Wednesday 27 December 2017

Tightening My Belt: The January No-Spend Challenge

I'm not of a fan of New Year's resolutions as a rule - I think we tend to be too ambitious in our plans and, as a consequence, set ourselves up to fail - but I do have one January practice that I follow almost every year:  January is a no-spend month for me.

Over the years, my January challenge has taken different forms.  Some years, it has simply been a resolve to avoid the temptation of January sales by staying away from malls, clothing stores, home improvement stores, etc.  Other years it's meant cutting back almost entirely on buying anything at all.

A month without spending serves several purposes for me.  It resets my thinking away from the "shopping as recreation" mindset I tend to fall into over the holidays, it gives my savings plan for the year a good start, and, if I choose not to buy groceries, it affords an opportunity to take good stock of what I have on hand in the pantry and freezer; to use up those items that might otherwise expire.  

Since challenges like this are often useful to other people too, and because they're often best accomplished by having a supportive group of other participants around us, I thought it would be fun to ask you to join in on this no-spend month too.

If you take up this challenge along with me, you'll set your own goals, be that skipping your take out coffee in the mornings this month. going full on and cutting back on everything, or choosing something in between.

I've formed a January No-Spend Challenge Group on my Facebook page. I'll be posting my goals there and sharing some helpful links on budgeting, re-purposing, and frugal living. Join in the conversation by posting you challenge goals and sharing any questions or tips you may have.  I'll look forward to seeing you there!