The Month of Financial Recovery and Wellness , part 1: No Spend July

One of my favorite financial blogs of all time is And Then We Saved.  Anna–who lives in Denver, making her that much more relatable and inspiring–paid off her debt by not spending any money on “wants” for a full year.  While I’m not ready to take the plunge for a year, I do like the idea of a No Spend month.  I did it last November and managed to save up quite a bit more than I expected I would.  As part of what is going to be a month of getting back on track financially and health and wellness-wise, I will be embarking on No Spend* July.

*Prepare yourself for lots of exceptions.

The Rules

    • Money can only be spent on Needs, and not Wants.
    • Needs include:
      • Mortgage
      • Car payment
      • Utilities
      • Cellphone
      • Internet
      • Groceries
      • Dog supplies (food, grooming, dental chews)
      • Chiropractor (I go once every 3 weeks as part of a treatment plan)
      • Acupuncture
      • Yoga membership
      • Gym membership
      • Doctor, meds, and supplements
      • Netflix (let’s be real…it’s absolutely necessary)
      • Mike Birbiglia tickets.  He’s coming to the Lincoln Center and they go on sale July 5.  He is my favorite comedian of all time and I reference his jokes at least once a day, so this is a NEED.
    • Groceries are a Need, but I can’t load them up with Wants, like $3.00 kombucha or whatever nonsense I always end up buying at Whole Foods.
    • I will do my best to use what we already own.
    • Pause unnecessary memberships (Audible and massage memberships are on hold until August)
    • Wants include
      • Clothing (TJ Maxx is basically off limits)
      • Shoes (so is JAX)
      • Records
      • Craft supplies
      • Eating at restaurants, coffee shops, fast food, etc.  The exception to this is using the BOGO Qdoba coupons that I bought for a fundraiser.  They expire in August.
      • Supporting fundraisers
      • Alcohol, unless Andy buys me a beer, it’s obtained on a brew tour or a steep discount, or I use my Fort Collins Passport.  The passport gets me BOGO drinks at 28 places for a mere $10 investment upfront, and expires in August.
      • Unnecessary driving expenses.  I will try to bike as many places as possible.
      • Work parking permit
      • Movies
      • Concert tickets

I am still planning on having plenty of fun in July.  The key will be free fun.  Any ideas for me?



3 thoughts on “The Month of Financial Recovery and Wellness , part 1: No Spend July

  1. Julia says:

    I love the idea of biking as a means of fun AND frugality. My goal is to start riding my bike to work at least 3 times a week.

  2. I think you should consider suspending the yoga and gym memberships for the month. Surely that’s something you don’t need to pay to do in front of other people… Surely you know what you need to do to stay fit and how to do it without a few machines.

    • I thought about it, and yoga in a class setting is way too important for me to completely give it up. I actually might suspend my CorePower membership to take advantage of introductory periods at other studios in town and try some other classes, but yoga is definitely a need for me. I go around 5 times a week at least and the class setting and variety of classes has made much more of an impact on my life than practicing at home ever did. I use my gym membership to go to hip hop classes twice a week and to use the sauna, which I can’t do at home. I have the student rate so it breaks down to a couple bucks a visit, and the drop-in price is around $12. I can live without massage and audio books for three months to save money, but it won’t do me any good mentally or physically to not have these memberships. Thanks for the suggestion though!

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