I’ve been on a savings kick for the past few months. We have travel plans that we need to save for and are also looking to increase our monthly investing contributions. My husband and I both have a goal of maxing out our Roth retirement accounts for the year along with other some other general money goals.
In order to hit these goals, I want to try a long “no spend” challenge to help us meet our goals faster. Steve and I have done these types of challenges in the past and it really works!
What is a no spend challenge?
There are different variations of this concept, but it’s basically setting a timeframe where you only pay for necessities—nothing more. You don’t spend money on anything you don’t NEED. Here’s how I’ve done a no spend challenge in the past:
- Set a timeframe- a few days, a weekend, a week, or however long you want!
- Estimate your needs- How much money will you need to get you through this time period? Food, gas for your car, etc..
- Take out the estimated funds in cash
- Restrict spending to only needs- no spending on anything else
Obviously, if you have to pay your rent/mortgage, you’re not going to be taking that out in cash. This challenge is just for SPENDING.
It’s a pretty basic concept, but it get’s to the behavior aspect of money management. By doing this, you are training yourself and building a behavior of not spending frivolously. I think this does adjust your behavior long-term because you are putting a delay on your spending. You may see something you want to buy, but instead, you are waiting, thinking about if you really need it and carrying on. By the time the challenge is over, you’ll probably already have forgotten about whatever you felt tempted to buy.
It’s important to find free things to do during this time period so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. I like to get things done around the house that I’ve been putting off, go on hikes with the dogs, or watch movies at home.
Doing a no spend challenge just one weekend a month or a full week every couple months would save us A TON on “fun” and “miscellaneous” expenses. All of that savings could be shuttled into a savings account to be used for something more substantial.
With September right around the corner, I want to start off by doing a no spend weekend and a full-week challenge! I’m excited to see what the results are and what we learn by curbing our spending in order to reach our money goals faster.
Will you be doing a no spend challenge? Comment below =)
“Be happy when you work, thankful when you earn, cautious when you spend, shrewd when you save, and charitable when you give.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
Thanks for reading,