Try a month of only spending on the absolute essentials to help you get on top of your finances.
We all know that sinking feeling you get when the bills have mounted up, the credit cards are maxed out and the mortgage payment or rent is looming… and you don’t have enough to cover the outgoings. Sometimes, you don’t even have enough to cover the cost of food.
Sleepless nights, family arguments, accusations, tears and mega stress might well follow.
You can curl up in a ball of despair, or you can pick yourself up and make a plan to get on top of your debt.
One fabulous website that can really help is www.simplesavings.com.au
SimpleSavings leads the way with strategies and inspirational tips to help you limit your spending in simple ways you might never have considered.
They will help you discover how much money you simply waste each week and challenge you to see how little you can really live off if you try. And it starts with a ‘no spend’ month.
Make February your no spend month
Simplesavings challenges you to slash your budget and save as much money as you can by avoiding all non-essential spending.
Here are their rules:
Your mission is to avoid spending money on ANYTHING in February other than the absolute essentials for your work, education or survival.
Obviously, there will be some things you cannot avoid, such as basic food and prior bills, but apart from that, your mission is to make sure you don't buy anything that is not essential.
For example, this month you should NOT be buying:
- Takeaway food of any sort (that includes dinners out)
- Lollies or chips
- Soft drinks
- Frozen dinners
- Movies or videos
- Fancy brands
- Bought cakes
- Pre-made food
- Ice cream
- Beauty products
Things you CAN spend money on:
- Rent or mortgage
- Basic food
- Health care
- School essentials (meaning uniform, camps or stationery requirements, NOT money for the canteen!)
- Other prior bills (we don't want you incurring late fees!).
How this will benefit you
Firstly, it will be a revelation to you how much you waste on junk that is not absolutely essential to your life.
Every time you catch yourself opening your wallet to buy takeaway food and drinks, alcohol, dinners out, taxi fares, clothing you can well do without, books, magazines and DVDs you could borrow at the library, kitchen gadgets you will use only a few times a year, gourmet products that are three times as dear as generic brands, expensive skin care products, new accessories for the car, or another pair of designer sunglasses, STOP!!
Figure out how much you were about to spend and put that money into a ‘piggy bank’ to be counted at the end of the month.
Think of what you can do with that money that serves you better – a family holiday, more nutritious food, extra payments towards your mortgage or car loan, a visit to a specialist, paying down your credit card debt or outstanding bills, or even creating a little safety net for yourself and your family with a few hundred extra dollars in a separate bank account for emergencies.
These are all things that will make your life happier and less stressful and cost you nothing but self-discipline for a few weeks.
To help you on your journey SimpleSavings has some great tips and prizes on their website, so go visit and get on board the “no spend February” challenge. See just how much you can save when you make a concerted effort.
Then, the idea is to repeat the challenge every three months so that by the end of the year, you will be able to congratulate yourself on having saved a bucket-load of cash for the really important things in life.
If you like the free tips and want access to more comprehensive advice, resources, and the members’ savings vault with its approximately 20,000 tips, you can become a member for $21 a year here: members area.