A No-Spend Month
No-Spend months seem to be becoming more popular. For those amongst us that have done this for oodles of years it is second nature.
I thought I'd explain how we do it here at Frugal Mummy towers.
The first thing we do is decide when we want to or need to have a no-spend month. We could be feeling flush with cash (yeah, right!) or have a month where no huge bills are due. This was the case in June this year.
We have an emergency fund and have an account where the month's money comes in and out. Within this we have our regular planned money as well as enough to cover the smaller inconveniences (repairs to something or something going up in price like the TV or internet).
In May we decided that June was going to be a good month to 'No-Spend' so we sat down and wrote out a list of what we would need to buy to get through the month. I check our kitchen cupboards (I'm not posh enough to have a pantry...anyway I'd only keep pants in one..) and write out what we have I can make meals from.
(As info for any new readers, I cook everything we eat from scratch - yes, including pastry for pasties - and we buy the very cheapest foods we can except fruit and veg. We have a weekly budget for those and have them delivered from the local farm shop.)
Once I have my list, I decide what we will need food-wise to get through the month, and make a meal plan. I don't stick to the days rigidly, and sometimes we need an unplanned for addition to a meal as we might have an additional person for dinner; or we might enjoy something so much that we end up eating more than half of it...meaning there isn't enough for another day. This is where jacket potatoes come in handy!
I check household things like washing-up liquid and foil too - but not loo paper as we get this delivered twice a year in a HUGE box from the company Who Gives A Crap. It is made from bamboo and a roll lasts really well as there is much more than a normal bum-roll.
Once the shopping list is written, I pay 50p for a click and collect time and Man Wonderful collects the shopping.
Our rules for a no spend month are that unless it is essential, we don't spend any money.
In June I made a quilt from fabric I already had, tended the garden and read books from my pile of 'to read' books. Man Wonderful organised his shed, read books and mended things from his 'I'll get around to mending this' pile. We walked the dogs together, watched a little telly and spent time just living gently.
If there was anything we thought that we 'needed', a conversation ensued and if a need was essential, then it happened - there were none in June. If a need was in fact a want - oh yes, we are human after all - it went on a list: I keep the list as a text message to me. Items that were still wanted at the start of the next month were discussed.
Oh it is such a refreshing and old-fashioned way to live - and a great way to have pennies at the end of the month to play with or pop into savings!
As such, Man Wonderful and I are going to have a no-spend month next month. I've just finished the meal plan and shopping list, and MW will collect on Sunday.
I have enough paint to finish freshening up the woodwork that I started last week. If we are blessed with a few dry days the MW wants to paint the shed, and I want to wrap the Christmas presents we already have and start painting our Christmas cards. I should end the month with a small list of gifts to buy in November ready for the celebration in December. I've also got all the ingredients for our Christmas cake and enough sugar to make blackberry jam.
I feel all old-fashioned all of a sudden...
Do you have No-Spend months?
Have you started your Christmas preparations yet?
Frugal Mummy xx