It’s official — October is over! Which also means that No Spend Month is OVER. {can we get all the praise hands?! haha} And good news: we all survived. Even better news: I finally got the leopard coat I’ve been eyeing for 22 days! {I promise no spend month did teach me a few lessons though!}

why we decided on No Spend October.

If you read my post at the beginning of October, you know that we went from two incomes to one after Adelaide was born. Unfortunately for our bank account, we were still living as if we had two incomes. So after tracking our spending on Mint for a couple months, we decided to try a month of zero spending. We knew it would be difficult, but the hope was that at the end of the month we would have broken our bad habits of frivolous spending.

the results.

I’ve got to be honest, I was not good at not spending money. But I was also pretty determined to stick to the rules — which was surprisingly much easier at the beginning of the month.

Early in October, with the rules still fresh in our minds, we cooked at home more often, while sticking to our grocery budget. We shopped our closets instead of online or in stores. And we hosted happy hours on our patio {BYOB style}.

Halfway through the month, we had already indulged in two of our “special dinners” when our balloon release for our miscarriage came along — and we treated ourselves to a more expensive dinner after this emotional evening. Then the dreaded flu came over me, which meant mama was not cooking; and there went two other meals out. Then there was the wedding that temps dropped 30 degrees a couple days before — so a new sweater was in order. Adelaide also ended up with a few new pairs of pajamas after the temps dropped.

Overall, I’d say we did pretty well. Our credit card bill would definitely agree. I will say that spending is a much more slippery slope than I think we realized. It was pretty amazing how once we “treated ourselves” a couple of times, the treats seemed to come more easily. We had to be very conscious at all times of keeping ourselves in check.

our plan now.

As crazy as it sounds, we’re going to attempt to stick to a “spend small policy”. For us, this approach seems to keep us in check more than anything else we’ve tried. What does small spend mean? We’re giving up our credit card points and living off debit only in order to keep smaller limits on ourselves. Once we feel like we’re in a new habit, we may pick the credit cards again — or we may not.

So tell me, how do you budget? Have you ever tried a no spend month?

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