The End of the One-Month Spending Crash-Diet

It’s over. We did it. We made it through No Spend Month, where we had only $400 to spend on gas, groceries, and entertainment, with money to spare. We spent $339.54.

The last week was both challenging and liberating.

We hosted Thanksgiving for the family, and we managed to buy the turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, and bake two apple pies without breaking the bank. We even made ice cream from scratch on Black Friday and had enough money left to go bowling.

Now that the challenge is winding down, we’ve had the chance to wax philosophical.

“I think it was really good to be reminded what it’s like to live without money,” the hubby said over coffee this morni


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10 Responses to The End of the One-Month Spending Crash-Diet

  1. Wow, you guys did really well. I’m not sure I could go a ‘No Spend Month’ yet though I have having more and more Zero Dollar Days than ever … I’m sure I’ll be able to make it to a month at some point.

  2. Debra says:

    Wow. This sounds just absolutely amazing. Aren’t you glad you did it after gas prices had fallen?

  3. DeniseT says:

    I won’t lie! Lower gas prices did help. But, we did have enough left over at the end of the month that we could have probably paid $3 a gallon and been OK.

    Andy, I didn’t think we could survive a no spend month, but we did. I think you will be better able to cope than you think!

  4. Pingback: A crash diet worth considering - Debt Reduction 101

  5. Michelle says:

    I think I’m going to have to try this in January … thanks for the awesome idea! You should also check out “Not Buying It” by Judith Levine. The author and her partner lived for an entire year without excess spending (except on a couple of occasions when temptation was too much …)

  6. Sounds like you made off pretty good! There’s plenty free entertainment to be had from the park, to the library, free sports areas, beaches, ect.

    And the gas prices getting lower are great for me. Cost $16 to fill my tank yesterday. : )

  7. Alex says:

    Congratulations, Denise! You are an inspiration!

  8. hbemis says:

    Did you save any money? At the end of the month did your savings account increase? If not, I see no point to this experiment. Of course you can save. Sure it can be tough, but if you just didn’t spend for not spendings sake, what’s the point? Silly.

  9. DeniseT says:


    To answer your question. Yes, we saved a bunch of money and it all went into our high-interest saving account. With the current economic turmoil, a boost to the emergency fund could do us all a bit of good.

  10. Gail says:

    Congratulations on a job well done, accomplishing your goal, learning some significant things and putting money in your savings as well.

    I would almost bet that if you tried this again with say $350 you could do it and find even more ways to save, as once you get a ball rolling it usually keeps going as long as you kick it every once and a while.

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