Do you want to save more in a month but haven’t been able to do it? It is tough especially since the holiday season is just over when most people spend the most. But, you need to do something to repay your debt, if any and manage your finances efficiently.
How about taking up a no-spend month challenge? Are you astonished that how is it possible?
Well, let’s put it this way that you will spend only on essential items like grocery, gas, medicines, utilities, etc., and on nothing else.
However, when I say a no-spend month, it doesn’t mean that you’ll use your credit cards; because you will have to pay the bills the next month or else, you’ll have to repay the balance along with interest.
Here are a few financial tips for managing your finance efficiently and doing financial fasting for a month.
Determine how long you want to do
It is always better to take the no-spend month challenge. But, if you think you can’t take the no-spend challenge for a month, start with a no-spend week at first. Once you’re able to do it, try it for 14 days and then try it for a month.
Do not be too harsh on yourself. It is better to proceed gradually.
Distinguish on what categories you won’t spend
As already mentioned, you will have to spend on certain things like utility bills and food. However, if you’re starting with a no-spending week, then you can buy your essential food items for a week so that you don’t have to buy anything for a week. You can only spend to purchase gas if required. Then also, if possible, plan your trips such that you don’t have to fill gas in your car for a week. Also, plan to go to the office with your spouse so that you can save on gas. It will help you save money on gas, too.
However, you need to stop spending on nonessential categories.
Distinguish between needs and wants
This is an extension of the last point. For a no-spend month, you need to distinguish between your needs and wants. As already mentioned, you’ll have to spend on your needs like food and other essential things. But, you will have to curb your wants.
If you feel the urge for buying anything, you’ll have to wait for a month. Do not swipe your credit cards just because you will have to pay the bill in the next month. Think it this way. Using credit cards means you’re spending in that month only. So, resist the temptation of buying anything.
How will you distinguish your discretionary or nonessential items? For example, wants to include online shopping, eating out, etc. that you can do without for a month.
Find a reason to do it
Ask yourself why you want to do a no-spend month? You need to have a reason to do it.
It might be you’re saving to make the down payment on your home, to save for a vacation, etc. It might also be to save money for paying off debt. To repay debt, you need to save a substantial amount every month and choose a suitable debt elimination plan by following which you can repay dues within a definite time.
Take help of others
It is often difficult to do it alone. Therefore, start doing it with your partner, family, or with a group of friends. By doing so, you can discuss with one another how each one of you is maintaining the no-spend challenge and can encourage each other, too.
You can take one step further and disclose it on social media. This way you’ll feel motivated to succeed in your mission. Many people might get motivated too to follow the same thing.
Get prepared beforehand
You need to be mentally prepared too for your no-spending days. Make a plan how you’ll sustain without spending on non-essential items. For example, make a plan to prepare your lunch and carry it to your workplace every day instead of buying it from outside. Also, carry your coffee with you. You can also use the remaining groceries at your home instead of buying anything from outside. When you run out of something, be creative to substitute it with any other thing.
Be careful not to buy a lot of things beforehand since you’ll go on a no-spend weekend. If you spend a lot beforehand, then it’ll be of no use to take the spending freeze challenge.
Make yourself engaged
When you get engaged with doing something you love to do, you won’t be bored and won’t feel the urge to spend on not so essential things. So, choose a hobby to pursue during this time so that you stay engaged.
Make a note where you didn’t spend
Write down when you feel the urge to spend but you’re not spending. By doing so, you can analyze where you can cut down your expenses in your budget. At the end of the month, calculate how much you’ve saved. This will motivate you to do such spending freeze sessions often.
I would like to mention that don’t worry if you’re not able to succeed a complete month without spending. It’s a good job even if you’ve done it for a week. By doing so, you can understand the reasons why you couldn’t pursue it for a month, and next time, you can take care of those things to succeed in your spending freeze mission for a month.
Another great idea is to follow a spending freeze week every month if it’s not possible for an entire month. Even by doing so, you can save a substantial amount. I am repeating it once more to be careful not to spend much on other days so that you can save a considerable amount every month. In turn, it will help you to have a better financial future.