Wednesday, July 27, 2016


August is almost here!  If you've followed along with our family's musings at all in the past then you might remember that last August we tried our very first no spend month!

We called it our No Spend AugustThis past January, we attempted another no spend month and we called it our New Year No Spend Challenge

Our overarching #squadgoals during a no spend month are these:
  • No impulse spending
  • To purge excess of spending, household items, clothes, toys, books etc...
  • No eating out unless using a gift card (& be intentional not to go over the card amount)
  • Be creative and utilize resources ... for example: make a birthday gift if you forget to buy one ahead of time, borrow sugar from a neighbor if you run out prior to the end of the month... you get the idea)
  • Know your necessities and stick to them.  Paying bills and filling your car with gas are necessities.  Your mani/pedi however, can wait until September
In all honestly, our New Year No Spend challenge was a bit of a flop.  We didn't plan well enough ahead of time in terms of food and groceries.  And.... we bought a puppy.

... who is now a very large puppy

But I digress...

We learned a few things during our New Year No Spend flop.  We learned that first and foremost, you can't go into a no spend month without showing yourself grace

The goal behind a no spend month is not to do it perfect.  The goal is to embark on a family challenge -- to try as a family to live outside of our comfort zones, to get by with less and to discover fun, creative ways to do so!

So for this particular August we plan to tackle our #Squadgoals by doing the following:
  • We planned 10 dinner meals and bought double the ingredients.  So 10 x 2 = 20 meals for the month of August with the goal of eating leftovers for lunches.  Last night a friend graciously watched Mack & Levi so we went out for one last date night and we did some MAJOR grocery shopping.  The idea behind doing our grocery shopping prior to August is that we are well planned and won't be making any sporadic Target trips that will have us leaving with a cart full of unbudgeted extras. 
  • As a family, will spend the month purging extra-- whether that's through donating, recycling or selling on Facebook Yard Sale sites.  If you haven't heard of these, search for one on Facebook for one in or near your city.  Yard Sale sites are brilliant. 
  • We will be resourceful.  We will be hitting up the Denver splash pads instead of paying to go swimming.  We will swap our garden produce for any food that we run out of.  We've already got a swap going where we regularly trade our garden veggies for farm fresh eggs!  Last summer we swapped for fresh dairy and locally made jam! 
  • We will try our best not to waste.  We know from trying this in the past that we tend to be low on food towards the end of the month.  Because of this we will do our best to eat all of the leftovers and to go straight to our pantry when we are low on food instead of defaulting to an unplanned grocery store run.
  • We MAY do a mid month produce run to our local fruit market.  We will go in with a list and we will stick STRICTLY to it.  We've discovered that it is near impossible to do a no spend month without fresh fruit.  Otherwise, our kids end up snacking on cookies and junk food from the pantry.
  • We will stay OUT OF TARGET.  It's just a slippery slope friends.  You walk in for butter and you end up with a cute mug and a cart full of dollar section finds to the tune of an extra $27.50.  We're just going to say no to Target this month. 
  • We will have fun!  We try our best to include Mack and Levi and to make this a family adventure!  We want our kids to realize that trying new, hard things can be exciting! 
I will end by saying that in the past we have had several friends try this with us and they have done their own modified versions of a no spend month.  There are no set rules.  You get to make your own!

If you are intrigued and you don't know that you can do a whole month of no spending, then maybe just try it for two weeks. 
Or, sit down as a family and write out a ways that you can embrace a no spend month without going so drastic.  Figure out ways to cut spending from your budget.  Plan to cut the excess and donate what you don't need.  Take a look at your city's event calendar and try out some free events instead of spending money on family outings.  The sky really is the limit.

We hope you'll follow along with us for the month of August!


To read about our how our other no spend challenges have gone you can check out these past posts:

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