Snag This Free No Spend January Printable to Cut Your Spending

Looking for ways to control your spending habits? The No Spend January challenge should put you on the right track and help you save so much money! (Pssst…Don’t worry if you missed the deadline – you can do this no spend challenge any month of the year!)

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Have you been struggling with setting a reasonable budget and seeing it through until the end of the month? You’re not alone! Coming out of the holiday season with hectic purchases and overpriced last-minute gifts, this is the perfect opportunity to rethink your spending habits.

You might think, “I never committed to my New Year’s resolutions beyond a couple of weeks, so what makes this year any different?” This time, we’ll take a different approach by making it fun to realize key financial goals! 

Follow along as we set you up to tackle the “No Spend January” challenge. No matter when you try it, you’ll come out of this spending hack with a new mindset that lasts a lifetime!

no spend january printable

Commit to yourself this year with No Spend January

Make this the year that you take control of your finances. You deserve to live a life that feels good to you and doesn’t weigh you down with stress. You deserve to change your relationship with shopping so you don’t feel so easily swayed by ads, sales, and promotional emails.

Let’s talk this month to reset your relationship with money. Don’t worry! If you’re not ready to throw away your credit cards for the entire month of January, build your stamina by setting your own designated period of time for this challenge: a day, a week, two weeks, etc.

This challenge is for you and is not meant to be a punishment. Instead, this is an opportunity to help you shift how you think and use money so you can get in control of your spending.

What Is a No Spend January Challenge?

To cement any new habits into your daily lifestyle, your new activities should seamlessly fit into your day and become mindless with time. That’s what the No Spend January challenge aims to do.

You’ll be tasked to spend only on essentials like rent and groceries. Any luxuries or unnecessary commodities like fancy clothes and crazy nights out can wait. The goal here is to make you rethink which of your expenses are necessary and which ones you can do without!

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No Spend Month Rules

Ready to get into the details? Here are the rules for a No Spend month.

  1. Continue paying for required bills like your home, car, and utilities
  2. Purchase essential products like food and medications
  3. Stop buying new items like clothing, skincare, music, downloads, books, meals out, etc.

You’re basically shrinking your discretionary spending to nothing, which should help you pay extra on your credit cards or save up for something special.

If these rules don’t work for you, feel free to make this challenge work for you.

Conduct a No Spend Month Any Month

Okay, you’re convinced, but January is coming to an end. See you next year, right? Wrong! The great thing about the No Spend challenge is that it’s valid all year long. So once you gather your self-discipline, mark your calendars and start tracking your spending. 

If you can’t commit to a whole month, maybe start with two weeks. You can scale up the spending skills that you’ve learned to go on longer runs the next time around! Some people even like to add a no spend week to their schedules each month to help combat unnecessary spending every month of the year!

What Are the Benefits of a No Spend January Challenge?

People embarking on the No Spend January challenge can’t stop talking about how a life-changing experience it was. Here are some benefits you’ll get from committing to a month of conscious spending!

1. Reset Spending Habits

Instead of falling prey to the “I like it, I got it” mindset, No Spend January encourages you to take a step back and evaluate how much you need a product before dropping your hard-earned cash. 

This way, you’ll have more savings in your bank account and a reliable safety net to fall back on in case of emergency. Now with a steady financial reserve secured, you won’t have to accept unfair terms to apply for last-minute loans and end up being in debt for months to come!

2. Assess Opportunity Cost

Once you’ve rethought your spending, you’ll be more conscious of your financial decisions. For instance, grabbing a quick lunch on-the-go may only cost $10-15 at a time, but it can add up a ton! Eating lunch on the go twice a week will cost you about $1,500 per year.

This is a great opportunity to rethink opportunity cost.

Money comes and it goes, right? There are some times when it feels worth it to spend extra money on items or services that simplify your life or bring you joy. There are other times when you don’t realize just how much you’re spending on something until you stop.

3. Get a Complete Financial Picture

A No Spend month is a great way to get the big picture of your complete financial situation. Are you buying non-essential items? Are you overspending on your grocery budget? Are you carrying credit card debt from month to month? How’s your savings account looking this year?

4. Consume Less

We might be throwing away perfectly fine food just because we can afford to order our favorite meal and get it delivered to our doorstep in no time. Unfortunately, the digital age has made spending money only a few tabs and clicks away.

With time, you become numb and distant from how much you’re spending, as you lack the urgency of reaching out to your wallet, getting the cash, and physically handing it to the cashier. 

The No Spend January challenge is designed to address such an issue and make you less of a “consumer.” For instance, as long as your phone works, you don’t have to succumb to peer pressure and get the shiny new version. Apply such a concept to all your purchase decisions, and you’ll always be in control of your money!

5. Help the Environment

Cutting down on purchases is a great way to be more sustainable! The products we replace end up in landfills, posing a threat to our environment. Instead of being recycled, harmful chemicals from waste seep into our soil.

Plus, the constant cycle of buying uses natural materials at a faster pace than the earth can replace them. It’s essential to reframe our relationship with money and stop buying so much stuff!

12 Tips and Tricks for No Spend January

To ensure you’re making the most of the No Spend January challenge, we came up with some tips and tricks to put you on the right track.

1. No last-minute purchases

List the essentials you need for the month and stick to it. You can make some modifications as the month passes, but always ensure that whatever you’re buying already has a spot on your shopping list.

2. No entertainment purchases

Review your ongoing subscriptions and cut down on streaming services you don’t need. There’s a good chance you don’t have enough time to keep track of multiple shows and movies anyway!

3. No online shopping

Visit your local businesses for the essentials. Make shopping a conscious process rather than a mindless scroll on your phone. One helpful tip that always works for me is to remove my saved card from Google or different websites. This means I can’t “buy it now” anymore and slows down my shopping response.

4. Use a No Spend January printable tracker

Keep tabs on your progress by marking off every day that you held fast to your commitments! I’ve created this free printable tracker to get you started.

Download your Free No Spend Month Printable Tracker

Simply click the image below to access your free download. No email required!

This free download is available for personal use only. You may not sell or distribute this file in any way.

no spend month free printable.
Click the image above to access the free download.

5. Go cash-based

Did you know people typically overspend significantly when they shop with cards? I’ve read different statistics, but it’s often as little as an extra 33% or even twice as much! This is why people trying to get out of debt love a cash-based system. You’re inherently stingy when you have cash because you physically see it leaving your wallet.

Try setting up envelopes with cash for your essentials like groceries and gas. Get comfortable using these now and then next month, try adding an envelope for clothing or household goods.

6. Make a want list

Before you buy anything, add it to a want list. Next month, if you still want it, find a way to fit it into your budget. If you don’t want it anymore, you just saved yourself money by waiting!

It also helps me to ask these 7 questions before I make any purchase! These questions align with my values and I like to keep this list printed on my fridge next to my want list.

7. Print off your bank statement

One day this month, set aside a couple of hours for a financial deep dive. Figure out exactly where your money is going. This is the first step to reset your budget so your money can be working for you, not against you.

If you’re really ready to get the full picture, take some time to set up a You Need a Budget account this month! It’s an excellent, robust budgeting tool that makes it easy for me to get ahead on my bills (which feels so freaking good).

8. Make a savings jar

Whenever you overcome the urge to throw your money at unnecessary stuff, reach out to your No Spend January jar and put that amount inside. By the end of the month, see how much you’ve got and buy yourself something meaningful!

I know most of us don’t shop with cash too much, but you can still do this with pen and paper. Simply write down what you resisted the urge to buy, and at the end of the month, see what you saved.

9. Tell your friends and family about the challenge

You need support to reset your spending habits, and here comes the role of your social circle. Let your significant people know you’re cutting down on spending so they don’t get in your way!

I highly recommend getting your partner on board with you as it’s incredibly hard having one person pumping the brakes and another revving the gas!

10. Start meal planning

This is one of the most underrated ways to drop your spending during a spending freeze! Meal planning requires you to use what you have and only buy exactly what you need at the grocery store. My zero waste meal planning routine is perfect for this all year long!

My printable workbook, Make Over Your Meal Plan, will help you get into a meal planning routine in no time!

11. Use gift cards like cash

If you have a little pile of gift cards left over from the holidays, this is a great time to use them up! Using gift cards can get us back into that shopping habit, though. I recommend reminding yourself that gift cards are real money (and not a license to go wild!).

In the past, I used to treat gift cards like free money. I’d tell myself I was getting such a good discount thanks to the gift cards, so I could spend a little extra on this or that. This is a slippery slope, my friend!

Instead, imagine the gift card as cash. I like to imagine the person who gave it to me physically giving me cash and telling me to spend it at this store or website. This helps me stop treating it like an all-expenses paid vacation.

12. Write out a list of free activities

This helpful tip will save you when you get the “but there’s nothing fun to do for free!” panic. Don’t forget nature walks, visiting the library, hosting a clothing swap with friends, baking up a fun recipe from your pantry, hosting a potluck party instead of dining out, etc.

Focus on what you’re adding, not taking away.

Focus on what you stand to gain instead of what you “can’t” have.

For example, imagine how it will feel to see the balance line on your savings account go up or the total owed on your credit card debt going down. How will your life change when you get off the hamster wheel or living paycheck to paycheck?

Set a specific goal you want to work towards, like a family vacation or special event!

If you find yourself resistant to cutting your spending or sabotaging your efforts, be gentle with yourself.

Lovingly ask yourself why you are compromising on your values and priorities. What are you afraid of? Fight the urge to shame or blame yourself. Many people have deep-rooted insecurities and fears about money that can arise when they start to set limits on their spending.


What does No Spend January mean?

No Spend January is a spending fast. It’s a time when people who want to save money, get out of debt, or reset their spending habits commit to only purchasing essential items like food or gas all month long. It’s a refreshing way to recover from the excess of the holidays and should help you pay off any lingering Christmas expenses, too!

What does No Spend Month mean?

A No Spend month is a time when you only purchase the things you need to survive, like food and utilities. It’s a great way to trim your spending on non-essential items like clothing, skincare, and more. During a No Spend month, you’ll explore ways to make do with the items you already have, which is a way to reduce your waste, too.

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Start your No Spend January challenge today!

By now, you should have all you need to tackle your No Spend January challenge confidently. You’ll become a stronger person with complete control over your spending urges. 

Building healthy habits can be daunting, but with this knowledge at your disposal, you can come up on top of the challenge and cement your new spending habits as part of your daily routine!

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