Hey folks! Transparency Disclosure- Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. That means I’ll receive a small commission if you decide to click on it and buy something. Don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything extra!
Wow, I had no idea that so many people would be interested in the idea of a no spend year! Because the post garnered so much interest (even a Rockstar Finance Feature!), I decided to write monthly updates to let you know how we are doing. Here’s what our no spend January looked like!
No Spend January
I think two words really sum up our experience with a no spend January: Failed It! January was a rough month, and we spent way too much money. I think trying a no spend month in the middle of a huge move and renovation was a little ambitious, but we are going to keep trying for the rest of the year. Here’s how we messed up our no spend January:
First, we had a medical emergency for our cat that we were not prepared for. There were gobs of blood in her stool. That’s not something that I’m just going to let go, so off to the vet we went! Nearly $800 later, we discovered that there was nothing seriously wrong with her. The vet ran all of the tests, and decided that the blood was caused by either parasites or stress. He sent us off with de-wormer for both her and our other cat, and we haven’t seen any blood since.
Though I wasn’t ready to spend eight hundred dollars at the vet, it’s something I’d do again in a heartbeat. My cats are a part of the family, and I’ll always prioritize their proper care, even if it gets expensive.
Our biggest failure in January was eating out. I know I said that I wanted to limit my eating out to twice a month, but that just wasn’t feasible this month. We moved into the new house, but our kitchen isn’t ready for cooking. We didn’t even have a microwave for the first week! I still need to clean the fridge and a few more of the cabinets before I feel comfortable storing food, and I need to get my pots and pans before I’ll actually be able to cook anything. Those were supposed to come a week ago, but the POD was delayed due to weather. Moving is fun isn’t it?
We bought our N64 system this January! It was a great way to combat the cold weather. The BF also got one of the games he’s allowed to get this year (Goldeneye for N64). These aren’t failures because we specifically budgeted for them in our no spend year.
Our biggest expense in January was our DIY and renovation stuff. We knew we would be spending a lot of money on these projects, especially when we first moved into the house (hence the need for a no spend year!). We spent about three thousand dollars at Lowes during our first weekend, but we got pretty much everything that we will need for the first stages of renovation.
Our mess up on the renovation side was thinking that we could install the floor ourselves. As it turns out, we could not (Youtube video coming soon!). We ended up paying a contractor a little over a thousand dollars to complete floor after we failed at it (and it took him over four days! Clearly, we were in over our heads). The materials were budgeted for, but the contractor was not. However, we think it was worthwhile to ensure that the living room floors were done correctly.
No Spend January Summarized
Clearly, we didn’t do as well as we would’ve liked in January, but I do think that the biggest fail here was eating out. My goal next weekend is to get the kitchen in a usable condition so that we won’t have to resort to either eating out or suffering through yet another microwave meal (those are good every now and then, but horrible for every night). Once the kitchen is usable, we will be cooking healthy delicious food on a far more regular basis!
How do you think we fared in our no spend January? We know we sucked, but some positive reinforcement would be nice!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.