No spend months are great ways to get your finances back in check.
Maybe it’s after the holidays and you over spent or maybe you just had a family vacation and your wallet needs a break. A no spend month gives you a chance to rest and refresh.
But by no means does your no spend month have to be boring. You can live really well and have a great time during your no spend month.
Setting some ground rules.
As the title implies you are planning a no spend month so your intention is to not spend money on anything that isn’t essential. So groceries, utility bills, rent, gas these are all essential and you can spend money on them during your no spend month.
But that doesn’t mean go plan a prime rib dinner with all the fixings and figure it’s okay. You are to live within your means during the month and make use of what you have.
There will be a few things you cut out like the daily trip to the coffee shop or eating out. Purchasing new clothes or toys during the month is a no go. Planning a weekend away during your no spend month is no unless you are camping and the site and activities are free.
Preparing for your no spend month.
Yes, you can plan and prepare for your no spend month and yes spending money might be a must. If your fridge and freezer are bare stock them up with reasonably priced meals that your family will eat.
Stock up on toiletries and essentials. Be frugal and make smart choices with the money you spend.
The month may not be perfect.
Know going into your no spend month that it might not be perfect but it may be just what you need. Your kids may ask to go the movie and you have to decline a birthday invitation or family outing.
The plan is to not spend money on anything but the essentials. Note if someone gets ill or the car breaks down this is viewed as essential.
You may hear “I’m bored” echoing from your children and you may start putting items in your online shopping cart during your no spend month. Or you may not.
Your family may take this time to organize the house, sell some items you don’t need or do some spring cleaning. Or you may have a stack of books you have been looking forward to reading.
A no spend month can and will be as much fun as you make it.
Regular Activities: No Spend Alternatives:
Night at the movies ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Popcorn and movies at home
Buying a new dress ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Shopping your closet for new outfits
Weekend away with friends ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Plan a hike or activity locally with friends
Dinner out with the family ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Plan a homemade pizza night
Drive thru coffee ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bringing coffee from home
Lunch out with co-workers ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bring lunch from home
Goals for your no spend month.
What are your goals for your no spend month? Are you simply looking for a quieter month without running everywhere? Is your goal more family time?
Are you looking to get your finances in order? How much do you plan to save? Do you have a plan for all the extra money you won’t be spending?
Is your goal to teach your children about money? What are your goals for your no spend month? Each persons goals for a no spend month will be different.
Personally, my goals for a no spend month are simpler living, saving money and downtime.
I look at a no spend month, weekend or week as an opportunity for family time, less get out and go shopping. More quality time and money saving. I can guarantee creative meals using up what we have and game nights.
A lot of books will be read and rest will be had. There will be visits to the park, potlucks with family and friends. Movie nights and coffee on the patio. The art kits will come out and long walks at the lake.
There will be no shortage of activities. But there will be a shortage of coffee shop or breakfast runs. There will be no eating out, but yummy home cooked meals in.
Planning and preparing.
Get your family involved. Plan your meals, stock the freezer. Create a list of no spend activities you want to do. Plan a family or friend potluck during your no spend month. Or plan a fun project.
Your no spend month can be anything you want it to be.
Have a great day everyone,