Thank god January is almost over. Like most people January is usually a struggle month for me with the holidays being over, the bitter cold, and knowing I need to get my ass into gear. This year I added another hurtle with no-spend January. The rules for no-spend January are simple but difficult. You can’t spend money on anything that isn’t an essential…no coffee runs, no eating out (birthday dinners excluded), no shopping trips, etc. Though it was extremely difficult at times, my bank account is looking super sexy. I want to share my tips with you on how to have fun during a month without spending.
We had friends over for game nights a couple of weekends this month. When Dawn and Joel came over we made a Pinch of Yum’s Pumpkin Walnut Chili. We also made this earlier in the month when my mother-in-law and sister-in-law were visiting. It is a crowd pleaser and makes enough for days of leftovers. Dawn and Joel have a cool tradition of buying a new game for Christmas every year. They always introduce us to the best games. This night they brought over the Pit and Dixit and we also played Ducth Blitz, which they introduced us to.
I made an Indian dish in our new Instant Pot when our friends Gayle and Phil came over. The dish was alright and not worth linking a recipe. For their visit we broke out the good ol’ Nintendo 64. Walter and Phil played Super Smash Brothers and the four of us rotated playing Mario Cart 64. As of now we only have two remotes, but I think we will buy two more once no-spend January is over.
I think I am late to the Movie Pass craze and holy hell it is GREAT! For those who don’t know, Movie Pass allows you to see unlimited (one movie a day) movies at a theater for only $9.99 a month. Walter told me about it a few months ago, but I didn’t think we would use it much in the summer. I ended up buying it for Walter as a Christmas gift and one for myself and we have used it 4 times this month. It is a very convenient item to have when you are on a spending freeze. We’ve seen the Disaster Artist, the Greatest Showman, Insidious 4, and Lady Bird this month. I highly recommend the Disaster Artist (watch the Room to pregame) and Lady Bird, and I’m not surprised both of these earned Oscar nominations. The Greatest Showman was okay and I only recommend it if you are really into musicals. Don’t even waste your time with Insidious 4. We only saw it because the movie we wanted to see had sold out by the time we got to the theater.
In January this can be easier said than done. To be honest, I haven’t gone outside too much because the temperature and weather. However one of my favorite things to do on a snow day is walk to a bar/restaurant with friends. The city is usually really quiet and peaceful, and it is always an adventure climbing (or rolling) over the snow banks. We have had a handful of nice days this month. One of them happened to fall on a Saturday. Walter went for a trail run while Marley and I hiked to the top of East Rock park. I have no photographic proof that I have stepped out from under my duvet this month so you are going to have to take my word on this one.
I hope I am able to have another no-spend month because it has benefited my checking and savings account greatly. Another advantage of this little exercise is that moving forward I will be more conscious of my spending, especially when it comes to little things like coffee runs and eating out. Those things really add up fast without you noticing. I am excited about being able to spend money again though. I am looking forward to a sushi date with Walter, buying new workout clothes, and (fingers crossed) a weekend getaway. Thanks to my saving in January I will be able to splurge a bit in February 🙂
Do you have any money saving tips? What movie should I see next?