30 Day Challenge | No Spend July
Just seeing that title frightens me. And I’m the one setting this No Spend July Challenge for myself!
So, having changed jobs recently and over-spending on a holiday (before and afterward as well) I need to save some money! Desperately.
I’m the sort of person who hates to be in their overdraft and quite honestly I’m fairly deep in mine – as in my paycheck didn’t make a dent last month. So it’s time for a no-spend month to get back on track.
For the next thirty days I am only allowed to buy certain things, within reason:
- Food – not takeouts or buying out in the food canteen but a weekly shop with a budget of only £20. No more, no less. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Just a note to family and friends: I have plenty of food in my cupboards and freezer, I just need to stop ignoring it for the sake of easy options.
- Travel – I have bought my travel card for the month, but it runs out a few days before the end of July and I’ll have to top-up my Oyster to get to work so this is allowed. I am also going home for a family event and I have budgeted for this also. But no more.
- Haircut – I have a haircut booked mid-month already and I have put the money aside for that. Yes it’s not a necessity but it’s part of my usual routine and I have budgeted for it.
- Bills – these have to be paid so electricity, internet, TV license, and Rent will be paid.
- Emergencies – here’s hoping there are none of these, but obviously emergencies trump no-spend challenges.
But that is it. No popping to the shop for some snacks or a meal deal. Definitely no taxis to and from places. No clothes shopping, no book-buying, no more subscriptions to music/audiobook platforms.
During this challenge, I am also going to try some money-saving techniques and do some decluttering to try and make money back!
How to Save:
- Take my own lunch into work every day and drink water and the free drinks provided in the kitchen. Snack on the free fruit available and snacks people graciously share at the Avon snack corner (it’s a famous spot in the HarperCollins office!)
- Look for free activities rather than paid-for options. i.e. swap the coffee shop writing session for an outdoor coffee session with homemade coffee and a park bench. Ask people around for dinner rather than going out to a cafe/restaurant.
- Cut out unhealthy snacks I purchase regularly: for this month I am also giving up fizzy drinks and bags of chocolate. This might actually be the real challenge for me.
- Sell things! I have a shit ton of books and this is only growing as I get more and more books from work so it’s time to start selling them.
- Make lists of things that I want to buy rather than buy them immediately. Review the list at the end of the month and see if I truly need them, or even still want them.
Let’s see how we do with this… I’ll be summing up the results of No Spend July at the end of the month. As I did with previous challenges. And I’ll be honest about how it went.
Here’s hoping it all goes well and I feel more financially stable at the end of the month.