Happy New Year Everyone : ) I hope everyone had a great holiday and possibly even a few days off. I am back from my annual year-end vacation and, just like all of us, am finding my way back into the rhythm of day-to-day, non-holiday life.
This year I have decided to start a new tradition. Year in and year out, I experience holiday burn out. Financially mostly, but also a bit emotionally and physically. Yes, December is my favorite month of the year, but it is EXHAUSTING.
I truly attempt to find a great (not perfect) gift for every one of my friends and family members. Particularly, their children. Without driving myself too crazy of course. After all, enjoying the holidays should be the main objective.
The financial kick in the pants though tends to arrive right around the January time frame. Mainly when I look at my credit card statements. Usually while shaking my head vigorously. At myself!
Holidays be gone! It is time for No Spend January!
This year I am taking a page our of Zero Day Finance’s book by trying out the Zero Day Challenge for No Spend January. What is the Zero Day Challenge? I’ll let David explain it since he came up with it!
The Zero Day Challenge is simple: track your spending, and count the number of days when you spend $0. It’s that simple. Every day/week/month, go through your spending, and record it. For every day you don’t spend any money, you get a “zero day.” The more “zero days” that you have, the better. As you progress through the Zero Day Challenge, you try and increase the number of zero days per month. The more zero days you have, the less your spending will be.
It is time for No Spend January and with David’s Zero Day Challenge, what can go wrong? Since I am nothing but determined to pay off my credit cards in full this month (as I usually do) and recover from my holiday spending, I put together this spreadsheet.
I am hoping that crossing days off day by day will encourage me to stick to the plan of spending zero dollars all throughout the month of January. My better half kindly reminded me that we need to eat. To which I rolled my eyes by the way. Who needs food. *kidding*
All joking aside, challenging ourselves with no spend months, particularly following holidays, will do wonders for our financial health. At first, it can be about replenishing funds depleted by buying gifts and going on vacation. Going forward it can be about stocking up emergency funds, paying down debt, and investing.