With a new year approaching, it’s time to refresh our goals and plans for the next year. With a clean slate and determined mindset, let’s get a plan in place for making the most of our finances and learn how to do a no spend January.
No Spend January
What is a No Spend January, anyway? Does it really mean that we can’t spend any money on anything for the whole month of January?
What the term No Spend January means is that you only spend on the necessities for the month, your “four walls” so-to-speak:
- Basic clothing
I would include medicines and medical care as a necessity as well, but no other spending unless a true emergency arises.
Of course, you can tweak and customize a No Spend Month to fit your needs. Make a plan that works for you and stick to it.
Why Would You Want to do a No Spend January?
Consider a 30 day no spend challenge in the new year if you want to:
- Reset some poor spending habits you might have developed recently
- Be more mindful of your money habits and stop making so many impulse purchases
- Make the most of what you already have
- Save extra money to put towards debt payoff or a specific savings goal (maybe a vacation or building up your emergency fund)
There are many reasons to consider doing a January No Spend Challenge! Figuring out your “Why” in advance will help you succeed in reaching your goal by the end of the month.
No Spend Month Rules
The generally accepted rule for a no spend month is that you only spend on necessities for the month (as stated above). So, sit down and plan out what you expect to spend for your basic needs. Don’t forget to factor in your utility bills, any car insurance that might be coming due, and fuel for your car.
Next, sit down and set rules or guidelines for yourself that are specific to your spending patterns. Really challenge yourself! For example, my no spend month rules look like this:
No Amazon purchases. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea to remove the Amazon app from your phone for the month, or at least remove your saved payment method. Create some friction so it forces you to pause and consider what you’re doing before spending on something that can wait.
No Target runs. It’s just too tempting in Target during No Spend January. Avoid it if you can!
No eating out. This is the month to cook-at-home. Use any gift cards you may have gotten for Christmas, but no new money. Keep some super easy meals on hand in the freezer for the nights you’re too tired to cook.
Go through the pantry and freezer. Try to keep the grocery spending as low as possible and work your way through what you have in the freezer and pantry, even if it’s not exciting. Use up what you already have.
No Spend January Printable
Use our monthly budget form as your No Spend January printable accountability worksheet, to help you create a plan and stick to it. It’s free! Download it here.
If this is your first time doing a 30 day no spend challenge, remember to give yourself grace. Of course, no one wants to feel like they’ve failed, but even if you “mess up” and have two days where you make poor spending decisions, that’s still 29 days where you did well! Celebrate that!
Who knows, once you’ve mastered No Spend January, you may surprise yourself and consider trying a No Spend Year in the future!
Up Next: GRAB OUR FREE BEANS & RICE BUDGET MEAL PLAN
Our free beans & rice budget meal plan comes straight to your email and is completely printable, so you can print it whenever you like. It’s helpful, easy, and will inspire you to eat at home! Get it here.
You might also like:
- A Prayer For Finances: How to Pray When Money’s Tight
- “God Please Help Me Through This” – How to Pray When You’re Hurting
- We’re Debt Free! Our Story of How We Paid Off Our House