. Thirty-one days of nothing.

Amy's done it.
So has Kim. And Mary. And Crunchy Chicken. And Molly. And all sorts of other people.
MSN Money talked about it. So did Bankrate.com and Reader's Digest.

But can WE do it?

What's the project? Not spending money for a month. Sounds straightforward enough. Everyone makes rules that work for them. Here are mine.

Regular bills will still get paid.
We're not going to cancel any phone or internet service for just a month. Bills include: Electric, Mortgage, Cell phone, Internet. I think that's it.

"Staples" and necessities can still be bought. If I run out of milk or flour or sugar or toothpaste, I'll go to the store and get more. Trying to work around not having a staple on hand is more difficult than it's worth. I want to succeed. I just realized I'll probably need to buy dog food before the month is put. That falls under the 'Necessity' category. Gas is also a necessity- we won't be carpooling to work, so we'll probably spend our normal amount in that category.

Grocery spending will be kept at an absolute minimum. I made a meal list for the whole month, and took stock of what I'd need to make all those meals. I already had most of the ingredients on hand, but spent $40 at Aldi and $10 at Meijer to round out the list last weekend. Theoretically, I'm set for the month, but I know something will come up.

Other than necessities, no spending. House projects that require supplies will be put on hold. No new clothes purchases, or new tools, or gadgets. No eating out! Not even for ice cream runs! Hardest for me, I'm going to set aside deal-hunting and couponing for a month. If I can get something free, I'll do it, sure (and I do have $13 in ECBs that will need to be used!) but I won't go out & buy something (with money) just because it's on sale. Not in August.

So can we do this? I have no idea. I think it will be interesting to see what the minimum amount of money we can live on is, with our current responsibilities (the house, dog, commuting to jobs, etc). I think it will be eye-opening to go cold-turkey from some of our current habits- perusing Goodwills for impulse buys, eating out 2-3 times a week, running to the store to pick up what we need, almost-weekly house projects. I think finding free things to do around town will be fun! My friend the Queen of Free will surely be a help in this! I'll try to post every couple days on the new challenges and progress.

I think the project will also show us how blessed we are- how much room there actually is in our budget, how much more we could, or should, be giving to others. With the project planned, before I've even started, I've already felt blessed-like-crazy.

2 pennies for thoughts:

"The Queen of Free" said...

You are awesome. I am SO inspired. We're debating a September no spend month. We need to purchase a few things for back to school next month. I will be excited to hear of your journey. Thanks for the head nod. You are awesome.

Kacie said...

I'm joining ya! We've been spending too much in the past few months. I don't think it's been all fluff, just time for some big purchases.

Still, I want our savings account to grow by a lot, and we're going to come up with our own rules and hopefully do a "no-spend" or "low-spend" month.

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