I did just that. In an effort to save some money (and tackle a rising credit card bill) I just went thirty days without spending money (apart from essentials of course).
It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be and at the end of the month I realised just how much money we all spend on those little things that we don’t actually need. A candy bar here, a magazine there, it’s amazing how much the little things can really impact our finances without us even realising it.
If fact most of us are so oblivious to how much spending is contributing to our rising debt levels (a store bought coffee isn’t going to make us poor right?) that sometimes by shaking up your spending pattern but doing something radical like not spending at all, can open your eyes to how much spending is really needed for the average person or family.
Consumerism is very much ingrained in our culture today and it’s now common place that for many people shopping is a form of entertainment. When did this happen? When did killing a few hours at the shopping mall become something desirable?
I have no problem with people buying things that they need. But the problem is that most of the stuff that we buy we don’t really need. If you’ve ever purchased something only to abandon it within a week or two because it wasn’t ‘right’ then you’ll know what I mean.
Now I’m not suggesting that we all become minimalists (although the idea is extremely tempting) but becoming more mindful about how much we spend is something that we all should strive for. If we are more mindful about what we buy we can gain control back over our finances rather than it controlling us.
There is no question that stopping spending for thirty days isn’t going to change our finances long term, but it’s a good enough time frame that it will interrupt our current spending patterns and perhaps change our habits.
Plus you will probably be surprised just how much money you CAN save in thirty days. So if you are looking to make a dent in some credit card debt or quickly save up some money then it could be the answer you are looking for.
My newest book helps people who want to shake up their own finances doing a 30 Day Spending Detox by walking them through ways to save money (and even make some money) during the month so that they can gain control over their spending and budget again.
You can even read my experiences at the back in the Appendix (but no laughing at me ‘k?)
If you want to check it out, it’s now available on Amazon (other eBook reader’s coming soon).
So the only thing left to ask is: Could YOU go thirty days without spending money? There is only one way to find out.