So many of us tend to head into a new year with very few pennies to stretch over the month. You could probably blame early December paydays, and the whole of January feels year long in itself, but this is where people like you and I are likely to take stock of what we’re spending. I’ve seen many people taking up a no spend week or month and I thought this post would be a good one if you’re thinking of starting yourself or carrying on the habit throughout the year.
How To Manage Your First No Spend Week
Having a no spend week can be a great way to get on top of your finances, and save some money whilst you’re at it. During a no spend week you won’t pay for anything aside from essentials such as food, bills and travel costs. This can seem like a daunting task but luckily the financial health experts over at icount, the prepaid Mastercard® provider, have put together their top tips to make your first no spend week a breeze. Read on to find out more!
Leave Your Purse At Home
If you’re guilty of buying a coffee on your way to work, or popping into the supermarket on your way home, then try leaving your purse at home for a couple of days. These small purchases quickly add up and could be having a real impact on your finances. If you do decide to leave your purse at home, consider leaving a £10 note in your bag or car for emergencies, but make sure not to spend it on anything else!
Get The Mindset Right
It’s important to make sure that you’re in the correct mindset before you start your no spend week. Be prepared to make some changes and encounter some difficulties as you adjust to not spending. Remember, this is only for a week and you’ll be fine! Whether you choose to carry it on or not is up to you.
Before embarking on a no spend week it’s worth looking up some great savings tips, budgeting blogs or money guides to prepare yourself for the week ahead.
Prepare Your Meals
Meal prep is a great way to get ahead, get organised and save money. Work out a plan of what you’ll eat for the week and prepare your lunches and dinners in advance. Not only does this mean you can make healthier choices but you won’t be tempted to splurge on a shop-bought lunch or other goodies during the day.
I’ve been doing so much meal planning this year to make sure we’re using everything up in our fridge, freezer and pantry and I’ve already seen so much less waste. Plus there are no arguments about what you’re having to eat in the evening.
Change Up Your Commute
If you drive or take public transport to work, try leaving earlier and walking instead. If you live a little too far from work to do this, consider dusting off your bike and cycling into work or hitching a lift with local colleagues or others travelling in your direction with services such as Carshare.
The other option is to drive half way, park up and walk the other half! Every little helps and not only will you feel the physical benefits but your purse will be a little more full after spending less on fuel.
Love Your Local Area
A no spend week is the perfect opportunity for you to get to know your local area a little better. Visits to the local park or exploring your local woodland can be a great family activity for the kids and not to mention they’re likely to be free too! Take a look at local magazines or Facebook groups to see what free activities there are for the whole family and take advantage of these if you can.
Lots of towns and cities host some kind of free events throughout the year too so make the most of them!
Hopefully these simple tips will help you to get on top of your finances and save some precious extra pennies. Try making no spend weeks a regular thing and see what an impact they can make on your financial health.
Have you done a no spend week, month or year? I’d love to see how much you’ve saved!