The Year of No Spending, Round Two

If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you’ll remember that in August we started a project called “The Year of No Spending”. To put it simply, we weren’t allowed to buy anything other than a handful of pre-approved things (read the previous rules here). We were successful for a couple months, but then things got complicated.

The rules were so strict they did not allow for us to live the type of lifestyle that feels best for US. We’re all about essentialism (a life filled with only the things that bring joy) and it was just way to much about minimalism (only what you absolutely need). It wasn’t sustainable for us, and we couldn’t maintain it. If we did something against the list of what we “should” be doing, there was a lot of shame around it (feeling like a failure, no self control, etc.) It defeated the purpose of why we were doing the project: to feel empowered. So we just gave up.

Now, we’ve gotten a little too comfortable spending money when it’s the easy way out. We’re eating out more often than we should be because we’re not getting food prep done (although a huge part of that has to do with my depression). Same with buying fun little things, like magazines and coffee frequently. So we’ve decided we’re going to try this project again, just with some new rules. They’re a little more flexible than last time around, allowing for the things that make us happy while also helping us save money (for the things that really, really matter to us – like travel!). Also, I’m calling them guidelines, not rules. Because LIFE HAPPENS, it’s short, and I damn well want to enjoy it when I can.

The Guidelines


  • Keep groceries around $150/week
  • One meal out per month for date night (unless traveling – then enjoy the local eats!)
  • One Phil & Seb breakfast sandwich a week (because they make me really, really happy)
  • Coffee out twice a week
  • $25 gift card for the month to a coffee shop for Britt to work out of the house

Self Care

  • $75 for herbs & supplements a month (leftover goes into savings for the next month)
  • Counselling, osteopath, therapies, etc. as needed/can be afforded
  • Twice monthly mountain road trips

Clothing & Grooming

  • Britt: One or two clothing pieces & one accessory per month (as needed while elevating wardrobe; won’t be every month, plus trying clothing is literally my job)
  • Isaac: One clothing piece per month & soccer cleats
  • Both: grooming products only as replenishment

Home Goods

  • Lamp for living room
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Replacements for anything that breaks
  • Candles from small businesses
  • Plants once a season

To Avoid

  • No Magazines
  • No Alcohol
  • No new house things
  • No drinks or nights out (except for one date night/month)
  • No ziplock bags or plastic wrap
  • No unnecessary makeup (basically anything other than replenishing what I already have)
  • No tv, music or movies (streaming is allowed)

Now, I have a challenge for you – who wants to try this with me? It can be for a month, two months, or the whole year? I’ll be posting monthly updates, and would love hear how the challenge is going for you! You can either share with us in the comments, or on instagram using #FLNoSpending. This for this month I’d love to know – which of these guidelines are you going to try and incorporate into your own life?

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