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The No Spend Challenge
Old 09-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #1
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The No Spend Challenge

Forget ice buckets. For LBYMs, this is the challenge to try.

The No Spend Challenge

What is the longest you have gone without spending any money (except for automated bill payments)? My longest no-spend was 7 days. The key to success was staying out of stores.

It's amazing the innovative meals you can come up with when you really explore what is in your freezer!
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:08 AM   #2
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I am trying to make an effort to spend "only" on every other day of the month.

I take care of my 93 YO Mom, who lives 6 miles from me in her own home...she still does everything but drive, so I go down there almost every day....

The problem arose with three different grocery stores, each offering something the other doesn't. So, that means a lot of different trips to the different stores...

Now, we try to go on Sunday and Wednesday ONLY. The Wednesday trip is Aldi or Walmart, the Sunday trip, the "local" store. One sells the Sunday paper, one sells decent meat, one has great buys on most stuff, and Walmart has Mom's prescriptions and the only cat food my cats will eat....

So, along with gasoline for the car, the store trips seem never ending!

My answer will therefore be, 10-15 days a month, spread out over every other day! (NOT including monthly "bills").

"Someday" I hope to have less "spending" days, but the trade off for that is something I would rather not think about.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:14 AM   #3
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I have spent money only one day per week for years. Due to bad weather or laziness this frequently telescopes to 8-14 days.

Many yrs ago in the Air Force I was stationed in Alaska 3 separate years. I probably spent money, usually buying something through a catalog or snacks at the B.X. , only a handful of times all year.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:17 AM   #4
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I have spent money only one day per week for years. Due to bad weather or laziness this frequently telescopes to 8-14 days.

Many yrs ago in the Air Force I was stationed in Alaska 3 separate years. I probably spent money, usually buying something through a catalog or snacks at the B.X. , only a handful of times all year.
How do you manage that? You must be very disciplined about grocery shopping. No such thing as "I just need a carton of milk". No, it's got to wait till Thursday!
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
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Never consciously chose this, but noticed a couple years ago that when we are at the cabin, we spend way less money, as "town" is a bit of a drive. I remember realizing and thinking we should spend even more time there, as we do save money!
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:29 AM   #6
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Yes, discipline is my middle name. If it's important. Otherwise I am sort of a self-indulgent slack-ass who sleeps till lunchtime on most days. . If I am short of something or want a jar of peanuts or a quart of milk......... I wait till g/d Monday and buy it on schedule.

I moved into this place 2 yrs ago. Nice, quiet, residential. But it's 3 miles or so to a Walmart and 6 miles to a regular supermarket. For ME that's a lot of driving just for something I can live without for a week.

Prior to 2 yrs ago I lived across the street from a Super Target store. A 90 second walk. So, I am too spoiled both in drive hassles and gasoline costs to pop off and drive 6 to 12 miles for a slim jim. My All Time Low gasoline expenditure was 2002 when I spent $23.10 on gas that yr.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:36 AM   #7
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I get $100 out of my account each week to spend on food, travel and entertainment. I usually spend money every other day and my weekly budget is working out like this

2 x $20 at the supermarket = $40
One afternoon out at the pub = $25
Food and drink bought while cycling = $15
Cinema = $20

I go for a 60 mile bike ride every other day and do all my shopping on my bike and travel into the city on the bus. I last filled my car with gas 2 months ago.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:38 AM   #8
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Probably not quite a week for me. I usually go square dancing on Mondays and Tuesdays but it is fairly common for me to not spend money on the other 5 days. If I did not go food shopping or do other errands on the other 5 days and did not go out for pizza, either, I very likely did not spend any money. If my dancing got canceled for any reason then the 5 days could get extended. In the winter, that happens with bad weather, also a good deterrent to going out and spending money..
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:47 AM   #9
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It's amazing the innovative meals you can come up with when you really explore what is in your freezer!
Yes indeed! This is the absolute middle of hurricane season in New Orleans so after reading your post, I photographed my freezer contents (below).

All joking aside, I do know what you mean, though. I had to do this immediately after my divorce because I literally had NO money other than the rent, and payday wasn't for a while. I think I went 2 weeks and I didn't eat much. Also, I think I have cut back like that a time or two since then when sick, injured, or dealing with similar issues.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:17 PM   #10
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What is the longest you have gone without spending any money (except for automated bill payments)?
My longest has to be in the several weeks range, although I am uncertain as to the exact length. In fairness, I have to admit that DW does almost all of the grocery shopping in our household. Otherwise I would have to shop at least weekly for fresh produce. The only thing that has prevented me from going for months, not weeks, without spending a dime is buying gas. Now that I'm retired, I no longer drive every day, but I sometimes have to fill up for other members of the household.

As far as truly discrectionary spending, I would rather have a root canal than go to a store to buy something I don't need.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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I have been trying to limit my spending since I retired but only because, now that I have time to dig into closets and drawers, I am appalled at the incredible amount of waste I see in my home and I have only myself to blame for this. I am finding things I purchased and forgot about. Then there are are things I am searching for but can't find, and I have purchased new items to replace them (I am really annoyed about 2 pairs of walking sandals that I wore last year that have disappeared, and so I bought a new pair at the beginning of the summer). I have taken 2 carloads of things to the thrift store and I have not even gotten into the garage yet.

I drive somewhere every day (gym, park, grocery, library, bank, post office, etc) so would only have to fill my car with gas about once a month as I am centrally located to everything. However if I am going a distance (by which I mean an hour's drive) I always start out with a full tank of gas so I fill it more often than monthly.

I am trying to use up what I have in my pantry and fridge too but I still can't seem to get away without visiting a grocery store 2-3 times a week and also the farmer's market at least every other week. I am spending less however than when I was working.

It would take enormous will power for me not to spend any money for 7 days but it would not involve any sacrifice on my part for sure. I might have to turn down lunch with friends, though, or some activity on the week-end.
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:36 PM   #12
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The No Spend Challenge

Interesting topic, I think the longest I've gone is 5 days. I need to go grocery shopping but am waiting for a house repair. I was going to order Chinese delivery, then I decided to make do with what I have on hand.

Brunch: cheese, crackers, Greek yogurt......
Dinner: Zataran's rice & beans, salmon (I'll pan sear then bake with the one onion I have left)
Dessert: orange (again 1 left)

I normally go to market 2-3 times a week for fruits & veggies. I too decrease my freezer content during July, Aug & Sept due to hurricane season.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #13
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Me once a week or less. However the mention of the word "shopping" at any time will find DW sitting in the Car saying "let's go"!
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #14
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I just returned from my Wednesday weekly grocery shopping. Spent $73 for the three of us, shouldn't need anything again until next Wednesday.

I don't anticipate spending any money in the interim.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:53 PM   #15
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I've gone for a couple of weeks and that was for food. There have been several times I've had to "live poor" and since I grew up that way it wasn't hard to do. Simply staying out of stores is the biggie. At the grocery if it wasn't on the list I didn't buy it. At least I never had to dumpster dive like some here so I guess I've been pretty well off.

The clothes I was wearing worked okay last year, they don't have holes in them (at least not in embarrassing spots) so they will work this year as well. That kind of thing.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:58 PM   #16
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I guess it's more the "don't pay anything out of pocket challenge" as your regular bills don't count, as well as using up items you already bought?

I go to a supermarket every day, there are several within walking distance from my house. I usually spend between $3 and $10 there.

Now I could go in every week and stock up but usually that'll just mean i'll throw away food, so it ends up costing me more

Besides, it's good walking exercise.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:03 PM   #17
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I go to a supermarket every day, there are several within walking distance from my house. I usually spend between $3 and $10 there.

[...]

Besides, it's good walking exercise.
I do the same.
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The No Spend Challenge
Old 09-10-2014, 04:53 PM   #18
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The No Spend Challenge

Those of you whose spouses do the grocery shopping have an unfair advantage! I could probably avoid spending any money for a month if someone else took care of that for me.

Today has been an expensive day, with a haircut, lunch at a restaurant with friends, and a trip to the Apple store for a cable. 😒
However, I have saved mega bucks by not having my hair colored for the past 3 months, and so far I don't look too bad!

One benefit if a No Spending day or period is that sometimes the "need" for the spending disappears during that time.


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Old 09-10-2014, 07:31 PM   #19
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We walk to the grocery store a few days a week. It is good exercise and we have to walk the dog anyway. I take an insulated bag and check out the meat. Usually they have ordered too much of one meat or another so I stock up on what ever is half price and chuck it in the chest freezer when we get home.

Today it was Chorizo so I have to figure out what to do with that. I'll make a breakfast scramble if nothing else comes to mind.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:42 PM   #20
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When I worked from my basement and DW did the grocery shopping, I'm sure there were spans of 10 or 12 days that I never left the house!

But I question how much money is really being saved; don't we simply build-up demand while we delay purchases?
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