You may have seen the frugal february challenge mentioned in the past and wondered what it was all about.
February is the month when your Christmas spending hits home, when the credit card bill needs paying. It’s also the shortest month of the year so any challenge you set yourself is just that bit shorter.
The idea behind frugal february is that by the end of the month you will have improved your financial situation through reducing your monthly expenses, optimizing your savings and made concrete plans for your future.
Do you want to save money? Do you want to have more control over your finances? Well, then it’s time for frugal february!
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What makes The difference between frugal february and the no spend January challenge?
The main difference between no spend January and a frugal February is that January is very much about completing a spending freeze for the entire month.
Where your challenge is to spend no money on anything other than necessities. No eating out, no coffees, no clothes shopping, no trips to the movies.
Whereas frugal february is about improving your financial situation and saving money on everything you pay out for. So your monthly bills, annual bills, your grocery bill, how many meals out you have and so on.
It’s not a spending freeze month, more a spending reduction month – on everything. Absolutely feel free to add in a freeze on discretionary spending if you want to as you’ll be saving extra cash.
What’s does frugal february involve?
Frugal Ferbuary is a short month, so it’s the ideal month to focus on your finances. To get a better deal on all your bills, whether that’s your utilities, your insurances or your groceries.
By the end of the month you will have fine-tuned your budget, cut down on your cash spending, reduced many bills and have a really good understanding of where your money goes and how far you can stretch it.
Benefits of completing a frugal february challenge
There are many benefits to spending the entire month of February reviewing your financial accounts and each bill one by one. And you’ll be surprised at what you learn. you will:
- have negotiated the best deal on all your insurances
- Reduced your utility payments or maybe even switched suppliers
- Cut back on impulse purchases
- Got budgeting firmly back on track
- Have a better insight into where your money is going
- Cancelled subscriptions you have stopped using
- Gain confidence in the fact that you are building up your emergency fund and even perhaps, started regular retirement savings.
What Are the downsides to completing the frugal february challenge?
Even the most motivated people can struggle with this challenge. It’s normal to feel tempted, bored or discouraged. So keep these things in mind when you’re starting to waver.
If you don’t feel like digging into the topic of money each day then think of it like this, February financial topics are a once and done process, not a weekly or monthly task.
Having a personal finance day every day in February means there will be no March challenge to aim for.
Why wouldn’t you want to make the most of the money you have?
If you’re feeling tempted to splurge a little:
- Remind yourself of the real reasons why you are doing this, and how it can really help your life in a big way.
- Remember that every $100 you save is $100 more towards debt or savings goals
- Don’t get bored! Keep active, find free things to do every day
Instead of thinking about what you cannot buy or do during frugal February, think about all the cash you are putting back into your pocket by drilling down on your expenses.
What to do during Frugal february – february financial topics
The main thrust of frugal February is to get your money working smarter and harder for you. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the best deals on different products stop being just that.
So you are going to review every line in your budget to see whether you can save more by cutting down, back or switching to another company.
Get your bank account and credit card statements out and make a list of all the companies, people and things you are paying out for. Insurances, subscriptions, food, meals out, gifts.
Divide this list into 28. Each day during the month is a personal finance day, a day for you to take each item on the list and see how you can cut the cost.
Frugal february financial topics to work through
For insurances, it might be as simple as a quick phonecall. Or you might go via a comparison site to find a better deal.
Cable and streaming services might need a decision on whether you need all of the ones you have. You might decide to cut cable or negotiate for a better deal.
In many countries and states you can now switch energy suppliers so check if you are on the best rate for your area. You might want to look at whether you can reduce your energy consumption in a small way.
By turning down your thermostat, using a power strip to switch everything off in one go, having thermal lined curtains and so on. This post of mine has lots more tips on reducing your energy consumption.
When it comes to debt my tips would include checking whether re-financing makes sense in your situation. I’m a big fan of mortgage re-financing as the interest rates go up and down regularly. No need to stay on a higher rate when you can pay less.
Track your spending for the full month so you know where every dollar goes. Most people find they save more money when they track everything. Use the information you gain from tracking exactly what you spend money on to see how many impulse purchases you are making.
Things that you’ve paid for that perhaps you didn’t really need. It could be a good idea to make a plan for future months as to how to tackle and reduce unnecessary spending.
Check your bank statements for subscriptions that you no longer or rarely use. Cancel the unused ones and think about whether you really need some of the others. Do you get best value out of going to the gym?
A friend paid for a fresh flowers subscription. Fresh flowers sent every other week. Lovely idea but perhaps that money would be better off in a savings account? Use TRIM to help you identify and cancel subscriptions.
Frugal february tips for reducing the cost of Food
Make a meal plan for the weeks of February and commit to having those meals at home. Creating a list of cheap meals that the family enjoy can also save you money.
Cut back on if and when you eat out. You don’t have to stop eating out completely (that’s January’s challenge!) but it’s definitely more frugal to eat at home.
Cut back on how much food you buy, do you really waste no food at alll?
Take your own food to work by packing a nice lunch. Maybe leftovers from last nights dinner?
Use your slow cooker more. You can batch cook your meals, so cook once, eat twice with a slow cooker. These recipes will inspire you to use it more:
Frugal february tips for entertainment
Board games are often only brought out at Christmas when extended family are around. Kick start a fun February by playing board games every week. You’ll be surprised at just how enjoyable you find them.
Instead of going to a restaurant, have friends round for dinner. You could make it a pot luck supper where everyone brings one course. I love having friends round in this way as I’m no good at desserts but my friends are!
Have family fun at home. Get everyone in the garden or take a walk round your local neighborhood. You could have a movie night or make pizzas together. All frugal fun and all pretty much free.
What about Valentine’s Day?
You are not required to pay out a fortune on Valentine’s Day! Why not prepare a lovely day with your partner that focuses on your relationship and joint memories rather than the dollars you don’t use?
You can prepare a candlelit meal, go for a moonlight walk or snuggle up on the sofa and watch a fun movie or two.
How can you save money during frugal february?
Consider every purchase you are about to make. Is it the most frugal use of your cash? Do you need it? Or is more of a want/just fancy buying something?
This is your month, your rules, your choices. It’s only 28 days so you might decide that for one month only you are going to save more by only buying necessities. By going all out to cut every bill you can.
As my Grandma always said:
Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves
That’s how you can save money this month – watch every cent and then watch the savings mount up.
Post with more frugal tips:
frugal february rules for spending money
Frugal February is all about cutting down on unnecessary spending, making sure you are getting value for money on every expense. That’s not to say you can’t spend anything, just consider whether you need to.
There’s always another time.
what to not spend money on during frugal february
Frugal February isn’t a no spend month, it’s more of a get more conscious about your finances month. You get to decide what you can pay out for and what you choose not to.
I would encourage you to be more conscious about when and if you purchase anything. Try having some no-spend days as these help you realise how unconsciously you can fritter your dollars away.
Focus on what you need to buy rather than what you feel like buying just because you happen to be passing a store.
Combine these with having a series of financial days where you delve into getting the best deal on all your expenses and you’re on your way to true frugality.
Setting frugal february savings goals
Take time out to set out your intentions for this month.
- What do you want to have achieved by day 28?
- Are you intent on having a spending freeze?
- Are you setting a target for the number of no-spend days you want to have?
- What do you want your budget, bills and expenses to look like at the end of the month?
What is a frugal budget?
A frugal budget is a budget where you spend as little as possible on the things that aren’t essential to your life.
Frugality can be practiced in many ways and for different reasons. From being environmentally conscious to saving money for a better future.
Is being frugal positive or negative?
There is nothing wrong with being frugal and it can be a very positive thing.
Frugality isn’t about deprivation, it’s about getting the best value for money and only buying what you need or want to buy. It can also help people save for things that are special to them.
What is the difference between being frugal and cheap?
A person can be either frugal or cheap but there’s a big difference. Being a frugalista means you value money because it gives you choice, control and power over your life while someone who is cheap only values the dollar amount saved.
what is a money saving challenge?
A money saving challenge is a way of challenging yourself to save as much money in a set period as you can.
Some people might choose to cut back on their spending, others might try and sell items they no longer use or need for cash.
You could also decide that you are going to save more money by having fewer days out, cutting down your grocery budget or taking lunch to work every day.
There are so many ways to save once you decide to challenge yourself.
what is a no spend month?
A no spend month is a period of time where you commit to not purchasing anything that isn’t essential, no unnecessary items.
The aim is to spend no money on anything that is not a necessity.
The point of not spending for a whole month is to give you some time without the daily distractions of mindlessly spending. So that you can plan ahead and kickstart your financial goals.
There are many benefits of doing a no-spend challenge, especially if it’s done along with other saving strategies.
What is a no spend week?
A no spend week is a great way to start cutting back on your spending and saving some money. A week is a good enough length of time to feel the difference to your everyday habits.
No coffees, no lunch out at work. No Saturday nights out. You can save a decent chunk of change in just a week if you put your mind to it.
What are no spend days?
No spend days are like no spend weeks but they only last for a day. They are perfect for dipping your toe in the water of challenging yourself not to purchase anything for a set period.
What is a no spend year?
A no spend year is the ultimate no spend challenge and not for the faint-hearted. It is a whole year where you don’t buy anything that isn’t essential.
You’re budgeting purely for your essential expenses and groceries. But no going out with friends or having a vacation that costs anything.
frugal february tips for success
If you’re looking for a way to save cash this month without feeling deprived this is the perfect challenge for you. You have the opportunity to take control of your financial affiars and make lasting changes.
You can review each monthly or yearly bill, and negotiate with creditors for lower rates or less fees where possible.
Reduce monthly expenses through things like carpooling, reducing utilities and cutting back on entertainment costs.
You may be surprised by how freeing it feels to live within your means during the next 28 days. What’s more, if you start making these changes now, they could become habits after just one trial run.
Do yourself a favor and give the frugal february challenge a try, you won’t regret it!
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Last Updated on 11th October 2021 by Emma