No Spend August

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I am planning to do a No Spend Month in August. If you are unfamiliar with what a No Spend Month is, basically it’s a way to save money but cutting out all the unnecessary spending. You can set your own rules, but the first thing that came to mind for me means ditching the specialty coffee and pulling out the Keurig again! By doing this people are able to save quite a bit and hopefully get ahead on bills or payments.

I have previously done No Spend July and No Spend September, and had some luck doing both. Looking back at my previous “No Spends” my budget seemed so small, but I was making very little at the time so it made sense to only spend $80 each month. Now I spend that plus some just to go to a personal trainer each month!

I have been reading a few financial books because let me be honest here, I want to be a millionaire before I retire. So I’ve started setting budgets and trying my best to stick with them. So budgeting is going to be big during the month of August! Not only am I going to try to cut out all the unnecessary spending, but I’m also going to try to cut down on my regularly budgeted items like groceries and gas. I will be posting a video on my budget in early August, but in case you are interested and want to do some research, my budget stems from the Dave Ramsey Envelope System.

The main things I’m going to focus on during the month to save money are:

1.    Know where No-Spend-Savings will go!
I was bad about my spending in June. I had wanted my mirrorless camera for months but I didn’t plan my purchase. Had I of planned buying the mirrorless camera, I would have saved $50 to $100 each month so I could have paid for the camera in cash. I had some money saved up for it, but not the total amount. So I borrowed against my emergency fund… BIG NO-NO! But I’m going to use a portion of the money I save from this challenge to replenish my emergency fund back to where it was. Actually if all goes well, I will have enough to pay a year worth of another bill which will be awesome.

So my No-Spend-Savings are:
1.    Replenishing my emergency fund ($440)
2.    Pay annual bill ($210)  
Goal for No-Spend-Savings: $650

Knowing that my savings will go towards re-building my emergency fund will help me not stop by a fast food restaurant on the way home on Fridays, or only go to the grocery store for groceries and not pick up a nail polish because it was in the same store!

2.    Making a meal plan each week!

Meal planning is by far one of the hardest things about budgeting for me. I never know what to make for dinner. And worse yet, I feel like we eat the same things over and over. Also I hate when I cook an awesome chicken dinner and Texan will automatically grab the Barbecue Sause to throw on top of his chicken without even tasting the chicken how I cook it!

I’ve created a master list of our favorite dinners, so I’m going to use this as a guide to create a meal list and try to add some new favorites to the list to help keep things fresh. Share with me some of your family’s favorite dinners! It would be greatly appreciated!

3.    Do NOT go to Wawa to get coffee

I have fallen in love with Wawa coffee, hot or cold, it doesn’t matter I really like it. But if I go there once or twice a week I’ve easily spend $2 each visit which can add up to $10 to $20 a month. Granted, this isn’t terrible, but it’s No Spend August. So I’m just going to buy the coffee grounds Wawa sells (instead of getting a store brand) and make my own Wawa coffee at home. Bonus, I can leave the house 10 minutes later in the morning if I fix my own coffee.

4.    Make a Wish List

Inevitably, I will find something I’m dying to buy during the month. But instead of buying it I’m going to make a list. Kind of like when you were a kid and you were dying for a toy but your mom told you to put it on your Christmas Wish List… Same concept, I’ll add it to my list and if in September I still want it and it will fit within the September budget, I’ll buy it then. If it is a big item, like I want another battery and charger for my Sony camera, I might have to save up to buy it with cash and not borrow from my emergency fund.


I created my budget almost 2 months ago now and it has been working fairly well for me. Hopefully by this point I’ve worked out all the kinks and the budget will be ready for No Spend August.
Generally my budget helps me have about $200 leftover at the end of the month. Having this $200 extra isn’t exactly allowed according to the budget plan I am following, but it makes me feel better. You can think of it as a slush fund, for small things that pop up, but isn’t really emergency fund worthy. If I didn’t need it during the month, I have been putting it towards my vacation fund.
So there is the plan for No Spend August. I’m excited to get started and rebuild my emergency fund and get ahead of a bill!

Have y’all done a No Spend month?
Do you set up a budget every month?
How do you manage your money?

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