Every month I say “I need to have an easy month money wise.” and every month, without fail, something crops up.
Something we “need”, something the kids “need”, something we need to do, something breaks…. you get the idea.
So I decided that I would try a “no spend” month, having seen a few people do it before on Instagram.
I am not a huge spender. We don’t get takeaways, go on big days or nights out, or splurge on shopping sprees. The disposable income isn’t there and though we certainly aren’t poor, the money ends before the month does sometimes.
In saying that though, my aim isn’t actually to save money. I’m hoping that will be a bonus side effect, but it’s not the main reason.
There is so much pressure in this day and age, and temptation, all the time we are bombarded with things we need.
Instagram is the worst culprit I find- ‘are you even an Instagrammer if you haven’t got X, Y or Z.’ It’s only when you stop and think about it that you realise how ridiculous that is. We all love the have the “in” thing (and the most popular comment on Instagram stories when I was talking about this was “Where is your jumper from?”!) but does it actually give us a kick for any more than 5 minutes?
And THAT’S the point of this challenge. To reassess our spending habits, to focus on what we actually do NEED and to focus on the memory making not the next thing we need to buy.
Another factor was the MAS study* citing that children develop their spending habits by the age of 7. My eldest will be 7 in May and I see the constant draw of peer pressure and endless advertising that he is exposed to and want to challenge my children’s thinking.
So, I will be sharing the challenge and talking about it with them. I’m also going to be asking them for their own ‘no spend’ half term ideas which I will share in a post next week.
My plan is to only spend on essential food, bills, petrol and things the children need (money for school trips etc). I will allow myself one bunch of flowers from the market per week, because its February and I know it will get me down otherwise.
In the meantime, here are the things I will be doing this month:
- Stopping spending on small impulse buys such as drinks out, magazines, a bar of chocolate at the petrol station, stationery (it’s an affliction!) etc.
- Sorting out cupboards and de-cluttering, in an aim to rediscover some gems I had hidden away – then it will almost feel like I have new things… right???
- Getting some fresh air whatever the weather. And I’m dying to get out on the bike.
- Focusing on making memories with the children e.g. instead of going out for tea, having an indoor picnic.
- Being mindful about spending on food. Sticking to the list and checking the cupboards first!
- Catching up with friends over coffee and home made cake and enjoying my home, rather than the local coffee shop.
I’ll be sharing the challenge over on Instagram using the hashtag #thriftybiscuitschallenge if you want to join in, and I’ll do regular updates on here too.
Let me know if you join in,
* You can read the report here and the website also has some great ideas for teaching kids about money