I am going to try something a little different this year to reach my 2017 financial goals faster. Ever tried a no-spend month–and failed? Me too. Every time. I’m not throwing in the towel on this idea, just going to be a bit more strategic with the approach.
I am declaring February a no-spend month for a few reasons.
- February has the fewest number of days. Less likely that I’ll fall off the wagon.
- The holidays are behind us (or well ahead of us), so there’s a smaller chance I’ll splurge on gifts this month.
- We have no birthdays or events scheduled for the month that we would potentially spend extra on.
- Yes, I know Valentine’s Day falls this month. I have a post in the works now, to give you ideas for some free and very inexpensive, and maybe even more meaningful gift ideas for your sweetie! I link it here when its finished!
Here are some things to help you stay on track with your no-spend savings challenge.
No Eating Out
This includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yes, also the morning Starbucks or coffee shop run. None of that in February ladies. Bring your lunch to work and drink the awful office coffee. This may even help break the habit altogether!
Save on Grocery Expenses
Try planning out your meals. Open your pantry and take inventory of what you have. What meals can you make using only the ingredients you have on hand? Check your freezer. Still have that extra turkey or ham that the hubby’s company gave you for the holidays? Cook it up! Do you know how many ways you can use all that meat? Pinterest can help out with some recipe ideas.
(Anyone know of any sites where you can plug in the ingredients you have on hand and it generates some recipe ideas for you? Tell us about them in the comments! I am genuinely interested!)
To further help with grocery expenses this month, try some vegetarian dishes. Meat is usually the most expensive part of my grocery bill. Try a pasta dish with a cream sauce and veggies. How about a homemade veggie pizza? Breakfast for dinner anyone?
No Casual Shopping
In fact, don’t go anywhere near Target! If you must buy household items, toiletries, etc., make a list and stick to it. Buy necessities only. Do not go near the cookie & snacks isle. Do not go near the office supplies. Stick to the list.
Save on Entertainment
Instead of going to the movies on Saturday, read a book! Skip the nail salon this month, do your own mani/pedi at home. Go hiking with friends. Skip happy hour and invite friends over for a BYOB get-together.
Save on Auto Expenses
You probably won’t be driving around a lot if you’re not going places to spend money, so you’ll naturally be saving on gasoline this month. Avoid the oh-so-easy and fast automatic car wash. Drag out the hose and wash the car at home, or just skip the car wash this month altogether.
Do you have other ideas for helping to stay on track with your no-spend month? I’d love to hear them! I really need my plan to be successful this time!
If you’re ready to get a better grasp on your finances, grab a free copy of my budget worksheet and debt payoff worksheet to get started right away! I will be updating the page with additional free printables, so don’t forget to Subscribe (in the right margin of this page) and be the first to know when new freebies are uploaded!
Want to grow your savings faster? Check out my post on How to Invest in 7 Easy Steps (for Beginners).