How to Successfully Have a No-Spend Month
January No-Spend Challenge
Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to spend ZERO this month.
Doing a no-spend challenge for a month is a great way to recover from higher spending months like December when our bank accounts take a hit due to Christmas.
I’ll share how we are managing our challenge to spend NOTHING in the month of January.
What we are still paying for:
• Regular Bills
• Home Business Expenses
• That’s it!
What we’re NOT paying for:
• Household Items
• Meals Out
How we’ll manage:
Eat from the Pantry/Freezer
We have a very well-stocked freezer and pantry, of which we’ll be taking advantage. Even though I love stockpiling, sometimes I just want to empty my cupboards and start over, so this is my chance!
We took an inventory of the food we have on hand and it is SHOCKING how much we truly have when we dig all the way to the back! Realistically, we could eat from our pantry/freezer for well OVER a month.
Leftovers will become our close friends. We always *intend* to use our leftovers but they usually end up in the back of the fridge, to be discovered only when it’s too late. While it gets repetitive to eat the same thing over, and over, and OVER, I am reminded that I should be thankful to not only have food on our table each night, but to have an abundance of food at that!
My husband is very skilled at repurposing leftovers. We had Chicken Tortilla Soup one night (one of the above mentioned freezer meals) then they were turned into chicken tacos for lunch the next day (after straining off the broth), and then combined with cheese, rice (cook the rice in the broth!), and homemade enchilada sauce for a Mexican casserole the next night! This way the food doesn’t “feel” like leftovers!
We won’t be eating out AT ALL but I do have a couple of free drink rewards from Starbucks that I plan to use strategically. 😉
I have a few gift cards that we can use to buy a few groceries, if necessary. These are gift cards earned through writing online reviews, shopping online through Honey, or gifts from friends and colleagues.
We don’t spend a lot on entertainment to begin with, so I don’t think this will be a big deal. We have an Arboretum membership if we get *really* bored (though, with it being January, I doubt we’ll want to venture out into the cold for fun…). We can also take advantage of free local activities or host a movie night. We also will continue our weekly library visits for free reading material, audiobooks, and even movies/TV shows on DVD to borrow.
While gas is considered a necessary expense, we are still trying to limit how much we use (certainly easier when we aren’t running all over the place spending money!). We’re also very thankful for the lower gas prices we’re seeing this month!
I’m also taking the opportunity to declutter our home this month. By decluttering and organizing, we’re finding many things we’d forgotten! For example, the kids and I cleaned out our game cabinet one day and now that all the games have all their pieces and they can really see what we have, they are playing games almost every day! So, not only did we get organized, we also discovered some “free” entertainment.
I have a bin in our closet where I collect items we no longer need and when the bin is full, I either sell the items or deliver them to the thrift store. I pulled a few of the items out to sell on my favorite thrifting apps and made some quick cash! I then used that cash to buy coffee, milk, and eggs. It was a win-win.
I really think this challenge is good for us because we really evaluate all the things that we regularly buy that we do NOT need!
Have you ever participated in a no-spend challenge? Share how it went in the comments below!