A No Spend Work Week

My life of late has gotten a little bit fancy. It’s not out of control, but it’s not sustainable either. I recently heard the quote You can do/have anything you want. Just not everything you want. Recently I’ve really been going for everything. So in an effort to curb the spending and cut back on the everything so I can do anything, I tried one of those no spend work weeks that “everyone” keeps talking about. Here’s how it went:


Monday. Easy, for the mostpart. In the afternoon I needed a 10 minute break from my computer, so I left my office for a walk. Any other day I would have wandered to Tim Horton’s for a small coffee ($1.50), but not this day. I just walked around the block instead. Once I got back to my desk I realised I didn’t buy kale on my Sunday grocery shop. Considering I was planning a kale and brussel sprout salad for dinner, I kinda needed kale ($3). I texted Kurt and asked him to pick it up on way home. Problem solved.


Money saved: $4.50
Tuesday. I drive past a mall on my way to work, normally it’s fine. Today the sight of it reminded me of the sale on Birkenstocks ($49.95) I had seen last week, and the fact that I had a $10 mall gift card burning a hole in my wallet, for an even larger discount. But no. It’s a no spend week. And more importantly, do I even need another pair of sandals? When I got to work, my cowoker/friend Jojo hands be a beautiful pink blazer that she no longer wore and knew I liked. Yes! I noticed a small stain on the arm and thought about the 3 other items I need to take to the drycleaners ($40). But no. Drycleaning will have to wait. After work I met up with Katie for a walk. Let’s get frozen yogurt ($7) she said. No, I’m on a no spend work week I said. Ok, can I buy you frozen yogurt then? she said. Yup I said.
Money saved: $47
Spending postponed: $40
Wednesday. I really wish I had checked out my deodorant ($5) situation more thoroughly before starting this challenge.
Spending postponed: $5
Thursday. I stayed home from work with a cold, I didn’t want to leave my house. Not spending money was a piece of cake.
Friday. I still felt sick and tired and really didn’t want to go to my office, but I really had to. So I did. And on my way home I really wanted take-out ($8). So much so that I considered forgoing this whole challenge. I didn’t though. Then I got dressed and headed to a wedding that I had not yet purchased a gift for ($50).  But wait. My awesome friend Elexa and I had been asked to do a bit of helping out at the reception, so obviously we did. We also spent a lot of time sipping cider in the sun, were fed a a delicious meal, and had unfettered access to the desert platter and drinks. When I heard what the bride wanted to pay us for our maybe 2 hours of help I had to laugh. I would be the jerk friend of the universe if I even considered accepting. Take my service as a gift. Happy wedding Trish and John. 🙂
Money saved: $58
Total Spending postponed: $45
Total money saved: $109.50
How great is this? I saved $109 in 5 days just by being mindful of my spending, not purchasing things I didn’t need, not trying to have everything. 
I’ll definitely be doing this again.



4 thoughts on “A No Spend Work Week

  1. Story of my life! I budget everything for each paycheck but always go over, forgetting about all the little expenses (shampoo, $ for baby shower gift for coworker, work lunch out, bottle of wine to bring to dinner). It adds up! I feel like such a cheapskate when I say no to lunches and events. Being mindful is easy, but external factors can make it hard to follow through.

    • I know! That’s why I chose a work week where I had no evening social plans. It would be very hard to not spend on a weekend, and whenever there are plans in the evening expenses always find a way to pop up. Life is just so expensive. 🙂

  2. I love that you wrote about some of the thought processes you had during the week, like realizing you had a gift card in your wallet and probably thinking about the fact that buying the sandals would’ve cost you $10 less than the sale price. I’ve become crazy mindful of my thought processes around getting takeout coffee; it’s so simple but so fascinating, right now. It’s been 3 weeks so far and I haven’t given in… but that doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to. Anyway, sounds like you had a successful week!

    • Thanks Cait! It was definitely successful. Some weeks it just won’t be possible to do again (I don’t know how people do it for a month/year/beyond) but on the weeks that I think I can make it work, I’m definitely going to try!

      The thought processes around buying coffee would be so interesting…it’s not just a caffeine fix so much of the time.

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