No Spend Challenge: Week 1 Reflections

Today marks the end of the first week of our first no spend challenge. To stay accountable, here’s a breakdown of our spending over the last seven days.

SPENDING (Week 1 Total: $482.07)

2/1/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $329.60)

$310.00 – Confined water dives for our scuba certifications. We called this out as one of our exception expenses at the beginning, so we’re okay with this one. We used a portion of our income tax return to pay for it, too.

$19.60 – Personal taxes. An exceptionally unexciting way to spend money during our fiscal fast. We could have put it off until after our 28 day spending freeze is over, but, we’d still have to pay them. So, we figured we might as well go ahead and get it taken care of before we forget.

2/2/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $90.55)

$90.55 – Dog medicine. Since the dog is healing from an injury, we couldn’t let him run out of joint supplements and fish oil supplements just because it was no-spend-February. I did shop the internet for the best price and we opted for free shipping (even though it’ll take a few days longer) in an effort to make the most cost-effective purchase.

2/3/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $61.92)

$61.92 – Milk, lunches for the coming week, shorts for under wetsuit for scuba classes and…brownies, blueberries and cinnamon rolls. Since we made $200+ between the Co-Op stand and the pawn shop today, we’re not too bent about the brownies, blueberries and cinnamon rolls.

2/4/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/5/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/6/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)

2/7/2018 (Daily Spending Total: $0)


Seven days in, we’re feeling pretty good about our progress so far. We spent some money, but most of it was on the items we called out before the challenge started. Except for our moment of weakness with the brownies, blueberries and cinnamon rolls. We set ourselves up for derailment there, though. We went to Walmart. With empty bellies. Without a list. Has there ever been a more perfect storm for coming home with a cart full of shit you don’t need?! But, we did it anyway. And we made the impulse buys. And, to be completely honest, the brownies were FANTASTIC. So, no regrets there, but, a few lessons learned this week.

  • For us, staying out of the stores = spending less money. The less we see all the “stuff” that we don’t necessarily need, the less impulsive we tend to be with our spending. Sticking to ordering our groceries online from a list that we’ve made and then picking them up once every two weeks allows us to avoid all those potential impulse buys. Avoiding the impulse buys means spending less, which really adds up throughout the month.
  • Despite what we think, we don’t have the willpower to go to the store, with empty bellies, without a list and not buy a bunch of shit we don’t need. Instead of thinking we can do it and failing miserably every time, we just need to take a few minutes to grab a snack, make a list and then head to the store.
  • When we say there’s nothing in the house to eat, it’s always a lie. The cabinet, pantry, fridge and freezer aren’t empty. They’re not even close to being empty, actually. So, there’s plenty of edible items in the house. It’s more that we don’t feel like the items we have on hand, or we’re looking to justify spending on Sushi Wednesday. These are the times we need to suck it up and get creative with what we’ve already got.

Onward to week two to see how well we can do!

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