Prepping for Frugal February 2020

January is (somehow!) almost over and that means that Frugal February 2020 is about to begin. This challenge always seems to sneak up on me and I need to get prepared for this year’s no-spend month. If you’re planning to join us in our Frugal February 2020 challenge, I wanted to share a big reminder post to help everyone prepare and get on the same page. Oh, and this year we’ve got an extra day of no spending (February 29th!).

But let’s backtrack. If you’re new around here let me explain what I’m chatting about…

What is Frugal February?

 Preparing for Frugal February 2019

Frugal February looks different for every household. For us, it means no dinners out, no bar tabs, no morning coffee runs, no clothing shopping, no cab or Uber rides, etc. It’s all about being aware, mindful, and intentional with our spending and every year we end up saving a lot of money. And not only do we save, but we also figure out where we’re spending too much and we create good habits for the rest of the year.

While not spending money on any of the aforementioned items may sound like a big bore to you, it’s actually kinda fun. We get REALLY creative and try our best to spend as little as possible. Last year, we did a $14 Valentine’s Day challenge along with a beach-themed date night in. The year before we created an entire Olympic-themed game night at home. It’s crazy how much fun we can have without spending a dime! Reader survey feedback another day in the life post

We do buy groceries during February and any necessities (and pay our bills #obvi). But we do try to be smart about it, so there are no impulse buys. If you want to save money this month too, we want you to join us in this challenge! Here are some ways to prep for the month ahead.

Set YOUR Rules

Philz coffee

As I mentioned above, we try our best to cut any unnecessary spending. No meals out, no bar tabs, no Uber rides, no clothing expenses, etc. However, this might not be the best setup for your family or financial goals. Maybe you just want to eliminate clothing shopping for the month? Or no Amazon purchases? Or only one coffee run per week? Every little change helps that bottom line and you make the rules!Casey and Finn making plans for Frugal February 2020

We always sit down before February starts to make sure we’re on the same page about what we’re spending money on and what’s off-limits. Set aside some time for this so you can wake up on February 1st raring to go!

Take a Look At The Calendar

Working on SEO for a blog

Life doesn’t stop just because you’re not spending money. There are still parties, obligations, and necessary events on your calendar. Take note of these obligations now so you can plan ahead. If we told friends we would get together on a certain date in February, we might suggest that they come over for a game night at our house instead of going out for a pricey dinner. It’s all about making smart choices!

Collect Loose Change, Gift Cards, & Credit Card PointsSpending gift cards during frugal february

Those gift cards that are burning a hole in your pocket from Christmas come in handy during Frugal February! Take a look at what you have and strategically use them when you have to buy something. Or gather all of your loose change and make a challenge out of only spending that amount for a date night.Finn family houston trip

Last year, we decided to go to Houston to visit Finn’s family during Frugal February. We cashed in on credit card points to pay for the flights, packed snacks for the plane, and didn’t end up spending any extra money to get there!

I looked ahead at our month and honestly, it’s pretty boring! We have lots of baby classes at night that we already paid for, doctor’s appointments, a dentist appointment, and continued work on our office and nursery (DIY work is a part of my job, so money spent there isn’t a part of our challenge). So, my guess is it shouldn’t be too difficult to stay in and not spend money. Hopefully, I’m not eating my words in a few weeks…

Schedule in Some Fun

Academic decathalon at home

Frugal February shouldn’t be a month of doom and gloom. For us, it has always been the opposite because it forces us to get creative. Instead of a typical date night that involves a pricey dinner out, we do things we never would normally do! We plan themed dates in, we do cooking challenges, we make delicious cocktails (& mocktails) at home, we explore a free museum or park…there are so many options! I’m planning to reserve a few days in Frugal February 2020 for those days together where we can really get creative. Can’t wait to share what we come up with…

Set Goals & Track Them

Casey and Finn working on the future of The DIY Playbook

Sometimes it’s nice to have an end goal to keep in mind during the month. Maybe you want to save $1,000 to put towards a down payment on your next house? Or $500 would be great for your next vacation? Keeping that end goal in sight can help keep you motivated. Using cash or credit cards for Frugal February 2020

I know some people swear by only using cash to keep them on a budget, but we are credit card people all the way. It’s much easier for us to track where our money goes because we can review our statements closely and we get great credit card points and perks. We typically know what we spend on average in a month and then compare February to other months during the year.

Frugal February 2019 recap

Our method won’t work for every family, so it’s important to know ahead of time how you’ll track your spending. Maybe you only use cash and have an envelope for every week? Or if you’re a visual person you can make a big chart to mark your progress. It doesn’t matter how you track but make a plan now before February is here.

Are You In? Join Us for Frugal February 2020!

This is the 5th year that we’re doing Frugal February and this year I want to do it with all of you! During February, I’ll be posting tips/ideas/updates on Instagram and Insta Stories using the hashtag, #diyplaybookfrugalfeb. If you are doing a money-saving activity, use the hashtag on stories or your feed (and be sure to tag @diyplaybook so we don’t miss it). We’ll re-share some of our favorite ideas on our stories too.

I want this to be a little community of money-savers who are all cheering one another on! So are you with me for Frugal February 2020? I cannot wait to follow the #diyplaybookfrugalfeb tags!

And if you need some more encouragement, check out these past posts…

More Money-Saving Posts


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.