Setting Myself Up for Success…
I’ve decided to give myself a challenge in 2024 and do a No Spend January challenge. Why, you may ask, am I doing this?
Since I love cheese too much to do Veganuary, and I don’t drink alcohol to do Dry January, I thought a little money challenge would keep me motivated. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I feel a little drained (and so does my wallet!) from all the spending I’ve done for the holidays.
The one thing about this challenge is that it’s not super restrictive. As we know with diets, if I tell you that you can’t eat cheese, you’re gonna crave it. Same with spending challenges. If we say no spending, then you’re going to have no joy and cave by the end of the first week. We also, don’t want to forgo the necessities such as bills and groceries for the sake of saving some money.
The key to the challenge is to curve unnecessary spending. And that can pretty much be for whatever you feel your money disappears to. For me, that’s coffee and home decor. I’m going to speak about my money goals for the whole of 2024 in a separate post, but I’m hoping a no-spend January will help supercharge these goals.
My No Spend January Challenge.
Fancy joining in with me for this challenge? I asked on my Instagram if anyone was interested in joining in with me on this challenge and everyone was on board. These ‘rules’ as such are set for my own personal goals, but feel free to tweak them to suit your needs. For example, you may not want to eat out at all during January but will allow an ‘it’s an emergency’ takeaway coffee, just in case.
If you decide to follow the challenge, please let me know over on Instagram. You’re more likely to achieve your goals if A: say them out loud and have people hold you accountable. And B: doing it in a group with encouragement and motivation is only going to spur you on.
With that, here are the rules of the No Spend January Challenge.
No Spend January Challenge Rules.
No new clothes
January sales are tempting, but you do not need that top just because it’s 30% off. The only exception to this rule is if you need to replace something. For example, my black knee boots are hanging on by a thread. If they decide to give out in the middle of the month, then I’m allowed to replace them with a like-for-like. However, if it’s a top, check your wardrobe and ask yourself honestly, are there no other tops that can be a suitable alternative before you buy a new one?
No new home decor
Not even Facebook Marketplace (gulp).
No new makeup/ skincare
This will be an easy one for me as I don’t wear a lot of makeup and I’m not one to defer from my skincare routine. However, some of you may want to include this in your challenge. Again, much like fashion, the only exception is if something you use every single day (such as my serum and face cream) runs out.
No new stationery
You do not need a new notebook. You already have a stack of them that will do the job in 2024. Same with pens. If you don’t have a single one in the house, go to the office and get one from the general office. They will not miss them.
No coffee/ takeout lunches
The biggest challenge for me in January. This is going to force me to make lunch so I don’t end up doing an M&S Foodhall run. The takeout coffee part speaks for itself.
One date night or two takeaways for the month
I already have money budgeted for date night in my January budget so I’m not going to deprive myself there (plus some fun to look forward to and spur me on in this challenge). However, my husband and I usually get to Thursday and say ‘Well we worked hard this week, let’s treat ourselves to takeout.’ So my rule will be it’s either date night or takeaways. One or the other. No exceptions.
Needs will still be paid for
I can’t exactly turn around to my landlord and tell them I’m not paying rent this month due to the challenge. So all bills, pet, household items and groceries will be paid for. Now, I’m going to try and cut down on groceries and shop smartly there. But I’m not going to forgo my quilted 3-ply toilet paper just to save some extra pennies. It’s all about the balance.
An Additional ‘Happy New Year’ Savings/ Investment Challenge.
Now this is a little fun to have in January. It’s similar to the Mariah Carey challenge, in which every time you hear All I Want for Christmas throughout December, you have to move money into your savings and investment account.
For this, every time someone wishes you a happy new year after 7 January, move some money into your savings or investment account. It can be any amount you want, 50p or even £50. The idea is to have fun with it and see how much you can save/ invest in January. I’m going to set my amount to £5 and considering last year someone wished me a happy new year on 28 January, I like my odds of putting additional money away this month.
Good luck on your No Spend January Challenge and let me know on Instagram how you did.