February is the shortest month of the year, so it’s a great month to challenge yourself to something new.
I told my husband My husband and I decided we should do a no-spend month for February. What does a no-spend month mean?
In a nutshell a no-spend month is only buying necessities. Some people do a week, some people do a year. I thought a month was a good amount of time for us to break mindless spending habits. We will re-evaluate at the end of the month, and I have no doubt that our spending habits will permanently change.
So what are necessities? This will look different for everyone. Some no-spend challenges say no eating out, no buying extras in the grocery budget like soda or wine, and no spending money. You can tailor this to meet your needs. We decided not to restrict what we buy for groceries, other than sticking to our usual monetary budget. We also decided that we will budget in spending money this month, but have agreed that neither one of us will spend it this month.
Some no-spend challenges don’t even buy groceries, but instead do a pantry challenge. A Pantry challenge is using up all the food in your fridge and pantry before buying anything else. Most of us could realistically live on what we already have stockpiled for the entire month! We opted to keep doing regular grocery shopping, but with the frugal mindset we have adopted this month I spent about half of our normal budget for the week.
What We Will Be Spending
During this no-spend month we will still be spending money on mortgage, utilities, food, and medical expenses. We all got the flu right after Christmas, which turned into bronchitis for me. 5 weeks later my cough is finally getting better, but I may have fractured a rib from coughing. Needless to say, we have had a lot of unexpected medical bills and may have some more in February. We also have some birthday gifts to buy in February, but we have a sinking fund for gifts so this expense is already covered.
What We Hope To Accomplish
Our main objective in doing a no-spend month is a behavior reset. Between my husband and I, I am definitely the worst at mindless shopping and buying. It’s easy for me to justify bad spending habits, so bringing spending to a complete halt is a must if I want to really change my ways.
A no-spend month can also free up extra money to pay off debt. We want to pay off at least one credit card by the end of the year and start making progress on our debt snowball, so by not blowing extra money this month that gives us more to throw at debt.
Why You Should Do A No-Spend
It’s past the first of the month, but it’s not to late to start a no-spend. If you have debt to pay off, or just need to change your spending habits, I encourage you to join me! My friend Misty Nichole from The Lady Prefers To Save is doing a no-spend YEAR and has been a big inspiration to me. Join her no-spend Facebook group if you need some camaraderie and encouragement.
Do you think you could do a no-spend month?