No Spend Month Update – Day 1 to 5

Debt Repayment, No Spend Month

No Spend Month - Two 20-something girls journey through a NSM

If you’ve decided to join in on No Spend Month I know Alicia and I would love to hear about it in the comments! Here are my experiences from Day 1 to 5.  It’s a lot harder than I expected!

Day 1 – April 26, 2013:

I found out that I passed the bar exam at midnight today (!!!!!). I figured it was a good time to use my starbucks giftcard for one last treat. I ordered a grande white chocolate mocha. I thought I had $10 so I also ordered a bottle of water. Apparently my Starbucks app hadn’t updated, because I only had $6…leaving me with a balance of $0.54.

I officially lasted 9 hours and 5 minutes without spending any money. #fail.

We had girls night at my house to celebrate passing the bar and to have time to chat without the men around. It was unbelievably nice to get to relax with my girlfriends. We also talked about no spend month, and at length about the gas-rule. It seems impossible to live in this area and keep your gas in line. We’ll see… I’m surprised by how many people have asked if they can do a no-spend-month too. Of course you can! The more the merrier!

barexamceleb

You can never have too many bottles of champagne wrapped in ribbon!

The girls all took pity on me, despite my assurances otherwise, and I think I have more food and alcohol at my house now than I did before they got here. I prepared ahead of time and bought two bottles of wine before my budget started. I was scouring pinterest for appetizer ideas this afternoon when I remembered the pot stickers I bought months ago. I took them out of the freezer, fried them with the help of one of the gals, and there wasn’t an ounce of judgment from anyone here that I didn’t make them from scratch. I guess this is what it looks like to not waste food, huh?

Spent: $0.54 (coffee)

Total Remaining: $199.46

Day 2 – April 27, 2013:

Today was a hard day because I’d already planned a drinks/apps date with Meghan and it was the PNW Blogger meetup in Capitol Hill (a neighborhood of Seattle). I got there early and drove around for awhile looking for the cheapest parking. After tax, I paid $12.02 to park in a garage for 4-10 hours. Normally I would think this was reasonable, but not anymore!

Meghan insisted on paying to celebrate me passing the bar exam, so that was $0.00.  I had one alcoholic drink at the event (It was a German bar, the German in me had to!). That was $5.01 when you included the 18% gratuity, but the waiter who served us was so incredible I upped it to $7.01. Service staff shouldn’t suffer because I am putting myself through this.

Total Spent: $12.02 (parking) + $7.01 (alcohol) = $19.03

Total Remaining: $180.43

Day 3 – April 28, 2013:

Alicia and I discussed the gas rule and are contemplating a bit of a change. I already planned to go out of town later this month, which will be about $60 in gas each way. That would take my balance down to $120 if I left right now. Alicia doesn’t think it’s fair and suggests instead that I lower my spending goal to $150 and don’t count gas. We’re thinking about it.

Today has been really hard, emotionally. I met up with Shannon from Sassy Lemonade to give her her swag bag from the PNW Blogger Meetup. I was so close to several coffee shops I like, and it was really hard to resist the urge to go into one and read a book around a bunch of people.

I’ve spent the afternoon lounging around my house, reading a book from the library and watching Hells Kitchen on my computer (I don’t own a TV). It’s all free, and a little lonely. My main temptation right now is to walk to a bar near my house that has happy hour all day on Sundays. $4 glasses of wine, $5 pizzas, $5 warm artichoke dip and pita bread, $5 brownie sundaes, television, other people…

I’m already seeing that I spend money when I am bored or lonely. No Spend Month is harder than it sounds.

Total Spent: $0.00 (yay!)

Total Remaining: $180.43

Day 4 – April 29, 2013:

Last night my coffee carafe fell off my kitchen counter drying mat and shattered all over the floor. It was the culmination of a lonely day where I tried so hard not to spend money, just to end it knowing I’d spend tomorrow. I had an arbitration this morning and needed coffee before I started the 45+ minute drive. I also knew I’d need a replacement carafe ASAP or else I’d bust my budget faster than you can say “good morning.” I’d love to say I held myself together, but I kinda didn’t.

No Spend Month

Live action shot at the scene of the tragedy.

The worst part about the added expense is that I can’t pack a lunch when I have an arbitration. So I was already facing that hit. On my drive home at the end of the day I was discussing (aka whining) to the BF about my situation. He suggested I try Value Village. I hadn’t considered that at all. To be frank, I love the idea of thrifting, but generally it creeps me out knowing someone else has used all of the stuff.

I put my budget ahead of my fears, asked Siri to call VV, confirmed they sold these separately, and made my way to the store. It was 1.5 miles farther than Target. A replacement there would have been $10.79. VV price? $1.99. He deserves an award – after no spend month of course. Ain’t nobody got money for that.

Total Spent: $3.65 (coffee); $8.75 (lunch (ouch)); $2.15 (replacement carafe) = $14.55

Total Remaining: $165.88

Day 5 – April 30, 2013:

Last night I soaked my new carafe in soapy water and vinegar to ensure it was fully clean. This morning I doubtfully peeked my head into my kitchen, and happily discovered that Mr. Coffee had no problems with the impostor.  I drank my free coffee in my living room and sighed a sigh of relief.

Tonight I came home and followed my meal plan, even though I wasn’t feeling well and not in the mood for spaghetti. It turned out once dinner was finished, I WAS in the mood for spaghetti. Plus, now I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Yum! I’m hoping I can make it two days straight with $0.00 spent.

Spent: $0.00

Total Remaining: $165.88

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Neely
    May 1, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I need to do something like this

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      You should give it a shot some time! It’s been very eye opening.

  • Reply
    Heather @ From Here to There
    May 1, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I love this idea! I think I’m going to do that next month! :) You’re not doing so bad right now! Good luck with the rest of the month! I’m going to get to the drawing board and see what my no-spend budget should be!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks, Heather! I don’t feel like I’ve been terribly successful, but I know I’m avoiding urges to spend left and right so hopefully I see the difference in my bank account at the end of the month!

  • Reply
    Breenah
    May 1, 2013 at 7:34 am

    You’re doing really good! We do a pretty good job not buying too many extras, but my husband is ADDICTED to fast food. I swear. Usually what stops me from buying randoms is whether it’s worth getting Quinn in and out of the car a million times.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Thanks, Breenah! Getting a kid in and out of a car is definitely a deterrent!

  • Reply
    krystal
    May 1, 2013 at 7:54 am

    What a great idea. I will have to try to get my husband on board next month for this.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      You should, Krystal! It’s been a great (albeit difficult) experience so far.

  • Reply
    Ruthy
    May 1, 2013 at 8:06 am

    What’s your schedule? Lets go for a walk this week… That’s free!

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      This week doesn’t work for me, but next week should! I love this idea :).

  • Reply
    Preppy Pink Crocodile
    May 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Good luck on your no spend challenge. I’m here via the blog challenge hop. Visiting the fellow bloggers participating. Happy Wednesday!

    KK

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

  • Reply
    Tabitha
    May 1, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I’ve done 2 weeks without spending any extra money and it was very difficult! I would have a VERY hard time doing a full month. Good luck!
    New follower.
    mommydaddyandmason.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Brittany
      May 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      Gah! I hope I made it! Thanks for stopping by, Tabitha. :)

  • Reply
    nadinewouldsay
    May 1, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    GIRL! I’m proud of you.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      June 3, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Thanks, Nadine :).

  • Reply
    Deanna
    May 2, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Sounds like you are doing really well. Might I suggest that you call someone when you get lonely, as opposed to going out and spending money. Or get online on facebook or something where you can communicate with others. Or find a hobby that you can start, that doesn’t really cost money (or at least a minimal amount). Writing is pretty cheap, you could always try writing a fictional story, or something else that is cheap but requires creativity, and can be used for socializing (example: writers groups, crochet meetings).

    • Reply
      Brittany
      June 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Thanks, Deanna! I definitely applied some of these tips :).

  • Reply
    Paragon2Pieces
    May 3, 2013 at 5:40 am

    one week down! well done :) one of the best parts of being on a strict budget is that, over time, you learn a lot about what you really need. you’ll miss some things, but not others.

    one idea that might be great for your budget and exploring your new city is starting a “hike club”. years ago, a friend did this when he was trying to change his lifestyle (lots of late nights, partying, and junk food). he replaced late nights at the bars with early morning hikes with friends (for him, it seemed like being around friends was also key). especially at this time of year in the PNW, this could be a lot of fun.

    • Reply
      Brittany
      June 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

      You’re totally right. There were some things I totally didn’t miss last month.

  • Reply
    Good Blog Reads | Growing & Changing Through Christ
    May 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

    […] Then Brittany, a dear twitter friend is embarking on a crazy journey that I believe could get us all to thinking.  No Spend Month.  A total month of no spending!!  And a look at her first update. […]

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