budget · finances · goals · no spend month

Getting Back on your Financial “A” Game with a No Spend Month

I still can’t believe that it’s September already. This year is flying by. As the 4th quarter is approaching it has me taking a closer look at my 2017 goals and making notes of what actions need to be taken to finish the year off strong.

Financially August was not a great month for me. I wasn’t able to put as much money as I wanted to towards my castle savings (home down payment). Instead of sulking over it I am going to move forward and create a new plan for this month to help me get back on track. I noticed a few people in the #debtfreecommunity on Instagram are doing a No Spendtember. I figured this is probably just what I need. No unnecessary spending for the month. If it’s not already budgeted for this month, it will just have to wait. Plus, doing it with an amazing community will help me hold myself accountable.

I think it’s great to have a spending freeze at least once or twice a year; maybe you can even handle more. It’s almost like a detox for your finances. Cleanse out the frivolous spending and re-introduce those healthy financial habits.

This will have me questioning all of my purchases. Do I really need this? Is there any way I can substitute something in its place in the meantime? Can the purchase hold off until next month? How can I dodge that expense? Is this a want or a need?

I will be spending money on certain items. My no spend month essentials include:

  • Rent
  • Bills
  • Gas
  • Groceries

I looked over my budget over the past few months and made note of my extra spending. So these items will be included in the dont’s:

  • Shopping. Target anyone?
  • Girls night out
  • Eating out/Not bringing food in to work
  • Parking expenses
  • Alcohol. Yes,I love vino.

Your do’s and dont’s might look completely different than mine and that’s fine.

I’ve created an action plan that I’m going to use as a guide to help me not spend any extra money this month.

Stay in and stay busy

If I spend more time at home I will be less inclined to go out and spend money on things that I don’t need. This will also help keep car gas expenses low since I won’t be driving around as much.  This month I’m going to stay focused on my workouts, volunteer projects and reading a couple books.  

Pack my lunch

This is pretty self-explanatory, but by me bringing in my lunch & snacks into work I’m saving money. Plus it will help me minimize food waste because I will be forced to prep and cook meals at home.

Pinterest

When all else fails PINTEREST IT! Honestly whether it’s a new recipe I want to try or an outfit I can create from my current wardrobe, Pinterest is LIFE. It really has been a resourceful tool in helping me not spend any unnecessary money.

Leave for work on time

This has to do with the fact that if I am running late in the mornings then I will have to leave my car at the parking garage versus taking public transportation. Public transportation is free for me. Parking at the garage isn’t and quickly adds up. I’ve been doing it a few times a month recently and I’ve noticed the hit to my budget.

Politely decline social outings

I will have to say farewell to most social outings this month. The only one that I have budgeted for this month is the Katy Perry concert. I knew that this was coming up so I have already set aside money for this event.

 

Are you doing a no spend month in September? Have you already done one in a prior month? What was your experience like?

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