Welcome to my no-spend month

keep-calm-and-don-t-spend-money

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s October and doesn’t it come round really quickly. Every year, I have a fiscal fast in October. I buy food from the supermarket which I cook at home and fuel for the car to get to work and that’s it. I don’t take any cash from the cash point and neither of us spend any money on anything except: direct debits for bills and household running costs, food,  and fuel until the 1st of November. Our autumn half term break is in October and we don’t spend any money then either. No charity shops, no ebay buys, no outlet purchases no matter how much of a bargain. Any sales that pop up in emails will be deleted unopened and our purses will stay firmly shut.

We’ve prepared with toiletries and cleaning materials for the month and there’s nothing we need that we don’t already have. We don’t eat out more than once in a very blue moon anyway and the same goes for a takeaway. I bought some new work shoes yesterday from Clarks online outlet so if you see me collecting them (click and collect doesn’t incur a delivery charge) from the local store, I’ve already confessed that all £28 of them (half price) was paid for on the last day of September.

You might wonder why we do this. When we were seriously in debt from 2009 –  2011, we lived like this every day. We stopped spending on anything but necessities completely until we were debt free and this month of non-spending realigns our priorities towards saving. Most weeks for us are non-spend weeks and our only expenses are food and fuel but we all have our downfalls. We love books and trawl charity shops for books and we’ve got plenty we haven’t read yet so we don’t need any more. I’m a quilter and have enough fabric for current projects and I aim to complete some unfinished projects this month. So, like anyone, I’m liable to spend money when I don’t need to and this month reminds me that I already have all I need.

Don’t feel any need to join in or tell me why you can’t join in as what you spend or don’t spend is entirely up to you. I will however share with you how I’ll manage this for the month. I must admit that I do most of them any way.

  1. Take tea bags and coffee to work everyday and make my own.
  2. Take my own lunch to work every day.
  3. If we go out, take a flask and packed lunch. We love a car picnic even if it’s wet and cold.
  4. Complete craft projects with resources we already have.
  5. Invite friends to share our food with us and accept invitations to share with them.
  6. Use up what we have: toiletries, fragrance, cleaning materials and long life food such as tins.
  7. Don’t go into any shops other than the supermarket for a month.
  8. Keep busy with the jobs that need doing at home.
  9. Long weekend walks on the moors or beaches at low tide.
  10. We moved any money we didn’t need when we were paid in September straight into savings so we didn’t have any money to spend other than food and fuel. We know the exact amount each month that goes out of direct debits, including standing orders to savings accounts so we always know the amount that can be spent. We moved that amount.

 

It won’t be easy, it never is! Sometimes, I forget and start to plan meeting up with friends and then have to rethink with a no-spend alternative such as a walk and then back to their place or my place for coffee and something homemade. Something will be needed and I’ll just have to grin and bear it until the end of the month.

So, he’s to a month of tight waddery, skin flintery and frugality. Let the annual no spend month commence.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

 

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19 thoughts on “Welcome to my no-spend month

  1. Good luck with this Froogs – I have done this in the past ( usually January) and its really satisfying as you know. A walk in the fresh air with the fluffies is always good entertainment for free and a chance to reflect on our blessings.
    Happy October!

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  2. I’m going to be having a lot of months like this after my Husband walked out when I found out he was having an affair.Now I’m determined to keep a (rented) roof over mine and the 2 dogs heads even though I will have nothing left once the bills are paid

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    • I’m really sorry this happened to you. Reading this blog can give you a ton of ideas on how to stay the course. Jane is the master of frugality. I’ve read her blog for years now and each time I get a bit more encouragement to be different than the others and live the life I want. I want to retire earlier than the normal 65.

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  3. We do a lot of what you do in regards to taking lunch to work and school (hubby and son), holding off on things if we do not really need them, but September and October are tough because of birthdays!! I try to keep the cost of gifts under $20, had to buy for triplets, but it is not always easy. What I really need to do is plan for that month ahead of time so then we could technically go “spend free”. I have always admired your conviction and while I am nowhere near as frugal as you, I applaud what you do because people need to know that spend, spend, spend is not the way to go.

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  4. Years of being in education and then having my own children means that autumn always feels like the start of a new year for me, not January. However younger daughter’s birthday is at the end of September and we always celebrate that . So I start my New Year’s resolutions in October. I know Stoptober was originally about stopping smoking but I’m doing Stoptober as stopping bad habits including spending too much. It won’t be quite as stringent a fiscal fast as yours but I have set myself a real streeetch budget

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  5. I definitely need to copy some of these principles. September was a big of a big spend month for me (fridge, laptop and phone all died and needed replacing) so I’m definitely up for a more careful run through to the end of the year.

    I’m also tremendously lucky in that our office provides teabags, instant coffee and milk for us all – a benefit not to be sniffed at!

    This month I need to get back on top of taking lunch in – not only to benefit my bank balance but my waistline too! Like you I love a good book but since my TBR pile is currently around 62 there’s absolutely no excuse for buying any more. I also have a stockpile of things to watch and projects to finish so entertainment is not in short supply. And I paid for my tickets to 5 films at the London Film Festival last month – so again plenty of entertainment for three days over the course of a week.

    Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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  6. Hi, when you have teenagers it’s hard to have a totally no spend month, but……over the years we have developed a ” no spend on clothes month”, a “you can stretch your data out to 2 months” “if you are board walking costs nothing month” I can but try! Xx

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  7. Thank you for the inspiration Froogs. This year I have really taken control of our spending and we are now beginning to reap the benefits. I’ve stopped all unnecessary spending and shopped around for deals on insurance and utilities. I’m meal planning and always take a packed lunch to work.
    it feels good to be building an emergency fund as well as enjoying a family holiday and building a workshop in our garden on a budget
    thank you again
    Jacquie x

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  8. We love car picnics in the winter. We have a park nearby with a parking lot that overlooks a beautiful lake and we love to take breakfast sandwiches and coffee there and sit in the car and eat while looking at that beautiful scene.

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  9. I love it! I was just contemplating this today after quite a spendy September. We are taking our children on holiday for a week in October. I’ve already told my husband that we’ll be looking for free things to do.

    I think we’re set, everyone has winter shoes and coats, I’ve got lots of jobs to do inside and I’ve got a collection of books to read.

    I’m very excited to do a no spend October.

    Thank you
    Nx

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  10. Oooooh I like the idea of a no spend month, I do have no spend weeks sometimes without really thinking too much about it but yes books and craft things can be a big downfall for me too. I might challenge myself to this but in November. Thanks for the idea 🙂

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  11. It’s so difficult to have a no spend week with teenagers girl I go couple of days then she needs some makeup or toiletries I try to fit the cost into weekly budget but just can’t keep on top of it I will definitely be having a no spend month for myself even keeping out of charity shops for a while it’s still money so it’s good to read people’s ideas

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