Do you want to keep on top of your finances?
Liberate yourself and take back control?
Maybe you want a kick start at paying off debt, you want to save some cash for a rainy day or you just want to set yourself a challenge.
Saving money by spending no money is by far one of the quickest ways you can reach your personal financial goals.
I know it can be hard at the best of times to save money. I really struggle with it sometimes.
I often tell myself that I haven’t to spend a thing in the upcoming week, the week then comes and goes in a flash, and before I know it I will have spent double what I would have on a normal week (ugh, so annoying) I mean how does that even happen?
Anyway – the no spend challenge are you up for it?
Are we ready to reset our finances and take a breather from our ruthless spending habits?
The no-spend challenge really lets you see how our needs and wants in life are so far apart.
First things first – The plan
What use is anything if we don’t make a plan, especially when money is involved? It’s basically the written rule of life to make a plan regarding finances because when you don’t – you are setting up to fail.
Unless you are one of these super brain organizers that have superhuman skills to make everything work out just how they want, then you are one of the lucky few!
Plan to spend
This sounds like the total opposite of what I’m supposed to be preaching here. Bare with me.
Planning not to spend is the aim, however, planning to possibly spend a small amount is OK, and necessary in most cases.
You may need to fill your tank of petrol or sort food items before your no spends week/day is in full swing. How about grabbing fun crafts from cheap stores to keep the kids busy during your challenge?
You are basically just spending money on items which deem absolutely necessary to survive your day/ week/month of no spending. This is clever spending in my opinion.
Set up a time frame
How long would you like your no spending period to last?
Whatever you choose is cool. It’s your challenge!
I will say though if you are just starting out maybe start small and then gradually work your way up the ladder. Taking baby steps avoids pressure and stress, this is a fun enriching challenge to set yourself and your family – so let’s keep it that way.
If you end up having only one day without spending money, this is a massive step in the right direction and well and truly something you should be proud of.
How will you do it?
Get a pen and paper and write down all the ways you can achieve your no-spend period. Everyone’s lifestyles are different so tailor your plan to suit.
Here are some ideas;
- Walk instead of using transport
- Eat in instead of out
- Swap exercise classes for good old outside fun
- Get creative with the kids using household items
- Bake and cook with groceries you already own
- Go to the park
- Check out fun places that are free instead of paying for expensive days out
For more ideas check out – 5 CHARTS THAT WILL SAVE YOU SO MUCH MONEY
Put your plan into action
Now that you will have prepared fully for your no spend challenge you can just go for it!
The no-spend challenge is the best way for you to reassess your life and start saying NO to mindless financial habits.
From the get-go you will start to realize how much you actually spend and how much money you waste on small insignificant things.
It can be such an eye-opener to notice how things you once took for granted, like your daily Starbucks can affect your financial goals.
You will see that all the small payments you make for luxuries add up to something much larger.
Plus, most importantly you will learn to work with what you have.
Which was such a huge lesson for me. In the past, I always became such a moan when I never had all the foods I wanted in the house. If I didn’t fancy the pasta that was on the menu in our house I would head to the shop and buy what I wanted.
Having this mindset is no good when you are trying to save. I realized after my no-spend weeks that I didn’t actually need to be so fussy and by doing so I was saving a ton of money.
Saving money made me happier than splurging unnecessarily on food when we didn’t need it. Lesson learned. It’s all about trial and error in my opinion.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT – if you have a slip-up and spend some money. Don’t panic!
You haven’t “failed”. Just move on from it and jump straight back into your no-spend challenge.
Make a note of what triggered you to get sidetracked, reflect on those choices and highlight the result of it. Just take each day at a time and learn from it.
We are all only human at the end of the day.
When your no-spend day/week/month is over you will have no doubt learn some valuable life-changing lessons and saved money!
This is an important time to reflect and see exactly what you have managed to accomplish. Well done!
But the most important thing you can take away from this challenge is the fact that you have a choice.
I can’t preach this enough – You have a choice.
You are in complete control of your money and you can say no or yes to whatever you want (literally). Think about that for a second. That is pretty big.
You don’t ever have to revert back to bad spending habits because you always have a choice. Own it!
Every time you want to ruthlessly spend money. Ask yourself
“Do I have to?”
Sometimes you will want to, and other times you won’t.
Always allow yourself to stop and think because those few brain-racking decision-making seconds could financially save your butt.
After a while, you will get into a brilliant habit of evaluating all things you splurging out on.
Relate back to your no-spending period and remind yourself of what you are capable of.
Bad habits are hard to break and I know there will be some turbulence along the way but you will get there
You don’t have to stick to the all-or-nothing rule.
If you can’t manage a no-spend challenge just yet. Don’t worry, I have you covered.
There are so many different ways you can cut corners and avoid spending without going through the whole hog of completely freezing your outgoings.
Try not to think of the no spend challenge as all or nothing, see it more as a customization change to suit your needs. Not one size fits all.
Avoid certain items
Try swapping/avoiding just two things you would usually splurge on daily for something more cost-effective or free.
Better yet if you can consciously swap numerous items every day – that will be a huge kick start and a good way to keep the challenge stress free.
Why try no restaurants for a week or no takeaways for a month.
Avoid impulse buying
This tactic is effective but a bit more flexible – Simply stick to only buying necessities.
Be sure to avoid buying any personal items you want and just stick to what you actually need.
If you think you will need money for a girl’s night out, just plan for it and let that be one of the few things you splurge on. Try and be strict with yourself.
There are basically one million different ways you can make a positive impact on your personal finances just by tweaking a few small things week by week.
As long as you can discipline yourself to make beneficial changes, it won’t matter how little or long it takes. You will be winning!