Last week I had a no spend week and it’s obviously the absolute best way to save money and reset your finances. Being able to save money is crucial if you want to improve your finances, pay off debt, and build wealth.
While I feel so many people get consumed with digesting unique saving hacks or tips and downloading the top ranking financial apps, they tend to overlook one of the easiest solutions – stop spending money.
Having a no spend week, no spend weekend, or even a no spend day can significantly impact your money management habits while allowing you to hold on to more of your hard-earned money.
Yet and still, it can be difficult to go cold turkey with your spending for several days. Here are some of my top tips for having a successful and effective no spend week.
Set Your Goal
It helps to have a clear goal in mind when considering a no spend week. What do you hope to achieve? You’re probably looking to save more money but why?
Narrowing down your goal can help motivate you during tough moments of temptation during the process. For my recent no spend week, my goal was to reel in my spending so I could save more for some exciting goals.
For starters, we are getting closer to getting a house this year and only have to find one we like and get our offered accepted to move forward. I’m also planning some trips later in the year and would like to get back into playing the drums which is something I did a long time ago.
These exciting interests and activities have motivated me to want to save more. After tracking my spending recently, I noticed that I’d been wasting quite a bit of money on frivolous spending so taking some time off from making those purchases sounded like a great idea.
Set Your Rules
Once you have your goal(s) in place, you want to set your rules for your no spend week. Some people misinterpret what a no spend week is. Sure, it’s a period of time when you don’t spend money but that doesn’t have to apply for every expense.
For example, during my no spend week I allow myself to spend money only when it’s for bills, gas for my car, or other necessities that I budget for.
I avoid non-necessity spending, but if my rent or car insurance happens to be due during a no spend week, I simply pay it. I also try do my regular grocery shopping before the week starts so I won’t have to worry about going to any stores.
Your preferences might be different and that’s why you should set rules that make you feel comfortable and bring you closer to meeting your goal.
Work on Mindset and Avoiding Triggers
You must have the right mindset to succeed with a no spend week. You’ll be committing to doing something that may seem unnatural in the beginning. As humans, we are generally faced with expenses every day and tend to freely spend money throughout the day.
It’s definitely a challenge to have a no spend week but you can’t go into it thinking you’re going to fail. If you tell yourself it’s too difficult, you will start to dread it and give in quickly.
Instead, embrace the experience with positivity and think about the benefits of successfully completing the no spend week. I like to track my spending for 2-3 weeks prior before getting started so I have an idea of how much I’ll save by not spending on extra expenses.
It also helps to identify and avoid your spending triggers. If it’s easier for you to spend at a certain store, avoid it for the time being or unsubscribe from certain retailers if you tend to shop excessively online.
Also, consider taking your debit cards out of your wallet and only carrying a small amount of emergency cash when you go out so long as you have enough fuel in your car and aren’t traveling too far.
Eliminating the option to spend money will make it easier on you and allow you to realize that you can get through the day without spending a dime.
The one thing I love about no spend weeks is that it allows me to get more creative with how I do things and rely on the tools and resources I already have.
My husband is one of those people who likes to rush out and buy things we may already have at home without looking. I’m one of those people who likes to whip out my card to make an impulse purchase because I didn’t plan or prepare well in advance.
Having a no spend week eliminates those options so you just have to be creative and work with what you have. This could mean trying out new recipes to diversify your meals, making gifts, and finding new ways to entertain yourself.
I usually come up with a few new recipe ideas after cooking up whatever is in my pantry and we embrace free entertainment or keep busy by working on other projects.
The creative ideas you come up with during your no spend week will continue to help you save money long after the week is over.
Make It a Fun Challenge
If you believe doing a no spend week is hard, you’ll never be successful with it. It helps to make it more fun and tolerable.
You can do this by turning it into a challenge and inviting other people to join. My husband and I usually do no spend weeks together so we can support each other and hold each other accountable.
My last no spend week was run as a challenge with several other people in my Facebook group so we could share tips and ideas. Telling other people about what you’re doing and inviting them to join in is an easy way to make the time more enjoyable.
Have you ever had a no spend week? What rules would you set for your next one?