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No-Spend January | Join The Challenge

A No-Spend January Challenge is a great way to start the new year! I’ve done weekly spending challenges before, but never a full month, so I’m really excited to try this out. I don’t think of it as a New Years Resolution, more like a month-long financial boot camp. I do have financial goals for 2019 and I feel like starting the year off with this challenge can assist in building some good spending habits and increasing awareness of where the money goes.

I know I haven’t shared my Focus Point for 2019 with you just yet, but I promise they will come soon.
I just felt like it was more important to get this No Spend January Challenge out first. I’ve been so excited to start this challenge!

What is a No-Spend January?

It’s just like it sounds. It’s a month (in this case, January. But you can do it any time of year.) where you don’t spend any money outside of your essential expenses (bills, groceries etc.)

Why do a No Spend Challenge?

There are many reasons to do a no-spend challenge. Maybe you spend too much money last month (December is notoriously expensive!) or you’re having trouble paying your bills lately. Maybe you’re looking to finally pay off all of your student debts or save up for the down payment on a home. There may be a vacation you’d like to save up for.

There are many reasons to do a No Spend Month and challenge yourself to spend LESS money!
Personally, I’m looking to save up for a few different financial goals.

The Rules

Rule #1: Become Clear On Your WHY

Why are challenging yourself not to spend any money? Ask yourself this question, it will be important once the challenge becomes harder. You need to think about the long-term benefits of saving your money, compared to the instant gratification of spending it right now.

Only you know your reason to stop spending for a month, but here are some suggestions that might inspire your to find your WHY.

  1. Get Out of Debt
  2. Save Up for a Specific Goal
  3. Learn to Budget and Sticking To It
  4. Be Grateful For The Things You Do Have
  5. Learn to Say “No”

Rule #2: Don’t Spend Any Unnecessary Money For 1 Month

Obviously, you will have to spend SOME money. You’ll need to pay your bills and buy essentials such as groceries and pay for transportation if necessary for your day-to-day life. I recommend making a budget and following it strictly.

What you prioritize in your budget is entirely up to you, but the challenge is to take your regular budget and cut out all the unnecessary things you’re spending money on for 1 month.

Personally, one of my big, unessential, monthly expenses is to-go coffee. Something I will cut out in January! It’s gonna be really hard, but I know I can do it! And if I cut out 1 Venti Cappuccino/day from Starbucks, that’s 480 AED (850 kr.) per month!

Rule #3: Make A Budget And STICK TO IT

It’s completely up to you how strict you want to be with your No-Spend January Challenge. For instance, since my family is coming to Dubai to visit this month, I budget for a certain amount of going out to eat. However, I will try to find ways of staying in instead of going out whenever possible. And if it’s something I can’t afford within my budget, I will simply say “no”! And maybe not going out and spending money as often will free up some time to organize my closet or maybe sell some stuff online and make money. It becomes a game for me to stay within my budget, but I also know that I won’t be able to refuse going out every day for a whole month.

As long as you follow the rules you set for yourself, stick to your budget and become more aware of your spending habits, you are following the rules of the challenge and you will end up having saved a significant amount of money by the end of the month!

Rule #4: Be Prepared to Say NO

Once you’ve set your budget and decided what expenses to cut, you’re ready for the challenge of a No Spend Month. But it’s called a challenge for a reason. You’re gonna have to be prepared to say “no”. Both to yourself and others!

Are you joining me on No-Spend January? Come on! It’s going to be fun and you can do it!
I promise to keep you updated on how I handle the challenge!

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