No spend day. No spend weekend. No spend month.
You may well have heard of all these no spend challenges. You might even have taken part in a couple.
This blog post will first explain why we have no spend days/weekends/months. I’ll then tell you exactly how you can truly succeed in reaching your no spend goals.
Why no spend?
No Spend Reason 1:
The purpose of not spending is to make you much more aware of the importance of spending on what you need, and more conscious of NOT spending on what you want.
Here are some examples of unnecessary spending that’s wasting you your hard earned money:
Buying extra clothes
Paying for online games
Buying home decor items
Buying things that you already have, for example, buying another watch when you already have a reliable watch.
This No Spend challenge therefore seeks to enable you to put a STOP to unneeded spending.
Only by stopping needless spending can you build yourself a strong financial future.
No Spend Reason 2:
The second purpose of not spending is to gradually develop your No Spend muscles, so that you can adopt and grow a strong no spend mind-set and a no spend habit.
Clearly, the aim is for you to reach your money milestones successfully, as soon as possible. These milestones, depending on your financial situation now, would be one of these:
Pay off your credit card debt, or pay off other debts, or reach financial security, or achieve financial freedom.
Having strong no spend muscles is crucial for you to successfully reach your financial goals.
Your future self will thank you very much for your decision now.
Strong no spend muscles means you avoid any more harmful spending habits. It will make you fully aware of your current spending patterns that harm you financially.
No Spend Reason 3:
You’ll be empowered.
When you rise to the no spend challenges you will have the constant power to:
-Resist sales, offers and specials – there is actually nothing special about spending money on stuff that you do not need!
-Recognize that you will have more life and more freedom with less stuff
-Truly appreciate the things you already have
-Feel gratitude for what you have – not just physical things but things like the positive relationships that you have in your life
-Become more resourceful and creative, like being:
- Clever at re purposing something to suit what you need to do.
- Good at finding new ways to get freebies or borrow what you need.
- Great at replacing costly habits with frugal habits for instance, kicking the habit of going to malls to do window shopping. Instead, you’ll grow new frugal habits such as frequenting free places where no-one is trying to sell you things.
No Spend Reason 4:
You’ll save lots of money.
A great way to understand the amount of money you will save is to actually calculate the actual sums you will save, in both the short and long term.
You will see that over a year you can save at least many hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, when you have a no spend frugal habit.
How to Ensure You’ll Succeed in Your No Spend Challenge
For most people a good strategy is to start small with your no spend challenge.
You can begin with a no spend day. Once you are successful, progress to a no spend weekend. After being successful with that, you can move on to a no spend week, and to a no spend month eventually.
This gradual approach will allow you to achieve early success and encourage you to set and reach more ambitious no spend goals.
Write Clear & Doable No Spend Goals
Another tip for you to succeed in your no spend challenge is to write down clear, specific and achievable goals.
One of my own no spend goals is to spend nothing on clothes and home décor items (I wasted money on these in the past).
Setting such goals will make it very clear to yourself and to others involved what has been agreed on.
The written goals should be prominently displayed so as to serve as a valuable reminder for you to stay on track.
Encourage Yourself & Those Involved
Is so very important to encourage yourself and anyone else involved in the no spend challenge.
We all need this encouragement to keep going. It is therefore a great idea to arrange for some face to face or Skype meeting to check on progress, and to keep going.
Use Inspiring Quotes
Look for inspiring and motivating quotes to print out and display in several prominent places at home, in your car and at your workplace. Again this will remind you to focus on reaching your no spend goals.
Monitor your progress
Make it a point to regularly track your progress and your successes, using a simple weekly or monthly calendar for a weekly and monthly no spending challenge respectively.
A paper calendar is good – you can use a blue marker to place a tick on each day that you did not spend. Use a red marker draw a cross on the days you had to spend.
There could be unexpected expenses, which is allowed and okay. For example, you may need to pump some gas or you might have a tooth ache that needs dental attention.
Come Up With Free Activities You Like
Be intentional. Choose the activities that you enjoy most and these will help you to avoid spending money.
Spend quality time yourself and with those you love.
Write Down Your Rewards
You’ll need to devote time and effort to plan and do a no spend challenge. Therefore it is only fair to yourself and others involved to plan a reasonable reward for yourself.
This reward can be free or low cost, as long as it is something that you will enjoy.
Plan Meals in Advance
For your not eating out challenge, it is important to plan in advance your meals for that period.
You can plan simple meals for each day. For example, you can cook in bulk, like do a large casserole. You can freeze portions of meals to be thawed and reheated during your no spend days.
Raid Your Pantry & Freezer
Check out your pantry or better yet, empty your pantry so that you can easily see what you have.
You are likely to find forgotten cans, bottles and packets of food that can be used during your no spend challenge.
This prevents food items exceeding their used by dates, and also minimizes wastage.
Similarly, open your freezer and remove items from its depths and corners.
You are likely to find forgotten frozen items that you can thaw in the fridge in advance for use during the challenge. Use it or waste it.
Stick Reminders Where They Count
Paste stickers on your wallet, credit card and even on your cash.
On your wallet and credit card the sticker should say “Don’t use me please”. The message on your cash can be “Keep me here with you”.
Should you fall prey to the temptation to spend, you’ll see these messages. They should make you feel guilty enough to curb your spending.
Avoid visiting any retail websites. You can easily block retail websites at the browser level (See these tips from Gadgets 360)
Learn how to get things done without buying more things and spending money. For instance vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean up lots of things, without you having to spend a cent on cleaning products.
Spend Zero Dollars but Go Places
Walking jogging or biking to nearby destinations are healthy ways for you to travel without spending a cent.
There you have it. Motivate yourself strongly for your no spend challenge.
Stick to all these best and proven ways to make sure that you’ll enjoy every success in your no spend challenge, be it a no spend day, no spend weekend, no spend week, or no spend month.
You can do it.
You will be very glad with your no spend success and new frugal ways. Your financial future looks bright indeed.
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