As the twinkle lights slowly fade on 2015, I am realizing that our family has gradually falalalalallen off the “financially responsible” wagon. We got excited this year about giving, traveling, and celebrating, but our pocket books are tired and in dire need of a rest!
So when some friends of mine over at Little Mountain Momma and The Dependent Life Blog invited our family to join them in their New Year No Spend Challenge, we jumped at the chance to hop on THAT bandwagon!
You may be wondering how on earth anyone could embark on NOT SPENDING for an entire MONTH, so I encourage you to check out Little Mountain Momma’s blog. She and her family did this in August and it was an awesome success! She paved the way for us newbies this New Year, but here are the basics:
- To rest. To simplify. To re-focus on life without money as the center.
- To challenge ourselves to plan, prepare, and get creative!
- To save money!!!
- Create a budget that DOES NOT INCLUDE spending money in a store. (No online shopping, either, you sneaky rebels!) Plan for your necessities (bills, gas, etc.) and STICK TO IT. This is not the month for shopping sprees, impulse buys, or those “little extras”.
- Plan ahead! This is specifically helpful for meal planning. Prepare your grocery list for ALL of January and opt for leftovers instead of take-out!
- Find creative ways to have fun! This is a great time to utilize holiday gift cards (no going over!), baby-sitter exchanges, and house parties (if you planned for it!).
The beauty of a No Spend month is that it is unique to every family. Some friends are modifying their rules, others are taking on the challenge for two weeks to start.
Some of the things we are focusing on in our house are:
- Our Budget
We are big fans of Dave Ramsey and really love the EveryDollar budgeting app. We became pretty lax as the the year came to an end, so we are committing to re-evaluating and creating a realistic budget, going back to the cash envelope system, and STICKING TO IT.
- Meal Planning
Spending money on food is our biggest money challenge. We will be planning and shopping for our entire month’s meals just before January 1st. We will budget a certain amount per week for fresh produce and NOTHING ELSE. To remove spending temptations, this is the ONLY time we should set foot in a store.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day is sit on the couch with your spouse, drink a glass of wine, give/receive a nice foot rub… And talk about money. Ick. It’s not fun, right? But it needs to be done. And we need to improve on this, so communicating about money will be a big focus for us during our New Year No Spend.
Ok! So who’s in?! Anybody else interested in saving money and simplifying life a little bit?!
If you’re a blogger, we would love you to post on how your New Year No Spend is going! Hop on over to Little Mountain Momma‘s blog to get additional details and a pin with your personalized blog name.
If you’re on social media, use the hashtag #newyearnospend to connect and share your No Spend stories!
We are so excited to kick off the New Year with you! Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Let’s do this!