If you ever look up budgets or couponing tips or saving prompts on pinterest, you will inevitably get a bazillion suggested pins that link to “How to live like a king on $18,000/year” or “Ways to feed a family of four for $12/week” or other equally crazy extreme ideas for saving money… but one OTHER article series that usually come up include “no spend months.”
At first glance, this also sounds crazy… HOW DO I NOT SPEND ANY MONEY FOR A WHOLE MONTH!?!? But, you don’t have to be so extreme. Some people take it super literally and there is no spending outside of bills and necessities (think groceries, toilet paper, and doctors visits), and the other approach is to lower your budget areas and if you don’t REALLY need it you don’t buy it. No EXTRA spending months should be the real name, but that’s not nearly as sensational or clickable (that’s totally a thing I’m learning about now that I’m TOTALLY a blogger). I digress…
So, I figured I would give a no-spend month a whirl. I decided August was the month for me, and these were my parameters:
1. lower all of my budget categories (aside from fixed expenses such as mortgage and daycare)
2. eliminate all “excess” spending (no coffee out, no manicures, no dollar spot)
3. no new house projects and no house cleaner (a newer luxury I’ve been enjoying)
4. any purchase that could be put off till next month, gets pushed back
My goals for the month are:
1. spend $1,000 less than my normal “budget”
2. learn what luxuries I really can live without
3. stick to a grocery budget while eating GOOD and FRESH meals
4. practice self-control at Target (dollar spot is my WEAKNESS)
We are 1/3 through the month, and I’m feeling good! I have been able to say “no” a lot easier than I ever expected AND I’ve only purchased one coffee out of the house… BECAUSE my internet went down and I work from home and I NEEDED internet and I felt like a jerk going to a coffee shop for internet without buying anything.
And one major thing I’ve gained this month without all of the excess spending: TIME! Time to put final details and go live with this here blog. Time to tidy up my house and start purging closets. Time to EXERCISE and pretend like I'm going to lose my two year old baby weight. Time to start planning a garage sale.
I’ll be sure to re-cap at the end of the month and let you know what was hard and what was easy as well as all the things I learned about my money habits!
Have you ever attempted a drastic budget shakedown? Would love to hear about it in the comments!