I Saved a Ton of Money While My Husband Was Out of Town

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My husband was out of town and although I thought it would be the most expensive month ever, I actually saved a ton of money. Here are tips to do the same.

The last month has been a bit hectic, and it’s because my husband was out of town. Yep, for the whole month. We thought he would be off all of August but he got a last minute opportunity to do a hospital rotation in Michigan while the twins and I were here in New Jersey. (For all the new readers, my husband is almost finished with medical school – final stretch!) 🙂

He’s back now, and although I thought it would be the most expensive month ever, a funny thing happened: I hardly spent any money at all.

Extra Expenses


Now, there were some extra expenses associated with him traveling to Michigan and spending the whole month there. For example, I had to pay for an airbnb rental for him which was around $500 on top of our regular $1,900 rent here in New Jersey. He also had to pay for gas to get there and back (a 10 hour drive each way) as well as pay for a couple of school materials.

Where I Saved


Interestingly enough though, I spent less this month in total than I have in the last few months. The only time I went out to eat was when my in-laws came to visit (they graciously came and spoiled their grandtwins to help me out.)

My in-laws even bought me some groceries and cooked me meals that lasted several days after they left. Usually, ordering food is my biggest budget leak because I get so tired at the end of the day, but I’ve been staying strong. The closest I came to ordering out was buying a frozen pizza at the store while picking up a prescription.

Similarly, my husband didn’t buy any extras at all. He hit up Target on his first day in Michigan to buy a few things like laundry detergent and bread and meat for sandwiches. The hospital paid for his lunch every day. He studied every night after work so he didn’t make elaborate meals that required a lot of ingredients. Basically, he did a great job being a minimalist because he knew it was expensive for us to pay for the extra rent.

Because we weren’t together, we didn’t stroll around the mall, decide on a whim to go get ice cream, or have a date night. Even though I did ask my nanny to come a few extra days to help me, it was offset by the days she wasn’t here when my in-laws were in town.

My husband was out of town and although I thought it would be the most expensive month ever, I actually saved a ton of money. Here are tips to do the same.

What I Learned


What this month long separation taught me is that maybe my husband and I are worse influences on each other than we thought! We were both immensely more productive this past month too. We each worked at night and stayed up late hustling. When we’re together we usually give up around 11 and go to sleep or put a TV show on Netflix and watch an episode or two of a random cooking show.

I don’t want to say that we’re better apart because taking care of twins every day without him definitely showed me that we’re meant to be together always, but it did show me how we can improve and be more of a positive influence on each other when it comes to productivity and finances.


Have you ever had a long distance period away from your spouse? How did it affect your finances? Does your partner travel regularly? How do you notice your spending change during those times?

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families. Check out her award winning blog,


  • Ramona says:

    I seem to be more frugal when it comes to shopping, so I am planning to ‘split’ from husband from time to time and just take my daughter with me to the store. We do tend to sometimes overspend when being together in the stores.

  • Kim says:

    I don’t think we spend a ton less money when Jim is out of town but I am much more productive. It’s too tempting to chill out and watch a show when we’re both home. I’ll clean house or do blogging work at night when I’m by myself.

  • When the bf was in europe for six months, my productivity went up and spending went down, I need to kick him out, haha

  • Interesting, Cat! I’ll have to track our spending the next time my hubs is out of town. I have no idea if we are good or bad in those situations!

  • This seems like it was a great lesson in what is really important to you, though I wouldn’t want to be away from my wife for a month. I don’t know how you did it!

  • We had the opposite experience when we lived apart for 3 months last spring. We ate out and socialized with other people a lot more than usual because we didn’t have each other, and there was all the gas to go between our locations! I think for just 1 month we might have had the same experience you did, though. Either way, we also concluded, “NEVER AGAIN!”

  • When we first got married, my husband and I were definitely working together to spend too much. I suppose it even goes back further to dating – flowers, gifts, and eating out. Gosh, did we eat out A LOT. Now, though, the pendulum swung the other way and we’re a pretty good team. We strategize how to spend the money we have earmarked for different things. We also try to remind each other that it’s OK to buy things on occasion.

  • Wow! I didn’t know hubs was gone for a whole month!! It’s sad to say but my hubby was out of town for two weeks and I was crazy productive without him there as well. I love spending time with him but it’s nice to work and not have to worry about quality time with someone else (said the workaholic). 🙂

  • Dane Hinson says:

    It’s funny how sometimes it’s easier to be frugal when you’re apart from your spouse. I know that my wife and I share financial goals, but we also tend to want to have fun together. Whether that’s catching a show or eating out. Whenever I travel for work we seem to be more frugal too! I guess you feel less like your missing out on any luxuries when you’re apart from your spouse anyway.

  • Catherine says:

    I spend less when mike is out of town because I don’t have a car and depending on where he goes for work sometimes it’s nothing extra spent (tiny town with nothing in it) but sometimes he spends… not a lot but more than if he were home because he’s alone and bored. Job sites shut down around 4 aND he doesn’t really want to spend the evening alone in his hotel room so he goes to stores etc tI get out.

  • Tom says:

    Interesting findings … I’m sure you’ll find ways to save once you are reunited again!

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