Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 2012: Our No-Spend Month {The How and Why}

I think the lack of any sort of snow on the ground so far in Connecticut is really helping with my normal post-Christmas blues.  This January, I feel more hopeful and invigorated than I ever have before.  SUCH a nice change from how I usually feel this month. :)


Chris and I have some big financial goals this year.  One of them is to pay off a small-business loan he took out from his uncle in 2008 to start his home internet business (that unfortunately didn’t pan out for him as a full-time career but has since been acquired by another company and gives him side jobs working on the site).  The second goal is to pay off our credit card that we got in 2008 to help us live on so we could put money in the bank to save up while we purchased our house (don’t ask, it’s a long story!).  We haven’t used that card since 2009 and we are still, unfortunately, paying on it. 

The small-business loan, if we did not make extra payments, would be paid off in March 2013.  Our goal is to knock it out by June 1, 2012.  We can totally do that.  This will give us an extra $200 a month to work with.

A little more audacious is the credit card payment – but by paying off the business loan early, we can then make triple payments on the credit card.  Our big crazy goal is to pay THAT off by the end of the year – December 31, 2012, to be exact.  That will give us about $100 extra each month. 

And lucky, lucky us, when we pay of those two small loans, we will still have multiple school loans to keep paying on, plus our mortgage.  YAY!


Anyway, we are going into this thing with gusto!  Some of you may read the blog Small Notebook.  I have been inspired several times by Rachel’s “No Spend Months” – she has typically done them in July. 

We’re instituting one in our house for the month of January, and here’s what it’s going to look like:

- Continue to pay all bills (I hope that was obvious, but just in case…)

- Continue to give tithes (these are gifts to missionaries and our local church that we give out of our love for God; they are a non-negotiable “expense” in our house)

- Continue to take out weekly cash for groceries/household needs (like shampoo, diapers, etc.)

- Use of Christmas money and/or gift cards is allowed during this time, since it’s not coming out of our bank account (and this is also keeping me sane)

- There is absolutely no use of our bank account other than bills, gas, and the usual weekly cash deduction for groceries/household


In addition to what we’re NOT spending, my husband is putting an extra $100 for the next five months toward the business loan payment, and my goal for this month of January is to add an extra $200 on top of that – so that our payment for January can be $500 instead of the usual $200.  Last month we were able to put $600 toward this loan, so that really helped, too.

I am going to be adding this extra $200 via teaching my private piano lessons, my Wildtree business, and selling items via a local resale group I’m part of on Facebook.  I made $29 on that group a few days before New Year’s, so I only need $171 to meet my goal! 

I’m super excited to be rid of this business loan….the end is so close! I’ll be back with updates throughout the month to let you know how it’s going so far. 

All I have to say is, thank God I got two Starbucks cards for Christmas. ;)


What about you?  Have you ever done a no-spend month?  Is it something you would ever consider?


  1. Awesome goals!! I can second the blessing giftcards from Christmas are! :)

  2. Oh boy, this is something we need! Our bills are out of control, plus Christmas really did a number on us ... I am going to try to do this challenge this month too!

  3. this is hard. honestly, we try to live like this each month as much as possible. we're about to pay off some medical debt this month. hallelujah! best wishes for your goals... may the Lord provide for you like never before!

  4. This is awesome! The best part is you both are doing this together and that is half the battle. Godd luck, I'll be praying for you....I just thought we could do it to, but I've already spent money on clothes for the kids....jeans had holes in their knees!
    Maybe we could do it in Febuary and it only has 29 days in the month. Please keep us posted and yes thank goodness you have some gift cards from Christmas, good thinking :)

  5. I'm doing something similar this month too! Hoping you'll be blessed with contentment and pay all that stuff off soon!

  6. You can do this! No-spend months can be challenging, but it makes a huge difference. Here's to February! :)

  7. This is great! You can do this and I love that you and your husband have partnered together! Lovely for sure!

    Like you, I have declared 2012 the year I get out of debt. We can do this! :)

  8. January is going to be a no spend month for us too, I went crazy in December and blew my grocery budget and my husband got a bit swipe happy with his "work" credit card but on the up side the cupboards are stocked, I've made a meal plan that will last us the whole month, the only extras I will be buying at the grocery store are any "good sales", milk and any fresh fruit/veg. I'm keeping track of "good sales"by starting a price book (I only started it last night and have noticed what a difference this is going to make to our grocery budget already!) My husband is currently in Las Vegas on a bachelor party that was planned over a year ago but with all due respect to him he managed to save up to pay for this with money outside of our budget, it has actually opened our eyes to what we can save by selling items on ebay etc. I'm looking forward to taking this journey with you...goodluck!


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