Zero Spending Challenge – Introduction

So…this is how it happened. I was on my way out of the house to meet a girlfriend for lunch at Panera, when my phone buzzed at me. I checked it (of course!) and saw it was a push notification from my bank telling me that my account was overdrawn. Now, I found this a bit surprising, since there had been plenty of money there an hour before and, well, I hadn’t actually SPENT ANYTHING since I was just leaving the house for the day. So I opened up the account and found, to my dismay, that someone had apparently gotten my debit card number and transferred all my money (plus some I didn’t have…hence the overdraft notice) out of my account. I was dismayed, horrified, and not a little bit angry. But I kept myself from falling apart (Not gonna lie…it was a close call!) and phoned the bank. The customer service rep went over the details and agreed it was fraudulent. Faster than you can say “Fraud Alert!” the wonderful people at Chase had credited back the balance, removed the overdraft fee, and blocked the card so the meanie who tried to steal my money couldn’t get anything else. Crisis averted, I went to lunch, met my girlfriend…and realized I was going to have to ask her to pay for lunch his time since suddenly I didn’t have a working debit card. Yikes! Without a debit card, how would I pay for anything?? How would I survive???? Honestly, I just don’t carry cash, so I had none on-hand, and here I was with no way to even go to the ATM. I really didn’t want to make the time and effort to go in to the bank to pull cash. So I talked to the hubby, and the Zero Spending Challenge was born.

Here’s how it’s going to work. The bank says it could take up to 10 days for me to get my new debit card. So for the next 10 days, I’m not going to spend anything. But like any good challenge, there are a couple exceptions, and here are mine:

  • Hubby has enough cash on hand right now for a full tank of gas, which we’ll need so we can get to work, so we’re allowed that purchase.
  • Bills still get paid. They all get paid online, anyway, and I’m not going to pay late fees because of this, so, yeah.

And that’s it. Other than those two exceptions, we’ll be spending no money at all for the next 10 days.

None. At. All.


On the bright side, I have a chest freezer that’s full of…I’m not even sure what. Seriously. What’s at the bottom of this thing? I should really be using up what I have, anyway. I have a moderately well stocked pantry and am perfectly capable of baking just about anything. True, I don’t have any milk, and that’s going to be rough. But I don’t have little ones at home, and hubby and I won’t die of malnutrition if we don’t have milk and fresh veggies every day…right?

I guess we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be posting the challenges, the triumphs, and what meals I manage to get on the table at zero charge. Feel free to follow along with me…just don’t judge too harshly if I serve mac and cheese for every meal! lol Here’s to frugality and making lemonade when life gives you lemons. Speaking of lemons, I actually do have some of those! Now I just get to decide how best to use them. What fun this will be!


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