How much do you spend a year on things that you don't REALLY need? The answer is probably a lot more than you think, so I'm embarking on a No Spend Year to really challenge my spending behaviour.
What is a No Spend Year?
A year of intentional spending. The idea of a No Spend Year is that you make no additional spends other than what is necessary. This can be as strict, or as lenient as you like. As with all things in personal finance, it's personal. The general rule is to not spend money on anything unless you are replacing something that is broken, replenishing stock such as beauty products that have run out, and necessities such as groceries.
Why would it be beneficial?
I dare you to go through 3 months bank statements and highlight everything that you didn't 'need'. Now obviously, what you might need can vary person to person, but generally speaking, we spend a lot of money on things that we could have done without. Convincing ourselves that we need a treat, that we deserve something.. but 12 weeks later, are you still using it? Still in love with it?
The idea of a No Spend Year is to teach yourself to be completely intentional with your spending. It helps you realise that you already have everything that you need. If you struggle with emotional spending, or impulsive spending, this could be the challenge for you.
Can you make allowances?
Absolutely! Like I've said, with all things in personal finance, this is personal. Let's have a look at my own allowances.. I'm still budgeting for a weekly takeaway, and have included a social budget into my monthly expenses so that I can enjoy coffee, or even a drink with friends once this whole pandemic thing is over. During lockdown months, I'll simply allocate this to additional savings instead. I'm also planning to have 4 weekends away throughout the year so I'm budgeting a small amount for these. When I'm on these weekends, my spends will already be accounted for.
Make it work for you. Ensure that you can still enjoy yourself. The key is to prevent impulsive spends as much as possible, not to become a boring shell of a human!
Saving £10,000 in 2021
This is my main goal this year. I've written about it here, including how I'm planning to achieve it, given that I can actually only afford to save half of this amount from my wage. The main factor in this, is minimising any additional, and unnecessary spends as possible to keep me on track, while I save, and build additional income streams to reach my goal.
Have you ever thought of doing a No Spend Year?