It's the beginning of 2019 and that means it is time to start our travel fund for the year. What better way to do that then-“No Spend January”– a month dedicated to cutting out frivolous spending and then using that money to fund some of your travel for the year.
This is a month that for the past few years I have dedicated to boosting my 2019 travel funds — and you won't believe how much I have saved over the years by doing this. I am using mine next month for my trip to Magnolia Farms — a trip that has been in the works for 4 years!
If you’re looking to get ahead of your bills, save money, or get out of debt, a No Spend January is an excellent way to jump-start those goals.
So what is “No Spend January”
It’s just like it sounds. It’s a month in which you don’t spend any money, outside your usual monthly household living expenses.
How No Spend January Will Work
In order for your No Spend January to be successful, you have to be prepared. You might actually have to spend some money on necessary items, such as gas or groceries.
The key is to eliminate any extra spending during this time frame.
This is a great month to do this because —
- Everyone's clothing is pretty much up to snuff thanks to the holidays
What You Cannot Buy
During your No Spend month, you are not going to buy anything that is deemed as a want. It must be an actual need — and then, you will only get the basic needs.
So what items are we talking about that you cannot buy?
- Coffee from Starbucks or your local coffee house
- Online Shopping
- Eating Out (this can be minimal — instead of eating out all the time, choose 2 times a month)
What Can You Buy
There are some things you can buy such as —
Groceries: Before you go shopping for groceries, scan your pantry first. I cannot tell you how many boxes of pasta and bags of beans I have found that need to be used up.
Before going to buy your basic grocery needs, try to get creative with what you have on hand first. For example, skip the boxed sweets that you normally buy and try your hand at making a homemade cake instead.
If you get creative, you can make recipes like potato soup, my One Pan Cheeseburger pasta and more.
Basic needs that get broken or destroyed
The goal is to only purchase things you need. REALLY need. Be real with yourself before you make any purchase. Do you really need that box of Twinkies this month? I doubt it. Your wallet and your waistline will thank you.
I promise you that by doing this, you are going to fall in love with saving money and you will be surprised at how much you will save.
Not sure you can make it one month without spending anything? Here are 6 ways I believe you can do it.
6 WAYS TO SURVIVE TO NO SPEND JANUARY
If you don't spend that much money to begin with, you might find this challenge easy as pie. But, if you’re like me and you are used to going out to restaurants and shopping, doing this might be rough on you. But hey — we can do this together, right?
- Put all your debit and credits away at arm's length — out of sight, out of mind
- Have friends over and make dinner for them and watch a movie together
- Read a book from the library
- De-clutter your home and maybe even SELL that stuff for extra bucks online (adding more cash to your travel fund).
- Focus on your “Why”. This is a BIG one. It’s the most important. Put your reason for sacrificing in front of your face, such as a picture of the place you want to travel. Put it right on the refrigerator. You can do anything if you have a big enough reason.
Good luck! You can do it. For more inspiration on a no spend January watch my video below.
Stop telling yourself you cannot travel because you can't afford it. You CAN afford it. You just have to be strategic in doing it.
So — where will you make plans to travel now that you know you will have money to spend??