How to have a Frugal February – take the SmartPurse challenge!
February is a great month to flex those frugal muscles and give your budget an overhaul. After the big spending commitments of December and January, February can be a time to reflect on your spending and saving habits. An audit allows you to identify possible areas where your money is unnecessarily draining and helps you to set up a future-proof budget, an emergency fund, or to start a small investment portfolio with the money you are managing to save.
Are you up for a challenge? Make February a month of spending less and saving more. The changes you make are likely to become part of your budget for the rest of the year – imagine how much you could save by making small changes.
What do I include in my challenge budget?
What you include is totally up to you – it’s your challenge! It will depend on your personal circumstances and commitments. We suggest identifying all your “essentials”, as you need these to function.
What “essentials” are is totally subjective, but you might want to think about food and travel, plus any work and childcare expenses. Here are our top tips for Frugal February success:
💸 Set aside all the bills that need that come out of your money each month – they have already been accounted for.
💸 Think about which extras you don’t want to go without, and include a small emergency fund if you can.
💸 Choose an amount to spend for each week of the month.
💸 If there are any larger items you need to buy for the household, can they be deferred to March? Obviously, don’t go without a fridge if yours decides to break, but if you plan to upgrade anything, hold off until next month.
How much could you save?
This depends on how much you earn and how much you set aside for bills and essentials. It also depends on your lifestyle.
Here are some easy swaps you can do:
🔀 Swap 1: Lunch bought at a café for a packed lunch from home, and dinner at a restaurant for a meal prepared from scratch.
🔀 Swap 2: Preparing a new meal daily for dinner to eat up leftovers – cheaper and less wasteful!
🔀 Swap 3: Going to the supermarket unprepared to take a detailed list for the coming week.
🔀 Swap 4: Having the thermostat at 21˚C for setting it to 19˚C.
🔀 Swap 5: Lighting the whole house for lighting the rooms only you and your household are using. Limit the lights to just one, or experiment with any candles you have in the house.
🔀 Swap 6: Cinema tickets, nachos and drinks for a movie at home and homemade popcorn.
Just these six swaps can make a huge difference in a month, and you might want to switch permanently – but remember, you can always add in the extras you missed!
Don’t forget to track your spending, savings, and whether you lasted the whole month or a few weeks. We’d love to know about your experience, how much you saved and what you plan to do with those savings. You can get in touch here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you want to share your journey throughout the month, don’t forget to keep us in the loop on social media with the hashtags #smartpursefrugalfeb. Tag us, too: @SmartPurse on Facebook and @smart.purse on Instagram.