We probably wish we all had more money right? Especially after the expense of Christmas. It can be really easy to lose sight of where your money actually goes if you aren’t really strict about your budget. And when times are tough, like they might be for you right now, having a little extra can really go a long way. A no-spend challenge is a great way to make you aware of how much you actually spend in any given timeframe. Even if you don't want to commit to 30 days, a couple of weeks will give you a really good idea of where your money goes.
What is a no spend challenge?
Simply put, a no spend challenge is when you challenge yourself to not spend money on anything extra or unnecessary for a certain time period. Obviously, you can’t go without spending at all - you’ll still need to pay for things like essential groceries, bills, and fuel.
But if it isn’t a necessity, you don’t buy it. The concept is simple. But actually doing it – well it is a challenge, after all!
Here's a list of dos and don’ts to help you decide what should and shouldn’t be bought during a no spend challenge.
- Rent or mortgage
- Utility bills
- Insurance payments
- Internet and phone bills
- Essential personal care items
- Necessary cleaning products
- Eating out (fast food, restaurants, takeout, alcohol, coffee/tea)
- Unnecessary personal care items (clothes, shoes, makeup, perfume/cologne)
- Home décor and furnishings
Keep Yourself Busy!
The best way to pass the time without spending is to stay busy! Find things you love to do that don’t cost a thing and you’ll be able to stay on track with your challenge. To help out, we’re sharing a few ideas, all of which can be enjoyed with the whole family:
- Enjoy outdoors time at a park
- Go for a bike ride, walk, run, hike, or rollerblade
- Play your favourite video game or board game
- Put together a puzzle
- Read a book
- Try out a new recipe in the kitchen (using ingredients you have on hand)
- Look for free days at your local museums
- Visit friends or family
- Organize your house
- Visit the library
- Get creative with any art/craft supplies you have
- Watch a movie
With a little preparation and a lot of dedication, you can tackle a 30-day no spend challenge! Just keep reminding yourself of your goal if you have one. If you succeed, consider doing it more regularly to see just how far you can take your saving. Maybe once you've started and seen how much you can save, you might not want to stop!