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No Spend Week


Hi friends! I hope everyone’s weekends are going well!

Imagine my excitement (hint: sarcasm) when I logged into my email and got this lovely little notification.

(it reads: Account Alert: Balance Below $25)

Low balance!?

What the heck???

Apparently, I had a couple auto-payments go through that I’d forgotten about and/or at different amounts than I’d expected (e.g., Navient has raised my monthly payments < more fun phone calls have ensued; I’ll write about it soon).

I get paid on Friday – thank goodness! This is a 3-paycheck month, Wahoo!!!! – but I’m on operation SPEND ZERO DOLLARS until then.

I’ve decided to officially make this a No Spend Week, even though it wasn’t planned or expected. And even though we don’t have a ton of food on hand already. I do have some stuff from my mid-week produce trip last week. And we still have a fair amount of meat in our freezer. But I’m going to have to get creative to make it all work. It’s not going to be easy – not like I’d just freshly grocery shopped and have a fridge and pantry overflowing with food or anything.

My one caveat is that I have $13 in my wallet. I’m planning to spend it this week on milk and produce at some point, but I’m going to try to see how long we can last without it.

It’s funny because Jordan from Fun, Cheap, or Free (check her blog out here) has been doing a whole series of blog posts about what she’s called “Shelftember.” The idea is that for the month of September, she’s challenged readers to shop their own pantries instead of going to the grocery store. Her challenge is for people to only spend $25/week on groceries (with the expectation that the bulk of food will come from one’s own home – freezer, pantry, garden, etc.). I haven’t participated in the event thus far, but it’s kind of ironic that I’ve been seeing her videos and posts all month and now here we are doing an impromptu No Spend Week in which I’ll be forced into “shelf-cooking” (cooking foods straight from one’s pantry shelves).

Wish me luck! I’m going to try to check in daily (fingers crossed < don’t hold me to it if I miss a day) to give a little re-cap of what we’ve eaten and how we’ve gotten by! With any luck, we’ll make it to Friday (pay day) making do with the food we’ve got. I may have to get creative, but I think it can be done!


Wish me luck! Or better yet, join me! Want to do a little No Spend Week challenge??? Tons of fun!!! 😉


    • Reply Ashley |

      YES!!!! We can do it!!! I’m definitely going to have to get creative, but that can be fun, too! 🙂

  • Reply Klm |

    I’ve done this before–it’s kind of fun! We definitely needed a small amount of money for milk and produce or to enable using up some pantry or freezer food (like sauce for pasta). Plus, our pantry had gotten a little out of control with random half full boxes, so it was great to use them up and get more space!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yes! This is exactly what I plan to do! I spent some time going through our pantry yesterday to see what kinds of canned/boxed/jarred stuff we’ve had sitting around so I can figure out how to make it into a meal! Kind of like a fun little game, really! 🙂

  • Reply Jasmine |

    Good luck on your challenge! I’ll join in for the eating from the pantry part. I think we actually have enough to get us through the whole week without doing groceries.

    I can’t commit to a full no-spend week as we have several budgeted things planned for this week already, but I can definitely do the shelftember part.

    I may be wrong in this, but didn’t you have a buffer amount in your account? If not, I’d highly recommend keeping a certain amount in there that’s not part of the budget just for instances like this. Since it’s just me and my husband, we only keep a $100 buffer, but for a family, I’d probably aim for $250/$500 depending on how precise your budgeting is.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Wellllll, we used to. 🙂
      We used to have an entire month buffer (back when we were living on last month’s income). That all went away when we got our serious IRS tax bill, so now we’re just living on our current month’s income. It’s much tighter now than it’s been in awhile. This is my first little “surprise” to find out that, quite frankly, we have no money!!! Like… none.
      If there were a true emergency we still have credit cards (though I’m trying to stop the bleeding here, not add to it!), but we really don’t have any cash reserves at this point.

  • Reply Kate |

    Awesome! I’m participating in #Shelftember too! (Freebs Unite!) and it’s surprisingly been easier than I expected. Good luck!

  • Reply Brit |

    I want to get in on the No Spend Week next week. I’m off of work for a little bit due to a horseback riding injury and we’ll be missing half of my paycheck this Friday 🙁 I’m so glad my husband switched jobs and got a pay bump. But still, we need my check because we have the payment for my car and rent coming up on the 1st 🙁 🙁 Super bummer.

    The good news is we’ve made final payments on two debts we had this year: my daughter’s hospital bill from when she was born and my dental procedure from April. We paid them both off within days of each other. That’s something positive for me to focus on.

    I did some light grocery shopping this past weekend and got some chicken (a staple for us) and pasta, canned goods, and produce. Hopefully, we can keep from spending money. You really learn to be creative when you’re broke. LOL. I’m looking forward to your update!

So, what do you think ?