If you’ve read any of my monthly reviews recently, or looked at my progress with the Ultimate Dream Fund, you will see that I’m quite a bit off track at the moment. We all start off things with the best of intentions but life can sometimes get in the way of our goals, and we need something to help us get back to where we want to be.
This is where the no spend challenge comes in!
For the month of May, I am aiming to have a no spend month. This means that I’m going to try and limit all my spending to just the necessities, in order to reset our finances and hopefully make up a bit of ground over the month. It is all too easy for money to leak out of a budget without even thinking about it, but this no spend challenge means that nothing unnecessary will sneak in.
The benefits of this challenge will be:
- Spend less. Well, this is an obvious one but I’m hoping that by spending less, I can save a significant amount during the month of May.
- Use things we already own. This is especially true of some of the things in our stockpile that probably could be done with eating. Three tins of chickpeas? Probably should be used up [side note: can you make hummus without tahini paste?]
- Reset our frugal ways. Sleep deprivation can be a funny thing, and I feel like I’ve become a bit lacking in being frugal and staying focused. I think a no spend month will reset the frugal button, so to speak.
- Show that we can live with less. I wrote a post last week about living with less, but if you’re not spending money, you inevitably bring less into the home.
- Learn to be creative. Both with time, food and experiences. With no money to spend, you will need to be more creative with how you use your time. Time to experiment in the kitchen!
- Pay down debt/add more to savings. The less you spend, the more money you’ll have at the end of the month. You can then allocate that wherever you want; add it to your own Ultimate Dream Fund, or pay down debt, it’s up to you!
I’m actually excited to start this! Although it seems a little daunting at first, I think that once I get the hang of it, we’ll do just fine. In fact, I’ll probably have more time to do things I want to anyway. No browsing online because I can. I could declutter and sell more items as well, to bring in some more money.
The rules [which can be as flexible as you want them to be]:
- For the month of May, you only buy essentials. This includes food, petrol (to get to work!) or medicine, that’s about it.
- You reuse or recycle what you can. Use your leftovers instead of throwing them, be inventive with the bendy veg at the bottom of the fridge.
- Declutter, then either sell, donate or throw out. Decluttering your home is always a good idea, plus you can sell unwanted items for money. Donate those items that are no suitable for selling, and throw out anything that’s unusable, or broken.
- Every purchase must be mindful. Just because you can spend on groceries, don’t go mad every time you are i the supermarket. Think carefully about your spending and only buy what you need. Meal planning will help with this!
I think that the whole point of a no spend month is to stop, recharge those batteries and reset the motivation. I feel lately like our budget is getting a bit out of control, so I think this challenge will give me the control back which I’m looking forward to. Here’s to a successful No Spend Month!
Have you ever had a no spend month before? How did it go? Do you want to join me on this one?