No Spend Month Challenge {Week 1}

No Spend MonthIt’s funny for us to look back and see how much easier No Spend Month has gotten over the years. We’ve joked that every month is like No Spend Month at our house these days, so this shouldn’t be too hard.

We are going a little more extreme this month, but it’s true: We’ve gotten pretty strict with the budget lately. But it’s not without a purpose. There are many reasons your family might choose to do a No Spend Month Challenge, but for us we’ll be putting every extra dollar we save toward getting out of debt in 2014.

This month we are planning to spend $609 on all of our food, transportation, and personal care costs. Basically anything that’s not a monthly bill or a health care expense goes into this amount. As long as we stick to the plan, we’ll be able to save an extra $191 to put towards our student loan. That’s right LOAN!  (No S at the end. Just four months ago we had four of them. Not that I’m excited or anything.)

Week 1 Spending

This week you’ll see a few things in the budget that we make a monthly allowances for rather than actual spending. That way we’ll have enough in our budget and our bank account whenever those expenses do pop up. For instance, we save all year and make one bulk meat purchase in the fall. This allows us to save a lot on grass fed beef.
Here’s what we spent (or set aside) in No Spend Month week #1:
$67 saved for bulk meat purchase later in the year
$40 saved for clothing
$10 budgeted for our Amazon Prime membership. (Read more here about how Amazon Prime saves us over $200 every year.)
$28 for Costco (Oops! Forgot to add those memberships into our budget until just last month, so we’re catching up)
$26 saved for pet care and supplies
$34 Gas
$76 Groceries
No Spend Month Budget $609
Total Week 1 Spending $281
Amount remaining: $328
You might remember that I was planning to spend $38 per week on groceries. This week I did two weeks worth of meal planning and grocery shopping, so we’re actually right on budget for groceries, for now. My theory is the fewer trips to the store you make, the less money you will spend.
Check back next week for the week #2 update and more No Spend Month tips.

shannon Clark, LIFE & FINANCIAL Coach

As a mom, I know what it's like to feel exhausted, overwhelmed by life, and inadequate to meet my children's needs. But I also know you don't have to stay there.

As an author and coach, I've had the joy of encouraging more than 9.1 million moms to find forward motion with their faith, family, and finances — without the frenzy.

Will you be next?

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