A no-spend challenge is designed to save money, and it can be more fun than you might think.
Despite the name, a no-spend challenge doesn’t mean you sit on your hands and spend no money whatsoever. After all, you don’t want to fall behind on your bills, and there are some necessities you simply can’t do without.
The basic premise of a no-spend challenge is to cut out non-essential spending for a certain amount of time. It could be for a week, a month or even an entire year.
If your no-spend challenge is successful, before long you should have more money in your bank account.
So how to do a no-spend challenge? We have some tips and no-spend challenge ideas.
- Have a goal in mind.
- Get your kids involved.
- Set small goals initially.
- Recruit others to join.
- Plan for exceptions.
- Try a specific no-spend challenge.
- Give yourself a reward.
What can you spend money on
If you need to purchase something during your no-spend challenge, it should be something that’s necessary and you absolutely can’t do without.
Consider these as acceptable items to purchase during a no-spend challenge:
- Doctor’s appointments
You also want to keep up with bills that are due. The goal of this challenge isn’t to make life harder on yourself by cutting out spending on essential expenses.
Set Small Goals Initially
For instance, if you're shooting high with a no-spend challenge that lasts a month, first try to not spend Monday through Thursday. Many people can be thrifty for a few days but can't sustain it, so start small.
You can probably handle a no-spend challenge that lasts one or two days, but if you're aiming for a week or a month, that's when things start getting tricky.
Try a Specific No-Spend Challenge
Start small and decide to forego impulse purchases for a month, or you could vow to buy no coffee for a month. Or try a pantry challenge, where you only eat food that you’ve previously frozen or stored. You'll find some creative uses for the odds and ends in your pantry and freezer.
The Financial Benefits of a No-Spend Challenge
A no-spend challenge can be a big boost to your financial situation.
While no-spend challenges are designed to be temporary, you can always extend your challenge or — extra points for this — treat it as more of a lifestyle change. But be careful not to deprive yourself so much that you binge spend once your challenge ends.