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No Spend Week Check-In: Days 3 & 4


Wednesday was Day #3 of our No Spend Week Challenge.

Day #3 (Wednesday) Notes:

I used the last of the bread for toast at breakfast. BUT, a small miracle occurred when I recalled that the local grocer had recently sent out coupons. There were two coupons, in particular, that were totally FREE items – no purchase necessary! One for bread and one for a Dole Salad Kit! Score!

I was going to try to make it all the way until Friday without purchasing anything at all (I still had all $13 in my wallet), but then I was thwarted when, about 1pm, I got a phone call from the kids’ school. Both kiddos had fevers and were being sent home. On my way to pick them up, I swung by the grocery store. I used my free coupons to get bread and a salad kit. In addition, I picked up a couple fresh fruits that were on sale, but I also had to spend some of the money on children’s Tylenol and I got some juice, since I thought the vitamin C wold be good for the kids. I had to be extra cautious (and had to make decisions: putting back a bag of apples in favor of a less expensive fruit option), but I ended up spending $13.08!! I was pretty pumped to have spent exactly what I had left for the week (the 8 pennies came from my wallet).

I don’t know what sickness is ailing the kids, but there’s no puke (*fingers crossed*) and they both slept well all night (thank Jesus!), so I’m hoping I won’t need any additional illness-related items. They’re staying home today (Thursday, Day #4 of the No Spend Week). Fingers crossed they’ll be well enough to go back on Friday and, also, that I manage to get some work done from home today.

Wednesday’s Meals:

Breakfast:  Smoothie (now running low on frozen berries), half a piece of toast (uneaten from one of my kids’ breakfasts)

Lunch:  Chicken and cheese bagel sandwich (chicken was the last of the leftovers, repurposed in a different way; cheese from fridge, half a bagel from a bag I’d had in the freezer); tortilla chips on side.

Dinner:  Chicken tenders with frozen mixed veggies (from freezer) and homemade rolls on side.


Day #4 (Thursday) Notes:

Today (Thursday), will be different than originally planned given that now all 3 of us girls are going to be home. It makes work tough, but will likely make our food situation easier because I can utilize the oven/microwave to have food for lunch that would be impractical to make for the kids’ lunches.

Thursday Meals:

Breakfast: Bagel and cream cheese

Lunch (planned): Leftovers from dinner Wednesday night.

Dinner (planned): Orange chicken (Costco package in freezer) with jasmine rice (from bag in pantry) and fresh broccoli (just purchased).


Jury is still out on whether additional expenses are necessary for illness-related medication. We literally have no money at this point, which really sucks. We have credit available, but the whole goal of this month was to STOP spending on credit. My tentative plan is a “wait and see” approach with the kids. It’s still early here in Tucson and so far, the kids seem okay. If by about 9-ish they’re not doing well I’ll go ahead and schedule a doctor’s appointment and take them to be seen. I get paid tomorrow (Friday), so if any purchases need to be made I’m planning to pay with my debit card, but to have it run like “credit.”  That way the charge is “pending” for a couple days and by the time it officially goes through I’ll have money in the bank. I know this is a totally sad and ridiculous way to go about life – having to play games to delay payment until pay day. I know. We’ve got a lot of work to do still. But at least we’re making every effort to right the ship we’re on and to stop taking on additional debt!

Wish me luck with both the money situation and the kids’ illness situation. OF COURSE, hubby is scheduled to be out of town the next 4 days (Thurs – Sun) so I’m single-parenting it over here with the sick kids. Normally it’d be no big deal, but I have a HUGE work deadline next week (I have to submit a dossier for my promotion & tenure committee, so it’s kind of a big deal – directly affecting my ability to promote). I’m pretty stressed about potentially NOT being able to work the next 4 days while the kids are sick and hubs is gone. Times like these, I sure wish we had family around that I could call for help/backup!

How are your No Spend Weeks going? Any unexpected expenses come up? How have you handled the situation?


  • Reply Maya |

    Hope your girls feel better! I do have a question – do you not already have children’s tylenol and other medicines stocked up? It seems a little excessive to have to always buy on demand

    • Reply Ashley |

      We typically do, but we happened to be out of any fever-reducing medicine. The only kids’ medicine we had on-hand were daytime and nighttime cough & cold medicine. I wanted something with acetaminophen given the fevers.

  • Reply Katie |

    I think I should note this week on the calendar every year, and clear all commitments, because without fail, my kids get sick. Same thing, fever/chills no vomiting. They’ve been back in school just long enough for the viruses to circulate and to bring one home. This is literally the 5th year in a row. I hope they feel better soon.

  • Reply Amber |

    Hi, first time commenter here. Just so you know for next time. If you have a dollar store nearby they carry children’s medicines and they work just as well as the brand or generics from Walmart, Target, etc. I usually buy 2 at a time so I have a little stock.

    • Reply Ashley |

      For real!?! How did I not know this? I’m definitely a Dollar Store customer – I’ll have to check out the children’s medicines next time I’m there!

      • Reply Amber |

        Yes…surprisingly you can get quite a bit at the dollar store. Our local .99 store has produce and milk and bread….some days are better than others, but you could really make that $13 stretch.

  • Reply Laura |

    Hope your your kids get better soon.
    Did you look into changing your tax withholding so your take home pay would be higher, or are you waiting until you file next year to see how that pans out?

    • Reply Ashley |

      I changed it already so my take-home is just slightly higher, but the taxes taken out are still higher than they needs to be. That was an intentional decision to help off-set some of the tax burden. We’ve got to fight through the rest of the year and then in 2018 I can adjust more. Hubs isn’t self-employed anymore, so there won’t be any future tax bill “surprises” since my taxes are automatically withheld from my checks. If/when hubs gets a part-time job, his will also be withheld.

  • Reply Alice |

    Long time on-again off-again reader here. I thought I’d spend my lunch hour today catching up on some blogs that I haven’t been able to read for a while. Started with the most recent post and am working my way back. Just got to this one, and am reading that you have no money.

    Don’t I remember folks trying to talk you into a bigger emergency fun several weeks / months ago? Hoping I find the reason you’re out of cash. But do you think that once you’re through this rough patch that you might try to build that back up?

So, what do you think ?