We love this idea from Stacey Duprile, an early Sum180 member:
Once or twice a year my husband and I declare it a “No Spend” month. And I decided that this month of March, even though it is my birthday month, is a “No Spend” month. We like to do this for a couple of reasons. First and foremost it save us money! Second, it also forces us to be a more creative with our free time. Instead of heading over to the coast and enjoying a restaurant meal, we might choose to hike and pack a picnic. Instead of Happy Hour at the local pub, my girlfriends and I potluck appetizers and wine in my backyard. We always have just as much fun and saving the extra money is a great way to allocate more of our money to our financial goals. “No Spend” does not mean that we do not spend any money – I do buy groceries and necessities. But this does eliminate apparel, entertainment, travel, and dinning out. Which brings me to the third reason I actually enjoy a “No Spend” month, it reminds me of all that I have. So much of what we spend our money on is “wants” not “needs”. Taking a break from the constant wants and focusing on needs allows me to see the abundance that already surrounds us. And finally, I feel like a rock star when the month ends and I have only spent money on the necessities.
As for my birthday – we will be going out to dinner. I have gift cards to three local restaurants that were Christmas gifts that I received. I am not sure if this means that I am bending the rules a bit or not. But I already have the gift cards and they were gifts. I figure using one of them will be a great way to celebrate my birthday and not spend money in the process.