Deciding On Your Rules
- How long will your no spend challenge be?
- Will you pre-purchase groceries or take out an allotment of cash to use?
- Is money from any side jobs (raking leaves, mowing lawns, etc..) fair game or just more to add to the savings pot?
- Do gift cards count as spending?
- Decide if you will have any funds aside for “emergencies” like needing to gas up?
Take some time to jot down what you want out of the challenge as well, and a definitive plan for the money you’ll be saving, like a vacation, investment, Christmas shopping, or even donating to charity!
Gather Your Support
Letting your friends and family in on your plan will make it easier to say no to impromptu drinks, dinners and other non-essential expenses. Make plans in advance for dinners at home instead of pubs, and game nights instead of going to the cinema!
That brings us to our next and most essential point, making your game plan. Like any challenge; this seems easy in theory, sort of like the Whole 30.. its all fun and games until you can’t have chocolate. In order to be successful in a no spend challenge you need to have an idea of what you’ll be doing, this will help you will making choice that align with your goals instead of impulse spending because you forgot to pack lunch. Some key points to focus on are:
- Meal planning and pre-buying your groceries!
- What free activities are available in your city?
- What could you use this time to do around the house that you’ve been neglecting?
- Making arrangements for free activities with friends, like hosting them for dinner or coffee.
Leave yourself some post-its around the house reminding you why you’re taking the challenge, keep your goals at the front of your mind and you’ll be less likely to succumb to the easy way out. You can even set alarms on your phone to cheer you on during times when you might struggle most, like lunch and on your way to work!
It’s not easy saving money! But a no spend week is a great way to get some insight into your spending habits and get a jump start on your financial goals.
Have you ever done a spending freeze before? What are your best tips for success?