This month I am not going to spend money. Repeat after me. This month I will not spend money on things we don't need!
Yes, I am dead serious and to be clear, I am talking about wasting money on things we are not important. I challenge you to take a look at your spending habits and make this month a no spending month.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?
But let's be honest here for a minute, to not spend money is not as easy as we might think. If that were the case, yours truly here would not be writing about this financial issue.
This year, 2017, I decided that we were going to make this year the year to save big! The problem is that we have money stolen from an account, we had sick kids, and a vacation to plan. Realistically, this year to save big is turning out to be harder than what we thought
To get back on track we have been doing some of our favorite monthly challenges, and during this month we are going to make some extra cash. We went on a nice spending freeze this January, but we have to up the game a bit.
I make no secret that I am an emotional spender, this was my downfall years ago, but I do take a not spend money challenge very seriously. And thanks to these tips I can keep it up because these eight tips have worked for me over and over again.
I mean I could add more tips, and I had on other posts about this particular topic, but these tips seem to work more efficiently for some reason. So are you ready to not spend money and get your finances on track this month?
Good because I'm ready too!
You can find many tips on how to not spend money when you search online. Some suggestions are greats, others too extreme for me. The key is to find the one tip or idea that works for you and your family. For example: Not spending money on toilet paper. Great way not to spend money I'm sure, but this doesn’t work for me. However, cutting coupons and using a money making apps to save money works better for me. Do you get the idea?
The difference to this month challenge is that I want to do them weekly by writing a weekly goal list and sticking to it. That way I don’t get bored is more challenging for me, and I can hold myself accountable for not getting it done! To not spend money I created a list of tips on how to not spend money. What's amazing is that these tips work and by following them, I can not spend money.
8 Tips On How To Not Spend Money
Write down goals
Each week or each day, depending on how you see fits your personality, write down your goals. I do weekly goals and this helps me set the pace for the rest of the week. I like to write my goals on Sundays, but you pick the best day that works for you!
Having a great notebook or planner is a great idea because you will have a central location to keep track of your goals and other personal notes to keep you focus and on track.
The best way to not spend money this month is by breaking your budget to a weekly budget. I will do my budget by week instead of a monthly budget. This will give me a more detail look on my spending. If the weekly amount is $100 for groceries (this is an example), then I should be able to account for all that money that week.
Creating a weekly budget will make things more realistic and achievable than if you use a monthly budget, at least for me. Now, if you feel more comfortable using a monthly budget then that is OK. The point of doing this is to make sure you keep control of your money and not spend money on things you don't need.
Using a cash system simply works and it had helped us to save money and to limit our spending. The reason I do this is that I know personally that when I use cash I tend to save more. All the loose change go into our pickle jar and knowing that I only have that set amount of money to spend keeps me on track.
If you don't know how the cash envelope system works, then I suggest you use this method to reduce your spending and to help you control your money. It's not my favorite method because I don't like carrying cash with being at all, but the honest truth is that this system works when it comes to tracking your spending and saving money.
Shop with a shopping list
If you don't shop with a shopping list, then you are a genius and I want to know how you can remember everything and stick to a budget without one. OK, maybe you have a great memory, but the truth is that not everyone is as disciplined and have a great memory as you.
Having a shopping list always helps me out and keeps me on track of what I need to purchase. My problem is that when I go shopping I tend to forget the list. I finally got this app for my mobile phone that is helping me in this department. If you are like me a thing to do is to take a photo of your shopping list just in case you forget it.
Create a menu plan
I’m a big fan of menu planning. I love creating them and using them. If you don't have a menu plan you are missing out on how much time and money you can save by creating a menu plan for the week. Below are two important reasons why I love creating and using a menu plan:
Creating a meal plan will reduce the amount you spent going to the grocery store to look for what you need. You have all the ingredients available for your meals. This will avoid stress and the “what’s for dinner” from the rest of the family.
When you plan what your family is going to eat for the week, you will plan meals that you know everyone will enjoy. This avoids having food wasted because you didn’t overbuy products you didn’t need. You avoided creating meals that were not popular with your family.
A menu plan will give you an idea of what ingredients you are going to need and when you partner this with what you have in your pantry and your store ads you can increase your saving. To not spend money, simply stick to meals with ingredients you already have or items that are on sale. Also, stick to meals that are simple to make to avoid overspending on ingredients you don't have at home.
Analyze my bad habits
I think I know what went wrong during the month of May 2014, no planning. I budgeted the same I budget for the previous month and didn’t take to account birthdays, Mother’s Day, and graduation parties. I have to analyze my budgeting skills and look at my calendar. I also need to stop being hard on myself, we are not perfect.
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Taking the time to look at your budget is important and obviously, during that month in May, I didn't. I just simply took a few minutes and didn't think of anything. I was rushing and I wanted to be done with budgeting. To avoid this, always take your time and look at your calendar then create your budget.
Avoid shopping for fun
I will go shopping when I need to go shopping. Shopping just because I’m bored or need to get out of the house is no excuse for spending money. If I have no reason to go to the store, then I will not. To not be tempted get unsubscribe from deal sites and favorite stores to reduce the urge to shop.
Will not go to the store hungry
Believe it or not, this seems to be one of my downfalls. I tend to go around the time when I am craving lunch. You know what happens when you are hungry and you are shopping; you overspend.
Look not spending money is not as simple when we are so programmed to spend it. However, knowing this and doing these steps will help you to limit your overspending once a week at a time. I was skeptical at first about a not spending week or even a month, but it worked and one week can turn into two weeks and so on. When you start implementing these tips, you will see your saving grow and that my friend is such a great feeling.
What other tips to NOT spend money do you have or use?
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