no spend month

No Spend January Rules, Plus 10 Ways to Survive It

Let’s start the New Year off right, with a NO SPEND challenge month. 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.

no spend january

What’s a No Spend Month?

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.

Why do a No Spend Challenge?

Perhaps you went over budget last month, or you’re having a hard time making your minimum payments on your bills lately. Maybe you’re looking to hit a specific financial goal this year, such as building an emergency fund, or finally paying off your student loan. There may be a vacation you’d like to save money for.

There are many reasons to challenge yourself to spend LESS money.

Whatever your reason, goals need to specific and measurable in order to be attained. A calendar month is a perfect amount of time to make a commitment to spending less, so that you can save more, in order to hit those goals.

What are the Rules?

Rule #1 Don’t spend any money, for one month.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to that. You’ll want to keep paying your rent, buying food, lights and water. Basic living necessities still need to be maintained, after all.

Rule #2 Buy only those things that are a NEED.

The goal is to only purchase things you need. REALLY need. Be real with yourself before you make any purchase. Could you survive on an island without that skinny vanilla latte (with almond milk)? Probably so. Which means it’s off your spending list this month.

10 Ways to Survive to No Spend January

Maybe you don’t spend much “fun” money as a general rule, and this no spend January month will fly by without any sweat on your brow. But, if you’re used to going out to restaurants and shopping as a hobby – the month might get a little rough. Here are 10 ways to make it through.

  1. Hide all your Credit/Debit cards. – Don’t let it be easy to spend.
  2. Schedule a (free) game night with your friends.
  3. Take advantage of free Library Apps for books and audiobooks. (I use Overdrive.)
  4. Plan a Clothing Swap with friends. You can “shop” their clothes.
  5. Put things in your Amazon shopping cart for next month. (You might decide you don’t even want it after all by then.)
  6. Combine challenges to make things more fun. Such as an exercise, purging or pantry challenges. Might as well get in physical, as well as financial shape.
  7. De-clutter your home and maybe even SELL that stuff for extra bucks online.
  8. Watch “Tiny House Hunters“, “Hoarders” or “Trading Spaces” for inspiration on simple living.
  9. “Punish Yourself” for spending, by donating twice the amount of money you spent to a charity, or a political party you can’t stand.
  10. Focus on your “Why”. This is a BIG one. It’s the most important. Put your reason for sacrificing on a small piece of paper in your wallet and look at it when you feel the temptation to spend. 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, and read the comments from other “Debt Free Dana” community members. They’ve got some awesome ideas too! Hit me up there with any questions, or follow me on Instagram. Happy New Year!