Going on a spending detox is a great way to save money in a short amount of time. I’m not going to lie to you though, it’s tough to do, but extreme saving comes with a cost (no pun intended … ok I sort of meant that pun, hey its funny right?). But the financial benefits of doing one can be enormous, especially if you’ve got mounting debt or need to save up for something special quickly.
So what are the rules of the 30 day spending detox? What can you spend your money on and what can’t you?
It’s pretty easy actually; you just can’t spend money on anything unnecessary. It’s bare bones survival so time to put on the war paint and take aim at that bank balance.
Obviously you can buy food – you need to eat to survive and the kids get cranky when they don’t get their afternoon snack (or is that just mine?) But only food from the grocery store is allowed. No takeaway, no store bought donuts (yum by the way), no coffee from the street vender. Any food that you consume must be made yourself. Yes ma’am its home cookin’ all the way this month. But if you can’t cook like me and think Lean Cuisine is a gourmet treat then you can buy it if it’s on sale, but it’s worth trying to make a few things from scratch since it’s so much cheaper.
You can also pay your regular bills, since electricity and gas is important and trying to watch Dancing With The Stars in the dark is no fun.
Oh and medical bills are allowed too. This isn’t about compromising your health and safety – it’s about saving money.
But that’s about it. No extra spending at all. No matter how pretty those shoes in the store window are.
I know it sounds extreme but it’s only for a month and the key to making it a success is to focus on everything that you are going to gain from doing one, rather than thinking about everything you are giving up. By focusing on the financial freedom you’ll get and the lower credit card bill then you’ll be able to use the experience as a positive one.
You may even have fun doing it.
Yes it really can be fun as you and your friends and family try and come up with no cost ways of entertaining and enjoying yourselves. Many people have told me that they’ve discovered new hobbies during the month. It will give you the time and freedom to finish those craft projects, start that photography blog you always wanted to or just spend it outside with the kids kicking a ball around.
It’s not just about the money (although that’s the biggest part of it obviously), it’s about the freedom you’ll get by not spending all your time in a shopping mall, and the sense of pride and accomplishment you’ll find in yourself as you gain control over your finances.
And it’s just for a month right? You can do anything for a month. And just think of everything you’ll gain.
You can do this.