We’re pretty sure that the pressures of December gift-giving and January resolutions have taken a toll on your wallet these last few months. That’s why this February, we’re encouraging you to embrace getting your finances back on track with a bit of a spending challenge. Only 28 days long, February is the best month to be frugal and cut down on all non-essential spending in order to put your hard earned money towards paying down debt and developing healthy spending habits. It only takes 21 days to develop a habit, so take advantage of an extra seven days to master living on a budget in 2017. Here are our top tips for how to embrace Frugal February.
Resist the urge to splurge
Frugal February is all about living as cheaply as possible for one whole month. It may sound a bit excessive or intimidating, but by resisting the urge to splurge on little luxuries you gain a better perspective on what truly adds value to your life (i.e. the satisfaction from preparing a home cooked meal versus picking up fast food). Therefore, this February cut down on all non-essential spending by brown bagging your lunch, cutting back on caffeine, cancelling subscription services and walking rather than driving or taking public transit. You’ll start to see that by eliminating the excess, you’ll begin to influence and improve other areas of your life (not just your wallet).
Borrow rather than buy
Yes, we all want that new YSL crossbody bag to coordinate with our Valentine’s OOTD! However, adding something shiny and new to your closet can cause a slippery slope into a spending black hole. Ever purchase a new handbag and then justify purchasing the matching wallet, keychain and a pair of heels? This Frugal February, just say no. Rather than buying something new, organize a clothing swap amongst friends and family. The health benefits of sharing a social interaction during an evening with girlfriends will far surpass the short-term gains from a flashy new accessory. The joys of increasing your closet’s versatility without putting a dent in your credit card should be reason enough to be frugal and borrow the next item you’re lusting for.
Set S.M.A.R.T savings goals
Frugal February is a challenge for a reason… it’s tough! Half the battle of decreasing your spending this month will be reasoning with the little voice in your head telling you that you “need” or “deserve” everything your heart desires. Be warned: this little voice is a LIAR! While the first few days of February may feel challenging and pointless, set some S.M.A.R.T Goals to work towards before the end of the month. Whether it’s saving for a weekend getaway, paying off your credit card bill or reaching your maximum RRSP contribution for the year, a clear savings goal will guide your Frugal February and help to drown out that annoying little voice.
Challenge a friend to Frugal February
There is power in numbers! We encourage you to challenge a friend(s) to Frugal February. By working together, you can keep each other accountable for your spending, compare notes on which savings techniques worked best and how to avoid temptations to overspend.