By Victoria Q
No spend challenge has become trendy nowadays. “No spend” simply means not spending on anything unnecessary. This challenge can be a great way to save money and you’ll learn a lot about your spending habits through the process.
How To Do A No Spend Challenge
No spend challenges are flexible and customizable. You can choose when and how long you want to do the challenge for such as on weekends, for a week or a month.
Weekend: This is a good start. Doing a no-spend weekend challenge can minimize the chance of failing and without feeling deprived for not able to buy what you want.
1 Week: This is like an intermediate level of the challenge. During this week, you’ll be able to discover your daily spending habits and what you enjoy buying the most.
1 Month: This is an advanced level of the challenge and it will take the most discipline and planning. However, you’ll save even more money if you do it for this long. This could be a good way to establish changes in your financial behaviour.
What To Cut
Allowed: These are typically things that most importanttoyou and your family to survive.
- Bills (electricity, mortgage/rent, car payment, education, etc)
Not Allowed: These are things you can live without and the less important to you and your family.
- Eating out, coffee, drinks
- New clothes
- Online shopping
- Beauty services such as nail, face, hair, etc
Figure Out Your “Why”
Before getting started, you need to figure out your motivation and goal that you want to achieve at the end of your challenge. Ask yourself the questions below:
- Why do you want to do this challenge?
- Why do you want to save more money?
- What do you want to do with the money you save during the challenge?
Some people want to save money to pay off debt, retirement, vacation, student loan, etc. Getting to know your why will give you motivation and determination to go on the challenge.
Plan Ahead Of Time
Planning is all about during this challenge. Write the date you want to do the challenge in your life planner – from when to when. There’s a few things you’ll need to do ahead of time include:
Plan your meal for the whole week can let you know what you will be having for the next meal so you won’t be eating out. This will help you stick to your plan and not spending money during the challenge. It’s so much easier to eat out when you don’t have a plan for the food at home.
Figure out how much you’ll be using during the challenge keeps you from overspending especially on groceries. Since you can’t eat out, you might find an alternative way to eat what you want by cooking yourself even though the ingredient is expensive. Fix a budget for each category and spend within it.
Once you get to know what you’ll be eating and your budget, make a groceries list of the ingredients needed in the recipe. Plan when are you going to do your groceries shopping -once a week, twice a week, etc. This can prevent you from having an extra visit to the supermarket and buy something you don’t need.
Plan Free Activities To Do
Use Google to find what you can do for free in your city. If you have your plan and know what you can do for free, it will be easier to not spend money. Here are a few ideas of things you can do for free:
- Go for a hike
- Jungle trekking
- Have a picnic at park
- Go to the beach
- Play at the park
- Play card games
- Play board games
- Camp in backyard
- Ride bikes
- Do a craft project
- Put together a puzzles
- Walk at a park
- Have a movie night
Let Your Friends Know
Make sure your friends are aware of your plans so hopefully, they will support you by not asking you to eat out, have a nail service, go for a drink, etc. This doesn’t mean you should avoid meeting your friends during the challenge. You can invite them for dinner, movie night or drinks at your house.
Communicate With Your Family
After done your prep work for the challenge, have a meeting with everyone in your house. Tell them about your planning and why you’re doing this. Talking to your kids will help them understand not to ask for extra things during the challenge. It will also help them understand what’s going on. Teamwork is very important during this challenge.
This is the most important and the hardest during the challenge. While you’re doing this challenge, set up a few rules for yourself to avoid temptation. If you notice yourself wanting to browse on shopping websites, avoid having the phone near to you. Read a book or do exercise. If you still want to buy it, write it down in a list and keep it. Promise yourself that if you can wait until the end of the challenge, you can purchase it. There are chances that after you’ve made it through your challenge, you might find yourself don’t need it anymore. This is a great way to break your impulsive buying.