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Should Your Put your Spending on a Diet?

written by: •edited by: Carly Stockwell•updated: 1/2/2014

Many of us overindulge over the holidays leaving us with a few extra pounds to lose. Another common problem is over-spending, not just around the holidays, but all the time. Could you afford to put your budget on a diet? Learn why you should consider a "no-spend" month.

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    Should You Put your Budget on a Diet? Commit to a No-Spend Month How much do you spend each month? You may need to pay your mortgage and utilities, but what about other items? For many people, it may be time to put a freeze on your spending. In short, go cold turkey, cutting out as many types of purchases as you can. Can you do it? If you have a closet full of clothing and a pantry that's packed beyond its means, it is time to take some drastic steps of not spending anything - at all on for an entire month.

    You Can Do It

    You can do it because other people have done it. They've taken the biggest steps possible, spending absolutely nothing for a set amount of time. For example, a man named Mark Boyle gave up money for two years. He lived in a caravan, volunteered on a farm, and used solar panels for electricity. He also grew his own food and used a wood-burning stove to prepare meals. He set out to find out if it was possible to stop spending money, and he did it well.

    What Is Your Challenge?

    The challenge is simple. All you have to do is to give up spending anything that isn't an absolute necessity. You can do it and you'll do well with it if you really put your mind into finding ways to stop spending money. Here are some ideas.

    • Go a month or longer without buying new clothing. You likely have plenty of clothing to wear in your closet, including some you haven't purchased in a long time.
    • Eat from the freezer and the pantry. You can often avoid the grocery store for a month or longer by simply eating meals you've created from what's on hand.
    • You can even make this a month of getting rid of the excess. Donate or sell unwanted or unused items. You'll be putting money in your pocket this way!
    • Find free sources of entertainment. You can borrow movies from the library, spend time in the parks, or just go outside with the kids to play a game of tag.
    • Don't eat out. It's not necessary, and it can be an incredible draw on the budget. Instead, focus on eating meals you've made yourself. Start a garden, even a window-sill garden to grow the herbs you need.

    There's no doubt it's a process and that it's hard to do. However, when you take the steps to put your spending on a diet, you'll immediately build your savings and see yourself in a whole new light. What can you do to stop spending money today? Look at each item you buy and find a way to get it for free or to go without. Try it for a month.

References

  • "How I Lived By Spending Nothing for Two Years" http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10041544/Mark-Boyle-How-I-lived-by-spending-nothing-for-two-years.html