I’ve done a few no-spend month’s this year because I went a little crazy back in March and bought aaaall the planner supplies. (oops)
If you don’t know what a No-Spend is, it’s pretty much just what it sounds like. You choose a length of time(typically a month) to stop spending money. You also choose what you will buy and what you will refrain from buying.
I have a few tips that have helped me survive my No-Spend so far(did I mention I’m on a no-spend until August?) and thought I’d share them with my fellow No-Spender’s.
When choosing what you will allow spending on and what you will not, make sure to choose things that you can follow. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to challenge yourself and you do want to make sure the no-spend is effective. Just make sure that you’re being realistic.
For example, I am not allowed to buy sewing supplies for myself but since I often make gifts throughout the year for my family and friends’ birthdays, I am allowed to buy what I need for said gifts. Within reason, of course. I try to use what I have first.
Are you saving for a new car? Do you want to take a nice vacation this year? Remind yourself of why you’re doing this no-spend thing. When you are tempted to spend money, ask yourself if it’s worth not having whatever you are working towards.
Don’t sabotage yourself
If you’ve ever been on a diet before, you have probably made sure that whatever food you had in the house was healthy. And you probably didn’t go to any ice cream shops either.
Well, it’s the same concept with a No-Spend. Stay out of the stores that you know will be hard for you to control your spendy hands. If you absolutely have to go into one, bring someone with you who will keep you accountable. For me, that’s my husband and five-year-old son. They’re both pretty great at making sure I’m only buying what’s on our list.
It’s also a good idea to unsubscribe from any tempting stores’ emails. Unless you think you can handle being notified of amazing deals all the time(I can’t)! I’ve also unfollowed some pretty tempting Facebook groups, I found it hard to look at everyone’s planner hauls without wanting to go out and shop myself.
Track your progress
Some people like to track their no-spend progress on a calendar or a chart. I always mean to but end up forgetting about it and falling behind. I think it’s nice, though, to see how well I’m doing. I also think it’d be helpful to see when you’re messing up; perhaps you could find a way to avoid slipping in the future.
If you see something you really want to buy, try making it! You might just surprise yourself with what you can create.
I recently made my first dress(not the first dress I’ve ever worn, but the first dress I’ve ever sewn). I really wanted to add some horsehair braid to the hem but I didn’t have any on hand. Instead of breaking my no-spend, I looked in my fabric stash for something similar. I found quite a few yards of some hard netting that I had used for a failed tulle skirt(I will conquer you eventually!) that worked perfectly in place of the horsehair braid. I plan on doing a blog post about how I did it so stick around if you want to find out. I had fun experimenting and it worked out pretty well I think. Plus, I didn’t have to spend any extra money!
Hold your horses!
That expression has always sounded weird to me and it only looks weirder typed out XD But it’s more interesting than just saying “be patient”.
Although it might not seem like it right now, a no-spend is temporary. Those *insert much wanted items here* will most likely still be there when it’s over. Who knows, you might not even want the shoes/stickers/fabric later on(yeah right!).
No-spend’s can be pretty tough sometimes so I hope I have made yours a little easier. If I, a shoe/purse/washi/fabric/planner “collector” can make it through five months without spending loads of money, then trust me you can too. If you ever need some encouraging words or just want someone to commiserate with, contact me through my Facebook page. There should be a magical Facebook symbol around here somewhere 🙂
Do you have some helpful money tips? Tell me in the comments below!