Ok, so we’ve all heard about the “no spend challenge” on either Facebook, Pinterest, or other social outlets. It seems to be confusing a lot of people so here’s my explanation of how we do it. Let me first explain the point because if you get this part wrong, you’ll end up spending more than you’re actually saving. #1. You’re not supposed to stock up on absolutely every item possible before the challenge month begins. And #2. Don’t panic about things that may come up. Let me go into further details.
For #1. of not stocking up too much, here’s what I do. I take inventory of my freezer and pantry before I get started to see what groceries I need to stock up for the coming weeks but I DO NOT go overboard. I usually spend about $200 for this kind of prepping so it’s NOT going to cause me to spend more than we normally would. You want to watch the deals in the grocery stores and only buy what you really need that’s on sale. Also buy toilet paper and feminine products you may need. Here’s why: You’ll end up saving money JUST by staying out of the stores. If I go for milk or eggs or toilet paper, I’m bound to exit the store with something we didn’t really NEED. This challenge is to cause us to think about what we need instead of what we want. You can do it. It’s only 1 month!
For #2. of not panicking over things that may pop up like a blown tire, a sick child, or other minor emergencies: The point of this challenge is to see how many days you can go without spending on un-needed items. So, if one of these minor emergencies comes up, simply pay for it and move forward. This is a part of life and is to be expected.
I created a printable for you to use if you’d like to jump on board with our NO SPEND SEPTEMBER. I’m going to print this out and put it on the fridge. Then I’ll mark off everyday that we don’t spend outside of gas/food/normal bills. We try to see how many days we can black out in the entire month!
You can make up your own rules about this challenge. Here are our house rules because for us, they really do WORK and keep us going:
- Only eating out after church on Sunday. We attend church about 35 minutes from home so we really do need to go out since we wouldn’t make it home before 1PM and we’ve got starving people in the van. It’s something we’re not willing to give up and it works for us.
- NO extra eating out at all for any reason.
- Yes we’re allowed to buy gas ( I mean, come on ).
- No bowling, roller skating, or going to the movies. We’re NOT allowed to spend any money where it’s not NEEDED.
- No “extra” groceries other than that is absolutely needed to feed us. No steaks or speciality items until the month is over (unless there’s a birthday but for Sept., we don’t have one).
- No trips or traveling. The beach is only 30 minutes from us, so we’ll go there and pack our lunches/snacks.
- If we are running errands all day, lunches WILL be packed in the cooler to avoid eating out.
- No makeup, clothing, shoes, hair products or any other extras during this challenge so I plan accordingly.
- No household purchases like furniture, sheets, or other items that’s not absolutely NEEDED.
- HAVE FUN! Be creative. Get the children involved. I tell all 3 of our kids what we’re doing and they help motivate us to stay out of the stores.
So who’s in? This is something ANYONE can do. Let me know in the comments if you’re joining in!
Here’s your printable:
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