30 Day Challenge | No Spend February
With January being the toughest financial month of the year – at least in my opinion – in February I need to do a No-Spend February challenge in order to save some pennies!
I previously did one of these in July 2020, and you can see what happened with that No Spend Challenge here.
In February 2022, here is what I am allowed to spend money – due to necessity and/or mental health – but also a list of things I can’t spend money on.
Things I Can Spend Money on
- Rent – got to be done!
- Household bills – electricity, gas, internet, water, council tax etc.
- Basic entertainment – Netflix, Audible, and Disney+ (I use these platforms daily!).
- Travel – Oyster as I have to get to work and train tickets as I have my sister’s wedding in February! But where I can I will be walking not riding buses/trains.
- Food – although I’m going to be swapping my big shop for Lidl and Aldi.
- Haircut – I have a haircut booked already, which I sort of need before my sister’s wedding!
- Debts – I have a few little ‘debts’ or ‘IOUs’ I need to pay back in February.
- Emergencies – goes without saying.
Those I can spend money on, but here are the things I really can’t spend money on.
Things I Can’t Spend Money on
- Books – I have over 300 unread ebooks on my kindle and about 50 on my bookshelf. I’ve got enough for one month.
- Clothes – No need for any more at the moment.
- Lunches out – Now we’re running to the office I can bring my lunch with me.
- Gym Membership – I can exercise at home for free.
- Unnecessary purchases – lately I’ve made a few random purchases that I didn’t need but wanted. That stops in February.
- Tickets – I don’t need to go to the theatre or the cinema at the moment. Even if there is a deal on!
- Take-Outs – A big portion of my spending in December was on Takeaways and I don’t need them. I have plenty of food in the house, and if I didn’t I could take £15 from a takeaway and buy a full-food shop at Lidl.
- Gifts – None of my friends have birthdays coming up, and whilst it’s nice to surprise friends and family with an ‘I’m thinking of you’ bunch of flowers or chocolates once in a while if you’re hella broke this isn’t feasible! Hugs and phone calls will have to suffice.
I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could add to the list, but these are the main things I’ll be avoiding purchasing in my No Spend February Challenge.
Next up is how I’m going to save!
How to Save in February 2022:
Take £100 out in cash
I’ve found lately that putting a separate amount of money in another bank account isn’t enough separation for me anymore. It’s too easy to put it back into my debit account or dip it into directly. Whereas cash is harder to spend as you have to physically leave it in your purse in order to purchase an item or service. I want to save more than £100 a month but for now, this is an easy way to get me started.
Make my own lunches and batch cook
I’m not the best at batch cooking but I am getting better at meal planning and ensuring I use all of the food in my freezer, fridge, and food cupboards up. Especially if they’re reaching expiry dates! With returning to the office, it’s more important than ever that I make my own lunch and bring it with me as £10 canteen or eat-out lunches can add up over time.
Cutting out expensive snacks
Surprisingly snack items like fizzy drinks, chocolate, and biscuits are sometimes the most expensive thing in my food shop. I’ve decided this month to cut out some of these items and replace them with more affordable ones like breadsticks, celery, hummus, apples etc. They’re still tasty and fill the hole, but they’re much more affordable. Also healthier!
Wish Lists not Baskets
If I see something I really want I have to wait. No more spur-of-the-moment purchases, at least for this month. Anything I see that I want or feel I need needs to go into a Wish List, not my Basket. As soon as the no-spend challenge is over I can evaluate what’s on my wish list and if I still need/want it. If I don’t, out it goes.
Selling what I can
I’ve recently gone through my wardrobe and my bookshelves and unsurprisingly found items I no longer want, but are in good condition. Thanks to Depop and companies like Ziffit I can easily sell these items. I might only make £3 here or there, but that’s more than I had yesterday.
And that’s how my No-Spend Challenge is going to go. It starts from payday to payday, and my biggest hope by the end of the month is that I’ll have managed to save at least £100 and not go into my overdraft.
Do you think I’ll succeed? And have you ever done a No-Spend Challenge? Let me know in the comments below.