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We all wish that we could have more money. With Christmas just over 8 weeks away, I wish that I had extra money more than ever! It’s an expensive time of the year – lots of parties to attend and gifts to buy. As we edge into November, it’s the perfect time to start the 30 Days of No Spending Challenge before the Christmas spending really starts! (anytime is great for a no spend challenge!)
BEFORE YOU START
This free No Spending Challenge planner will be super helpful for the month. It’s best to print and use it a few days before you start the challenge so that you can prepare by writing down upcoming expenses and planning free activities.
REVIEW AND PLAN YOUR BUDGET
Now your planner is printed, it’s time to review your budget. Look at last month’s expenses and add in your total spending for each category. This includes expenses that aren’t fixed such as new clothes and eating out.
Next, add your budget for this month. Obviously the aim is to not spend outside of your means so only add your fixed expenses such as your household bills and groceries. At the end of the month, you’ll compare your spending to last month and see how much money you have saved.
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DECIDE WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T BUY
Let’s be realistic. We would love to get through the 30 days without spending a single penny but that’s not going to happen. If you have children (or in my case a fur baby) then you’ll still need to arrange daycare. If you live 15 miles away from your place of work then you’ll also need money for fuel and transport.
Consider what spends you can cut out without it effecting your day to day living. Be specific! Tempted to have a takeaway? Use this as an opportunity to try out a new recipe instead!
PLAN YOUR ENTERTAINMENT
It’s easy to stay in the house all weekend if you’re only doing a ‘No Spend Weekend’ but 30 days? It would be hell. Plan what activities you can do and add to your calendar. Research what is going on in your local area during the month that is free to attend. Need some ideas?
- De-clutter your house
- Go for a walk/to the park
- Read a book – own a Kindle? Amazon is always giving away free e-books! – Check them out here
- Start a DIY project
- Have a netflix marathon
- Cook a new recipe
- Try a new skill
- A holiday coming up? Go to a pumpkin farm for Halloween or carol singing at Christmas
TRACK YOUR TEMPTATIONS
There are going to be temptations during the month. You might think that you really need to purchase something that isn’t on your list of exceptions. Instead of buying it on impulse write the desired purchase down on the ‘Temptations’ insert. Review your list once you have completed the challenge. You might realize that although the purchase seemed important at the time, it wasn’t actually a necessity.
- Leave your purchase at home. You can’t shop if you have no money!
- If you have to buy a gift for a loved one, consider using a coupon/deal site instead.
- Only leave money for your bills in your bank account. Move spare money to your savings. Out of sight, out of mind!
- Use up ingredients in the cupboards before doing a grocery shop.
- Take a packed lunch to work so you’re not tempted to buy.
- Take advantage of the coffee/tea that your workplace provides.
- Ditch the manicure/pedicure. Pamper yourself at home instead!
- Invest in a water bottle and carry your own water from home.
- Do you grocery shopping online so you’re not tempted by other purchases. Gousto deliver recipes to your door. Save money and try out new recipes during your month of no spends!
- Start a blog to keep you occupied.
I’d love to know how the challenge is going for you! Take a photo of your progress and tag me on social media to let me know how you’re progressing.