Everyone loves a challenge. Especially one that involves not spending money, right?
Not really? but what if the challenge could save you a lot of money? Then, of course, you would be interested!
Don’t let the name no spend month scare you because it can be so beneficial to your finances.
A no spend month is a smart, efficient way to recover from overspending, to knock out debt quickly, or to give yourself a boost toward your savings goal.
I know the idea of doing anything for a whole month sounds really challenging. Especially something like not spending money for a whole month. But trust me, it is not as impossible as it sounds.
Here’s what this no spend challenge means, and what it doesn’t mean.
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What is a no spend month and what are the benefits?
A no spend month is just what it sounds like. It’s a month that you try not to spend any unnecessary money to help you save as much money as possible.
This is a great way to help jump-start a savings goal or if you are paying down some debt. In both these situations, any little money you can find to put toward your goal is super beneficial.
No spending challenges are also great all year round.
Or maybe you just realise that you need to reset your spending habits because it’s been out of control lately.
Either way a no spend month can be really helpful for any and all your financial goals and you should strive to at least do one-month long challenge a year where you don’t spend any money.
As great as a no spend month can be for your money, it honestly isn’t that fun or easy.
In fact, the first time I did a no spending month I failed miserably at it. It seemed so easy to do but that was definitely not the case.
Since then I have been able to not only successfully complete the challenge but thrive from doing a no spending month challenge.
I figured out how to easily make a no spend challenge a walk in the park for me and my family.
It’s even become a sort of standard to not spend if it’s not necessary.
Here are the proven steps you can take to do a no spend month-long challenge and be successful!
You’ve probably heard of a spending freeze, which is where you don’t spend any money at all for a set amount of time.
A no spend challenge is actually a different thing.
For a no spend challenge you can still buy some things – if you absolutely need them.
You have to feed your family, so you can buy groceries.
You need to be able to drive your car to work or school, so you can put petrol etc in the car.
Of course, you need to keep paying your bills too.
The point is that during a no spend challenge you don’t buy anything you don’t need.
You don’t need a new outfit, or concert tickets, or take-out food. Those are clear no’s.
There may be a few questionable decisions throughout the challenge. Does your child really need a haircut this month? Can you hold off on certain purchases? In those situations, it’ll be up to you to decide.
But basically, you are only buying essentials.
So, a no spend month is simply when you keep the challenge going for the whole month long.
How to make it work
I’ll be honest. There were a few times that I tried a no spend month and failed.
But I’ve learned from my mistakes.
I want you to benefit from my experience so you can be successful with your no spend month.
Here are some tips to rock your no spend month.
Set a goal
You have to know what you’re working for.
Where will the money you’re saving go?
This is absolutely essential for your success.
Set a very specific goal for the money you save.
Then, keep it top of mind.
Write it everywhere.
Put a post-it on the bathroom mirror or the refrigerator (or both!).
Most importantly, put a reminder in your wallet. Look at it before you whip out your money. It may make you rethink your purchase.
See my post for setting financial goals:
Don’t do it alone
Get your family involved.
Set that specific goal as a family. Talk about your goal together and get excited about it.
If your children are old enough to understand the concept of not buying things (4 or 5, maybe even 3), talk about the goal regularly and make sure they know that you’ll need their help.
Then, when you’re in a store and they ask you for a lollipop or a toy, remind them that you’re not buying anything you don’t need right now because you want to reach your exciting goal.
Make sure your spouse is sticking to the challenge too. Talk about it together and keep each other accountable.
Another great idea that’s worked really well for me is to do your no spend month alongside a friend.
Find a frugal friend who would also like to save money this month. Make sure this is someone you’re comfortable talking about money with.
When you’re tempted to spend, message your friend and ask them if you really need that thing you want to buy. You can even send them a picture.
And make sure to celebrate your successes together when you stick to your goal.
Saving money is so much more fun when you’re not doing it alone.
See my beginners guide to Frugal living:
Be smart about the choices you make during this time.
Don’t go to a major store to walk around. Avoid the shopping, unless if for essentials. Do not window shop.
Don’t log into Amazon to look something up.
It’s so much easier to stay on track when you put yourself in a position to succeed.
Track your savings
Make sure you keep track of your progress throughout the month.
When you defeat temptation, track it. Write down the item you decided not to buy and how much you saved by not buying it.
When you find a way not to buy something you usually do, track that too.
You want to make sure you know exactly how much you saved at the end of the month.
How to do no spend month – are you up for it?
You’re going to feel amazing when you stick to your no spend month challenge and reach your goal. All you have to do is make sure you don’t buy anything you don’t need. Can you do that for one month? I absolutely believe that you can!
Set a solid, specific goal before you start. Get your family involved and excited. Partner with a friend who can keep you accountable. Stay away from the places that tempt you. And track your progress so you know exactly how much you saved when you’re done.
Get ready to save big!
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about topics such as lifestyle, self-care, self-development, finance, saving money and making money. Come and join the community!