No Spend Month Challenge Recap, Including Budget Tips

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For the month of August, I hosted a No Spend Month Challenge, and it was incredible! It helped so many people [myself included] save money and see how to change spending habits with a little intention.

This post includes tips to have a successful No Spend Month, plus all of the tips from financial bloggers that were shared throughout the month.

These ladies know their stuff, so if you find their tip helpful, I wanted to give you something that you could benefit from past the budget tip.

Before diving into this post, be sure to read the announcement post so that you can get all the information to do one yourself!

Tips for anyone who is considering a No Spend Month //

There are several things to consider before doing a No Spend Month. Here are a few things you need to work through before starting:

1 // Know WHY you’re doing it

It is difficult to start and get through a No Spend Month unless you establish a good reason for doing it. When things seem difficult, you can go back to WHY you’re doing it to keep you on track.

2 // Write out your expectations

What do you hope to accomplish during your No Spend Month? Do you hope to save money or curve a habit?

Write out everything you expect to gain from this challenge, so that you set the intention for it.

3 // Track your progress daily

You only know your successful in this challenge when you track your progress daily. This encourages you to stick with it, as well.

Keeping the challenge at the front of your mind will ensure no slip ups occur.

4 // Find support

I cannot tell you how important this is! Hosting this challenge on Instagram helped me stick to my No Spend Month.

Whether you find one person or a large community to help you with your No Spend Month, it is important to have support to help you stick to the challenge.

5 // Meal plan from your pantry before having to purchase anything from the grocery store

While buying groceries you need is fine during this challenge, you must start in the pantry before moving to the grocery store.

Cook creatively during this challenge to reduce your grocery bill as much as possible. It is the cherry on top of the sundae for the No Spend Month.

6 // Keep a list of free things to do near you at all times

This is extremely helpful for when you’re bored or trying to do things with friends. There are plenty of things you can do for free.

Look up your city and see what events or free activities they advertise to enjoy during your No Spend Month.

My No Spend Month Experience //

This was my first attempt at a No Spend Month, and I learned so much about my spending habits and how to control my urges.

At first, this challenge seemed pretty difficult, because of the mindset I had with spending. You see, I was used to getting fast food 2-3 times a week.

I also got caught in the trap of “keeping up with the Joneses.”

I started buying things to try them out or replace things that were still in good condition. It was so far out of hand that I knew the No Spend Challenge was a must!

The first two weeks were the most difficult. I had to change my mindset from grabbing fast food to taking my lunch everyday. Also, I had to make sure that shopping for anything online or going to random stores stopped.

Once I got past that and found a rhythm, things become much easier. The No Spend Challenge did more for me than freeze unnecessary spending. It changed my mindset towards spending my hard-earned money.

I feel like I gained control of something I have not had control over in a long time. Not that I have always been out of control, because I have not. This just felt like I broke through a glass ceiling.

I will be doing this challenge in the future, and I hope you join in on the fun. You see, I share every piece of my journey I can with you that I can, because I know I am not alone in my situations or feelings.

The feedback I received from several people made me realize that we can change our lives together! I am on this journey, and I want you to be a part of it!

What I learned during my No Spend Month //

After my No Spend Month, I reflected on the experience and here is what I came up with as my learning points.

1 // Mindset is everything!

A No Spend Month is no joke when you’re used to spending as you please. Making sure to prep your mind before starting is essential!

I feel that I was successful with this challenge because of my mindset.

2 // I have plenty

When I realized that I have more than I need, it helped me feel content with not spending money. This is a great learning lesson for me, especially since I’m always looking for ways to live more intentionally.

3 // I’m pretty stingy with my money

While I have things I don’t mind spending money on, there are many reasons I won’t spend money. I’m not looking at this as a good or bad thing, but more of an observation.

4 // Having community support helped me so much!

I included this in the tips above for a reason! Answering to a community helped hold me accountable and keep me on track. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, so I did the best I could!

5 // Meal prepping helped a lot!

When you plan means the night before, it is hard to stray or forget your lunch. It also helped me save money on my grocery budget for the month, so this was a big help to saving money this month, which was one of my intentions for the challenge.

No Spend Month: Budget Tips //

I searched for the ladies who inspired me to become even more financially savvy, and boy did I find 15 great ones! Below are each of their tips for you to implement into your life.

You may not connect with all of them, but hopefully at least one will speak to you. I also left out any of my personal input, because I want you to interpret these for yourself.

If you connect with a collaborator, I have added their best freebie or course for you to check out and implement as well.

These ladies worked so hard for me to make this collaboration happen, and I could not think of a better way for everything to connect than sharing what they do best!

Budget Tip #1

“Creating a scheduled time every Sunday to update and review out budgets. It’s creating that sacred time that allows you to pay full attention to your finances and ensure that you’re still in line with your goals. It can definitely be a struggle to stay on top of it sometimes, but scheduling in that meeting with yourself that is free of distractions really helps!” – Amanda & Julia of theajmuse.com

Budget Tip #2

“Meal Plan! It’s going to be tempting to eat out, but meal planning can help you save money during your No Spend Challenge. Start by taking inventory of everything in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. You’ll want to come up with meal ideas (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks) using items you already have on hand. I like using Pinterest to find delicious recipes or borrowing cookbooks from the library.” – Eden of mintnotion.com

5 Day Money Saving Challenge

Budget Tip #3

“Automate as much as possible. Automate your savings, automate the payments on your credit cards, automate your retirement contributions. This way you’ll avoid potential fees and will save time by not having to manually put money into savings or pay bills yourself.” – Leah of urban20something.com

Budget Tip #4

“Budget for your needs and save for your wants! Having only been on my own for a few weeks now and learning how to budget for two, our needs have become the most important thing. If you have enough money in the budget for your needs, you’re golden. And if you have anything extra, that goes straight into saving for those special wants.” – Sami of brokeyoungandscrapingby.com

Budget Tip #5

“Be smart when it comes to credit cards. Yes, they are convenient and can help you establish good credit, but they can also be dangerous. It’s easy to spend money with plastic! Don’t spend more on your credit card than you can afford to pay at the end of the month. Use them wisely!” – Maya of mayamaceka.com

Secret Resource Library

Budget Tip #6

“DON’T CUT OUT ALL OF THE FUN! If you never do anything fun you’ll get burnt out and start to feel defeated….that’s just human nature. I think it’s very healthy and important to treat yourself to something nice every so often….and this still applies even during a No Spend Challenge.” – Sami of asunnysideuplife.com

Free Spending Course

Budget Tip #7

“INVITE FRIENDS OVER! Making a pot of coffee for a group costs pennies compared to one latte or one bottle of wine at home can cost as much as one glass of wine out. I’ve also found that inviting friends over always for more intimate conversations resulting in closer friendships.” – BreAnna of craftycoin.com

Budget Tip #8

“Always bring water and snacks in your bag. It will stop you from spending impulsively on food.” – Peng of pengandpaper.com

Budget Tip #9

“Find out what produce is in-season for affordability and freshness. For example, I rarely buy strawberries in the winter due to how expensive they are and how far they’ve had to travel to get to my table. I stick to in-season produce every season, and since it’s July at the moment, tons of fruits and vegetables are in season which leaves no excuse for unhealthy eating.” – Alexis of fitnancials.com

Free Resource Library

Budget Tip #10

“Do your research! Boredom is one of the number one wallet drains, so inform yourself on tons of fun, no spend activities and tricks to fill your days and keep your spending savvy!” – Yaz of thewalletmoth.com

Budget Tip #11

“My best budget tip would be to young adults in college is to believe you have less in your bank account than you really do. This isn’t the most common answer but the mind is such a powerful tool. If you believe you are below your means then you will act as such. No one truly knows how much money is in your account and they never have to, so always walk around with a frugal attitude because it will save you so much money.” – Shaina of themindfulrise.com

Budget Tip #12

“Pretend you are still in college. Many times after we graduate we believe we deserve this lavish life filled with fancy things, but if you pretend that you’re still in college and don’t have access to that much money you’ll be able to reach your money goals faster.” – Candice of youngyetwise.com

Budget Tip #13

“So, my downfall is online shopping! Most websites have an option where you can tell them NOT to save your credit card info on your account. Besides this being safer, it means that every time I want to order something, I have to get up, go get my credit card, and enter all of the info. This makes me sound so lazy, but that extra bit of effort actually makes me slow down and think twice about a purchase! Most of the time, I realize that I should save my money for something else.” – Christine of themostlysimplelife.com

Decluttering Mini Course

Budget Tip #14

“Utilize apps such as Ibotta, Ebates, Checkout51, Plenti, and the Amazon Trade In Program to make money on the things I already have to buy (such as groceries).” – Adrienne of cestlaviie.com

Budget Tip #15

“Cut drastically on the big items (housing and car) and don’t stress about the small items (lattes, etc).” – Julie of millennialboss.com

Fire Drill Podcast

The Tannehill Homestead Resource Library

No Spend Challenge – Final Thoughts

After reading through the budget tips again, I want to dive right into another No Spend Month! However, I decided that I am actually going to do something a little different.

For the month of September, I am on strike when it comes to fast food! In fact, this challenge really eliminated my taste for greasy fast-food, and I no longer crave it. The thought of it just makes me nauseous.

The crazy thing is I was a fast-food lover in July! To go from eating it all the time to feeling sick at the idea of having to eat any of it is incredible!

An unintentional upside is I have lost a decent amount of weight in making this change! Who would not love that?!

If you want to hear more about what I have changed since this challenge, let me know below in the comments! I also want to know what your favorite tip is of the 15 listed!

I love them all for different reasons, but I am interested to see which one you connect with the most.

Related Posts:

Curious about what you can gain from a No Spend Month? If so, I'm sharing my experience, tips, and budget experts in this post, so check it out now!

12 thoughts on “No Spend Month Challenge Recap, Including Budget Tips”

  1. The most helpful tip for me is #13, where Christine talks about online shopping. I removed all my cards from my phone case to a separate purse making it easier to resist temptation. I havnt been 100% successful as I’m pretty much housebound and do most of my shopping online anyway, but it has helped.
    What I’m struggling with now is feeling guilty about buying anything! It’s like my mind is a cash register, which actually isn’t totally bad and it makes me sift out the needs and wants. I’m embarrassed, but kinda pleased in a weird way, to say, I’ve made a few trips to the shops to take things back. It’s taking a while to get into the mentality and awareness of why I’m buying what I’m buying, because I certainly don’t need 90% of it! So the journey continues…..

    1. Vivien, I know exactly how you feel. I love Christine’s tip as well! This challenge helped me overcome those feelings for the most part. I still feel a little guilty for some purchases, but they were out of necessity. It definitely takes a lot of work and commitment to turn things around, but it sounds like you have come a long ways.

  2. Such great tips! I loved watching all your stories throughout the process and I like your tip on packing snacks/drinks when you’re going to be away from home. That definitely makes it easier to avoid unnecessary spending.

    1. Thank you so much, Cara! I really enjoy doing the stories and live shows, and hope to keep including them now that the challenge is complete. I agree with you 100% on the snacks tip! It does make life so much simpler, and keeps money in your pocket. I wish I could tell you how many times that has saved me from unnecessary spending, but I have lost count! haha!

  3. Adrienne @ C'est La Vie

    Erin, Thanks again for putting this on! It seemed like a lot of hard work and you made it a breeze to participate. Can’t wait to take some time and read through all these awesome resources!

    1. Karin, you so should! It really has changed my relationship with money. Seeing it for what it is, a tool, really helped me break from feeling trapped. Plus, it was so nice to catch up on things and evaluate my priorities when it comes to spending. So glad this challenge inspired you!

  4. I followed all the tips during the challenge and I loved it. Some i had already used, others were a great way to learn and improve my budget! I love following your tips 🙂

    1. Aww! Thank you so much! These collaborators were so great with their tips. I was in the same boat as you with the tips, but having that extra motivation to reevaluate it all was definitely what I needed, as well as many others.

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