February is just around the corner. It marks an interesting time for most budgeters. You see, so many of us set resolutions and goals for the New Year. In January, we get all hyped up and excited about the potential to save more money or pay off more debt in the coming year.
The fact of the matter is, many of us start strong but don’t quite reach our goals. As January starts to wrap up, I’ve been thinking about ways to help you get motivated to keep going. That is where the idea for the February budget challenges arose.
Truth be told, I was inspired by a stock image of some donuts. The very same one you see in the Pinterest image below. It got me thinking, what kind of challenges would be motivating for February. The truth is, there are only so many ways you can save money or pay off debt, but throwing a little creativity at the project never hurts.
The great thing is, February only has 29 days this year. It is like a warm-up for March!
This month, pick a challenge that is easy to complete. An easy win this month will give you more motivation to challenge yourself next month.
Without further adieu, here are some February budget challenges you can give a try this month.
February Donut Challenge
Donuts are one of my most favorite sweet treats. I know I shouldn’t have them. They aren’t super healthy, they won’t help me lose weight and stopping by the donut store certainly won’t help me save money.
They one thing they are is super yummy. In fact, I usually can’t decide between a glazed donut, maple bar or chocolate bar. Let me tell you, the dilemma is real! So how can I incorporate one of my favorite treats with a monthly challenge?
Donut Money Saving Challenge
As far as budgeting goes, this is perfect for a no-spend challenge. The rules of which can be your choice. It’s especially perfect if this month’s small step is to cut back on morning coffee.
Start at the top and work your way across the sheet. Color in or highlight the black and white donuts on days you don’t purchase coffee. When you hit a colored donut, treat it like a “free” space and go ahead and grab your cup of joe that morning. If you want, grab a donut too.
The next day, keep moving on. You see, it is OK to take breaks every once in a while to not go full steam ahead. Sometimes when you are adding a new habit it takes time to get used to the change. Rather than doing something cold turkey, this challenge encourages you to ease into things.
Donut Debt Payoff Challenge
Just as with the concept of a coffee challenge above to help save money, this versatile tracker can be used to track debt payoff as well.
For each day with a black and white donut, find at least one extra dollar to put towards debt for the month. Maybe you can pull some extra funds from one of your cash envelopes? Perhaps you find spare change in the couch cushions.
It doesn’t have to be a lot. This is meant to challenge you to think outside the box.
Are you consistently able to find more than $1 to put toward extra debt? Great! Color in your donut and write the amount in the middle. At the end of the month, add them all up!
Even at $1 saved per day, that is at least $22 extra toward debt this month just by coloring in this pretty donut tracker!
Other Donut Challenges
Of course, this concept isn’t limited to coffee. You can apply this same principle and use this tracker for other aspects of your life as well. Some ideas of things you can track include:
- No Spend Days
- Not Eating Out
- Morning Walk
- Positivity and Mindset
Rewards don’t have to be a “donut” either. It can simply be a rest day or one where you treat yourself to something else you enjoy like a new book or guilt-free veg time playing your favorite phone game.
February Money Saving Challenges
If you are looking for a challenge for February that is a little more structured, try a February money saving challenge.
This is just like any of the money-saving challenges you have done at any other time of the year. This month, though, you can use a super cute February themed free printable to help you keep track of your progress.
Special for this year, the printable pack has 29 days. Don’t want to lose out!
You pick your challenge. Will you save $5 every day this month or are you going to go all out and try for $10? The choice is yours!
February Debt Payoff Challenge
Are you looking to challenge yourself to pay off debt instead? I have been there!
Just as above, use one of these visual trackers as a way to encourage you to throw more money at debt this month. In fact, hang it on the fridge and get the whole family involved.
I remember that even when I was on a super tight budget where increases of income or side hustles weren’t really feasible, trackers like these would be an encouragement to be frugal.
Remember this cash can come from anywhere. You can negotiate a lower cable bill, conserve gas by carpooling once or twice a week or even something as simple as shopping from your pantry instead of the grocery store.
February No Spend Challenge
No spend challenges can be just as much fun as they are rewarding. That doesn’t mean they are easy! The great thing about a no-spend challenge is you can make the rules! This month, I’ve designed two options for the no spend tracker.
Will you choose to attempt all 29 days in February or will you choose to give yourself a free pass for Valentine’s day. It’s up to you! Remember to work together with those that matter on your financial goals.
If you are looking for some no-spend ideas this Valentine’s day, here are some options:
- Cook dinner at home. See if your family can babysit but, if not, involve the kiddos. Depending on their ages, it can be super fun to help get ready for a date night. In fact, they could be the guests of honor. Remember, Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be a romantic occasion.
- Plan for Popcorn and a Movie. Sometimes we get so consumed with daily life we forget to slow down and take a moment together. Valentine’s Day is the perfect night to throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave, cozy up with a blanket and enjoy a great movie….or Baby Yoda. Baby Yoda is always a good answer!
- Plan a Scavenger Hunt. Whether you go all out and plant clues around the neighborhood, or just make a handmade trail of sweet notes in the house, a Valentine’s day scavenger hunt can be a great way to celebrate your special someone while still completing a no-spend challenge.
Of course, no spend challenges are great. But sometimes, it is OK to just take a day and be you. Now, I’m not saying you should splurge on a top-notch steak house if you can’t afford it and you are deep in debt.
What I am saying is that maybe on that one day it’s Ok to take some of that money you save by not spending the rest of the month and put that toward something special for your Valentine.
Even something as simple as a $10 grocery store bouquet can be a perfect touch without breaking the budget.
Each of the printables above can be downloaded from the resource library using the signup form below. I send out emails about once a week and they usually include information about a new free printable in the library.
Do you have any good ideas for a no-spend or budget-friendly Valentine’s day? If so leave a comment, I’m sure my readers would love some more ideas!