Like with anything, there are many perspectives for finances. What’s been working really well for us the past couple years is when we stick to a zero spend budget. Today on the blog, I’m sharing about how to do a zero spend month that works for you.
What does a zero spend month look like?
We keep a zero spend month simple - I see it more of a mindset than a list of rules. Essentially, we don’t spend unless necessary, simplify, and streamline it all. We’ve ended up saving a lot of money faster this way too. Which is the goal, right? Little purchases used to add up so quickly for us, so this shift has been huge for us.
What does a zero spend month look like practically speaking?
Instead of setting aside certain amounts for spending areas such as with a traditional budget (which in the past I’d want to spend if we didn’t dip into it), we just track every purchase and take a look at it throughout the month and at the end of the month going forward. We’d then talk about it. Did we really need xyz? And to make new “rules” going forward. Essentially - mindful budgeting and spending.
Five tips for doing a zero spend month
(that have been helpful for us)
- Hold off on anything that is not immediate. Giving time to think about if you really need something.
- Buy second hand where possible.
- Trade if we can!
- Avoid “window shopping.”
- Cut back on extras (like that extra coffee when you could bring your awesome one from home, for instance).
Some zero spend month benefits (that we’ve found)
Doing a zero spend month that works for you, helps you to become better at intentional spending because you’re reflecting on it so often. We also became much better at intentional saving too. We probably cut the time in half for saving for a basement reno last year by using a zero spend month, for instance.
How do you do a zero spend month that works for you?
Make your own rules, guidelines, and be mindful of your spending. Learn from your mistakes and keep going. It’s worth it if you are really looking to be better at your finances. It can help so much if you have debt or want to start saving. Going a step further, you may also enjoy Dave Ramsey’s steps for taking control of your finances.
And if this sounds interesting to you and you’d like to try it. I linked a “Plan Your Zero Spend Month” worksheets for you if you’d like to try a zero spend month that you can download here.
What’s included in the zero spend month worksheets?
- Some background information on what a zero spend month is.
- Planning Your Own Zero Spend Month worksheet: Five questions to help you design your own month.
- Spending tracker page for all expenses.
- Spending habit tracker (essentially to track the days you stick to zero spend)! So you can see your progess.
I’d also suggest reading my friend Shelly’s blog here with some more great tips: “5 No Spend Month Tips and Tricks. “
Other blogs of mine you may like:
- Five Tips to Have a Successful Zero Spend Month
- How to Create Minimal Wardrobes for Kids on a Budget
Here’s to more mindful spending!
Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!