Well a new year is upon us and sometimes coming into January instead of feeling the excitement of the new year, you might be feeling kind of guilty about all the spending you did at the end of last year.
First, I’ll just say, “let it go!”
Regret or shame will not get us anywhere. The new year brings a new page, hope, and a clean slate in which we can work off of and grow in areas we want to change in the new year.
So with that in mind, I want to help start you in the right direction. Sometimes our spending can get a little out of hand. Maybe that is mostly during the holiday season for you, but maybe it’s more like all year round. Sometimes I’ve gotten into times where I feel like I’m spending money left and right. Random small things I need at the house or things for the kids, and it just feels like my money is water and I’m watering all of the green things out there.
Well not sure if you heard, but there’s this thing called “No Spend January.” Since we are already in the middle of January, don’t worry. I did a no spend February last year and it works just the same 😉 Now before you stop reading and say, “There is no way I’m doing that!” Here me out. And just maybe, you’ll want to do this with me.
Last year a few of my clients tried this out. One couple saved a few hundred dollars in two weeks alone and they were surprised there was so much more in their bank account. Another couple told me since they were being more conscious, they stopped eating out and realized that was a HUGE part of their weekly budget.
Ok, so I’m sure you are dying to know exactly what a “No Spend February” is. Well it does not mean “absolutely no spending any money for a whole month.” But it does mean “no spending on non-essential, discretionary items.” Things that are in: basic groceries, gas, bills, etc. Things that are out: Amazon purchases, random Target runs, eating out, clothing, etc.
Our goal here is to break habits we’ve created over the year (or over our lifetime) and stop the mindless spending.
The first thing you want to do to get started is to create a goal. Analyze your spending for the past few months and see how much you spent on non-essential items. That total will be your goal on how much you should be able to save for this challenge. If this seems like too much work, just skip this step and see how much money you can save in one more. You’ll probably surprise yourself as you see your bank account growing.
Then, you’ll want to decide on what to do with your savings when you are done. Will you make an extra payment on your credit card? Will you put it away for your emergency fund? Be sure you know why you are creating this goal and how you will use everything you saved ahead of time.
Now, how will you actually make this goal happen? Here are some ways to save:
- Shop your closet: If you reach out back deep in there, I’m sure you will find some clothes you haven’t worn in ages. Pair it with some other items and see what new styles come from it.
- Watch movies at home: once the kids go down or as a family, find a movie with your streaming service, pop that popcorn, and hunker down in your living room instead of the movie theater.
- Make coffee at home and pack your lunch: instead of the daily bagel and coffee to go or quick pick up for lunch, take a few extra minutes and sit down for breakfast with the fam, and pack an homey, but adequate meal for your lunch. Leftovers work great!
- Remove the Amazon app from your phone: Stop the urge! Set up boundaries. Say, “that can wait until next month.” Most likely it can and nothing can hurt from a little extra waiting.
- Meal plan: oof we can talk about this for hours. If you need help with this one I have a whole talk about it that you can watch in this video.
Kristina Ellis, a former Dave Ramsey team member, is doing her “No Spend January” again this year and she has tons of suggestions and ideas for making this happen. Check out her Instagram if you need more ideas!
If a whole month feels intimidating, maybe just try one week or three days. But, if you are willing to make a big change and do one whole month and kick start your year off to being more intentional with your money – then let’s do this!
Don’t give up if you miss the mark on one day! Just keep signing up and challenge yourself.
The results of walking away from this no spend month will be valuable in more ways than one. You’ll be learning so much related to patience, contentment, creativity, and delayed gratification. Who knows what innovative food creations you’ll come up with or free activities to do with the kids when you really get to thinking. You will stop old habits, implement new habits, be more mindful in your spending, AND have all the money you saved at the end to show for it. Who knows? Maybe this will motivate you to keep it up! If not another no spend month, maybe just tightening that spending budget since you know now it’s possible.
Let this challenge change your habits and the way you spend your money. Your goals, your family, and your future is worth it.
You have a few weeks to prepare, so get going! Me? I’m off to convince my husband this is a good idea again!
But seriously, if you would like help in your journey, know that I am here for you. If you are looking to make financial progress in 2024, click here to find out how.
Want content like this more often and sent directly to your inbox? Sign up for Money Chats with Michelle here!
Verde Capital Management, Inc. is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. Financial Coaching services are only provided to those with a financial coaching service agreement in place. Investment advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Verde Capital Management, Inc. and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Verde Capital Management, Inc. unless a client service agreement is in place.