Saturday, April 1, 2017

Preparing for a No-Spend Month

Even the title makes me feel nervous. It sounds impossible, but I think with the right preparation it might be doable. This blog post is a bit of me thinking out loud, and partly to help others. My plan is to go the whole month of April without purchasing unnecessary things. This includes clothing, shoes, accessories, meals out, coffees, etc. I know some people's no spend months include toiletries and groceries, but I think that's mostly nuts. I am fine with buying necessary toiletries and groceries. (Everybody gotta eat!)

Here are the steps I'm taking to prepare!

1. Pinpoint Achilles's heels
We've all got them- weak spots you know. It is incredibly important to recognize them in yourself. Is it your morning coffee run? Online shopping? Happy hour? Eating out? Whatever it is, recognize it and learn ways to avoid it. Mine is definitely shopping. I am coming up with a plan to avoid those times that I spend uncontrollably.

2. Make a Goal
Making a goal is an important step to maintaining a no spend month. Whether it's an amazing vacation, a gorgeous handbag, or making a crucial payment to a bill or mortgage, having it at the forefront of your mind will remind you why you are undergoing this no spend month. Remembering that special goal will help you to resist lesser purchases that are not as important.

3. Hit that Unsubscribe Button
Unsubscribing from shopping websites is a great way to avoid temptation. I plan to unsubscribe from the emails that always seem to get me into trouble. As far as resubscribing... I think I can make those decisions after the month is up. I'm sure I'll want to start getting my favorites back into my inbox. But if I don't remember which I was subscribed to after the month is up, it is certainly no loss!

4. Track your "spending"
Every time I don't buy something that I wanted, or I don't go out to eat, I am going to write down the cost. At the end of the month I will have a final total of the money I saved. That goes back to step 2- and I'll have a better idea of what it was I truly contributed to my goal.

5. Create a List
Undoubtedly, there will be tough days and I'll find things I really wish I could buy or have. My plan is to create a place for a list of all the thing I want to get once May is here. For one, I think it will make me feel better to write it down. Like I'm one step closer to getting it. But my guess is that most of the things on the list will be irrelevant by the time May gets here and I'll be happy I didn't buy them!

6. Plan Ahead
The easiest way to not go out to eat is to make sure you plan ahead and have meals planned and groceries bought. I went without eating out last April and it helped us financially so much. (More on that HERE)

Do you have any tips for a no spend month?

Thanks for reading!
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