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.
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!