Back at the beginning of January Huebie and I undertook the challenge of only spending money on the necessities: food, gas bills. No Starbucks, no toys or clothes for Little A, no items for the home. You can read the original post HERE.
We started the month strong but then let’s be honest, it really turned into like 3 weeks vs a whole month. If you rewind to January 18th, the Seahawks won the NFC Championship to head back to the Super Bowl, which kind of threw a wrench in our no spend month. We actually did pretty well until we got to Phoenix on January 29th.
Successes: I was really concerned when we decided to do this. I honestly didn’t think it could be done. But taking the time to focus inward and on what we already have was actually easier than I thought it would be. We cleaned and purged a few things, spent more time focusing on our businesses and planning for when we could finally spend money, haha!
And after the first week, I really didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. I mean yes, I was making a list of things I wanted/needed to get in February (new skinny jeans, bows for A’s hair, sunglasses), but it could wait. And honestly, a lot of what I had on the list (specifically those 3 items) will probably get pushed another month. There isn’t much that’s so urgent that I need it right now. I feel like I can better appreciate what I have. And that’s a really great feeling.
It also made me realize what an instant gratification society we are. We want everything right now, and if we have to wait for shipping over 2 days we aren’t happy. And I am 100% guilty of being a part of this. I mean on Saturday, Amazon offered same day shipping for Prime members. Same day shipping! Huebie ordered something that morning and by like 3:00 it was at our door! That’s just crazy to me. I mean it’s cool, but what in life do you need so badly that you must have same day delivery?! Whatever happened to patience?!
Challenges: The unexpected. A few days into the month I was invited to a baby shower for one of my dear friends and I hadn’t gotten her shower gift yet. And the shower was on the 24th, so it wasn’t like I could push the purchase off to February. That was the one time we had to dip into the no go zone and spend some money. But obviously, totally worth it.
Other challenges were Little A wanting things. She obviously had no idea what we were talking about when we said it was no spend January, or no Spenduary as Huebie titled it. It’s hard for a 3 year old to grasp that we can’t get her that ducky she wants so bad, and that we would probably normally get her because let’s be honest, the girl gets new ducks on a monthly basis. #duckhoarder
Total Savings: Not counting the money we spent in Phoenix, we saved over $1,000 in January by focusing our spending on only the necessities (food, bills, gas). I mean holy cow! That’s over $12,000 a year! And it really wasn’t that hard! I could definitely see us doing this again at some point; maybe even later in the year.
This also made me question where the heck that money went! I can tell you a lot of what we spend our money on, but not $1000 worth of spending. I’m taking serious inventory of my expenses and taking a good hard look at what I spend each month now. I’m going to try to stay away from mindless shopping and only go when I have an exact list of what I need. And I want to stick to the list. I am the WORST when it comes to shopping just to shop. I just go and have no idea what I want, and I end up spending $100 when I went in not needing anything. No more I tell you! Little A and I will go on walks around the block instead of walks through Target.
Question of the day: If you’ve done a no spend month (or no spend weeks), how much did you save?! Would you do it again?
Wow! Good job Tiffany and fam!!! I’d imagine that’d be hard but I really like what you got out of it – learning about patience and how much we tend to spend on things we don’t “need”. Maybe we need to do one of those.
That is amazing the savings that you had for just one month!!! I really want to try a no spend month and half of that would be a great savings for me!! Seriously fantastic job girl! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston
I don’t know exactly how much I saved when I did it last summer, but I liked it. I was thinking about doing it again in March. This month has been FULL of money spending, it’s like we’ve ran out of so much and there are 4 close friends/families birthdays this month haha
I always find these posts interesting because “No Spend _____ (fill in the month)” is my normal. I don’t shop for Henry (he wears his cousin’s hand me downs) or buy home goods, or shop for myself. It would be fascinating to see what month of spending looks like to families who do this stuff normally! I would truly wonder how much they spend, how much they put in savings, how much they put towards their children’s college fund, and how much they put in their 401k.
I regularly see bloggers talk about their “hauls” at various stores, and wonder where they get the money for it! We’re in an upper tax bracket, but I don’t feel like I have the funds to go on Sephora shopping sprees… But my husband and I worked too many years in finance/investments and are too focused on savings/wealth accumulation for that nonsense.
I really like your insights on materialism and instant gratification! I wish everyone would have the same realizations. Seriously! Take it from this former financial advisor 🙂
$1000?! WOW!! That’s impressive. I’m seriously thinking we should try a no spend month to see how much we save.
It’s amazing at how our money dwindles away when we’re not paying attention to where we’re putting it.
Good job! Thanks for sharing.
You’re so right about the instant gratification- I think online shopping in general has made it easier to want more, more, more. I know growing up shopping was a treat or something fun to do on the weekends, now it’s more like a daily activity– even if it’s just browsing online. I’ve been trying to do better with writing down things I want and when I decide to buy something going off something on the list- not just randomly splurging on something I want in that moment– even small things, which sometimes are the hardest. So many good reflections in this post- thanks for sharing it!
Wow! That’s awesome how much you saved!! We’ve been trying really hard to cut back on eating out and little shopping trips that aren’t needed. You get to the end of the month and wonder where all your money went!!
PS – Thanks for bending the rule on the shower hehe 🙂
I have been so good with the wedding and have stopped all Target/TJMaxx runs…..seriously what a difference!!
Awesome job girl!!!! Way to save – I LOVE IT! Something I’m so passionate about 🙂
Thanks girl! We are super motivated to save and are already putting a ton toward our debt. This was justification that we can do even more.
Wow! That is crazy how much you saved! All the little purchases, sure add up fast don’t they! I ran through Target yesterday to grab valentines for the kids parties at school, and by the time I left, I’d spent 60 some dollars, and then I’m looking through my bags, trying to figure out how I spent so much. 🙁
I find this SO completely inspiring!!! I love the idea focusing inward and appreciating what you already have, not to mention the money you save plus not cluttering the house up with more STUFF. Dang, $1000!!! That’s crazy!! I totally want to do this.
Wow! Good for you!!! This is super inspiring!!! I think you were totally right about breaking your no-spending goal to get the baby shower gift. 🙂
Girl, that is some serious will power. We spend so much money on going out to eat. I don’t know if we could go a whole month without doing that. But we have definitely tried to cut back a time or two. I would love to save an extra 1000 dollars a month! I think we might try this.
P.S. What are some favorite skinny jeans of your liking? I love the Rockstar at Old Navy. and they are perfect!!! And so cheap. 🙂
We just finished a 6-week “money fast” and I wish we’d kept track of the money we didn’t spend. Like you, we were interrupted by a trip and that really through us off. We don’t have the chance to shop much so we all stocked up.
Congrats on not spending that $1000! That would be huge to cut out of the budge every month. Have you thought of imposing a two-day wait on purchases? I will make myself wait two days before buying something I don’t really need. That gives me time to decide if it’s really worth the money and to shop around for a good price. Most of the time, I’ve forgotten about whatever I wanted to buy by the time the two days are up.
Thanks for sharing!
Amber at OurCharmedLife.net
I honestly was so surprised when my hubby said we saved that much. I definitely didn’t think we saved that much and it just proved to me that we honestly don’t need to be spending that kind of money on frivolous things each month.
a two day wait is a great idea! I’ll tell my hubby about that and see what he says. For big purchases we usually wait a while, but even small things add up.
Thanks for stopping by!
$1000!!! Awesome!!! Yeah, we all look back and think: “What did I buy again…… Ohhh, that thing sitting over there, that I never touch!” lol
Great job!! 🙂