My plan for no spend July: Get 'er done!

June 26, 2017

Hello my friends! Our weather for the past few days has been GLORIOUS! I mean, just perfect. I'm sitting outside under our pergola writing to you right now. When it's like this I could spend the whole day outside. 

So in just a few days I will be embarking on yet another no spend month...if you're new around these parts you know I usually do this once a year. It helps with the budget but for me it's more about just clearing my mind and getting stuff done

I usually finish up projects that I have the supplies for, or fix little things I've been putting off. I also usually do some organizing and purging. At the end I feel lighter in more ways than one. So at the end of this week I'll be kicking it off again. Usually I do this in January -- that's a great time because I'm so overwhelmed with stuff from the holidays. It forces me to put the brakes on and simplify. 

I think I did it in the summer years back and I think that's a good time too. We're home and life slows (just a bit) so it's perfect. 

My no-spend months are pretty strict and this time I may not be quite at strict -- only because I may have to grab a few minor things from hardware store. Nothing major, I'm talking paint brushes or random little stuff like that. But NO spending on decor for sure. I have plenty. ;) 

Thus time I'm focusing on finishing up projects that I've let sit for a few months or even longer. Our stairs don't look like this right now:
How to remove carpet and stain stairs

We had them sanded down for me to restain last month...I thought I was going to work on it then but time got away from me. So they're still unfinished and I need to get that done. Big time. 

I took our cabinet doors down in the laundry and taped everything off to paint...and still haven't finished that: 
Laundry room with floating shelves

I adore our laundry room -- getting those painted is going to make such a difference in here. It's going to look so good! We've had unfinished cabinets hung for ummm...years? I also have a built in cabinet in the corner I've never shown you that I would like to trim out and paint as well. 

Our. nightstands. are. still. unpainted: 
Dark paneled accent wall behind bed

I know what I want to do with them...I just need to do it. Squirrel!!

I've also made a loooong list of little things for each room that I've been meaning to tackle forever -- like filling anchor holes in the walls, touching up paint, filling holes in trim from when I installed it. Just a long list of teensy little things that add up over time, you know? 

It's so nice to look back at the end of the month at what I am able to accomplish. By the not a sloth this summer like usual! Virtual high five please. I've been working my tail off on the bathroom reno and I hope to share that next week. 

Some of my favorite projects in our house have been completed during no spend months...that's the thing -- I'm all about completing during those weeks. I had the paint for our master bedroom but because the walls were so tall I never finished it up till my no spend month one year:
Light gray walls in master bedroom

That was such a big transformation!! 

I tend to install things and then not paint them. I guess I get tired? 😂 (See the laundry room above for reference.) I finished painting the window trim in our library one year and called that room done: 
Dining room turned library

Often I'll have something that needs to be installed and a no-spend month is a good time to get it done. I had the "command center" hardware for our mud room forever and finally got it up: 
White beadboard, black door

You can see more of that mud room makeover here! Oh, and I always have my black paint on hand so you never know when another door will go black. ;) 

I have a huge spray paint stash so I finished up our basement bathroom by painting a mirror and adding the finishing touches one year: 
Pretty green and blue bathroom design

And sometimes I'll find free ways to decorate, including these free printables I found for our gallery wall
free gallery wall botanical printables

Sometimes it's about getting creative to get a job done, sometimes it's just getting the job done. ;) But I always enjoy the NOT buying part and just clearing my mind and our house a bit.

I know many of you have tried incorporating a no-spend month into your family/household over the years as well. If you haven't I think you'd be surprised at how good it feels! But I AM always ready for a trip to HomeGoods at the end. ;)

Let me know if you have any questions about these projects! As always, you can see a list of my favorite projects and paint colors in our home here.

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  1. This is such a great idea--I so need to do one of these :)

  2. I voted for your La-Z-Boy room everyday, faithfully. It was SO well done and I've never wanted to win a giveaway like I have this one. I'm keeping my fingers, toes and eyes crossed :) Do you know when they'll be announcing both winners?

    1. Thank you Mara!! They said they would announce in July, I'll have to check the date.

  3. I love this idea but I'm confused - do you just not buy any decor during the month, or not buy anything? Besides food/groceries maybe? What if you need random stuff like cleaning products, toilet paper, toothpaste, clothes or stuff for your kids etc? Do you really buy decor items every month?

    1. Little stuff here and there at Target or HomeGoods, sure. Not every month but some. No spend months I don't spend on makeup, any extras, wood or paint for projects, flowers or plants for outside, hardware, anything for house projects. Obviously you would make it work for your family.

  4. I have done no spend months. Great way to clear your pantry out as well. I try to only buy milk, bread, eggs and produce.

  5. That is a great idea...I spend all summer working on my house with help from my husband. I just went to HomeGoods as I was looking for a new shower curtain for a spare bathroom but couldn't find one I loved
    so it was probably the only time I walked out without buying anything!

  6. Boy, you hit it right on - there are so many little things that need to be done in my house - sometimes I'm overwhelmed by it. A no spend month is a fantastic idea! I'm designating July as that month and will first make a list of all these to-do's, which will probably overwhelm me and I'll need to go take a long nap before I get started. :-)

  7. Where do you buy these night stands in your bedroom? We need that as we have none

  8. I need to do this. I have a ton of really small things that I've been putting off. Like touching up painted cabinet scratches, caulking something. I just push them off. I know for sure I can't do it in July, because I have new shelving to style. Then in September, I'm supposed to be building new built ins. Then I like to get new fall/holiday decor. Maybe in January.

  9. I got tickled reading your list of items/projects that were left in a "not quite finished" state and have languished there.....waiting, hoping that you'll eventually come back to them, lol! I can relate so very, very much! I have come to the conclusion that this "90% syndrome" affects many creative and diy people. There's always a new and exciting idea that seizes our brains and we can't fight the pull so off we go to the next thing before we finish the current thing. Or we've gotten almost to the end of the current thing and are faced with the tedious, boring finish work and decide to take a break and do something else briefly. Then we just keep putting off that last 10% because.....other stuff. Or we run out of money, or time, or both. And by the time we have the money and/or the time, well..... other stuff. And, just in case you're wondering, I've just described my life as a creative DIYer!

    I'm not going to call mine a month of no spending but rather a month of finishing up!

  10. I start projects and seem to never get them finished. This would be a great idea. I chuckled when you said you made a long list of items that need to be done in each room. I just did this the other day.

    Pam at

  11. Okay... soooo, I totally get the 'squirrel' reference. Made me LOL. ;-) And, this is the first time I've seen your basement bathroom since following you. I have that same rug and color combination in my main bathroom (even the blue/green towels!). One exception is, my walls are a cream color (rental color). It actually looks REALLY pretty with the green, but the blue... not so much. I'm think of just going with the green... soon (but keeping the rug... I get lots of compliments on that rug). I need to do a no-spend month, too. I need to focus on getting one room done. I have everything for my bedroom, except the material for the bed skirt. I just need to do it. (Squirrel) Also, I have an IKEA Rasta that will be used in my bathroom that I have not put together yet, because I want to paint it FIRST. (Squirrel). Here's hoping the best for both of us this next month!

    1. I have the "squirrel!" problem too. Easily distracted doesn't BEGIN to describe me, lol!

  12. About three years ago you inspired me to have a no spend month once a year....I chose February because it has the least days! You have inspired me again, I am going to do a no spend July. I have so many projects to work on! Not being "allowed" to spend money is always a good way to motivate me to finish the projects I've already spent money on for the supplies. Thanks for beong an inspiration!


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