Introducing: The January Spending Strike!

Has holiday spending got you a little anxious? What about when you peek at your bank account online - does that get you a little worked up?

You're not alone. In fact, this time of year a lot of us get super stressed about money. Myself included. Between buying gifts, cooking holiday dinners or potluck goodies, and travel expenses, this time of year is especially draining from a financial standpoint.

That's why my friend Michelle and I have decided to do a radical experiment for the entire month of January - for 31 days - that will challenge us to rethink the way we spend. This experiment is based off of Sarah Baker's book, The Spending Strike.


Sound familiar? It should.

I've done a half-assed spending strike before {read about it here and here and here}, with really amazing results. I'm pretty excited to see how a real, month-long spending strike will change our consumption habits, and our perspective for budgeting.

Baby, we've got 31 days of this.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Each day I will briefly share the events of my day that dealt with finances. Perhaps I beat my craving for peanut M&M's mid-day, and saved myself $1.89? Or, I'll tell you how I managed to hang out with my girlfriends after work, but not hang my spending strike out to dry. But, one thing's for sure: I'll need your support each and every day. I'll need advice and tips. I'll need to know you have my back!
  • Sarah, our fabulous author, has agreed to guest post I throughout the month! She'll be sharing tips and stories from her own spending strike, as well as answering our specific questions. How often do you get personal, real-life advice from the author? Exactly. This is a kick ass opportunity. 
  • Of course, I have to pay my bills, I need to buy food, and gas for my car is essential. I've allotted myself a very strict amount of money and set up some tight rules to follow, as recommended by Sarah in The Spending Strike
  • Each day I will tell you how much I spent (which should be "$0.00", right?!), how much I saved (which is how much I could have spent, if it were a 'normal' day), and running totals for each of these categories to-date. 
  • I will share how John and I manage to go to Mexico and not spend any additional money. We paid for the trip over the summer, and are excited to celebrate my sister-in-law's 50th birthday. There's no way we are going to miss this trip, so we'll just have to make this strike work for us. This includes a lot of crazy preparation and planning to ensure we don't spend a single dime while we're gone!
  • However, just like workouts at the gym, to get results it's better to have a buddy along for the ride. I'm proud to say that I am partnering with Michelle at Simplify, Live, Love, who has also pledged to spend no money in the month of January! Additionally, Ally from Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats will also add perspective to this challenge throughout the month via guest posts about her family's path to financial freedom.

Want to join us?


Michelle and I are go-getters, and we don't just want to share our spending strike with you. We want YOU to join us and go on a spending strike, too! That's why we've made it easy for you to join right now, starting TODAY:

1. Join us every Friday for a link up. If you have a blog, you can write a post that updates us on your progress and share it with the rest of the 'strikers' on our weekly link up party. If you don't have a blog, no worries! Just leave a comment at the bottom of the link up on either of our blogs with your progress. We promise to read every post and comment!

2. Like our Facebook pages - we'll be posting questions, tips, and advice that will extend our conversations!

Michelle's Facebook Page
Our Facebook Page

3. Get Sarah's book, The Spending Strike. I recommend getting the e-book; I just downloaded it right to my iPad. The book, obviously, gives you everything you need to know about a spending strike of your own, and it chronicles the Baker family's experiences on a strike. There is also a workbook that goes along with the text, which is a great resource if you want to really hold yourself accountable. If you have a family, you'll especially want to read her book!


So, are you going to join us for a 31-day no spending challenge? Do you have the guts? Leave a comment and make a commitment to not spend anything for 31 days!


20 comments:

  1. This is fantastic! I'm not sure I can do it, but I'm going to discuss it with my husband tonight. I can't wait to follow your progress with this, because you are so much more resourceful than I am! Good luck!

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    1. Woo hoo, Jenni! Talk it over and see how you can customize this strike for your lifestyle. That's the best part about it - - you can do what fits your family and set rules you can live with. For me, I'm striving for NO SPENDING whatsoever. Eeeek!

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  2. So excited to be a part of this! (in a small way - via giving our story) I really think a LOT of people will learn from this!

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    1. I'm looking forward to the 'community' we'll build! We all know I'll need the support, that's for sure... :)

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  3. I would love to, we need to, but not sure we are strong enough... Definitely going to follow along though!!

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    1. We'd love to have you on this adventure with us in either capacity! WOO HOO!

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  4. Dont really see how this is going to work but im very excited for your results as our account is on life support at the moment.

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    1. I hope we can convince you (and ourselves!) as the strike progresses! Thanks for following along :)

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  5. I'm most curious about your vacation! :-) And I'm excited to join you - with my own rules, of course... ;-)

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    1. EEEEEKKKK! That vacation is going to be very interesting, Michelle!

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  6. Very interesting! I've had Sarah's book on my to-read list for several months now, just finally purchased it and will dive right in as soon as I'm done with my current book. I had a thought to do an eat from the pantry challenge in Jan, and try not to spend any money on groceries. Well besides milk, eggs and produce. But now you've got me intrigued! I think I'll see what the hubby thinks and maybe we'll be joining you after all!

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    1. Oh, Steph! You should give it a shot! We want as many people from as many different perspectives along on this adventure :) If anything, read the book and give us tips as we go. I'll need that as a refresher, I'm sure!

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  7. Love this! I'll be following, let me tell you....

    For some people, saving money is painful....but for me, it's almost a sport. I think I got that from my Mom and Grandmother, who just knew the value of a dollar. They were always generous with others (as I hope I am, too), but never, ever wasteful. I've followed their lead.

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    1. Thanks, Wini! Don't forget to share some of their wisdom with me!

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  8. My partner and I are going on a 6 month spending strike to save up for putting windows in our house in the summer and well as a trip that I have planned to go visit family in the summer as well. I will follow with you and take tips that I an use to help us along the way.

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    1. Are you starting your strike in January? :) We'd love to have you join us!

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    2. Yes we are starting in January, this is going to be a really good way to get a kick start in the spend nothing mindset and help along the rest of the way.

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  9. We are on board! I'm excited to try this! My husband only works one day a week other than during tax season so after April, our income starts to dwindle a lot. I think that by avoiding the SPEND ALL THE MONEY mentality as soon as we start seeing an income again will help put us in a better position by this time next year!

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  10. This is very doable. I have been on a forced spending 'strike' for almost half a year. I simply didnt have any money to spend, apart from a minimal amount for food and petrol. Sometimes I went an entire month without spending anything (not even food money).
    Don't feel sorry for us: We never went hungry. We became very creative (especially when it came to birthday gifts) and now that we do have a little extra here and there we enjoy it even more to stretch it as far as we can.
    It will be very interesting to see how you will do.

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  11. oh man. I thought about doing this. I really did. But I'm not sure I can.

    I did a $25/week food budget a couple of years ago during lent. It was an amazing experience!

    http://www.onthebanksofsquawcreek.com/2013/11/foodthanks-reflections-on-giving-up.html

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