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No Spend Month Success!


We are the end of 6 solid weeks of no extra spending. And we have rocked it! I am so proud of us.

And a pleasant side effect of all the time at home and reduced running around is that my work has taken off. We are really on solid ground again. I am beyond grateful!

Big Win – Debt Payment

I mentioned when we began No Spend Month that my goal was to save enough for our Texas Roadtrip, but as I mentioned, work has really taken off.

I had already decided that my next debt to focus on would be the Tax Debt. And once I was comfortable with the cash for the Texas trips and money for December’s budget, I was able to:

Pay $2,500 toward the Tax Debt this week!!!!

The balance due as of today is now $1,001. And I hope to pay it off in December.

I am so freaking excited!

We Leave Tomorrow

Tomorrow we leave on a 9 day trip. We are all excited for this vacation. It has been a long time since we really got out and had some fun like this.

Our first stop will be New Orleans for a day. (We won’t be spending the night there as the hotels are insanely expensive, but we will be hanging out for a few hours.) I’m looking forward to having Beignets at Cafe Du Monde, picking up an authentic Muffuletta and listening to some live music.

New Orleans is hands down our family’s favorite place to visit. I even got to thinking picking up some Beignet mix might be a great, frugal Christmas gift for the kids!

I haven’t decided the route we will take to come back, but I’m thinking of a stop in Memphis. We’ve never explored that city much and I hear good things. Would love to hear recommendations of must see places and unique to Memphis places to eat! Again, it would probably just be a few hours around the city as a stop along the trip back.



  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,

    Regarding costs for accomodation: have you looked into air b n b?
    I think the more people the bigger the savings (compared to hotels).
    I’ve personally never used it, but maybe also hotwire could help you safe some money on hotel rooms.

  • Reply Deborah |

    Hi Hope,

    I was reading your blog and I am amazed that you were able to save that much money. You paid over 2,500 on a tax debt, managed to save 1,700 dollars for a trip, and managed to budget your income to pay for November’s household debts which were estimated at 3,668? The total amount of this is 7,868 dollars for the month of November. I remember you stating that you had 1,000 put aside previously for the trip to Texas.

    It seems to be a very large amount of money for a trip, payment to tax debt, and the income that you estimated for November’s expenses. I would really be interested on how you were able to save so much. I am one income for a family of five, work full time, and pick up extra shifts when they are available.

  • Reply Kristina |

    Memphis – Definitely stop by the Lorraine Motel for an American History stop. Central BBQ is right by there which has some pretty good ribs.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Hats off to you on making a huge debt payment. What a great payoff after a no spend month.

    If you’re able to pay off the balance in December and have some cash leftover, you’ll have to put a bit of cushion in your Christmas budget to celebrate the payoff.

  • Reply JP |

    I’m from Memphis. If I was just passing through I would stop at Charlie Vergos Rendevous for BBQ, cool atmosphere and someone else also mentioned central BBQ which is good. The Pyramid is a bass pro shop thing, but its free and fun to walk around it. For $10 each you can go to the top and get a fun city view. Or, for free go to the Peabody Hotel and go onto the roof for a nice city view.

  • Reply Anonymess |

    Congratulations, Hope! I’m so happy for you. It’s wonderful to see your hard work pay off this way.
    I don’t want to rain on your frugal parade, but since you’re self-employed, I’m wondering what sort of business cushion you envision, and what your plan is to fund it. I admire how hard you’ve worked through some very difficult times, and worry about what would happen if a major client dropped out.
    Again, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished!

    • Reply Hope |

      I am running my business a bit differently these days vs 12 years ago when I started out. I don’t have any major clients that make up the bulk of my income anymore. I have 1/2 dozen smaller clients who make up a solid foundation of regular work and then 2-3 small projects from different clients at any given time.

      This variety will help prevent what happened last time when I was primarily reliant on two large clients. And it keeps things interesting as well.

      As for business cushion, I have a good cushion now. And will need to start building my personal EF up from the standard $1,000 I have now.

  • Reply Malady |

    Hope, it’s really nice to see you paying down debt but I find the idea of a 9 day holiday on top of your recent Texas trip (unless I’m misunderstanding and this is the same trip??) a little… well… insane.

    You’re working so hard to get back in front and you could stay home and staycation for that 9 days and save all that extra money and pay off another debt. The idea of so much frugality only to blow it in a holiday is crazy to me.

    We haven’t seen a proper budget or debt assessment in forever. I know things have been busy personally but celebrating your win here is hard when there’s no context.

    • Reply Hope |

      The 9 day trip is our Texas trip. We stopped in New Orleans for 3 hours on our way here, and right now I’m planning to drive back through Memphis and we will do a little sight seeing. Just a short pit stop.

      The extra stops are just taking different routes on the drive, nothing extravagent or out of the way. With it being a solid 16-17 hour drive each way, we must stop.

So, what do you think ?