Here are the previous 13 Money Management Monday posts;
1. Re-think your cell phone.
2. Don't have a car payment.
3. Don't smoke cigarettes.
4. Don't play the lottery.
5. Purchase my Financial E-Course.
6. Live Cheaply
7. Be Positive about Your Money.
8. Financial Course.
9. Decide what is important to you.
10. Simplify Your Christmas Shopping.
11. Save (and Roll) Your Change.
12. Don't Drink a lot.
13. Keep Track of Everything you Buy for an Entire Month.
So if you would like to try a no spend month, figure out what will work for you, choose a month, read these tips, and then prepare for some money saving!
So here are my top tips for surviving a no spend month!
In the winter months, you'll be invited to hang out with people less, because most people like to hibernate indoors all winter long, and plus, it will be easier to stay curled up inside not spending money when it's freezing cold and snowing outside!
Use gift cards during your no spend month.
This is one reason why doing your no spend month right after Christmas is such a great idea. During our no spend month, me and the husband went to go see a movie with a gift card my brother gave us for Christmas, went shopping for new clothes for Nick at Express, with a gift card given to him by his sister's boyfriend, and I went to a coffee shop and used a gift card given to me by my brother to pay for it! We got to go out and do stuff, and not spend a dime!
Try out all those recipes you have saved to your pinterest board.
Since you can't go out to eat this month, you're going to have to do cooking at home. So now's the chance to try out all those recipes that you keep promising yourself that you'll make one day but never do. Just be sure to make a list of the ingredients that you need for each recipe, so that when you go to the grocery store, you buy only the things that you need!
Use ingredients already in your cupboards.
Some people that spend absolutely nothing all month, will only use the food they already have in their cupboards and freezers. Go through your cupboards and freezer, make a list of food you have, then plan your meals around that! You will spend very little on groceries that month, and use up food that was just sitting around collecting dust!
Play board games.
For Christmas my mom gave Nick a board game called "Crazy Categories", and we love it! We've played it with a bunch of different people, and it's a great way to have fun while staying home and not spending any money!
Me and Nick still had some things from our wedding (8 months ago haha!) that needed returned to the store. The store does not take returns, but they will do in-store exchanges. So during our no-spend month, we brought our items that needed returning, and exchanged them for things that we needed for our home, and a couple of birthday presents that we needed to buy for people. And we didn't spend a penny!
Invite people over to your house instead of going out.
On the 3rd day of our no spend month, our good friend from Atlanta was in town, and we wanted to hang out with him! So he came over to our house, Nick cooked some food, we ate, drank some beer (that was already in the fridge from the month before!), talked, and had a grand time!
Get crafty with your gifts.
During our no spend month we had 3 people that we needed to buy gifts for. We did end up getting a couple things for the people (see the above "return things" tip), but I got really crafty with my gifts and it turned out really well! For example, Nick's little sister had her birthday, and we gave her a cupcake candle (that we got when we exchanged things), and I made her a cupcake pillow, and a hairbow. She absolutely loved them, and everyone was passing around the pillow and marveling at its hand made-ness!
I do realize that sometimes you just need to spend money...
That's just how this world works. But if you can wait, wait! A lot of times we think we need something, then later realize that we could have done without it, or could have gotten it from someone we know, for free or very inexpensive. So just try to hold out on any and every purchase, and when the month is over, see if you still "need" it! That's one reason why the no spend month is so great, it forces us to slow down and actually think about our spending!
Now what? Next, you should decide what you want to do with the money you save! This is very important, because if you don't make a plan for the saved money, then most likely as soon as the no spend month is over, the money will just get spent, and the entire no spend month will be for naught!
1. Put it towards paying off debt.
2. Put it towards something special you're saving for, like a vacation, a house, a car, or your wedding.
3. Use it to pay off bills that keep piling up.
and anything else you can think of! Just make sure that you have something in mind before you start the month!
How about you? Have you ever tried a no spend month? If not, would you like to? If you have, how was it? And what were your tips for surviving it?
Peace Love and No Spend Month