Whimsically Awkward

An awkward girl in a wild world
Why I’m Making July A No Spend Month

Why I’m Making July A No Spend Month

As I mentioned in my last post, my life is in a bit of a transition right now. I’m between houses, between jobs, and feel like I’m stuck in the middle of falling backwards and finally “making it”.

Honestly, this “in between” business is resulting in a lot of extra spending, especially traveling between the US and Costa Rica, and that’s the exact opposite of what needs to be happening right now. If I’m going to move from “between” to “kicking ass and taking names”, I gotta get my finances straight.

That’s why I decided to make July a No Spend Month.

July is the perfect time for a No Spend Month for me for several reasons – I am housesitting the majority of the month so I won’t be paying rent and both houses are not within walking distance of my normal hangouts. That means it’s already harder for me to go spend money because I can’t even get to my normal hangouts without spending $20 on a taxi. The houses are both gorgeous, so I don’t expect that I’ll mind staying in, and both have new kitchens, which means that any and all excuses I usually have for why I just can’t eat at home officially go out the window.

July is also a month that I’m truly dedicating to getting my shit back together and working my ass off to ensure that I am taking steps forward and not falling back into my old patterns, so it makes perfect sense to combine that with a no spend month.

What Is A No Spend Month?

In reality, a No Spend Month is more or less a spending diet. It’s all but impossible for most people to truly go an entire month without spending ANYTHING, as we have bills to pay and essentials like food and gas to buy. For me, this No Spend Month is going to be aimed at specific categories – alcohol, books, business purchases, eating out, and other mindless things I spend too much money on.

I’m not good with deprivation so I won’t be cutting my “fun” budget 100% this month, making this more of a spending diet. There are a few fun things on the calendar that I intend to keep there but for the most part, my No Spend Month is going to be all about avoiding every non-essential purchase possible.

Others prefer to be less lenient with a no spend month and cut back on all expenses, including groceries and transportation. A no spend month is not an excuse to avoid paying regular bills or any other necessary things, like groceries, medicines, etc.

The Rules For My No Spend Month

I’m not good with deprivation so I won’t be cutting my “fun” budget 100% this month, making this more of a spending diet. There are a few fun things on the calendar that I intend to keep there but for the most part, my No Spend Month is going to be all about avoiding every non-essential purchase possible.

Here are the main rules I will be following during my no spend month.

1.) No books! I have an incredibly bad habit of downloading books on my Kindle even though I don’t even read that much these days and have at least 100 unread books on my Kindle, not to mention the stack of paperbacks on my nightstand.

2.) No alcohol. Or, at least, no alcohol purchased. I’m not giving up drinking completely this month but I am not going to be buying any alcohol at the bar or restaurants, not even my beloved $2 rum&coke on Saturdays. One $2 rum and coke always turns into much more than that and drinking every time I find myself out with my friends, when most cocktails are $5-10, really adds up. I will, however, be taking advantage of the free drinks at Ladies Night and any rounds my friends invite me too.

3.) No unplanned business purchases. I have a ridiculous habit of spending money on my businesses, even when I don’t have to. There’s always a new course to take, a new app to try out, SOMETHING that I need to spend money on. And most of it is unnecessary. This month I’m cutting all that out. I’ll keep my usual expenses – Tailwind, web hosting, the monthly membership course I’m in, my ghostwriter – but I won’t be testing out anything new this month.

4.) Limit my “fun” expenses to $30 per week. This includes anything I do in-person with my friends, like dinner or pedicures, and any other expense that’s not 100% necessary. Not buying alcohol will definitely help here but it does mean I’m definitely going to have to be more mindful of when and where I’m going out. This includes any other meals I’d be eating out as well.

5.) Back to the basics with food. Housesitting is going to allow me to be more of a home cook this month, so I plan on going grocery shopping here soon. Instead of trying out fancy new recipes, I’ll be stocking up on rice and beans, salad and sandwich ingredients, and other cheap staples that will allow me to make healthy, filling meals.

Why I’m Doing A No Spend Month

Honestly, I just spend money I shouldn’t be spending way too much. Since I work from home, I’m always ready to say yes to a dinner invitation or a drink and I’m good at spending money on stupid shit in an attempt to making myself feel better.

That habit needs to stop.

I need to get my shit together, start paying down debt, build a savings account and be financially stable for once in my life.

This no spend month will help me do that. It’s going to be hard, especially telling my friends no, but I know it will also be worth it. I was inspired by Yes & Yes’s post on a spending diet and have been considering doing it for a while, so this is just finally the right time for me.

My ultimate goal is to have $500 in my savings by the end of this challenge and the idea of that happening is motivation enough to get started.

Have you ever done a no spend month or spending diet before? If you have any tips or tricks, I’d love to hear them!