Spring is upon us and what's better than doing some spring cleaning to your finances? Tomorrow I start my next No Spend Month, and I wanted to share how I prepare for it. I try to make it fun and focus on all of the "me" activities I will be doing, instead of the money I won't be spending. Here are a few tips of how I prepare for a no spend month:
1. I look at my Google calendar at the month ahead and see what I have pre-planned.
I do this first because I need to figure out if there will be moments where I will need to spend or budget in advance. For example, in April I will be on a girls trip with my mom and then have a work trip. I plan on giving myself a daily "allowance" during my girls trip and work should cover my travel and food.
2. I write down all of the free activities I want to do.
This is the next thing I do, because sometimes a free activity might be a game night which I may need to plan food shopping for. I think for the month of April I will spend most of my weekends in my garden - there is so much to weed and get ready!
3. I pick out 4 new recipes to try, one per week.
I have SO many cookbooks and I love that this is a pleasant forcing function to pick up those cookbooks and try some new recipes. In April, I've decided to try two new recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Easy , the short rib curry from Chrissy Teigen's Cravings book, and a steamed sea bass recipe I cut out of a magazine.
4. I pick out 4 books to read.
I really try to take the month as a time to get back to reading and reflecting on something new. Out of the four books I try to read or re-read a financial book. It helps me stay focused on my financial goals, especially in the middle of the month when you sometimes want to throw in the towel. For April, I've decided on Karamo's book, Feck Perfuction, No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power To Embracing Emotions at Work, and a re-read of Grant Sabatier's book Financial Freedom: A Proven Path To All The Money You Will Ever Need.
5. I make my grocery list.
I go through my cabinets and see what do I really need for the week ahead and what I can use up. I add the ingredients from the new recipes I will be trying. This is a month where I will be sticking to the basics and trying to buy food that is cost effective.
6. I plan my workout schedule.
I think about what I can commit to during my no spend month. When I wrote about my reflections of my no spend month in January, I wrote about how I had finally cracked my exercise challenge. I am ready to get back on my Peloton bike and feel those edorphins!
7. I set a goal and journal about it.
For this no spend month, my goal will be to lose weight. Tonight I will journal about why that is important to me, how I plan on tracking and achieving it.
I also have a surprise coming for you guys - I am working on a No Spend Month planner! Something that you guys can use to guide and keep you motivated as you reach your goals during your no spend month.
What do you guys do to get ready for a No Spend Month? I'd love to hear your tips!
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