Learn to Budget with a “Buy Nothing Month”

March 24, 2015

budgetingBudgeting is an essentially skill for nearly everyone, but it can also be extremely challenging to perfect. Whether you’re budgeting in order to save money for a large purchase, such as a new home in Chicago, or to build up an emergency fund, specifying a “buy nothing month” can teach you a great deal about your spending habits and how to budget while also allowing you to get a jump-start on saving.

Implementing a “buy nothing month” means that you agree to purchase nothing but the essentials for a full month. Essentials include paying all of your bills, as well as buying groceries, gas and other normal purchases. However, make sure to cut out any non-essential luxury items. Ask yourself what items you’d stop buying if you lost your job tomorrow, and then don’t buy them for the entire month.

Participating in this exercise can help you determine where your spending habits need work. For example, if you regularly grab a cup of coffee on the way to the office or go out to lunch with coworkers, try making coffee at home and packing a lunch. Eliminating these extra expenditures can save you a decent amount of money in one month. In addition, determining which items you can cut of your budget permanently will also help you save money for years to come.

To learn more about implementing a “buy nothing month” and budgeting, read the article “Live Like You’ve Lost Your Job (And Other Ways to Stick to Your Budget)” on the Equifax Finance Blog.

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