Why I’m Challenging Myself to a No-Spend Month

It’s recently dawned on me that I might have a teensy tiny problem with spending money. Okay, so that’s a bit of an understatement. In fact, I should probably contact deed poll to change my middle name to Impulsebuy. I have no idea where it’s come from. Up until 2015 I very rarely ever spent money on myself. Now it’s 2017 I think nothing of a £170 spend on a blanket, some mugs, and a cactus. In December I went to Currys to buy a small Christmas gift for my partner and came home with a £400 hoover. I’ve challenged myself to a no-spend month to test myself and to hopefully save some money.

Spending less.

I think I’ll be better off if I am just a bit more reserved with my money. It would be nice to get to the point that I can just have one day every four-to-six weeks when I am allowed to spend money. I think I’ll enjoy this more too, as it will feel like more of a treat having a bit of a splurge. I’ve challenged myself to a no-spend month to hopefully teach myself a lesson: that I don’t have to spend money. With any luck, I can get through this with a new outlook on life and plan my spending responsibly in the future. Even if I find it horrible and refuse to curb my spending habits, at least I’ll save some money during my no-spend month.

The rules.

Allowed expenditure.

  • Rent and other monthly bills.
  • Grocery shopping. Snacks not allowed.
  • Petrol for my car so I can get to work.
  • Previous commitments, such as my holiday to Spain on April 22nd.
  • Vet bills.

 

Banned expenditure.

  • Eating out and takeaways.
  • Getting lunch at work.
  • Nights out e.g. cinema.
  • New clothes.
  • New homeware.
  • Going to bingo.
  • Snacks or drinks other than what I have in my fridge.
  • Drinks in the pub.
  • Non-essential toiletries.
  • Make-up
  • Visits to the salon or beautician.
  • Gambling, such as lottery tickets and scratch cards.
  • New toys for my . They have 74 already.
  • Fresh flowers for my home.

As you can see, the banned expenditure list is far bigger than the allowed expenditure list.

I planned to start my no-spend month yesterday, April 1st, but I got a bit waylaid. A 12-week puppy in my area was savagely attacked by another dog and has required extensive lifesaving surgery. I donated money to their Just Giving page yesterday and so have decided to begin my no-spend month today. So far so good, I haven’t spent a single penny today! I’ll update you all in the coming weeks so you can see how well I get on with being a bit more frugal.

Have you ever tried a no-spend month? If so, what did you find hardest to give up? I’d love to hear your experiences with it!

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46 Comments

  1. April 2, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    a great post and one I should do myself this month I need to keep off eBay thats for sure its silly how many pounds are soon spent isnt it

  2. April 2, 2017 / 5:47 pm

    I really need to do this, but I just don’t think I can! I have to be out and about doing stuff.. But perhaps I can find an alternative way without spending money!

  3. April 2, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Good luck! I could do with trying this myself but it just seems so huge. I love shopping, it’s what I do. I would really struggle with a challenge like this.

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 3, 2017 / 12:10 pm

      The more I think about it, the harder it sounds! I’m trying to prove to my partner that we CAN afford the £3000 flooring I’ve just picked out for our lounge, though. Hopefully, if we have a bit of spare money at the end of this month he might be more open to the idea (I can dream!) x

  4. April 2, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    I soooooo want to do this, I sooooo need to do this! Ever since I moved into my boyfriends house which he owns I have more money and should be saving, instead I have been impulse buying like you. I may give this a go and I will definitely be following you to see how you get a long!

  5. April 2, 2017 / 7:58 pm

    Paha, I could never do this. Even when I think I’ve not spent anything, there is always meal deals, a ‘pair of leggings I NEEDED’ on my bank statement. I think I should just do a confessions of a shopaholic type trick and freeze my card. But then there’s apple pay.. the world just wants us to spend! Hope you manage to save lots. xox

  6. April 2, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    As a beauty blogger, I tend to buy a lot of makeup and skincare products so I definitely need to put myself on a spending ban aswell. Atleast for a month, if possible!

  7. April 3, 2017 / 8:55 am

    I spend way too much money too and need to think of a way that I can cut down. I’m thinking of giving myself an allocated budget each week so I can only spend that. x

  8. April 3, 2017 / 9:25 am

    That’s such a clever idea, maybe I should try the same thing!

  9. April 3, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Sometimes no-spend months were a necessity at university, and now I have a new job I try to limit myself to one type of luxury per month so I don’t blow through the money I’m saving!

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 3, 2017 / 12:12 pm

      Ah so you’re a seasoned no-spender! Any tips for me? 🙂 x

  10. April 3, 2017 / 9:58 am

    I like posts like this. 74 dog toys are more than enough. Definitely won’t be needing anymore toys for some time.

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 3, 2017 / 11:27 am

      Would you believe that I recently donated over 50 of their toys? 74 is the amount they have left after my clear out!

  11. April 3, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    I have had to put myself on a spending ban as well, I moved to a more expensive property which means I have even less money than I had before so I need to do this as well x

  12. April 3, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    I hope your no-spend challenge goes well for you. I think you will probably have a new perspective on spending once you have done it and can see how much you have been spending on the banned expenditure list. I think no-spend challenges are great for just this reason.
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  13. April 4, 2017 / 8:27 am

    i can definitely see where your coming from , i actually find we as a family spend way too much, i would love to try a minimum spend month , i dont buy myself anything like clothes (infact im still wearing my maternity from two years ago) , i dont drink or smoke and i dont go out with friends or meet ups . in all honesty my husband is a total nightmare for takeouts even when i have made a very large homemade meal lol x

  14. April 4, 2017 / 8:30 am

    Eeeekkkkk good luck! It’s scary to think how much money you can easily spend in a month without realising it.

  15. April 4, 2017 / 8:33 am

    I need to try something similar to this as I spend way too much, but I think i’d be better giving myself a small budget per week x

  16. April 4, 2017 / 8:53 am

    Hi, this is a great post making people money aware is a good thing, but it looks a tough one…not sure I would last lol 🙂 x

  17. hannah
    April 4, 2017 / 9:41 am

    Goold luck. i could never do this as i spend too much money x

  18. April 4, 2017 / 9:50 am

    I wish you the best of luck I’m hopeless at doing that – spend less. As soon as I got money i want to spend it, which then get me into all kind of trouble. I will be back to see how you got on. xx

  19. April 4, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Good luck with this! I’ve done one of these before and it was tough but I really needed to save some money x

  20. April 4, 2017 / 10:33 am

    I really need to try this! I am terrible with money as a fact. The only way I can grocery shop is with a list. I f I don’t have a list I overspend – I even go online to check the prices and add them to my list so I know how much I should spend. Takeaway is another downfall. I think I might give this a go starting today. I might even lose some weight if I’m lucky!

    Emmie xo

  21. April 4, 2017 / 6:59 pm

    Good luck with your challenge. One of the things i do when I get paid is transfer some money into what I call my “spending account” and that has to do me till next pay day. It works well and has helped me save!

  22. francesca
    April 4, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    Its great that you’re learning to be more strict with your expenditure and you have given yourself goals to stick to!! Well done and good luck!! I’m one for spending, I try not to but I can’t help it!

  23. April 4, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    This is a great idea! I should probably do a no spend month too!

  24. April 5, 2017 / 9:52 am

    I really need to take a leaf out of your book and do this. I seem to be overspending on a regular basis and I need to get it into check. I have copied your list out and I am going to alter it slightly as some things aren’t relevant to me but add others on. Thank you for giving me the push to do it x

  25. shannon ritchie
    April 5, 2017 / 10:47 am

    Good luck with this! As a student I usually have to do this at the end of term, I find giving up my daily Starbucks matcha latte the hardest!

  26. April 5, 2017 / 11:04 am

    After a massive spending problem in my 20’s I’ve transitioned to a more frugal lifestyle and it’s been great. It has ensured that I don’t overspend and also I don’t have to go through the famine or feast as things are always balanced. I can treat myself but don’t go overboard. It works out well. I hope this no spend month works for you and gives you some insight as to what long term changes would be good for you. Can’t wait to see how you get on. x

  27. Dannii
    April 5, 2017 / 3:36 pm

    I really need to do this. I have so much food in the cupboard that I could eat that for a month without having to buy anything else.

  28. April 5, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    I think that’s a great idea as it gives you an idea of how much you can save without treating yourself to additional luxuries each week. Good luck!

  29. April 5, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    I definitely need to do this! My spending is out of control right now. I think I’ll be borrowing your dos and donts list! I don’t realise how much I spend on little things and it all adds up. Hope it goes well for you!

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 6, 2017 / 11:39 am

      Hey Harriet 🙂 If I’m honest it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be!

  30. April 5, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    I would struggle with a no spend week, try to be frugal but have absolutely no will power.

  31. April 5, 2017 / 11:07 pm

    I need to do this and get saving, I am forever spending money on stupid house stuff that I don’t even use! x

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 6, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Pointless stuff for the house is the bane of my life! I spend so much money things just because they look pretty, and then never use them! x

  32. April 6, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    Good luck with your no spend. I put myself on a no-buy last year and it was hard but I’ve found since then I really think about what I’m buying and don’t spend anywhere near as much as I used to!

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 10, 2017 / 9:59 am

      That’s what I’m hoping Helen, hopefully I can learn to spend less and only buy things I actually need! x

  33. April 6, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    I’m in the position where I don’t have the choice haha but I do think it is teaching me not to take things for granted

  34. April 6, 2017 / 6:59 pm

    Go on girl, I’m starting this next month as my savings start coming out on the 1st May because I am moving out at the end of the year. Good luck with your ban

    • Grateful Grumble
      April 10, 2017 / 9:58 am

      Best of luck to you! It’s actually a lot harder than I thought it would be x

  35. April 7, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    oh I so need to do one of these as I am a prolific spender ha I just cant help myself at times

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