I'm Saving Money with a No Spend Challenge

I'm Saving Money with a No Spend Challenge

No Spend ChallengeImage Source : 401(k) 2012

Thanks to the inspiration of The Budget Mama I have decided to take an oath to not spend outside of a strict budget for the whole month of March. The way a no spend challenge works is you don't spend any money on anything that is a non-essential. You still pay your bills and still buy groceries -- you just go a month without all of the luxuries and extras. My weekly budget will consist of an allotted $40 for gas and $20 fun money. In future challenges I will probably try to cut out the fun money but I don't want to go crazy without my occassional McDonald's tea and I don't want to set myself up for failure so I'm allowing myself that much for now.

At the start of the week I will withdraw $60 cash and divide it into two appropriately labeled envelopes -- one for gas and one for fun. Then throughout the week I will be able to see what I have spent and what I have left. Any money that I have left at the end of the week will be deposited into the next week's fun money as a reward for staying within budget. Some of the changes I will be implementing to help me not completely fail at this will be:

  • Sending any promotional emails straight to my spam folder without looking at them (especially Ulta, damn you great sales!).
  • Avoid the mall at lunch. I tend to do the most shopping when I'm at lunch so I'll either use that time to workout or read instead. Good thing I have lots of books waiting for me!
  • Avoid browsing any online stores including Groupon.
  • Use freebies. A big expenditure of mine tends to be makeup and skin products but I have a ton of freebies I've never used. It's about that time.
  • Automatic draft to savings. I will be having the bank automatically draw the additional savings out of my account for the two paychecks I'll receive this month and just allow enough extra available to keep my balance where it needs to be maintained.
  • Lots of time at home! I actually have a pretty full schedule this month filled with free activities so it shouldn't be too hard. Plenty of mountain biking, working out and school to fill my time.
  • Leave my debit card at home. No better way to not spend anything.

My main goal with this challenge is of course to save money but beyond that I would like to see a positive change in my spending habits.

Anyone care to join?

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