Best ways to prepare for a no spend month – tips and tricks

no spend month featured image

This month I have decided to have a no spend month. This is basically a month where you challenge yourself to have no unnecessary spends.

Bills and essential spends are still allowed!

No spend month – where to start?

The first step to having a successful no spend month is to write down the reason why you are doing it. For me its to help rebuild a buffer (or emergency fund) in my bank after spending it in August.

A challenge must have rules…

The best thing about a no spend month is that YOU set the rules.

Set yourself realistic rules and boundaries, this is why I say that bills and essential spends are allowed. You decide what counts as essential, so everyone’s rules will be different.

For me, I’m also participating in #secondhandseptember so I know there are certain challenges that require me to spend a little money. I will set allowances for this in my rules.

If you want to know more about #secondhandseptember I have written about it here and you can track my progress over on my Instagram page.

How to track your progress

Lots of people use trackers to help them visually monitor their progress. This can be as simple as a tick on a calendar or you can be a bit more artistic.

I will be using a sunshine tracker that you can download for free below. To track progress I will colour the sunshine red if I have spent money and green if I haven’t. The end goal would be to have a whole page of green sunshines.

Tips and Tricks to Succeed with no spend.

  • Know why you’re doing the challenge – having a reason/goal that you can see every day will help to keep you motivated and therefore more likely to suceed.
  • Set yourself realistic rules and boundaries – look at your calendar to see if you have any events coming up. This is because there may be birthdays that you need to buy presents for which you can add to your essential spends.
  • Set yourself a budget for essential spends – by budgeting these you won’t be tempted to over spend on them. Anything you don’t spend from these budgets can go into savings.
  • Take cash out for essential spends – this is so that you can physically see what you are spending and what you have left. I use my Monzo account for petrol spends and transfer my budgeted amount across at the start of the month.
  • Meal plan – go through your fridge, freezer and cupboards and plan meals that you can make with whats there. If you don’t go through cupboards and plan you can often end up buying things you already had. I speak from experience here!!!!
  • Don’t give up – if you miss a day or slip up just carry on and keep going. Don’t let one day ruin the rest of the month. Once you start thinking you’re going to fail you will be more likely to. A few days is not a fail! If this is the first time doing the challenge maybe only try to have no spend days at the weekend and let yourself spend through the week.

If anyone else is participating in a no spend month I’d love to know and complete the challenge with you so give me a wave in the comments below!

30 Comments

  1. Great tips! My partner and I did No Money March last year and it was tough but a really good challenge. I agree that it’s super important to be realistic and plan ahead when it comes to events and especially to meal planning. Meal planning was a huge saver for us!

    https://teaspoonofadventure.com

    1. Author

      Thank you! Meal planning is my job for today, we try and do it every week as it saves so much. Some weeks are more successful than others though!

  2. Great read! I am always looking for ways to save and not spend.

    1. Author

      Thanks, there are loads of different ways out there so I’m sure you will find some ways that work for you!

  3. Very helpful tips! Budgeting gets easier with tips like these.

    1. Author

      Thanks, the more you can break it down, the easier it gets 🙂

  4. September is a great month for no spend because it sets the tone for the whole school year!

    1. Author

      It definitely does! I’m hoping I can keep it going for a few months! Will help me prepare for Christmas

  5. I love posts like this – I am always looking at ways to save, I’ve had a very low spend summer so recently got myself some treats for my new job! I am getting back on a no/low spend September for sure, gotta start my Christmas shopping too soon!

    1. Author

      I’ve been the opposite and way over spent during summer 🙁 petrol has been my biggest outlay! Well done though, the treats are very well deserved! I’ve started buying presents already!! Can’t wait for Christmas to be here

  6. Thanks for sharing. This sounds like it would be a good challenge to do. Maybe, I’ll have to think about doing it next month. Also, it helps you build a better relationship with money.

    1. Author

      Thank you, it’s a really good challenge as it makes you really think about what is necessary and what isn’t. Good luck if you do decide to do it next month!

  7. With the amount of money I have been spending lately, I’ll definitely have to jump on this bandwagon soon. Probably in October! I have a vacation next week, so I can’t possible start this month lol It’s a great idea though because I constantly look at my bank statement and just have to ask myself what on earth am I buying??

    Good luck and be strong! You can do this!

    1. Author

      Ooh where are you off to? I can’t wait for a holiday but need to build my savings a bit first!
      I know this feeling all too well from last month! Good luck in October if you decide to go for it 🙂

  8. Excellent tips. My family loves doing no spend months. We do 2 every year, sometimes more if we feel we can managed it. They do certainly require a bit of planning ahead but are absolutely worth it in the end.

    1. Author

      That’s really good! I’m going to see how I get on and then go from there. So far so good though. I’m hoping to feel loads better this time next month!

  9. Great Tips – I love your encouragement not to give up if you did spend, move on and carry on.

    1. Author

      It’s so important to keep going and not let one little hurdle stop you from completing the race!

  10. I haven’t got much planned for September, so I decided I was going to do this. Grateful for the tips to help me along the way!🙌🏼

    1. Author

      Ah good luck! I’d love to know how you get on!!

  11. I’ll be doing this this month in order to go on a multi-month roadtrip starting in October. I am excited to see what I can save!!!

    1. Author

      A multi-month road trip sounds amazing! And so worth saving up for. Where’s on your destination list? I’d love to do a big road trip one day

  12. These are absolute fantastic tips! Tracking progress is something I have started only recently, when I realised it might help me stay focused in whatever I want to achieve.
    Reducing consumption is something that is very deep in my heart; as I see it as the one way to reduce pollution. Thanks for motivating us all in the right direction!

    1. Author

      Tracking progress is great as a visual tool. You can see how well you’re doing and I find it really motivates you to keep it up. There is a great app called habit that tracks things for you as well!

    1. Author

      No worries 🙂 Thanks for reading!!

    1. Author

      The first time I did it I aimed for just 5 no spend days across the month! So far I’ve only had 2 spend days this month

  13. No spend months are hard! I love that there are a lot of resources out there to help you reach your goal. Meal prepping can go a really long way!!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Author

      They are, so glad that I did it though and will definitely be doing more of them in the new year!! X

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