Having a no spend month as a family is a great way to quickly cut expenses so you can save money towards something that’s important to your family. As a stay at home mom, you can use these tips for how to have a no spend month to reach your financial goals faster.
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What is a No Spend Month?
A no spend month is a period of time (usually a month, but you can choose to do a day, weekend, or even a no spend week) where you don’t spend money on anything but the essentials (like housing, utilities, and transportation).
Anything that’s not essential gets cut during the no spend period, including items like eating out, entertainment, clothing, and even nonessential groceries.
Why Have a No Spend Month?
A no spend month is a great way to fast track your financial goal, whether it be paying off debt, saving money for your emergency fund, saving money towards a family vacation, saving money for an adoption, or even quickly transitioning to becoming a stay at home mom.
You can take the extra money that you save during the no spend period and put it towards your goal. Even if you need longer than a month, saving up a big amount of money in a small period of time is great motivation to keep going and working towards your goal.
As a stay at home mom, you can be the glue that helps your family have a successful no spend month with these 6 tips for how to have a no spend month as a stay at home mom.
Get the Whole Family Involved
Having a no spend month is truly a family affair. Your spouse needs to be willing to bring packed lunches to work. Your kids need to be willing to do activities that don’t cost any money.
If it’s just you who’s doing the no spend month, you won’t be successful.
Your family needs to understand why you’re doing a no spend month, how long you’re going to do it, and what the rules are for the month.
Create Family Ground Rules
A no spend month can be what you make it to be. As a family, you need to create rules about what you can spend money on and what you won’t spend money on. You don’t need to have a ton of rules, but just make sure that everyone is clear on what the rules are.
Look at your calendar and make sure to account for all upcoming events. If you have a birthday coming up, you may need to budget a small amount of money to celebrate as a family. If you have a family activity already on the calendar that you can’t cancel, you’ll need to plan to pack lunches and snacks for everyone.
You can write the family ground rules on this printable worksheet and post it in a prominent place so everyone remembers why you’re doing the challenge and what you can spend money on during the no spend period. The important part is to have a plan.
Stretch your Pantry Stockpile
In a family with kids, food is typically a pretty large line item in the budget. However, during your no spend month, you’re going to make your food stretch as much as you can.
Do you already have a stockpile of food in your pantry and freezer? Use that food throughout the month to cook from scratch for every meal, and you’ll save a lot of money on your grocery budget.
Towards the end of the month, you might need to get creative as the food starts to dwindle. You can use this website to type in an ingredient and find recipes that use that ingredient. Try to spend as little on groceries as you can during the no spend month. If you know you’ll need to supplement your groceries throughout the month with things like milk and produce,
make sure you include that in your written ground rules.
Stay at Home
When you stay at home as a family, not only are you not spending money on activities and entertainment, but you’re also saving money on gas for your vehicles. Try to plan activities that you can do at home with the kids, like camping in the backyard or a family game night.
You can even invite your friends or family over for a game night and fun socializing together. You could ask them to bring a dish with them and have a potluck meal. Everyone can pitch in to make the evening fun.
Plan no cost activities with the kids And just because activities don’t cost money, doesn’t mean that they can’t be fun. Ask around about any free activities in your area. Or do a quick search on the internet for free things to do.
If the weather is nice, you can visit a local park or head out to go geocaching as a family. If it’s hot, find a local splash pad where the kids can run around in the water for free. If you know you need produce (and it’s in your ground rules), plan a trip to a local farm to pick strawberries or
blueberries (or whatever is in season).
Use Your Local Library
Rather than spending money on books and movies, check out your local library. They have tons of free books, movies, audio books, and digital books that you can use without spending any money at all. Just be sure to keep track of due dates so you don’t end up paying late fees!
What do you think? Do you think that your family could successfully do a no spend month to get started on a family financial goal?