Challenge: Budgetober (Oct 1 - Oct 31)

I’m issuing a challenge: Budgetober, which will run from October 1 - October 31.

The goal for budgetober is set and stick to your budget for the month of October. It’s also vaguely halloween themed. Also it has special forum badges and even a STICKER for people that complete the whole month.

Basic rules:

  1. You must establish a budget, a way to track it, and target amounts for the budget.

  2. Your categories can be as broad as you like, or as specific as you want. You can even just choose a single amount for the month, You can also track + limit one category if you prefer (i.e. grocery spending, restaurants, or stationary splurges.)

  3. You’re allowed one week where you wave a magic wand and “re-cast” your budget. This means if you go off the rails in a category, or something big comes up, you can set a new budget for the month. Don’t get discouraged just because you have an off week! Jump back on the budgeting haywagon! (I told you this was halloween themed).

  4. Each Sunday (or Monday for the Aussies/Kiwis) we’ll have a thread to report how you did on your budget for the week. You can report on where you’re at, and what your biggest challenge and victories of the week were. Then, you’ll put your predictions/goals down for the budget week ahead.

Who This Challenge is For

  • Maybe you’re already great at sticking to your budget, but you want to try out adjustments to your categories or a low-spend month.

(This category is me - I’m trying to see if I can live on $1,100 for the month, which is about $300 less than my average.)

  • Maybe you don’t currently do a budget, but feel like maybe your expenses are creeping up and want to use October as a chance to do a check-in and see how you are doing.

  • ** Maybe you’ve been spending a bit too much on take-away orders or restaurant spending, and want to dial it back a bit. One months seems doable!

  • Maybe you’re tired of “cleaning up” categories the last week of the month - i.e. moving money from a too-full grocery budget into an overspent takeaway category. So the goal here is to change behavior or reset categories to more realistic amounts.

  • Maybe you’ve never budgeted before but it feels overwhelming to start. Perhaps one week at a time, for only a month, seems achievable! You don’t have to do it forever, just for October.

What do you get out of participating?

  • Deep Satisfaction of trying to stick to a budget this October
  • Community support for whatever your budget goals are for October!
  • budgetober success shout outs on the podcast
  • A weekly CUTE halloween-themed forum badge for participating in the weekly check-in
  • And if you do all 4 week check-ins, you get a STICKER mailed to you. It’s halloween, cat, and budget themed. I will mail these anywhere in the world.

If you’re in to participate (or on the fence and need encouragement), comment below with what you’re hoping to get out of Budgetober and your favorite halloween-themed creature or object.

Resource List for Budgeting


Heck YES. I’m in. I need this after the insights I learnt during September.


This is perfect timing! My husband and I have been working on being more proactive and anticipating expenses ahead of time instead of being surprised by things like people wanting us to go out to restaurants for birthdays.

Hoping to get cat stickers and more self-discipline to say no to social things that aren’t in the budget.


I am gonna comment even though I’m running the challenge!

I have a pretty low-income stretch coming up and October is the first month I’m not traveling this year so I’m attempting to have my lowest discretionary spending month of the year (won’t be my lowest total spend overall since my utilities went up) at less than $1,100 total overall.

To do this I have to actually stick to a no-spend on restaurants (not that hard), korean skincare (harder), stationary (even harder) and generally non-essentials.

My favorite halloween creature WAS black cats wearing witch hats in a pumpkin, but now I’ve discovered flying foxes and I am in love. If they’re not halloween canon, I want to make them so.


Hmmm I like the idea since I ended up going out to eat twice this month during my no Spend-tember challenge (even though that was supposed to be the easy part), but I’m hopefully getting my house stucco done in October which is 1/3 of my usual ANNUAL budget :grimacing:.

But if we can’t get that scheduled in October then I’ll be in.


I’m in.

I need to cut back on eating out, etc.

More importantly I want to commit to actually doing the health spending. I want to be accountable to go to yoga, therapy, physio, get massages, etc. instead of planning on it and deferring them because I hate spending money and there is always something else going on. In October my September craziness will have settled and I can focus.

If this isn’t the kind of thing you want here, Lily, I’ll modify it.


Hey as long as you put it in the budget, it’s kosher! Might be a good way to try to keep the stucco on-budget :wink: (Or you can just leave that category out.)

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Nooo I love it! Budget to actually follow through on taking care of yourself! I support all taking care of yourself uses of the budget. Also this is the real challenge for you, we know you’re great at cutting expenses.


Uhhh I need to do this but I’m also planning on building a fence so… I guess I have a week to figure out how much that will cost!


Yay I am in for this! Unfortunately October will be a higher spend month with new contacts and 6 months of car insurance, but that just means I have a chance to try to hit some lower spend numbers in my other regular categories!


Fiiine. I’m in. I need to figure my shit out again because it all keeps changing. Also, I better book my camping trip for October now lol


Yes! October is my sister’s wedding out in Chicago, so I won’t be winning any zero-spend prizes, but I want to work on refining the amounts in my budget categories as they haven’t been updated in a while. Also really want to work on bulking up the emergency fund.


We don’t generally budget, but I waaaant the Halloween-themed badges. So, goal is credit card spending (this is everything except rent on his apartment and utilities for both houses) under $2K. This is manageable since we do manage it about every other month, and there are no major taxes due.

Caveats: work travel that will be reimbursed doesn’t count, and all bets are off in case of veterinary expenses because those are what money is for.


Mwhahahaha my evil plan worked


Yes. Yes it did. This is exactly why I’m doing it. Cute badges! :heart_eyes:


I need this as I have been spending WAY too much the last few months, but I am also lazy about creating budgets to meet the rules.

I will have a think about it and maybe I can make a really broad budget


I feel like this would be doable, could you make them pumpkin hats?


I am also in (because I too like cute things and the chance for international mail). October is going to have a few more health expenses than previous months but due to this I want to cut back on random misc spending like food out just because. I’m going to spend this weekend locking down week one’s budget and will judge from there!


I’m in. I’ve been meaning to start a journal and follow my spending but I can’t post often. Once a week is doable. I’ll have to review the budget with my husband to agree on numbers but I’d love to reduce eating out lunch and on weekends.

I don’t know much about Halloween and cats but would love anything unicorn themed.


In! We already decided to extend No Spendtember into October in my house so this goes hand in hand. I think I’ll focus on grocery spending. But we’re also in the process of lowering annual insurance costs, some of which will be paid in October and I’m proud for negotiating those so I’m mentioning it too :rofl: