As you prepare for the No Spend Month challenge, there are certain spends that are going to crop up. In this day and age, we all spend on necessities; things that we need to pay for in order to live.
However, in order to ensure that your own no spend month is a success, there needs to be some clarification between these spends.
There are, essentially, two types of spend. Planned vs Impulse.
Planned spends are spends that are reoccurring spends every month, that you can account for. Things like mortgage/rent, gas and electricity, water rates and council tax. These payments are normally set up to be paid by direct debit, and go out like clockwork every month. These are unavoidable spends, for most people. In a no spend month, you are still going to spend on these. And that’s okay!
There are other spends that are necessities. These include food (we all need to eat) and travel (if it’s for work). However, in a no spend month, the spending in these categories should be minimal. Yes, we need to spend on food, but during a no spend month we are trying to spend as little as possible.
To ensure your food shopping is kept lower than normal, the first thing you need to do is a stock take. You need to look at what you have in your food cupboards/fridge/freezer and write everything down. Then, see what meals you can make from things you already have in! I’m sure you can make a few from the items you have in stock 🙂 I have talked a lot about meal planning and I do think it is key to keeping food costs down. This meal planner and shopping list planner is perfect for writing things down!
Travel is a tricky one. Most of us need to travel to work each day – I drive so petrol costs are factored into our budget – and so need to spend on this as a necessity. Some people would argue that in a no spend month you try to avoid all spending, but I think for me, this is a planned spend. I need to go to work in order to earn money and I enjoy my job, so getting there and back is just part of it.
The other part of spending are the impulse spends, and we are all guilty of them! These are, essentially, unplanned spends. Those little bits and pieces that quickly add up. The lunch out, the internet shopping, the takeaways when you’re too tired to cook, they all count! And I am definitely guilty of these, especially of late. But, impulse spends can do real damage to your budget if they get out of control.
In a no spend month, impulse spends should be non-existent. They just shouldn’t happen! However, we are all human too. I am going to try my hardest to have no impulse spends. I’ve got into a bad habit at the moment of ordering a takeaway sometimes as I just can’t be bothered to cook. Even if I’ve got all of the ingredients in the house! That’s very bad frugal behaviour 😉
At the end of the day, you know why you’re attempting a No Spend Month. Whether it’s to pay off debt, saving for Christmas, or saving for retirement, you have your own reasons. I am doing this to be able to save more. I’m thinking of it as a bit of a reset. My spending hasn’t been great lately and I want me/us to get back on track. I am genuinely excited to get started!
If you haven’t already, come and join the rest of us in my Facebook group who are taking part in the challenge. The more the merrier! We’re already at 75 members 🙂
Are you taking part? If you aren’t, why not? I’d love to hear from you!
Follow me on: