The One-Month Spending Crash Diet

Be careful what you read in blogs. You just may end up with a hair-brained idea like this one.

My husband and I have declared November a no-spend month. Okay, so it’s not really a no spend month. It’s more like a month-long crash diet.

We have budgeted $400 for the month of November. That’s all we have to spend. This $400 has to cover everything that isn’t a monthly recurring bill.

What doesn’t count: utilities, student loan payment, monthly transfers into our emergency fund, 401k, and 529 plan. Baby formula is also exempt. The $400 must pay for everything else: food, gasoline, entertainment, clothes, parking, and anything else we would normally buy.



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10 Responses to The One-Month Spending Crash Diet

  1. Alain Theriault says:

    That’s good idea. This way if you succeed, you’ll wonder where did you spend the extra money. It’s probably not easy at first but it’s feasible.

    You’re also looking at it as a challenge which is a great motivator.

    Let us know how it went!

  2. Rachel says:

    Good luck Denise! I know this will be an eye-opener, because no matter how well you did before, you can always learn something new. You’ve got a great plan in place, and I hope it goes well!

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  4. Jo says:

    Good Luck with your challenge. This is an excellent idea and the experience will be a real eye opener.

  5. Alex says:

    Denise, I always enjoy your articles. Good luck to you with this challenge. I too have trimmed down my spending a LOT to the point that I hardly buy anything but necessities (and that definition has changed in the past year), eat out a LOT less, cook at home, take all my lunches to work, no more recreational window shopping. I LOVE my simpler, frugal life. I’ve never felt better. Am looking forward to hearing from you. Keep up the good work.

  6. No Black Friday shopping bonanza for you then! Though Cyber Monday is conveniently December 1st :)

    I’m curious where you came up with the $400 figure. It seems pretty drastic compared to your usual habits – I’d have been impressed to see you shoot for half! Should be interesting to see what grows out of your experiment.

  7. ray chaapel says:

    I wish you the best of luck. We have done that and now feel bad when we buy a Pizza once a month. Good luck to you. If you have fun like we did you will become obsessed.

  8. Carol says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your progress. My husband is taking a buyout at the end of November and neither one of us has any jobs lined up yet. I’m looking for any and all ideas to live on less.

  9. Gail says:

    Wishing you every success and remember that many people don’t even have that $400 for ‘spending money’ each month. I would think your circumstances for food needs and driving/parking for work would be your big variables. Even though I’m aware of the price of gas, which thankfully has gone down, since hubby is self employed here at home I tend to forget how much it costs just to drive to work and back. We are down to driving less than 4500 miles a year at this point. But regular driving into work and back could eat up a big chunk of that $400.

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