Want to boost your savings? Try not spending anything for 30 days. Our favourite times for a no spending month are November-December (before the holiday season), January (right before RRSP season) and April (spring clean-up).
Turning the taps off spending can save you hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars. That money can be used for other important things like saving up for a trip, paying off debt, or, my personal favourite, investing for retirement.
Here are three rules to follow if you want to try a no-spending month:
1. Stop spending money on anything non-essential.
2. eTransfer your savings into your savings account daily or weekly.
3. Pay your normal bills and budgeted expenses like rent or groceries.
The greatest opportunities for savings that we have found are the following:
Eat at home and pack your lunch. Meals out are a major budget killer. Make your own food daily. This means you’ll need to be more thoughtful in your meal planning. We love the Mealime App and CookSmarts. Making food at home is often much healthier too.
Use up household supplies and food from your pantry and fridge. Are your pantry and storage shelves a treasure chest? Use up your stockpile of cans of chickpeas or jars of tomatoes, soap, toothbrush heads, paper towels, cleaning supplies and more. The sign of a good no-spending month is a near-empty pantry and fridge.
Fall in love with your clothes again. Try to be more thoughtful about your outfits and purge what you don’t need during your no-spending month. We also recommend avoiding your favourite clothing stores.
Get fit and get outdoors. Use up fitness class-passes, which often expire, and free gyms in your building or neighbourhood. For other workouts, head outside for walks, runs, hikes and bikes. Getting outside will also allow you to enjoy the free festivals on weekends.
Host friends at home. Rather than going to a fancy restaurant, host your pals for meals, drinks, games and more. Most people will bring some kind of food or drink contribution, which lightens the load for you, the host.
Unsubscribe from email shopping lists. How many emails are in your inbox from your favourite stores when you wake up? During your no-spending month, unsubscribe from these lists so that you’re not tempted to spend.
Once you finish your 30-day spending detox, your savings account will be full. But don’t blow it! Be thoughtful about what the money is going to be used for … and if you have a credit card balance, we recommend that you pay it off with your savings.
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