Since it’s the first day of a new month, I’d like to propose a challenge to you. Try to have a “savings month” or “no-spend month” during which you only purchase groceries, gas, medical-related items, and other basic necessities (along with paying bills and maintaining investments). Try to live frugally for the month. No new clothes. No new gadgets. No dining out. No costly entertainment. No pampering. It will be difficult in the beginning, for sure, but your bank account will thank you and you may realize just how much you can live without in a month’s time.
Liz Pulliam Weston, author of “Easy Money: How to Simplify Your Finances and Get What You Want Out of Life” estimates that a 30-day spending “crash diet” can save families about $400. And that’s just for one month! “If you do this, you have taught yourself what your (financial) weakness are, and you have already experienced the difference between a need and a want,” Weston states. The savings month can be a great way for you or your family to evaluate what you’re spending money on and which areas you can cutback on. Even if you believe that you are saving enough each month, it doesn’t hurt to try it out. There’s no such thing as having too much money saved up! It’s a great test of self-discipline and may help you to better appreciate what you already have. Be sure to inform your friends and family members of your savings month, so that they will understand your frugality and can support you with your goal.