Zero Spend Month

Christmas has been and gone.

Mum's birthday falls at the end of January, which normally involves nice food and a surprise holiday booking. 

With no birthdays and not much else happening in February, it seems like the perfect time to complete a zero spend month.

Ground rules 

1. Utility bills remain. 

This includes mortgage, electricity, water, insurances, taxes, service charges, etc. 

2. Eat down the kitchen. 

Before going out to buy any food, all perishable goods should be consumed in meals, followed by food in the freezer and cupboards.  Only when all of this has gone, can you go shopping for more food. 

3. Reduce car transport as much as possible.

Fuel is getting more expensive, so by removing the necessity for travel by car should help to save more money.  Try walking instead.  Failing that, only make essential trips. 

4. Use coins.

There are coins all over the house - in pots, pockets and the bottom of bags.  Start a treasure hunt to accrue all these coins and use the collective total for food shopping.  This will also help you to stick to a tight budget. 

5. Plan meals in advance.

Food is by far my biggest money pit.  By planning meals in advance (using stuff you already have), you will experience less confusion at dinner time, trying to decide what to cook.  Therefore, less likely to order a big greasy pizza. 

6. Establish budget and long-term spending.

Use a budget tool to establish what you would normally spend in a single month, what you could reduce that to, and also what your long-term spending looks like.  How are you going to clear debt?  What big purchases do you need to make?  When would be the right time to make those purchases?