Long time, no blog post! I really hate when I let *stuff* get in the way of the things and people I enjoy spending time with the most. Blogging (aka virtually chatting with you) is very important to me and every time I miss one of my posting deadlines I feel super bummed…
Anyways, I’m back and I have a special challenge for ya! It’s called “No Spend” February – I did this in January and painlessly made some HUGE gains. For example, I saved more than $200 just from cutting back on restaurant food, and miscellaneous shopping. I also kicked my fast food habit and lost some weight because I was busy cooking healthier meals at home. Starting out, I was shocked at all the frozen veggies I found in my freezer! Who knew, lol.
Imagine what you could do with an extra $200 bucks in your pocket. How would you use it to reach one of your financial goals? I decided to put that cash into a long term savings account because I’m really bad at maintaining a steady rainy day fund. Every extra penny I can save to throw in that special account helps…
What would you do with an extra $200? Tell me in the comment section below.
I first heard about “No Spend” challenges through a former colleague named Stephanie (you can check out her super cute and crafty blog here). About a year ago on Facebook she was regularly posting updates about the benefits of searching her apartment for necessities rather than instinctively spending money in stores and online. Her reflections made so much sense – they stuck with me. So this year I finally decided to give it a try…
How does the challenge work?
To complete this “No Spend February” challenge, you can’t spend money on unnecessary things. For me that means I can only spend money on:
– Rent and other bills
– Put gas in my car
… and that’s it!
During the month of February, instead of going grocery shopping, and spending money on clothes and other “wants” like eating out, I challenge you to keep your cash and find a free solution that’s around the house instead.
I’d really love it if you did this with me! If you do, please keep me updated on your progress via my Organized Ashley Facebook Page and on Instagram. That’s where I’ll be posting pictures and tracking my experience as well.
In the mean time, here are my top three tips to get you started:
- Grocery shop your freezer and pantry. Check your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry for food – then plan meals around supplies you already have. With a little creativity you will likely be surpised at the ingredients you have on hand. See how many days you can plan nourishing meals for yourself and/or your family without spending a dime! Make grocery shopping at the store a last resort.
- Shop your closet and remix your wardrobe. Instead of taking advantage of that sale you just got an email about, plan your outfits for tomorrow today and mix and match the clothing you already own to create a new look that makes you feel cute and comfortable! Best of all, you didn’t spend a dime on your fresh makeover.
- Go on free adventures. I’m all about social events and entertainment – however restaurants, bars, and other engagement opportunities get expensive. Take a look at your hometown visitors bureau and visit a free spot you have never been to. Keep your eyes open for “free days” and deep discounts that you can “save for” and plan other cheap meals or free activities around. Since it’s cold this time of year, this is also a great month for dinner parties and potlucks. Invite your friends over and plan a fun game night inside using games and snack items you already have.
Remember – next time you reach to take out your cash, debit, credit card, or checkbook pause and ask yourself – “Do I need this? Is there something I have at home that will work in it’s place?” More often than not you probably will be able to put said item down, and walk away.
Trust me, this challenge is going to leave you feeling great! Suddenly you’ll become WAY more aware of how you’re spending your money and you’ll have lots of free time for cleaning, sorting, and other things.
How does this help you get organized? If you spend less money, you have less stuff, and that means you have fewer items to organize. This is a great detox to help you clear your clutter for good!
Who’s on board? Are you going to do the #OrganizedAshley: 28 day “No Spend” February Challenge with me?