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You've probably heard of "Buy Nothing Day," when individuals refrain from buying anything on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Well, one woman took it to the next level, committing to a full year of not buying anything beyond the necessities, and she ended up saving $27,000.
Michell McGagh had worked as a personal financial journalist for 10 years, but still found she had a long way to go when it came to managing her own money. Though she had no debt, she saw that her bank statements were "littered with unnecessary spending," so she decided to turn her finances around. In addition to the large sum added to her bank account, McGagh turned her experience into a book, The No Spend Year: How I Spent Less and Lived More, released this past Friday.
The strategy was pretty straightforward: McGagh would pay off things like her mortgage, utilities, life insurance, and bills first, and would also buy basic toiletries and necessary groceries (though notes things like a Kit Kat or a "cheeky cheesecake from the supermarket" wouldn't make it into her cart). Anything going beyond the bare necessities—like restaurant meals, nights out, clothes, and vacations—were off limits. She even cut out spending anything on transportation and committed to cycling everywhere. If her husband, friends, or family ever offered to pay for anything, she refused, as that would defeat the point. While McGagh admits the experience was a struggle and affected those around her, she stuck it out, and she proved that it's possible to spend your money only on the essentials.
Head to the comments to share your thoughts on this extreme method of reducing your spending.