No Spend July

Normal is broke. Be weird.
                           - Dave Ramsey

This summer, life has slowed down enough for me to concentrate on some lost priorities - frugality and good stewardship at the top of the list.

Since Caroline was born almost two years ago, I have been on a frugality sabbatical of sorts. We still budgeted and saved, but the priority was to make the house run smoothly and with minimal unnecessary stress.

If I needed something, I bought it/ ordered it. I stopped keeping close tabs on our grocery budget. I didn't worry much with how much we spent on birthdays or Christmas. We just lived and spent, not crazily, but loosely enough that I think it's time to dial it back and re-master some good ol' money habits - pay yourself first, save, live below your means, budget, use what you have, give generously!

The next era is on the horizon, and I'm feeling the need to flex my frugality muscles.

We have four kids to put through private school - and college! Then there's their looming orthodontic needs, cars, insurance, cell phones, etc. Also, we want to pay cash for some home renovations, replace cars, and really get the ball rolling with retirement. Our financial future is going to require planning and discipline if we want to reach our goal!

The ultimate goal is PEACE and not a dollar amount.


To challenge myself as the primary shopper and spender for the family, I'm making July a no spend month. I've always wanted to do one of these!

The purpose is two fold. Of course I want to save some money and relearn some old frugality skills. But even more so I would like to untangle my heart from the love of money and stuff.

Even though I'm constantly decluttering and getting rid of stuff, I'm still compelled to buy new and nicer stuff even if I don't need it. And even if I'm not buying it, I'm sure spending a lot of time gushing over it online.

So, I thought it would be fun to share what I learn this month on SWM and keep all my posts money themed. I want to share the process of gaining a more frugal mindset. Also, the public accountability will help me stay on track!

I don't have any super specific rules except - don't buy anything. And anything includes entertainment. Of course, we will buy food. And if something vital like our coffee pot breaks, we will replace it.

Also, I have a hair appointment that I'm going to keep, some credit at Gap, and some gift cards to a couple of restaurants. Stephen and I might have night out because it's summer and I'm with kids 24/7.

I'm allowing for a little fun so we wont snap. My intent is not to be miserly, but to be calculated.

Thoughts? Questions? Have you ever done a no spend month?

I would love for this to be an interactive series, so please jump in and share!


  1. Will definitely be following these posts!

    1. Mallory--Pickering is my maiden name.. i bet we are related somehow :)

  2. Love these posts! My biggest challenges are groceries and clothing. They are the areas of our budget that I'm consistently over. I do have plenty of no-spend months when it comes to clothes because I'm not a lover of shopping and try to keep it to two big hauls a year--fall/winter and spring/summer, but those two hauls take up our whole clothing budget for the year, and then some. Looking forward to following along!

  3. My weaknesses are house things. Things to organize better or replace or improve. But you're right....easy to lose focus even with good intentions. I had heel surgery this summer and guess who couldn't go anywhere and buy anything? So ive made interesting observations abt my buying habits b/c of my forced respit.

  4. So pretty much what you're saying is.... no trips to Target.
    HAA.. just kidding. Referring to myself here. I have to stay away!!!!!!

  5. I can't wait for these posts! I hate getting by each month but with nothing left to save. Costco takes a big chunk of my grocery money, so I need to start being missional when I go there. Stay the course and no $15 container of mixed nuts.

  6. I love the sentence, "The goal is peace - not a dollar amount."

  7. I've found that avoiding Target as well as not allowing myself to browse for "stuff" on the internet is a huge help.
    I've switched my focus such that we only spend on things we truly need or things that are very important to us (like stewardship and travel) It's become easy for me to pass many things by and keep my wallet closed.

    Kim from Philadelphia

  8. This is so me! Exactly a month ago I had to take a hard look at our finances - I am the owner of the grocery shopper/bill payer/make the house run smoothly position in our family - and since the twins were born 19 months ago, we haven't gone crazy or anything with the spending, but I haven't paid real attention to anything either. It's been in the name of surviving and figuring out our new "normal" and how much things are going to cost by adding two more little folks to the crew. BUT we have all the same goals as y'all - private school, college, cars, WEDDINGS (gah!!!), home renovations, etc...and I have been working really hard to prioritize and truly stick to the budget this past month. I can't wait to see how your month goes! I've already had to sacrifice some stuff that is "normal" for us, but in this season of life I can't justify as truly being a "necessity"....and I'm having to get okay with that :)

  9. My husband and I just started using the "Good Budget" app. It's a game changer!

  10. Good for you! I love it when you get that determined look and set goals - I always learn something from you.

    I will be following along with interest. I always took people's "no-spend" months so literally and wondered how on earth they do that - yours makes sense.


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