As a consumer, we become conditioned to spend so those initial first weeks can prove challenging, but the rewards are great for families who can overcome that hump and break the cycle of spending. A no-spend month does come with challenges, but it also comes with the gratification of knowing that you have let your bank account grow and have become aware of where your money is going.
Would you like to take a no-spend adventure with me? Just think of all of the free time you will have if you are not out shopping and spending for a month.
Here are a few ideas for how you could spend all of that free time!
– Get your finances back on track by trying out a free program like Mint.com
and get in better touch with your past spending.
– Dust off those old board games
and spend an evening playing them together.
– Watch free movies on Hulu.com
or take out the DVD collection and watch your favorite movies again. If you are really craving a new release, sign up on Redbox.com
to get free movie codes sent to your cell phone to use towards a fun new release.
– Break out that really old game system and relive those games again with your kids.
– Dig through your old cookbooks and try out recipes using some of the ingredients in your pantry.
– Play a game of Iron Chef with your spouse and let your children be the judge of the best dish by having your very own cooking contest. You might be surprised that even dad’s toasted Pop-Tart might be the judge’s favorite in this contest.
– Actually use the craft supplies that you have bought and start tackling some of your crafty ideas for the holidays.
– Find the floor in your laundry room.
– Look for free community activities that you could do as a family.
– Volunteer or find things in your home that you could donate to Goodwill
to reclaim that space in your home.
– Visit the library and actually read the books.
– Clip coupons and plan your grocery shopping in advance for next month.
– Take a wonderful and delicious nap.
– Learn a new skill set or check out books on self-improvement to help make your life better or easier. I love to visit You Tube
to get great video tutorials on everything from doing my hair to discovering a new craft.
– Get free museum passes from the library or check the local museum’s websites for information on their free admittance days. Don’t forget to pack a lunch!
– Have a potluck-style swap night with your friends and exchange three of your things for three of theirs.
– Read that pile of magazines or newspapers that never gets read.
– Listen to free music on Spotify
, or Groove Shark
and make a fun mix of songs you listened to when you were dating your spouse.
– Take a bubble bath.
– Play on the floor with your children.
– Organize your closet and take inventory of your wardrobe. Be sure to start a great stack of items to pass on to Goodwill
– Recharge those batteries and put them in the children’s toys to make them “new” again.
– Tackle a home improvement project that you bought supplies for, but still haven’t finished.
However you decide to spend your no-spend day, weekend, week, month, or year, I hope that it brings into focus how great it can truly be to not spend and that it gives you the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with those around you.