The Number One Question Most Asked After a No Spend Challenge Month

At the beginning of the year, I decided to really focus on sharing some of my most practical money-saving tips with all of you. I started making up fun little names for each month {Jumpstart January, Frugal February, Money Making March, etc...} and each month I focused on small challenges that could add up to big change. As part of our Frugal February, the challenge month focused heavily on a no-spend challenge. Don't know what a no-spend challenge is, start here. Now that we've turned the page on the calendar and moved to the next monthly challenge {Money Making March is probably my favorite challenge month so far!}, I'm still getting this question about our challenge last month. I'm going to answer it and share all my insights from my experience. Any guesses what question people are always asking? Read on!


The Most Asked Question After a No Spend Challenge Month

no spend questions answered

What is a no-spend challenge? 

A no-spend month is a month-long commitment to only spend money on the necessities. It's often a temporary challenge that helps you reexamine your spending and reevaluate those purchases that have crept into your spending that are wants not needs.

A no-spend challenge gives you the opportunity to see those areas that you are overspending on and the choices you are making to create unnecessary spending. It helps us to reexamine our impulse purchases and really become intentional in our budgeting. 

Can a no-spend month really help you change your spending habits?

I think so! 

I encourage you to take a full month to look at your spending habits, to push pause on purchases, and to change some of those bad habits you've fallen into.

A no-spend challenge isn't just for deferring spending!

This leads me to THE MOST asked question after a no-spend challenge month.

Do You Spend More Money After a No Spend Challenge Month?


The short answer is no.

But you don't think I'd just leave you with a short answer now did you?

Something I learned from taking the no spend challenge again this year {this is my second year taking the monthly challenge}, is that in order for me to be more successful personally, I need to combine a no-spend challenge with a pantry challenge. 

Read about the results from my first no-spend challenge here

What About Restocking Items You Used Up?

Let's be honest, we all probably have more overstock than we need. My husband just informed me yesterday that we have three Costco boxes of trash bags. Three. They have 200 trash bags in each box and even if we used one trash bag daily {narrator: we do not}, we still wouldn't run out of trash bags before Halloween 2022. 

A grocery stockpiling guide: How and When to Save

I'm a deal shopper. I buy when I see a deal and sometimes {ok lots of times} I buy more than we need. This is why a pantry challenge is good for me. 

Want to know more about a pantry challenge?

Remember, at the heart of a no-spend challenge, you are just pushing pause on unnecessary spending. This means, planning on eating at home instead of eating out, making note of the items on your grocery list that aren't necessary {we need water, we do not need LaCroix water}, and holding off on any purchases to really decide if they are necessities.

Wants and Needs: How to Balance Both in your Budget

We live fairly frugally, but we live well. Most of our clothing is bought used, but we are still wearing the latest trends and dressed in things we feel comfortable in. We prioritize spending on experiences and less on stuff. If we need something, we have the money to buy it. 

We don't take part in a no-spend challenge because we can't pay the rent. I do it to make sure we are in the best financial spending shape we can be in.

Not going to lie, I ended my first no-spend challenge last year on March 1, 2020 and we all know that the world basically imploded then. I had made a goal of using up items in my pantry, staple items, and I was successful in that. 

My recap is really precious after my first experience because I was like "I'm going to stop stockpiling large quantities of stuff" and then the pandemic hit and I couldn't find toilet paper, flour, or yeast. 

All this to say, after my first no-spend challenge month {pre-pandemic and all}, I learned that there are certain things I'm ok living without a stockpile of and certain things I'm not. 

Taking part in these kinds of challenges helps to bring these spending habits to the surface. 

no spend challenge quote

A No-Spend Challenge isn't Deferred Spending

The goal after a no-spend challenge isn't about you going hog wild after it's all over. For me, it makes me more conscious of my pitfalls.

We often eat all our meals at home. My husband happily brings his lunch to work. But for some, eating out is their only social interaction with friends or family. 

Some people have spending pitfalls on cosmetics or clothing, some on books or entertainment. A no-spend challenge is made to help you examine these pitfalls in your spending and either change your habits or budget for them.

I will admit, there were a few slip-ups I had in my most recent no-spend challenge month, but you know what, I found that even with those small slip-ups, the dollar savings still added up in the end. 

Did I buy anything after the no-spend challenge?


Last year my iron broke. I bought a replacement that was basically a fire hazard at an estate sale and when I went to use it last weekend it wouldn't get warm. I ended up using my Cricut EasyPress to iron some clothes I was pressing for consignment

I made my first purchase on Amazon in about 45 days. I replaced the iron that died on me at a cost of $25. 

Do I think I spend more money after a no-spend challenge month?


For some reason, people think for sure that after taking on a month-long no-spend challenge that all of a sudden you are going to go rogue and make up for lost time. I haven't found that this is true. But maybe I'm an exception.

Care to weigh in? I'd love to hear what your experience has been after a no-spend challenge has ended. Did you spend more the following month?

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