Being completely honest, I suck at saving, I'm definitely more on the spender size of the scale. But every new year with the saving challenges, and no spend weeks and months that appear, I've started to realise that I need to join in. Especially when you look at the end results, some saving challenges have really inspired me to get myself into gear and lining my pockets in 2018. But how do you get started? Well for me, a no spend week is the perfect place to begin, it's fairly easy given I work from home and spend a couple of days coped up inside. But then the sneaky coffee's when I'm buying petrol, or grabbing the boys a kinder egg that they don't really need, all add up and before I know it I'm spending like no tomorrow again. Budgeting is something we could all do a little more of, to cut down on unnecessary spending and save a few extra pennies each month. A no spend week, where you only spend money on groceries, bills and essentials, is a great way to do this. It can be a challenge though, so here are some top tips for making it through your first no spend week.

How to make it through a no spend week

1 - Before you get going on your no spend week, spend some time looking over what you’d normally spend, and figure out what you actually need rather than just want. Although shop-bought lunches and a coffee on the way to work may feel like a necessity, in reality they’re probably costing you a small fortune each year. This is definitely a major guilt of mine in the past, it would easily clock up £5 a day just grabbing a sandwich or a jacket potato and drink from the place across from work, suddenly I was leaking £100 a month on a lunch I could have easily made at home with things we already had in the house. 2 - Sit down and make your budget for the week, only spending on bills, groceries and travel - anything that you don’t need to live should be put to one side for this week. I've spoke to a lot of people who only buy essentials on their weekly shop, other groceries like washing powder, fabric softener, kitchen roll etc, can wait till payday week and they incorporate them all into a separate shop. It reduces their food bills massively and they've seen a big difference to their monthly outgoings. 3 - Planning your week will help you to prepare mentally for a no spend week. Figure out what you’ll eat, what you’ll do for entertainment and make sure you don’t pick a week with any birthdays or important events scheduled. You don't want to make it harder for yourself than it will already be, if it's a week when you know your best friend is going to want to head out and catch the new movie at the cinema, then wait, or, be firm and let her know your situation. 4 - Take out your expenses for the week in cash, so you’re not tempted to overspend. Alternatively, with a prepaid card like icount, you’ll only be able to spend the amount of money you load onto it, which will help you stay on top of your spending. 5 - Your first no spend week can be tough, but it’s important to stick with it. If you’re struggling, remember, it’s only a week! Alternatively, look up finance and budgeting tips online for a little extra motivation, or work out how much you’ve saved so far to give yourself a little boost. 6 - After your no spend week, it’s the perfect opportunity to look at your spending and figure out areas where you can cut down in the future to save even more money. Think about walking or cycling into work, taking a flask of coffee for your commute instead of buying one, or scheduling in a few no spend days into your calendar each month. I recently bought disposable coffee cups, it meant I could make my own coffee every morning before work and it was both super budget friendly, and exactly how I like it. These simple tips will help you get on top of your finances, and save money for years to come.Figure out what you need, plan ahead, stick it out and review your finances.

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  1. What a great idea, I have never tried this. I will have to give it a go. I am currently still getting over the shock of how much money we are saving because we are doing sugar free January and so are buying no treats etc. It's crazy money!

  2. I love these tips and the idea. I've never done it before but I am pretty sure if I put my mind to it and followed the steps then I could :)

  3. Great tips!

    Especially with taking the money out first to ensure you don't overspend!

    I'm on a saving hype atm but it's soooo hard!

    Uk parent, beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger

  4. Im working on #nospendjanuary! It can be hard - like you say sometimes being at home can lead you to wanting to just 'pop to the shops' for no reason. I think preparation is defo the key. Some great tips thanks!

  5. I definitely need to cut back on the coffee's I buy when I'm out. Most of the time I don't need one and could wait until I get home!

  6. I was wanting to do a no spend month but I need to pay for kids passports lol!

  7. This is super helpful to me as 2018 is our year of desperate saving! Thanks for the tips! x

  8. This is really going to help me budget . You’ve pointed out some really useful tips lovely :) x