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October – No Spend Month


Ashley and I must be in sync. While she did an impromptu “No Spend Week,” the kids and I have been planning for a No Spend Month. The idea has actually been noodling around in my head for a while, but the push came with the loss of our second car last week.

The first blog I ever followed, was actually a young SAHM mom, who did no spend months quite regularly. She eventually shut down her blog, but I so admired her. Another thing that has kind of pushed me in this direction is my kids. Some of them are really struggling with shame and envy. Ok, I struggle with it myself. While I know exactly why we are where we are, they are having a harder time with it. Specifically they are struggling with seeing how other’s live and then looking at their own lives. My mom heart hurts.

I know in my head we are in the right place and I am doing my best. But as you can see from our budget, spending has ballooned since my income skyrocketed (especially compared to being practically homeless and jobless.) So we are going cutting back to the bone for one month.

No Spend Week Rules

These are the changes we are making for our “No Spend Month:”

  • I am only going to pay the minimum due on all my bills. (You will see the weekly payouts in my Friday posts.)
  • We are cutting our grocery budget to $25 a week for milk and fresh fruit and veggies and eating through our freezer and pantry which is VERY well stocked. We are looking forward to being creative with our pantry, at least for the first couple of weeks.
  • I am going to continue to give the kids allowance, but we will NOT use $200 “spending” money this month.
  • We have one exception to our minimized budget, we are going to move forward with the “clothes” money this month because frankly, the kids all NEED clothes. Because we do it in one fell swoop, we did agree that we have permission to eat out the two days we will be shopping. (Because we are down to one car, I have to take all three kids shopping, and because we live in a tiny town, the closest shopping other than Wal-Mart is an hour away.) We are going to shop this coming Friday and Saturday.

Wish us luck. I think we are prepared. We have prepped with laundry detergent and toiletries and I am confident this month will be a great learning and bonding experience for all of us. The kids have bought in. We are going to use the experience to have weekly talks about money management and making wise choices and even sacrifice.  I’m just grateful we get to choose our sacrifices this time rather than having them forced on us by job and hoe loss as we have experience in the last couple of years.

Have you helped your child deal with envy or shame regarding circumstances beyond their and sometimes your control? I would love some guidance.


  • Reply SB |

    Saving up and doing all of your shopping at once seems better on time, but maybe not better on price or truly getting what you want since you have to compromise on time/budget. Although I do know your time is at a very high premium right now. Do you all have any good thrift stores where you are, or that you pass by? We have the standard Goodwill, Salvation Army Thrift, and Thrift Center all around us, and once you visit you can kind of tell which ones have better items. You can find name brand, in style items at most of them very reasonable. If it wouldn’t cause overshopping, just keep a list of want/needs/brands and stop in regularly and see if they have anything on your list. We also use our local “children” sales, like Just Between Friends (Not sure if they are in your area, but I’ve found most areas have similar mom type sales). They are usually twice a year and have clothing and shoes that range from baby to adult, so don’t ignore those types of things just because they are marketed as children. Their clothing and shoes are very nice as well and very reasonably priced.

  • Reply Sandra |

    Maybe I’m a naysayer, but are you listening to your children? I’d say up their allowances by $10 a month each and let them know it is because of the super job they have done in the past year helping you get through tough times. I know you are not out of the woods yet, but your children are dealing with a full load of stresses right now — new town, new home, trying to make new friends and fit in, etc. I’m for your keeping the pressure on you if you need to; but, at least for now for a little while, let off the financial pressure on the kids where you can. I doubt they will do anything rash.

  • Reply Jean |

    My co-worker has a son who likes designer labels. When he was in high school, she gave him a budget for his clothes; he could buy one pair of designer jeans or four pair of not-so-designer jeans – the choice was his. AND, he could always spend his own money on the nicer things he wanted.

    Maybe if you increase their allowance, and give them a budget but let them spend their own money, it might help? I don’t have kids, so I can’t help other than what I’ve seen others do. Hope you are able to find a balance.

  • Reply mary m |

    We’re doing a no spend month this month because our grocery/eating out/stocking the wine cellar amounts have just gotten out of control.

    We made an exception for going out for my birthday, and a trip to the pumpkin patch (but not one of the crazy like a fair pumpkin patches that cost $100 for our family to attend).

    I’m not getting anything through out co-op this month, which is weird…I’ve been doing a Thursday pick up every week for the last 3 years. :-/

So, what do you think ?