Are you trying a no-spend challenge for the first time? Or tried a spending strike and didn’t succeed? I’m sharing some tips on how you can successfully stick to a no-spend challenge down below!
How to Stick to a “No Spend” Challenge
Challenging yourself to a month of no extraneous spending is a great way to learning about your financial habits and stick to your budget. As the month wears on, however, you may find it tempting to pick up a new outfit or go for a manicure. A few years ago I tried the no-spend challenge for a month. It was right after Christmas, so it was the perfect time to not spend any money. It was quite interesting, and I saved a few hundred bucks by not spending money. You can read about my spending strike challenge here.
Keep reading to learn how you can stick to a “no spend” challenge and save your money rather than part with it!
Plan your “no spend” month carefully. In order to prevent any extra spending, you want to make sure your budget is prepared. Bills should be budgeted already, but also record any spending you anticipate, such as birthdays, holidays, or school needs for your kids. If you’ve budgeted for it, it won’t count for the challenge.
Create a small emergency fund for the month. We all know there are sometimes unexpected things that come up, but if you are prepared, you can still consider your “no spend” challenge to be a success. Set aside a small amount for emergencies – TRUE emergencies – so you don’t lose sight of no spending. And by small, we are talking $25-$50, at the most. Read: 25 Ways to Make Extra Spending Money This Summer
Learn to say no. Your challenge may get tough when your friends and family are still dining out or going to the movies and want you to come along. Stick to your guns, and you will be rewarded with a larger bank account. Even better, tell your loved ones about your “no spend” challenge and ask them to join you!
Read: 52 Ways To Save Money: Week 52: Learn to Say No
Avoid going over on other areas of the budget. Just because you don’t do any mindless spending doesn’t mean you will win the “no spend” challenge. You also must make sure you don’t go over in other areas of your financial budget, including groceries and gas. Look at your budget often to ensure you don’t go over and ruin your challenge!
Read: 4 Ways We Changed Our Budget to Become Gazelle Intense
Find frugal ways to entertain yourself and family. No one has to suffer from boredom just because you don’t want to spend money. Find better ways to enjoy your month, such as watching DVDs rather than going to the theatre. Visit a local park rather than paying for entry to a museum or play place. Read: 50 Free Or Frugal Things To Do This Summer
Meal plan for the month. Planning your meals is a great way to make your food budget last much longer. Browse Pinterest for frugal meals you can make your family so you have plenty of food for everyone without breaking your challenge or feeling the need to eat out! I post weekly meal plans here.
A “no spend” challenge is a great way to cut back on your expenses as well as jumpstart your savings account. Above all, make sure you are prepared, going into the challenge so you can see success without a huge struggle.
After you have complete the no-spend challenge, try doing our 52-week money challenge. It’s a great way to save money year-round.