No Spend January 2017- Join in!

no-spend-leap-picThings can get out of control so quickly.  If I get a gift card or cash its spent within days.  It’s that time of year where the Christmas Club account is wiped out and the sales are never ending.  I need them to end because clearly I have no self-control.

So here we go! I challenge myself and you to tighten up the purse strings and calm your spending for the month of January.

Before we get started—things happen in life that we can’t avoid. For example, my son’s birthday party is in the middle of January and I know I will need to buy pizza and cake.  Thankfully I already bought the goodie bag supplies, paper products and decorations.    I also have a wedding to go to at the end of January.  Other than that, I don’t anticipate any expenses outside of my bills.  Life happens.  You can still participate in a No Spend January (minus what you already have planned and simply can’t avoid.)  However, if you are attending a party too you can always do some price comparison shopping to get the lowest price on purchase.  I use Ebates every time I shop on line and every 3 months I get a BIG FAT CHECK back from them- a percentage on the purchases I was making anyway.   Yes please!

7 guidelines and suggestions to help us all through the month of January:

  1. Set a goal.   How much do you want to save? Is it for something specific?
  2. Make it realistic and achievable.  Maybe cutting $50.00 out of your budget is a big deal for you and your family.  Maybe you can afford to cut $500.00.  If you set an unreasonable expectation you are setting yourself up to fail.
  3. Identify some areas you can cut back on.  It doesn’t have to be cable.  Maybe carpool with a friend and save some gas?  The small gestures will add up.
  4. Get your family on board with a No Spend January and how it affects them, too.
  5. Ask a friend to join you in the challenge so you can hold each other accountable.
  6. Pay your bills and pay them on time.
  7. Money should be used to pay for food, gas for your car , transportation for work and necessary medical expenses.

Expenses to try to avoid:

  1. Coffee
  2. Entertainment
  3. Going out to eat
  4. Alcohol
  5. Movie night
  6. Clothes
  7. Impulse purchases

Entertainment and Meal Ideas during your No Spend January:

  • Check out your local library!  I am also so impressed and honestly embarrassed that I don’t take advantage of all it has to offer.  Rent a movie, make some popcorn and spend time with your family.
  • Game night- you know the game your child always wants you to play with them and you never have any time?  Perfect time to play!
  • Check out your local guide for fun, free things to do with your family.   Macaroni Kid is a wonderful resource.
  • Volunteer with your kids- It teaches them to be selfless.  There are many cats and dogs that would love to go for a walk.
  • Meal plan- check out the local grocery flyer and select your meals based on what is on sale. Use up food in your pantry that has been sitting there all year but hasn’t expired.
  • Make extra food at dinner time and bring leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Need to socialize? Invite your friends over for a pot luck dinner- make it a theme night. Mexican anyone?  Share the expenses of dinner and enjoy time with your friends.

What will you do with the money you save?   Will you put it toward debt?   Put it an emergency fund? I’d love to hear about it. Join in on the discussions at www.facebook.com/thriftymindedmama for the month of January.

Happy New Year! Let’s start off 2017 with a little more money and a whole lot of will power.  Take the leap with me.

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