We knew we had to do something big to start off the new year, we just weren’t sure what it was going to be. Everything has been so hectic lately, from travelling around during the holidays, to me being laid off (don’t worry, I work seasonally so I always get laid off in January). But back to the point, we had to make a plan and take action. Our final decision – do a No Spending Month.
Honestly, I’m hoping this No Spending Month will turn into a sort of No Spending Year – inspired by Cait Flanders who did a Yearly Shopping Ban to help pay off all her debt – but we’ll see how it goes. It’s hard to set it in stone given that we will be working on lots of projects in the coming months, and hopefully (FINGERS CROSSED) we will be building our very own Tiny House this summer.
But the great thing about setting goals about saving money is that you can make your own rules. Nobody is going to tell you that it’s wrong to do this, or it’s not OK to do that. It’s all up to you. So a No Spending Challenge might look a little bit different for every person. That’s the beauty of it.
For us, saving money by “not spending,” means:
- No coffee or tea when we’re out of the house
- No restaurants
- No takeout
- No concerts (unless we receive or win free tickets)
- No new clothes
- No cosmetics (that’s on my end, obviously)
- No new books, notebooks, and movies
- No new guns (Max, I hope you’re reading this!)
- No new tools (unless it is absolutely necessary – one exception will be a tool we need to fix a part on our car because in the end it will save us money by doing it ourselves)
- No household items*
- No new electronics or appliances
Basically, no buying things just for the sake of purchasing something. No splurging. No treating ourselves to something nice. Instead, we will find joy in what we already have, and make the most of our time doing activities that don’t cost any money.
Another thing that we always add onto our list when it comes to a No Spending Challenge is minimizing our grocery shopping. Given the fact that we stockpile, we are able to take this month (or any month we choose to spend less money) and try to use as much of our staple foods as possible. We also have lots of soup in the freezer, so those are on the menu this month as well.
Speaking of menu, let’s talk about Meal Planning. This is one of the greatest things I have ever discovered, in terms of trying to save money. I urge you all to start planning your meals, even if you don’t always stick to it. Having a list of 7 meals each week makes grocery shopping easier, more convenient, and best of all – CHEAPER! So start now, you literally have nothing to lose. Except your money, if you don’t do it.
The only things we will be paying for this month are the following:
- Rent (because we would rather not be evicted)
- Electricity Bill
- Internet Bill
- Phone Bill
- Car Insurance
- Groceries (Budget is set at $100 for the entire month)
- Household Necessities (if we run out of toilet paper, or more importantly, salt for the driveway!)
Aside these things, there will be exceptions. I have lots of DIY projects planned for the blog that I am so excited to share with you all, but to be able to do that, I have to spend a bit of money. I’ve decided that the No Spending Challenge will be focusing on personal finances only, that way we can separate the spending being done on Tiny Adventure’s expenses. The only other exception I can think of is if we want to go out and use our gift cards that we received for Christmas – I swear if we don’t use them, we always end up losing them.
If you like the idea of our No Spending Challenge, why don’t you join us, even if you just start today – any progress is a step closer to reaching your goals! We’d love to hear from you in the comments, let us know what you think and how you would go about doing your own No Spending Month.