Are you finding your budget being blown by small expenses throughout the week? Trips to the grocery store to pick up one thing that turns into five things, grabbing snacks at the convenience store, splurging when you get a good sale email?
Spend only on Sunday!
Okay, so the day doesn’t have to be Sunday. But the general theory is this: pick one day a week and that is the day where you are allowed to spend money. That includes dining out, grocery shopping, any household items you need. Every other day? No spending money. This often requires you to wait on those splurge purchases, and by thinking for a few days on the purchase, you often realize that you didn’t really need the item in the first place.
But how do I pick a day?
While some proponents of this plan will argue that you should pick a day and stick with it, be it a weekend day or a weekday, I suggest that you choose your day each week. After all, you don’t want to tell your friends you can’t join them for a Sunday picnic because it’s shopping day. So you can switch up the day every week. Do what works for you.
What about vacation?
Again, make the plan work for you! If you’ve been saving for a vacation (thanks to your one day a week Spend Only On Sunday plan), take a week off for your vacation and allow yourself to eat out, pay for tours, do what you want to do on vacation. Make sure you stay within your budget, but you don’t have to only vacation on one day.
But I don’t want to spend a whole day doing all my shopping
Maybe the plan needs a bit more flexibility for you. Maybe you and your partner have different schedules so it’s easiest for one of you to do the grocery shopping on Tuesday and then you can run errands together on Saturday. Decide that grocery shopping (perhaps all food shopping) will happen on Tuesdays and other shopping happens on Saturdays.
The point is to reduce your shopping trips and also encourage you to look at all of your weekly expenses together. It’s a way to prevent those splurge purchases. It’s a simple plan to help you save money without too much effort.
So consider the Spend Only On Sunday plan or some variation. Even if you only do it one or two weeks a month, you might be surprised by what you save.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.