No Spend January

Car troubles, French Consin, and the Grand Canyon. Find out how I decided to not let all these things set me back but instead helped me partake in a fun challenge instead!

So last month I did the no spend challenge in January. Why? Why not? I wanted to see if I could do it. Plus I had quite a bit of car trouble in December and my cousin came over from France. We toured around LA and went to the Grand Canyon which was 7 hours away. I ended up renting a car because mine was down and out. I also took unpaid days off to go on these adventures which cause my paycheck was a bit thin.

Here’s a little background information. I don’t currently have a side hustle. I only have one full time job, little savings and made a financial mistake at the start of the month. Also I use the Every Dollar for all my personal budgeting needs.

What is it?

The No Spend Challenge is when you don’t spend any money except on what you need; bills, rent, groceries, etc.

Okay let’s start number crunching:

My necessities:

  • Rent and utilities: $886.13
  • Giving: $150
  • Transportation (Gas and Buses): $157.70
  • Food (Groceries only): 73.56
  • Phone: $30
  • Apple Music: 9.99

What put me in the red:

  • Car Starter: $298.45
  • Mistake: $275.76
  • Amazon: $54.82
  • Kindle: $9.99

Okay now let’s talk about it.

Rent: is a necessity l so there’s no need to explain that. 

Giving: I always give because it blesses me more than anything. 

Transportation: My car was giving me issues so I had to take a bus to get around. In LA whenever you get on a bus or train the fee is $1.75. Of course you can get a day pass with unlimited rides for $7 but I found that to be a waste since it was only good for a day. Just putting money on the tap card works better for me because then I can use it whenever I feel like it rather than having it expire when the day is over.

Food: This is just from shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s a great place to shop. I’ve never spent more than $50 on each trip and I usually shop biweekly but it’s only for me. I should also mention that I had a roommate diner, brunch, leftovers from a party, and pizza from my manager. So I didn’t live off of my own groceries but I did have to shop the cupboards. I found pasta, chilli, soup, and waffles. It wasn’t as rough as it sounds. It was actually quite fun like a changelle. One of my goals was to not spend any money eating out. That was only annoying when I was craving something. Other than that it was pretty easy 🙂

Phone Bill: I have Boost Mobile. It comes with unlimited talk and text and 3GB of data. At home and work I have wifi so I never go over my data. I don’t notice much of a difference since I switched to this pla from my $100+ plan a couple years ago. I currently have the iPhone 8 with this carrier.

Apple Music: I tried to get rid of this once and realized that I’m too accustomed to always having it available. I’m using it as I type this post. Music makes me more productive.

Car Starter: Had to do it. I don’t work in my neighborhood. The commute is an hour and 30 minutes by bus and only 20 minutes by car nuff said.

Mistake: It was what I had to pay to undo what I did.

Amazon: This was a comfort item because I was stressing out. I got headphones, a case, and toothpaste. I have no regrets because I use them almost daily.

Kindle: They were having a deal for kindle unlimited last month, Only .99 cent to join. I forgot to cancel it but I’m already using it. I’ll probably cancel it in February. That means I’m gonna have to read all the books I got in a hurry, lol.

You can have fun on a budget

This changelle does not mean you have to stay home and have no fun. In January, I went to 3 parties, 2 get togethers, and attended 2 events. I didn’t have to send any money. I just showed up and spent time with others and helped clean up or set up.

Take aways

In conclusion, I ended up saving $232.27. I’m only about $126 in the red which I can dig myself out of in February. It was a fun and totally doable changelle. Now I just have to work on building up my savings. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been in the red so here is a post I wrote about staying focused and level headed. Also check out this Budgeting for beginners post by Ciera.


I hoped you learned something new, felt inspired, or just enjoyed reading my story. Lifestyle posts come out regularly. If you would like to know about my next post please subscribe below. Until next time!
– Olguine Brutus

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Published by Olguine Brutus

Just a girl and her yarn, going with God.

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