Can you believe there are just two weeks left of August? Me neither!
In the two weeks left in August, I’ve decided to plan for a No-Spend September! It’s nice to have a couple weeks notice before a no-spend month to get mentally and physically prepared. All within budget, of course!
I actually haven’t done our big grocery shopping trip yet this month. We go to Sam’s Club and Winco which are an hour away and we just haven’t worked it into our schedule yet this month. We will though, especially now that we are preparing for another no-spend month.
Why We’re Doing a No-Spend Month in September
In our budget update in two weeks, I’ll give all the details, but for now, it looks like our income in August (which we will budget and spend in September) is going to be higher than it has ever been! Wahoo!
So why, you might ask, does this make me want to do a no-spend month?
With a higher income, it would be easy to relax a little on our debt payoff. We don’t want to be tempted buy extras and be frivolous. We want to make September our highest debt payoff month ever, so we are stretching ourselves.
Also, it has been a while since our last no-spend month in April 2014, so we are due for a no-spend month. It can be a fun challenge if you let it be!
No-Spend Month Rules
I often have people ask me what the rules are for a no-spend month or if they can do this or that during a no-spend month. This is what I tell them:
Rule #1: Set your own rules.
Rule #2: Follow the rules you set.
Seriously. You will get the most out of a no-spend month if you set your own rules.
Some people will want to only give up non-grocery shopping. Others will make exceptions for produce. If you already know you have a birthday party coming up, you might make a special exception for buying a gift. If you have a tendency to eat out often, having a restaurant no-spend month would be a perfect challenge!
Set rules that will challenge you, but that will still be doable. Set yourself up for success. Don’t compare your rules to others’ rules.
Because I’m all about public accountability, I will tell you our rules.
- No grocery shopping
- No eating out (this is easy because we rarely eat out)
- No spending money on entertainment or gifts
- No buying household goods or toiletries
- We can still buy gas
- We still pay all of our normal monthly bills (of course!)
We still have two weeks left to prepare using the funds left in our August budget.
Another rule of mine is that all preparation for a no-spend month must be done within the normal budget constraints of the month before your no-spend month. By the same token, the normal budget must be kept for the month after the no-spend month. This ensures that a no-spend month really does save you money.
With the money we have in this month’s grocery budget, I plan to stock up on milk, cheese, tortillas, eggs, apples, bananas, and some other staples which I can’t think of at the moment. We also need to stock up on toothpaste. Random fact: My family is ridiculously picky about toothpaste. We often have five different tubes going at once. #pickyourbattles
If you need toilet paper or other household necessities, stock up on them too. One of the advantages of a no-spend month is that you stay out of the store, which saves time, gas, and money that you’d spend on impulse purchases. Get whatever you can before the no-spend month starts so that you can have the most success possible.
Encouragement and Support
In addition to my normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday blogging schedule, I will be posting on Tuesday and Thursday throughout September as well!
On Tuesdays I”ll have a weekly check-in where you can leave a comment to share how you are doing on the no-spend challenge. I will have a link-up for any bloggers or instagrammers to link up a post/pic of their progress on the challenge. On Thursdays I will share some other no-spend inspiration! Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be the normal Six Figures Under mix.
Are you in?
Who is ready to make September an awesome month for goal progress (savings, debt payoff, etc) by not spending anything (or whatever you decide your personal challenge will be)?
You’ve still got some time to think about it and talk to your spouse or family. Remember even if your other half is not game, you can still make your own goal and changes for the month. What will you choose not to spend money on?
Tell us what your plan is in the comments!