Raise your hand if you’ve ever completed a no spend month!! Anyone? Bueller? I actually have never done one — but it looks like I’m getting the opportunity to give it a whirl, because The Man and I looked at our finances for January and decided this would be a great month to try it out.
In case you’ve never heard of one, a no spend month is where you do no spending above and beyond what you NEED to exist. You pay your bills, and you buy necessary food and gasoline — but that’s IT. No dining out, no Starbucks runs, no Kindle books. No clothes, even if they’re 50% off clearance prices at the outlet store. (Ouch.) No extra trips to W-mart. No Michael’s. (Some people go as far as to not spend ANY money, just using food in the pantry and I dunno, riding their bike to work or something — but we’re not going that crazy.)
We actually didn’t do too badly with keeping to our Christmas shopping budget, but as we look ahead to things we need to accomplish in the coming months, we see that restricting our spending will be a good idea. Also, it will give us good practice for one of our 2016 goals, which is to figure out a system that works for us to actually stick to our budget. We’re really good at making budgets — just not at obeying them. Um.
I made a printable to help us with our endeavor. I’ve posted it on our fridge as a constant reminder of our goal. It provides a place to list all those things we think of throughout the month that we would like to buy — so that next month (not this month!!) we can take a look at them and decide if they are really truly absolutely necessary. My guess is that many of them will be things we discover we can live without, since we didn’t buy them at the moment of splurgification (a new word I am very proud of).
I am also going to tape a piece of paper around our debit cards that says (you guessed it) “January is NO SPEND month.” Our debit cards come out of our wallets too often; hopefully this way we will remember not to use them for impulse purchases.
Click here: JANUARY is a NO-SPEND MONTH printable (UPDATE: the printable now has pages for ALL the months, so you can choose to do your no spend month any time of the year! There is also a generic page at the end that just says “THIS MONTH” if you prefer.