5 Tips For a No Spend Month

With the holidays long over and pocketbooks definitely feeling the crunch I thought February would be a great time to start one of the spending freezes off my 101 List. Being the shortest month doesn't hurt either! With me being the researcher I've quickly come to realize that there is definitely prep work that is going to go into this last week of January before Kevin and I can hit the ground running on February 1.

Set ground rules both of you can stick to
Kevin and I sat down and took a look at our February calendars. Luckily for us we don't have much going on next month. This makes things much easier!! To really make it a successful month you have to have rules that can be agreed upon if you have a spouse or someone else you live with, if it's just you it makes this step way easy!

Our biggest excess spending is on eating out. We decided there would be none of that in February. Yes we realize Valentine's Day is in there, but I have two lovely lobster tails and two bacon wrapped filets just waiting for us in the freezer. All of which was bought at killer prices at the super market within the past month or so. 

Another rule we needed to make was what is considered a necessity purchase. For my job I need to be wearing business casual. At this point I have three pairs of black flats, all purchased super on sale for like $10 a pop and they were very flimsy to begin with and are now literally falling apart, it's almost to the point of embarrassing. I've been working on finding a good, well priced pair of flats that I can wear and move in. Since this really is a necessity if I need to keep looking for a pair in to February that's OK. Buying a top from NY because it's so cute ... that's a no go.     

Plan Then Plan Some More
This is probably the number one biggest and most important thing that needs to be done before attempting a no spend month. Besides planning out the rules of your spending freeze you need to look ahead and plan things like meals or any events that you have. Luckily we have no birthdays or any gift giving events that we have to plan for. If you do, set money aside specifically for that event. Can you buy the gift using a gift card that you already have? Go for it!

For us we want to really step our meal planning game. By planning ahead for the week or even two weeks we'll be using the proteins that we definitely already have along with minimizing our weekly spending at the grocery store.

Research Your Butt Off
With Pinterest, other bloggers and just Google searches in general there are so many tools right at your finger tips. Don't just go into a no spend month blind. Take some time and research what other people have done. Hearing how people have gone through there month can keep your motivation up and give you great advice on what to do and not to do.

Don't Go Crazy Afterwards
Just because you end up completing your no spend month doesn't mean go crazy and buy all the things! Once you've gotten in the groove of cutting back on spending don't let that groove go. I'm hoping that once we get into our meal planning it will keep going and we will keep cutting back on our eating out. It's going to be tough to keep the little extra spending done after February but I know that those little purchases every now and the add up to extra "stuff" around the house and can really add up to money out of the bank account.

Don't Let a Little Mess Up Get You Off Track
You're looking at someone who is the queen of the little extra items in the Target cart without even really paying attention. My plan is to really avoid that mindless spending but if I accidentally mess up it's ok. If it's something I can return I'll do that, if it's something I can't it will get used or eaten. Then I'll learn from that accident. 

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