Well now that the new year is upon us and the holidays are over, you’re probably thinking about how to start saving more money. Since, ya know…you probably spent a little too much over the holiday season. But just like detoxing from food, you can go on a spending detox, AKA no spend month! I’ve done no spend months in the past and they have always worked so well for me.
Because I’m a school supplies addict (colored pen hoarder over here), I’ve also noticed how many writing products I have accumulated, like more cute post-it notes and Sharpie pens. At this point, I knew I had been spending too much money on products that I did not really need and I had to do something about it.
Because I was single over the holiday season, I was super excited that I was able to buy myself more gifts since I didn’t have a significant other. So when Black Friday and all the pre-Christmas sales rolled around, I went just a little overboard on the shopping…
Buttt if I continue to spend money at the same rate I had been, I wouldn’t have spending money saved up for the travel I plan to do later this year. I tend to try to convince myself that I need this new item when I still have something similar at home. So now, it’s time to get my act together and cut down on the spending.
Some reasons to do a no spend month:
1. Save for traveling
2. In order to make a big purchase, such as a car or house
3. Make use of the items/ products you already own
4. Save up to purchase the latest technology
5. Simply reevaluate your spending habits
My reason for starting this no spend month/ more mindful spending time is two-fold. I have so many beauty and hair-care products that I need to cut myself off from buying more. I always want to try out new products in hopes I can blog about them, but it’s not always realistic to buy all the time without using up what I already have.
The second reason for cutting back on spending is because I want to travel more this year. I planned a trip to head out to Salt Lake City to visit Chelsie over my birthday weekend in April and I cannot be more excited! We’re for sure going shopping so it’s time to start putting spending money aside for that.
How to successfully finish a no spend month
1. Have an end goal in mind
When you have a definite reason for saving my money, it makes it easier not to splurge on random shopping sprees. I know that the more money I spend, the less money I will have for traveling and souvenirs at my destinations. This definitely put my goals and spending into perspective. Yeah, I really do love that Swell water bottle, but I also have a ton of bottles already and don’t need to waste the money.
2. Avoid shopping when you get bored
I typically head out to stores whenever I have nothing else to do. (HELLOOO TARGET!) This always leads to me spending money impulsively without any plan. During my no spend months, I focus my time on family and friends, Netflix shows (New Girl is bomb), read more, and spent more “me” time to relax. I also only head to the store with an exact list of things I need and only stick to that list.
3. Avoid online shopping
Online shopping is seriously my weakness. I’ll get emails all the time from Bath & Body Works and Ulta to tell me about the latest deals and I’m instantly hooked. And my Amazon app makes shopping super easy so emptying out my wallet can be done in just about one click. Online shopping makes it so easy to think that we really aren’t spending that much money because we aren’t actually purchasing something we have in our hands at the moment.
I’ve noticed myself going through a website and putting things I “need” in my cart, then something comes up where I need to leave my phone. A day or two will pass without having made the transaction and the sale has already ended. Clearly I didn’t want them that much to straight forget about them for more than a day!
4. Name hard-no items that are off limits for the month
Before you start, making a list of items that you typically overspend on would be beneficial. This month, I am not allowing myself to buy:
1. New books- because I always find myself in a bookstore or Target wanting to buy a new book when I still haven’t finished the last 10 I bought.
2. Beauty products- I don’t think I could come up with any valid excuse for buying new makeup or hair products any time soon.
3. Clothes- This would mean I need to avoid Marshall’s and TJ Maxx at all costs…
5. Allow for (a couple) exceptions depending on your no-spend reason
Because my reason for cutting down on spending doesn’t require me to avoid handing over my credit card completely, I feel like my rules are pretty lenient. If you plan on trying a no spend month, I would suggest allowing for a couple exceptions on various items you might want throughout the month. My exceptions for my no spend month are as follows:
1. Starbucks Sundays. Every Sunday, I meet up with my gal pal, Katie, at a local Starbucks to work on our blogs. Because we have such busy lives, it allows us to hang out while also being productive. So since this is quality friend and blog time, I won’t be giving this up.
2. Going out to eat with friends. Spending time with friends is something that’s so important to me. So if that means meeting up for dinner after work during the week, I will gladly pay money for that.
3. Going out to eat with Gramps. My grandpa and I are super tight and love hanging out and trying new restaurants in the area. Another Snapchat plug, but whenever we’re together we always make funny snapchat videos. So you should probably go follow along so you can laugh too!
Really my exceptions for this month include experiences. I want to be more intentional about doing things and not buying things.
I’m super excited about this modified no spend month! Being more intentional about where my money goes will help me see what I really need and what I would have bought just to buy.
Have you ever completed a no spend month? What are some other tips to make one successful?!