At the end of August, I posted about wanting to do a No Spend Month. In fact, I posted hoping others would join me! The main reason why I wanted to try a No Spend Month is because our spending was going up. On little things, here and there. Food spending going up. All the things I try and avoid, the majority of the time.
So, I have attempted a No Spend Month in order to get some control back over our finances. It sounds silly, doesn’t it? After all, aren’t we always in charge of our own money?
By re-focussing on the little spends and by being more organised and planned in advance, control is regained. Habits, or triggers for spending are honed in on. Things that are seemingly needed, are questioned. It does work! I am a massive believe of budgeting and looking at the last detail, but this had gone by the wayside lately. I guess sleep deprivation and being pregnant will do that to you 😉
So, what have I learned from trying a No Spend Month?
- I actually enjoyed the process. I really did! Once I got my head around what I was attempting, and the difference between planned spending vs impulse spending, it seemed so much more straightforward. And, as the month went on, it seemed to get easier and easier.
- I remembered why I like planning so much. I am naturally quite an organised person. Knowing what is going to happen and when works better for me. I don’t particularly like spontaneity! So, planning spending and looking at timelines/budgets works, because I like it.
- Putting a ban on spending works! Who’d have thought it, huh? Actually saying no to things and no shopping on impulse does wonders for your finances.
- I’ve loved interacting with members of my Facebook group for the challenge. So many people seem to be doing really well and finding it having a great impact on their finances. One member, Julie, wrote ‘So today is pay day for me and I’m over the moon to report that we finished our no spend challenge £400 up on a normal month.’ How fantastic is that?! After all, I love writing my blog to help other people 🙂
- It does make you appreciate what you have more. Without the addition of new items constantly, a No Spend Month makes you appreciate what you already own.
- It makes you be more creative. I’ve been enjoying using things up in our store cupboard and creating meals from things we already own. I’ve written before about starting a stockpile and it helps save money. One obvious example this month is the apple juice I made from leftover peel and cores.
What I’ve found difficult during the process:
- Not wanting to eat what I had planned. I go through phases of this anyway but being pregnant this has made this so much worse. There are some days where I don’t want to eat at all [hello, all day nausea] and some days I can’t face what the menu plan says. I have on occasion this month just had something from the cupboard instead of ordering a takeaway [which is what I really wanted to do!].
- Realising sometimes the best made plans don’t always work. Something we frequently top up on during the week, which has become abundantly obvious during this challenge, is full fat milk. Frugal Baby needs full fat milk in his diet, so we go through quite a lot. Now, I know that food spends are a necessity so not too bad. I can’t buy more when we do our food shop either as our fridge isn’t big enough as it is without big cartons of milk in there.
That being said, I think it has been a success. I will know for sure when I do my monthly review at the end of the month, but I think our savings will be a good amount for a change. And it has helped to take stock of my spending habits and get back on track for the rest of the year.
I am running the challenge again in October. Lots of the members in the Facebook group requested I do so, plus I am more than happy to try again! Come and join us over there if you want to join in the challenge 🙂
Did you attempt a No Spend Month? How did you find it?
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