Money

Can You Go A Month Without Spending Money?

Save Money Lebanon

When you stop spending for a decent period of time, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your spending habits.

Spending money every day is just part of our daily routine; we have to buy groceries, pay taxi fares and rent. The list goes on. But have you ever thought about having a month where you don’t spend a single penny?

Okay, it’s impossible to go an entire month where you can’t spend any money; after all there are necessities that still have to be bought such as petrol and utilities. But if your spending habits seem to land you in hot water monthly then a no-spend challenge can be a great way to kick start your savings goal.

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When you stop spending for a decent period of time, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your spending habits.

SO, NO SPENDING WHATSOEVER?

The idea behind this challenge is about only paying for the essentials. Bills still have to be paid and there should still be food in your fridge. Technically, you’ll be spending money during the no-spend month, but your money will only be going towards things you need. That means no dining out, no clothes shopping and no trips out during the weekend – the weather is getting nicer now anyway, so there are plenty of activities that you can do for free.

This savings tactic is intense but effective.

So, if you find that you’re never sure where your money goes every month, then trying this challenge could help curb unnecessary spending.

OKAY, SO HOW DO I START?

Figure out where you spend most of your money beforehand. Knowing where and how you spend will help you when it comes to the challenge. Tracking your money determines your weak spots and then you can decide what you’re going to cut.

Once you know where you’ll be spending your money, you should set a small budget for fresh groceries and essentials. When shopping for food, you could start off with a budget of USD 25 – you’ll have to start thinking about what food is necessary. This can cover the essentials and you can always finally start using that food you already have hiding at the top of your cupboard.

WILL IT SAVE ME MONEY, THOUGH?

A month is a long time to not spend any money and you may find sticking to the challenge hard. But when you stop thinking about what you can spend, you begin thinking about why you spend. Over the course of the challenge, you build willpower.

Obviously, if you’re following a concept of not spending money you’re bound to save money. When you start cutting out activities that have become part of your daily routine, you could surprise yourself at how much extra money you have at the end of the month.

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Naturally, how much you save will depend on how much of your monthly salary goes on frivolous purchases. But if you earn a decent salary, and find that you’re spending a lot on, for example, going out, you’ll be astonished at how much of your salary you can put away by taking on the challenge.

What happens after I’ve completed the month?

If you make it through the month, well done! Now comes the time to look at how much you’ve saved over the period. It could be tempting to go off and spend all that money you’ve saved (seeing as you’ve deprived yourself of treats for so long), but the whole point of the month is to help your spending habits.

You could put the extra money to good use and use it to pay off a little more of your credit card bill, or any current debt that you may have. Or you could use it to boost your emergency fund or just put it into a savings account and let the savings continue to grow.

What are the disadvantages?

With every positive comes a negative. Spending no money for a whole month seems impractical and also near impossible.

The challenge requires you to have a certain amount of financial flexibility. You have to be able to pay all your upcoming bills before the challenge starts and then stock up on supplies that you’ll know you need during the month.

But essentially this challenge can help curb your spending. The month simply gives you a better idea of how much money you usually waste; even if you’re not a big spender, constant spending can wreak havoc on your savings.

Should I try the challenge?

Once you become more aware of what and how you’re spending your money, you will fall into a cycle of automatically stopping yourself before you waste spare cash. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.

And if you can’t handle a month, there’s nothing stopping you trying a week or even a few days.

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