No Spend Challenge: March 2014

The No Spend Challenge
Following my own advice on what to do when your budget fails, my hubs and I are going on a no spend month for March. We did one back in May of 2013 and it was definitely a challenge but so worth it. And since in January and February both were high spending months for us we decided that this is exactly what we needed in order to get our budget back on track. 

 
It happens, sometimes we get bitten by the spending bug and our spending habits get out of control. This is why my family and I love the no spend challenge. It is a great way to reset your spending habits and regain control over your expenses. 
 
What exactly is a no spend challenge? For the entire month (right now March 2014), you do not spend any money on any extras. You still pay your bills, purchase your groceries and gas/transportation, but you spend zero else. You do not go out to eat, purchase gifts, go to the movies or concerts, and you do zero shopping other than grocery shopping. 

If you decide to join us for a no spend March, here are a few ways to help make sure that you have a successful no spend challenge:
  • Unsubscribe – If you have email subscriptions for weekly ads and sales, unsubscribe before starting your no spend challenge. This will reduce the temptation to buy that sweater you’ve been eyeing that just went on clearance. 
  • Reward – Decide on a reward for completing the no spend challenge successfully. This could be ordering your family’s favorite take-out, going out to your family’s favorite restaurant, or going somewhere fun. Whatever would be considered a reward for your family, decide on it today before starting so you’ll all know what you have waiting for you at the finish line. 
  • Share It – Don’t be embarrassed by going on a no spend challenge. Really, what is there to be embarrassed about not spending money? It doesn’t mean you have no money, you’re just deciding to not spend it. Invite your friends and family to join you and even if they don’t decide to join you. This is a great way to let them know that you won’t be going out for any lunch dates  in March. 
  • Avoid Window Shopping – Whether you’re doing window shopping in a store or online, avoid it at all costs. Once you start browsing, it becomes super easy to get sucked in and to start purchasing. 
  • Update Your Automatic Renewals – This is the perfect time to update those automatic monthly subscriptions that you have. Decide if you need them and cancel the ones that you don’t. If the monthly service has a ‘skip month’ option, consider doing that during your no spend challenge. If the item is something that is truly needed then keep the subscription. An item that we have on automatic renewal is our monthly Rid-X shipment. For those that don’t have a septic tank, this stuff helps to keep the likelihood of a septic back-up under control. Therefore, this is a need but my monthly subscription to JustFab is not. So for the month of March I’ll be skipping my shipment in order to put the money to savings. 
And most importantly:
  • Savings – This is the most important item to decide on now before starting your no spend challenge. Where are you and your family going to put any savings that you earn from not spending? Are you going to put the money in your emergency fund, slush fund, vacation fund, or pay it towards your debt snowball? Write it down when you decide on what you are going to use the savings towards. 
Have questions about the No Spend Challenge? Submit them here and I’ll answer in a future post! 
 
I hope that you’ll join my hubs and I on our no spend challenge for March! 
Linked Up To: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Comments

  1. says

    I love no-spend challenges: You figure out what’s really necessary and what’s just a want, and get creative in finding things to do that are free :) I’ve never actually done a “no spend,” but last month we tried to live off of our pantry food and I love my lower credit card bills this month. Good luck!

  2. says

    I really need to do this! I’m not sure we could cut back everything…it seems like with teenagers and sports there is always something that comes up. But my husband and I could do it for ourselves, and I think we are going to really try to live off as much of what we’ve got in the pantry as possible.

    • says

      Teenagers can definitely be tricky to handle! :) But you and your husband can try and who knows, maybe your kids will decide to join in (especially if there is a reward in it for them). Good luck Michelle!

  3. says

    I love this idea! I feel like we could definitely use a no-spend month, but I’m pretty positive it would just be me participating. My husband refuses to admit we need to budget – he’s in denial that I seem to make up for with my thrifty habits, so I guess we’re ok. I can’t wait to check back and see how it’s going for you! Stopping by from SITS!

  4. says

    I have a budget, but it always fails and emergencies come up. I can’t seem to save no matter what I do. I really need to do a better job of cutting back and saviing, but it’s just so hard. sighs. Really got me thinking, thanks! Happy Saturday Sharefest

    http://dinoheromommy.com/

  5. says

    I’m really going to try and do this challenge this month. Our spending habits have gotten so far out of control that it isn’t even funny anymore. And with Lent starting Wednesday, what better thing to give up than spending.

    • says

      Lent is always the perfect time to give up something, especially spending money because you hold yourself accountable to a higher power. Thank you for joining me in this challenge.

  6. says

    Just talked it over with my husband and we’ve agreed to start this challenge with you! I’m so glad that I decided to visit from SITS. We need so much help with our budgeting skills!

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