After the holidays many people are cleaning out the clutter, making resolutions, and thinking about the goals they’d like to accomplish in the new year. I’m sure for some, one of those goals is to save money and help get back on track after all that spending from the holidays. Last year, I decided to go on “no spending spree” in the month of February (I chose the shortest month 🙂 ) and it was much easier than I had planned, so it continued into March. This year, I’m starting first week of January and I’m anxious to see how long I can go!
I wanted to share some simple tricks I learned from my experience last year and why I am choosing to do it again. One of my big personal goals this year is paying off credit card debt. Saving the money will allow me to pay off our credit cards faster and save for some upcoming house projects. I’m really adult-ing this year…haha.
Now of course, it can’t be a complete no spending spree – you’ll still need money to buy groceries, gas, and pay your utility bills, but it’s more of a conscious effort to NOT spending money on those Starbucks Venti Frappuccinos or the Target Dollar Spot. Those are my bad habits anyways, but this will apply to whatever you’d like to be more conscious of.
I have a few tips for what helps me to not spend any money and not even be tempted to spend the money –
- STOCK UP – stock up on dry goods, frozen foods, etc. or create freezer meals. Last year, I used a lot of coupons to stock up on frozen vegetables, chicken, dry goods and canned goods. I was able to create meals from those items to take to work for lunch or throw in the crockpot for dinner. And during those times you do have to go to the grocery store, make a list and stick to it. I do all my grocery shopping at Target, so to keep myself from being tempted, I don’t even go to the store. I give Joe the list and he gets what we need.
- NO FAST FOOD – your wallet and your waist line will thank you. It’s amazing how quickly stopping at the drive thru for dinner on the way home can add up during the week.
- NO COFFEE SHOPS – yep. Sorry. Make coffee at home and take it with you.
- DON’T GO TO YOUR FAVORITE STORE – this is a hard one. As everyone knows my favorite store is Target. Last year, I didn’t go to the store for almost two months. Strangely, I didn’t miss it. Stopping the mindless wondering down each aisle and stuff “jumping” into my cart didn’t happen anymore and my bank thanked me. 🙂
- CLEAR OUT THE TEMPTATIONS – along with not being tempted in your favorite store, don’t succumb to internet browsing. It’s always fun to shop online and look at your favorite stores online, but for me when I see that something is on sale all of a sudden I have to buy it. Like I’m gonna miss out if I don’t. So, during my no shopping spree I don’t even open the promotional emails I receive or I unsubscribe all together.
- PURGE, PURGE, PURGE – clean out your entire house. Purge closets, drawers, kitchen cabinets, etc. Once you realize how much “stuff” you had, you won’t wanna shop again for a long time. I’m not purchasing anymore holiday decor or clothes for the rest of the year! Seriously.
Of course there are plenty of other ways to save money but this is just something small I like to do. I love a good challenge and I push myself to see how long I can go without spending a dime on the extra stuff.
Wanna join the challenge me? Do you have any extra tips? Let me know!