I want to try the No Spend January to get my budget back on track. I just plan to pay the monthly bills, but no extras. I am pretty nervous as I haven’t done this before and I want it to work. Any ideas to help me with my goal would be so appreciated. Signed, Nana.

Posted anonymously, 26th December 2018

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  • I think you just have to grit your teeth and dig into no spending. It will be hard but definitely can be done.

  • It looks like a great achievement. Success with the second half of the month. :-)

  • I am half way through the no spend month. It hasn’t been all plain sailing as I spent a bit more on food than I wanted to and had to buy a couple of birthday presents that I hadn’t factored in. I have learnt quite a bit through the process and have taken on board all the great advice on this post. I think it has taught me to be much more intentional about my purchases and to try very hard to stick to a budget.

  • I would make a list of all essentials,what I’ll actually need, and a list of what I can do without. It’s easier to make do if you have the essentials in hand

  • Even if you don’t ake your goal, you’ll likely be a lot more thoughtful about wht you DO buy. That’s an achievement too.

  • If it’s just you, probably $50 is enough. And do you have enough meat in the home? I understand that we often overindulge with food, in particular during the festivities. But we need fuel for our body, so I would try to be careful with that. Not spending money and then getting sick isn’t good at all.
    But I love your attitude.
    Some people avoid to use to pay by cards if they want to save money. You make a budget, and then you make different envelopes with cash inside. One for food, one for fuel, one for utilities and so on… And you have to live that way. When the money is finished, that’s it. Paying in cash makes you more aware of your spending habits.

  • What I find is happening is that I am getting quite anxious if I have to spend any money. I am going to have to be careful that my goals don’t affect my mental health. U are right. I need to buy some fresh fruit and vegetables without feeling bad about spending the money. I need to budget a certain amount of money for food. I am thinking fifty dollars a week. I only have to buy for myself. Do u think fifty dollars sounds reasonable? Thank u for your help.

  • Use up what we have in the pantry and freezer is a very good idea. Often we forget what we have in there. Maybe you will need to buy something anyway, like fruit and vegetables, unless you grow your own.
    Saving money is really important, but your health is too. So if you see that you are getting hungry, maybe you would have to reevaluate the all thing a little bit. Success!!

  • Thanks so much to all the wonderful women who have given their support in my quest for a no spend month. I am trying to use up what food I have at home and haven’t been to the supermarket since 26th December. The larder and fridge are getting quite empty, but I am trying to stay away from the supermarket for as long as possible. However, I am finding myself getting hungry during the day.

    I am not finding it easy, but all your advice and support helps me a lot to stay the course. My children are all grown up, so it is a lot easier for me to do a no spend challenge than mums with kids at home. Last year I was spending more than my pension and this is not sustainable. I am a chronic migraine sufferer and don’t go on many outings. My downfall is shopping online, especially things for the grandkids.

    Will keep u posted. Its just so lovely of the people who have answered to care. Thanks so much.

  • I find the month of January quite tricky to start, like another mum said. I guess that if you decide to start, you just need to keep to your plan. No exceptions, otherwise it’s easy to slip into old habits. You can find a lot of free activities to do indeed.
    By “no spend” do you mean just extras or also food?
    Success with it. And keep us posted indeed.

  • Good on you. Research all your free local stuff if you are busy it’s hard to spend. I love the library you could borrow some books, check out some nice walking trails, do a photo challenge, swims at the creek, river, beach and spend some time preparing your meals in advance so you are not tempted to just grab something out. Good luck.

  • The other thing I do when not spending is to plan free activities and outings that are cost efficient; such as taking a picnic lunch and not buying lunch when out. Attending free exhibitions and events is a huge bonus.

  • I agree with the other mum who said about putting an item on hold. Usually when I do this I realize I didn’t in fact need or want the item I was just going to buy it on a whim! Throw away all the junk mail before reading it too, so that you can’t be tempted by anything. Good luck!

  • I love that idea however January would not be a good month to try that in my house due to school holidays, being on leave and all the back to school stuff that is needed. Would be interested to hear how you go as I would like to try something like this later in the year.

  • Sounds like an excellent plan and good luck with it! I have set periods when I stick to a very strict budget and I write down a strict budget and plot it on an organiser and cross off the days; it does help to keep you on track. Also; I find it is better to get an item put on hold and then leave it for 24 hours to see if it is really needed or just wanted. Set up steps and also an amount you want to save in the month – it helps to have an amount to work towards. Also; have a reward at the end of the month; it only needs to be a small reward. I treat myself to a new book when I achieve particular goals.

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