No Spend Month – March

Another month, another attempt to save money.

The Challenge:

Limit my expenses in March – including tithe, dog-sitting, and food – to what I make in one paycheck: just over $600.00*.

My first March payday was yesterday. There are 3 paydays in March, so I have 3 tithes to pay, my monthly missions giving, Nina’s dog-sitting fee, and the remaining charges on my credit card. My rent is caught up and ahead, which is a nice boost to savings, and the chickens and my dog are stocked up on feed, so I won’t have to run out and throw $30-odd at a bag of food in the middle of the month.

Even so, this leaves me with…very limited funds for food. Builds character, right?

The Incentive:

$15 to spend on books at the end of the month. Thanks to Amazon Prime (through Mom’s account) and inexpensive used books, I could get three or four books out of this.

The Rules:

  1. No spending unless it’s in the budget.
  2. No grocery shopping without a list and meal plan.
  3. No eating out.
  4. Limit amount of non-essential travel in my car, to conserve gas.
  5. Keep meticulous record of my cash flow throughout the month.
  6. If an emergency crops up, I can use my credit card, but it must be an emergency. If I keep that emergency spending below $75, I can still count this No Spend Month a success.

The Goal:

  • To rebuild my emergency funds.
  • To put away some money for a new vehicle.
  • To practice good meal prep habits.
  • To get back on track with my spending and learn to better manage my money.
  • To prove to myself that I can in fact survive on less than I make.

The Numbers:

31 days

$124.00 for food and fuel**

*cracks knuckles* I got this. Piece of cake.


* A paltry income, I know, but I do all right – or I would, if I could manage my spending a little better. I work for a non-profit, though. It would bother me more if I didn’t generally like my job. However, with my one-year review, I may be looking at a raise.

** I would have had more to spend on food, but I’ve been struggling to catch up with my credit card payments. I’ve been just slightly behind for the last couple of months. Now I’m officially on track again!




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