Overspending is one of the most significant financial troubles a person can have.
Whether you are living paycheck-to-paycheck or living in affluence, reining in both your expenses and extravagant spending is the key to financial health.
Without a doubt, the best way to get your financial health back on track is to complete a no-spend challenge. A no-spend challenge can be focused around any number of days with any number of limitations—it’s all up to you and your personal situation.
Don’t know where to start? Here is your guide to successfully completing a no-spend challenge.
Focus on Your Financial Goals
If you are tempted to break your no-spend challenge, remember your financial goals. Are you trying to save up for something special? Do you want to focus on building up your savings quickly? How about resetting your spending habits and setting a new budget?
Write it All Down
This is perhaps the most important part of both creating and following a no-spend challenge—writing it all down. Once you write it down, it’s concrete, and harder for you to back out of it. Don’t know where to start? Follow our no-spend guidelines below!
Distract Yourself from Impulse Purchases
Once you have your no-spend challenge outlined, it’s time to actually follow what you created. This will be the hardest part, but there are some simple ways to distract yourself when you have the itch to buy something.
If you are tempted to start spending, try these quick ways to distract yourself:
Turn to exercise—go for a walk or run.
Get outside! Go sit out in the sun and read a book, meet up with some friends to go on a walk, take your dog to the park, anything to get active and away from the temptation of spending.
Plan an at-home spa night—often people associate themselves with spending to treat themselves, but it doesn’t always need to be that way.
Declutter your home! If you sort through what you don’t need first, you can find out what you really do need to buy when the challenge is over.
If it’s really something you need, think on it for 48 hours. If you still really need it, then buy it then.
Reward Yourself in Other Ways
Again—people often associate spending to treat themselves.
But there are some super simple ways to treat yourself and practice self-care without spending money.
Here are my favorite ways to treat myself without breaking the bank:
-bake bread or muffins
-paint my nails
-take a dip in the pool in the summer
-read a book
-reorganize my closet (a clean home is a happy home!)
Our No-Spend Challenge
The Big Goal: Make it through a full week (7 days) without making any unnecessary purchases.
-Gasoline (it’s important to still get around!)
-Groceries (Make sure to make a grocery list and stick to it to avoid impulse purchases at the grocery store.)
-Bills/ subscriptions (this one is pretty obvious—but unfortunately bills need to be paid.)
-Make my own coffee in the mornings
-Pack my lunches
-Spend more time at home than out with friends
-Plan to run all my errands at once for the week to avoid wasting gas
With these tips and tricks, seven days without spending any money will be a breeze!
What are your favorite tricks to avoid spending? Leave them in the comments section below.