Sunday, March 01, 2009

March is no spend month!

I am going to give this challenge a try from the Simple Savings website. Now that the February birthdays are out of the way, school is all sorted, I think we can do it!

Wish me luck!

Here goes:

Your goal, should you choose to accept it, is to avoid spending money on ANYTHING in March other than the absolute essentials for your work, education or survival. Let's see how little you can spend. Obviously there will be some things you cannot avoid, such as basic food and prior bills but apart from that your mission is to make sure you don't buy anything that is not essential.
Just for clarification, this month you should NOT be buying:-
  • Takeaway food of any sort
  • Lollies or chips
  • Dips
  • Soft drinks
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Frozen dinners
  • Movies or videos
  • Fancy brands
  • Bought cakes
  • Pre-made food
  • Ice cream
  • Clothing
  • Beauty products
  • Alcohol
Yes, we know it's harsh, but look at that list. How many of those things do you currently buy each month? Imagine how much you would save by not buying them for a month. Imagine how much headway you could make. Imagine all the things you could do to get ahead financially if you managed to keep all that money in your bank instead of automatically handing it over to shopkeepers for things you don't need. You could use it to pay off a credit card. You could pay some extra off the mortgage and save yourself some interest. You could use it to create an emergency fund to bring a little extra peace of mind. You could use it for a reward or holiday for your family. Put like that, isn't it worth the effort for a few short weeks?
Things you CAN spend money on:-
  • Rent or mortgage
  • Basic food
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Petrol
  • Car
  • Health care
  • School essentials (meaning uniform, camps or stationery requirements, NOT money for the canteen!)
  • Other prior bills (we don't want you incurring late fees!)
To make your No Spend Month as easy and successful as possible, all it takes is a few minutes planning each day. Keep a savings diary and fill it in at the end of each day with the following:
  • Write down every item you purchased for the day.
  • Write next to each item if it was essential - or not.
  • Write down a brief plan for the following day. What do you HAVE to do? Where do you HAVE to go? Can any of these be avoided or at least put off until another day? Thinking about what you need to do the night before will leave you clear headed and organised for a No Spend day the next day.
  • Write the following mantras in your Savings Diary and remind yourself of them each night, or during those times when things seems really tough:
    Is it essential for survival?
    If in doubt, go without!
So let's get to it and see how little we can spend this March.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like a great idea. However, we have three birthdays in March, so I'm not sure it's do-able. Good luck!


Mrs. Darling said...

I dont worry about our budget or spending. Husband is such a tightwad that if he okays something I figure its alright!

But I will be looking forward to watching how it goes with you. Keep us posted!

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