No Spend January

Every year after Christmas I feel like I need a financial detox. November and December are just nonstop spending and after Christmas my credit card waistline needs a breather.  So a couple years ago I started “No Spend January.”  I use the entire month to catch up on bills and get all the Christmas hoopla paid off.  So here’s a brief overview of what I do:

No picking up Starbucks/Dunkin unless we have gift cards
It’s amazing how much you can rack up in just one week getting a drink everyday.  My iced tea alone is about $3.50/day so almost $20 a week is saved by just drinking tea at home. 

Only buy need items not want items
Whether it’s a quick purchase on Amazon or buying something for the kids, it’s easy to spend more than you need or want to on items that we don’t need.  So before I’m tempted to purchase I ask myself if we need it.  I limit all purchases to essentials.

Cooking at home rather than picking up/eating out
This one seems so simple but with four kids and busy lives, we unfortunately pick up food more than I’d like to admit.  It’s so easy to spend $50 a meal doing this unless you’re always eating at McDonald’s.  So I focus on meal planning to help resorting back to quick food pickups.

Stay away from Target 😊
I say this partly in jest but every time I walk into Target, I easily spend $100.  So I take off the month of January from going in there so I’m not tempted to buy things that are in the want column.

Limit Social Media
I find I’m more influenced to buy things in the want category when I’m watching tons of influencer stories which just means they’re doing their job well, but for the month of January I limit watching too many stories so I don’t impulse buy.

Overall, these are things I could/should do all year long, which if I’m being honest I don’t.  However, I have found that doing it at least in January helps me at least pay off all the Christmas bills and gives me a better mindset into spending for the year.  Holiday season always gives you a buy now think later mentality and I just need a good detox each year from that way of spending.

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