Have you ever told yourself you weren’t going to spend any money for a few days, but you failed? The “No Spend Challenge”, may be just what you need to be successful in your non-spending.
The “No Spend Challenge” is a challenge going around on social media, where people are deciding not to spend money for a period of time. Some have done the challenge for just one day, some have done it for a week, and some have even committed to an entire month.
The “No Spend Challenge” is a really great way to save money, in the long term. However, in order to have a successful challenge you have to be prepared. Deciding not to spend money for a day, may not require so much preparation, but not spending for a month definitely will.
Before You Commit to the Challenge:
- Decide the Duration of Your Challenge.
Are you committing to one day, three days, a week, two weeks, or a month? Pick what is best for you. If your birthday is coming up in a week, and you’ve planned a nice dinner, you know that starting a two week challenge isn’t going to work very well. You’d still have to buy an outfit, and go to the salon/barbershop. Be practical.
- Set a Goal.
Are you doing the challenge specifically to save money? Write your goal savings down and stick it on the refrigerator. Look at it as a reminder of your purpose. Or if you’re doing the challenge to test your will-power, look into the areas where you’re spending too much: eating out, or hitting the bars. Cut back in those specific areas.
- Prepare Yourself.
Do you have enough food in your house to not go grocery shopping, or eat out for a month? Or do you have to have fresh fruit, and have to go to the grocery store at least once a week for it? These are the questions you need to ask yourself before jumping into the “No Spend Challenge”. Come up with a plan. Set aside money for your fresh fruit and money for your gas to and from work. It will also be a good idea, for a short term challenge, to just eat all the food in your house, and not eat out.
- Avoid Temptation.
The moment you decide that you want to stop spending money for a while, everyone comes up with plans to go out or travel, the shoes you’ve wanted have been marked down 65%, and your favorite restaurant advertises a buy one get one meal deal. You must stay strong.
- Make Money.
Ask your boss if you can work overtime/just pick up some extra hours. Have a yard sale during your spending break. Sell some of your unwanted and gently used things on the internet. Sign up for paid, online surveys. Drive for a ridesharing service. There are so many legal ways to make money fast, find one that works for you.
This challenge can be made to fit any lifestyle. There is no specific way that you have to go about not spending money. Choose to do what makes the most sense for you, and stick to it.
Now that you know everything you need to consider before starting the “No Spend Challenge”, there are some rules that you have to follow while participating in the challenge:
Where Will the Money Go?
You have to decide whether or not the money you are saving will go into a shoe box in your closet, your savings account, under your mattress, or wherever. You have to make a decision, and stick to it. You also cannot touch that money once it is put away.
Hide your debit and credit cards. Using cash only, will help you to avoid overspending.
What Can You Buy?
There will be some things you just have to buy for yourself, and for your family. Figure out what those things are. You can only buy those things.
If you are still undecided on whether or not to participate in the challenge, here’s what you have to gain:
- A Cleaner Home– Since you won’t be going out, you’ll have plenty of time to clean out the garage, or that closet that has been cluttered for 6 months.
- New Recipes- Cooking what you already have at home, will have you on google trying to figure out new ways to make dishes and work with what you have.
- New Friends- There are hundreds of blogs on the internet, filled with people who have done this challenge already. They have posted their successes and their failures. Reading about someone else’s failures, will help you to not make the same ones they did. Get engaged, comment, and share the posts. You never know who you may inspire to do the challenge as well.
- Independence– You will become less dependent on fast food and takeout, when you make this decision not to spend money. You will re-learn to take advantage of what you already have.
- More Money- The joy in not spending money, is not watching the money leave your bank account. Saving money in this way, will also help you to no longer live paycheck to paycheck, if that were an issue for you before.