Monthly Money Challenge – March

This month’s monthly money challenge is a simple one, only spend money on essential items.

When it comes to daily spending it is often easy to get carried away. Going out for meals, purchasing magazines you never read or overestimating how many groceries you need and then throwing away those that have gone off.

This month challenge yourself to only spend money on the absolutely essential items.

Essential items include:

  • Rent or your mortgage repayments. Without paying these you will get into trouble.
  • Bills – water, electricity, mobile phones, private health, insurances.
  • Groceries – set a budget for how much you will pay for groceries each week and stick to it. Some find it easier to do one big shop, others prefer smaller shops to pick up essentials. Do not be afraid to shop around. If you know that a grocery store has better prices on the groceries that you need then go there.
  • Transportation – whether you use your car or public transport to get to work, this will need to be factored into your essential spending.

That is it. Although it doesn’t seem like much, you really do not need that much on a day to day basis.

When you create regular spending habits including spending on eating out, on entertainment and other activities you can be amazed at how quickly it can add up.

Try and be a little more creative by researching activities that do not cost money.

Reading a book, completing a crossword or getting out the old paint supplies with the kids is a great way to have a free creative day.

If you need to get out of the house then there are several opportunities to complete free activities. Go for a walk, talk the kids to a park, have a home-made picnic, visit a free museum. These sorts of activities often feel more rewarding because you haven’t simply thrown money at it.

It has become too easy to always spend money when heading out of the house or on items that are really not essential.

By changing the way you think about essential spending you will not only able to come up with creative ways to plan activities but you will be amazed at how much money you are able to save. At the end of the month, transfer that money to your savings account and put it towards something bigger for you and your family. Be it a holiday, a weekend away or even a day trip.

Happy saving!