What is a no spend month?
A no spend month (or week, day etc) can be defined in a few different ways. For me, my no spend month was defined as not spending any money on non-essential items such as groceries or essential toiletries. This means, no eating out, no buying clothes or make-up, no buying expensive lunch at work etc.
The aim of my no spend month was to make up for a lot of overspending the previous month and to get myself out of my overdraft. It actually worked…!
I was a lot more conscious of my spending and thought about what I really needed to get by. I won’t lie, it wasn’t the most exciting month of my life, but it was worth it for the money saved.
1. Define what it means
Define how long you want to ‘no spend’ for and what ‘no spend’ means for you. You could go to an extreme and, if you have lots of food in your cupboards’, completely not spend any money until that food runs out. Alternatively, you might still want to spend your money on experiences but cut down on the material items that you’re buying.
2. Have fun with your meals
If you’re anything like me a lot of your money goes on food. Have fun with your meals and try to be as cheap as you can. Swap the expensive meat for veggie options like a big veggie curry that can last 5 meals if you freeze it. Cut down on the takeaways and the microwave meals. Visit your local market for cheap fruit and veg. There’s lots of ways to have fun with it.
3. Focus on free/cheap hobbies
My no spend month meant that I visit the gym a lot more often than usual. Technically, the gym isn’t free but as it’s a usual outgoing bill I didn’t class the gym as an additional cost. Maybe you can focus on less expensive activities for your no spend period. Have a cheap movie night, have a clear out of your wardrobe, get creative but don’t mope around thinking about how much you want to spend your money!
4. Focus on your goal
When I was finding it difficult and just wanted to go out for drinks with my friends I thought about my goal. One month of no spending for less stress next month and a cleared overdraft. I could get through this I told myself. And I did.
The ‘no spend’ month was not easy but it was worth it and changed my spending habits (hopefully) for good.