A Wrap-Up Of Spend No Money Week

by Katy on September 29, 2008 · 2 comments



As you may recall, I issued a Spend No Money Challenge for the week of September 22 – September 28. In stepping back from all purchases, this latest challenge would hopefully result in much more deliberation in how we spend our money.A little savings wouldn’t hurt either.

As The Non-Consumer Advocate, my goal is to be a completely conscious consumer. To not be blind to how and where our money is spent. This does not mean we are miserly and tightfisted. Quite the contrary. We enjoy meals out and evenings at the movies. We give to charities and enjoy entertaining. What we don’t do is buy expensive impulse items to keep up with the Joneses.

As I had written mid-week, I actually started the challenge two days early on the 20th. So by Wednesday, the bread box was bare and the husband was less than enthused. Our first purchase was for some milk, bread and a few other necessities. I could have started the week with a stockpile of groceries, but that kind of felt like cheating. Oh yeah . . . I also gassed up on Wednesday, as I felt it served no great purpose to have the car lose power while on my way home from work.

On Friday, (our last day of the spend no money challenge) my husband was going to be out by Costco, so he picked up some chicken, cheese and lunch meat. He bought nothing that was impulsive or pre-prepared. We’ve certainly had years when it was impossible to get out of a warehouse store for under a hundred bucks. Tools, clothes, snacks — it all adds up faster than you can say, “ten pound bag of cheese-doodles.”

There were definitely a few times I would have gone out and spent money and didn’t. I was really itching for a Trader Joe’s trip. I ran out of olive oil, and actually prepared a batch of hummus with melted butter. (Which I would suggest you put on your don’t-try-this-at-home list.) I was invited out to lunch a few times, and declined even when the invit-er offered to pay for the invit-ee.

Even though I was not able to get through the week without spending any money, I still feel we were successful with the challenge. The only things we bought were necessities. We all brown bagged our lunches, and ate in every night. There was no recreational shopping, and no spontaneous purchases.

I found it not at all difficult to keep away from non-food spending. I’ve already weaned myself off from this type of shopping/entertainment, so it was a non-issue.

We definitely did not keep up with the Joneses, but we did keep up with the Wolk-Stanleys.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

How did you do? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo September 29, 2008 at 3:45 am

But how do we keep up with the Wolk-Stanleys? I hosted a non-consumer 4 yo birthday party this weekend. All home cooked food, very delicious, with no food colouring. Pass-the-parcel with thrifted picture book prizes for each guest (thanks for the tip Katy). Bubble-blowing. Jumping on the trampoline. We stuck balloons to the ceiling with masking tape, and tied lovely long curling ribbons onto them, and they looked just like helium balloons. The small guests each took home a little plant in a ribbon decorated plastic pot. Plants self-sown from the garden, pots from the hundreds in the shed. All the children had a lovely time, with no food colouring high, and the parents all said how much they enjoyed a simple, old-fashioned party, and I felt so satisfied at having provided a cheap, joyous, environmentally reponsible party. Thanks for the inspiration Katy, and hey, let’s just wait for everyone else to keep up with us non-consumers.


Mrs Green September 30, 2008 at 12:18 am

Well done Katy; a successful week indeed. I really admire your challenge. I’m by no way frivolous, but I can be a bit spontaneous or thoughtless with my purchase – your challenge has certainly inspired me. Thank you!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: