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No-Spend Challenge (May 2016)

Fancy a challenge? Join me in the ‪#‎nospendchallenge‬ & see how much you can save this month!

In an attempt to get one step closer to that mortgage deposit I dream of saving, I am attempting a no-spend challenge across the month of May. Luckily for us there are no birthdays in our family in May which means I should realistically be able to complete the challenge, however as an impulsive buyer I think it will be tricky - but I'm up for giving it a go!

Reasons why you may wish to complete a no spend challenge

1. Increase your savings/emergency fund
2. To make a big purchase such as a car or house
3. Save up to buy a laptop or big item for the house
4. To go travelling 
5. Make use of the items you already have

If you're looking for a way to save up some extra cash, try going an entire week or month without spending any money at all on unnecessary items. Find what works for you. You may decide that grocery shopping doesn't count towards your spending or you may decide to eat out for the freezer for the month and only topping up on milk and bread. A spending freeze will be different for everyone depending on your lifestyle.

So to do this I have decided to only spend on things which are absolutely necessary - these include rent, bills, food shopping, petrol etc.

Things I don't consider necessary:

Eating out
Clothes (unless kids have grown out of them)
Home decor
Household items (unless something has broken)
Lottery tickets
Make up
Entertainment i.e Cinema tickets

How I aim to do this

1. The hardest no spend for me will definitely be takeaways and eating out as I tend to spend around £80-£100 on these a week however I have been trying to cut back on them recently so maybe this will give me the kick start to do so!

2. I will also be trying to stay away from the supermarket during the week as I do my grocery shop online but tend to pop in for a few extra and always end up spending £30-50 on rubbish!

3. The next biggest expenditure for me has to be home decor and stuff for the house, so I will be staying away from eBay and will try not to buy anything, instead I'll add it to a things to buy list which I will buy in the future.

4. Luckily I don't smoke or drink so thats already some big savings there compared to others but I will have to stop buying scratch cards and lottery tickets.

5. I aim to keep myself busy working from home to avoid sitting on the laptop online shopping when I have free time and during the days I will take the kids out to the park or for walks as often as possible to avoid popping to the shops!

6. Leave my cards at home so I won't be tempted to buy anything and only take £10 with me for emergencies. 

7. Find things to do for free. As well as going to the park and for walks I will look for things to do with the kids which don't cost an arm and a leg to do! 

I have set my budget for the month using the "OnTrees" app and hopefully this month I won't go over it. I'm hoping not to spend anything at all on eating out or "general merchandise" and hoping not to go over £200 for groceries. 

So I am going to be keeping track of what I spend across the month and maybe it will inspire you to do a no-spend challenge or save more money. At the end of the month, however much is left after my normal budget and what is left that I would have normally spent I will put that into savings in addition to my reguarly monthly savings. Last month I spent £500 over budget on things I could have gone without (takeaways, eating out, stuff for the house) so hopefully I should be able to put an additional £500 into savings at the end of the month. We'll see! Hopefully I can make this a regular thing across the year. 

Have you ever done a no-spend challenge? I'd love to hear how you got on! 

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  1. This is such a good idea and I am going to try this for June as I May has already started and I am failing already

    1. Why don't you do it for the last 2 weeks in may instead, The longer you put these things off the less likely you are to ever do them. Well in my experience anyway.

    2. Good luck! I agree with previous commenter, if you put it off you'll be less likely to do it. Give it a go and see if you can do it for two weeks :)

  2. Ive never done one before but you've inspired me to do one. I'm on maternity leave so money is tighter than normal plus we have a holiday coming up in a few months. I'll have to download that app to monitor my progress. That way I think I'll stick to non nessecary spending x

  3. This is a great challenge! Sometimes we don't notice how much money we spend during every day life. Even if we think that we are spending money only for vital products, we even can't notice how we spend Seriously Shallow amount of money. Such challenges can open our eyes and show our real expenses.

  4. A great challenge! It's worth trying! Some people are naturally good at saving money and draw enjoyment from growing their wealth. For other people (like me) money is something that is spent the moment it reaches their hands, and anything else feels like a wasted opportunity :( I'll definitely try this no-spend challenge across the month of September!