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Written By Colin Graves

I’m flexing my frugality muscle this month, and it’s got me feeling pretty pumped!  In fact, I think it’s starting to go to my head. For the uninitiated, I decided to kick off 2018 with a no-spend month.  For the second straight year, I’m not spending a dime on non-essential items during the month of January.

I’ve titled it my Month of Zero.

My first go around in 2017 was a success, but it never felt easy.  Last January, there were several days where I had to summon enough willpower not to make exceptions, or break the rules.  I’m an extremely frugal person by most people’s standards, but it was tough.  My weakest points came when I had to confront my routines.  For example, those moments when my norm was to break up a stressful day with a latte from the Starbucks by my office.

But somehow, I made it through to the end of the month. My first ever no-spend January was a success!  I developed some great habits in the process, and proceeded to take my frugality to higher level.

Apparently so.

Because this year feels a lot different.  Twenty two days in, I haven’t spent a penny, and I’ve given my Month of Zero almost no thought.  That’s right, I’m crushing my no-spend to the point where it’s getting boring.

There has been some planning required, and I have deferred a couple of small purchases, but otherwise, it’s been somewhat anti-climactic.

I was feeling so good about this the other day, that it occurred to me; if frugality was a muscle group, I’d probably be built like Ahnold.

Yes, I said it.

In fact, I may have also said it to Mrs. Mystery Money, and she may have laughed pretty hard.

(Not as hard as when I also let it slip this week that I asked for, and received, a Whitney Houston tape cassette for Christmas when I was 10).

She’s still chuckling about that one.


All joking aside, I would recommend a Month of Zero to anyone, even the most thrifty of people.  Not only does it tone your frugality muscle, it promotes self discipline, healthy eating, and good time management, all great habits. Not to mention that it’s a highly effective exercise in self gratification.

If you are interested in trying a no-spend of your own, whether it’s a week or a month, or longer,  Ahnold, er…I would love to hear about it!


If you’ve been following my journey to ‘climb down the corporate ladder’, I’ve got some exciting (blog related) news coming later this week!  I won’t spoil the surprise, but will say this.  If you are someone who wants to escape the 9-5, or you simply want to find a way to earn more money, this will be of interest to you.  So stay tuned, I’ll have more details in a few days!


Lastly, as always, I want to thank all of you, my readers, for being a part of this community.  Over the past few months, this site has experienced new levels of growth, and the momentum is very exciting.  I feel as though our journey together has just begun, and I’m very grateful for your support.  So I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.




  1. “And Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeyyyyyyyeeeeiiiiiiiiiii will always, love you” and this post for that Whitney comment. ?. If I ever admitted that I asked for her cassette it would be under the context that I thought she was smokin hot! Not because I wanted to chill out to her tunes. ?

    Great job toning those muscles. Looking forward to your announcement!

    • Mrs. P! Always great when you stop by : ) So, I keep the rules pretty simple. I swear off all non-essential spending for the full month. That means, no coffee or eating out. Any planned purchases are delayed to February. I also try to eliminate any non-essential driving, to save on fuel costs. If I can walk, I do. I should note, I don’t ask Mrs. MMM to participate in the insanity. That being said, she’s incredibly frugal, so this will be the only month of the year where my spending is less than hers.

  2. Interesting read, thanks for sharing Ahnold. I am trying to converge towards these rules all the time with small exceptions (ok, maybe that is just what we call frugality). It is good to know that I am not the only one who has some embarrassing music related history (or the one who had tape cassettes at all). My first mix tape had some Backstreet boys, Britney Spears and Marcel Romanoff tracks on it, shame on me. Whitney is several leagues higher than them so don’t be embarrassed about her. Did I mentioned that my first CD was an illegal Eiffel 65 copy which was snitched from a flea market by one of my friends? 😀


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