A no-spend challenge is a great way to reset your budget and stop out of control spending. Even if you only do it for a week it can have a huge impact on your budget. A no-spend challenge is when you challenge yourself to not spend anything extra for a certain period of time. You will still need to spend money on necessities but even that can be limited with the proper planning.
Here are 30 tips for a no-spend challenge:
- Pantry challenge– this is a good opportunity to clear out the pantry and freezer, use up everything you have. Make a goal of not buying any food for a week or two and only using what you already have in the pantry or freezer.
- Meal plan- Make a meal plan for all the items you already have in the freezer and pantry. Then plan out the rest of your meals for the month so you aren’t tempted to eat out.
- Stick to a Budget– you should already be making a budget but make sure you have something for anything you can think of that is already planned. Otherwise, it will have to wait.
- Make a list of free things to do-
- Play at the park
- Go for a hike
- Look for free local events
- Schedule “play dates” for the kids at the house
- Play card games
- Play board games
- Go to the beach
- Go to a state park
- Camp in backyard
- Ride bikes
- Go to the library
- Deep clean
- Declutter the house
- Do a craft project
- Let your friends know– make sure your friends are aware of your plans so hopefully they will support you by not tempting you to spend money.
- Plan for preplanned events– make sure you already have a plan and money set aside for things you know are coming up during this time, like birthday parties. Your goal should be to not spend any extra money BUT there will still be things you have to spend money on.
- Stock Up– make sure that you have all the staples you need for the month, like flour, sugar, pasta, toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap, toothpaste, dog food, ect. Yes you still have to spend money on these things and will have to restock at the end of the challenge BUT it keeps you out of the stores. Which in turn saves you from temptation.
- Unsubscribe from emails- remove the temptation of shopping from home. It is so easy to spend money online. You can always subscribe again but while you are on a spending freeze, remove the temptation.
- Leave your money at home- if you do have to go to the store, only take what you need in cash. Leave your cards and extra cash at home.
- Have a yardsale- if you can’t spend money, might as well make some, right
- Pay all your bills ahead of time– this will help you stay on track and one less thing to worry about. Not everyone can do this but if you can, go ahead and pay some stuff early.
- List your goals– what do you want to accomplish with a no-spend challenge? Do you need to save money for something specific? Make a visual of what you are saving for and keep it where you can see it everyday.
- Use up gift cards- if you do need or want something, use any leftover gift cards you may have. You could also buy some ahead of the challenge for a small amount and ONLY spend the amount on them.
- Skip the stores- avoid stores at all costs.
- Use up travel and sample size items- use up what you already have.
- Have a movie night– make popcorn and watch movies you already have or on Netflix. When I do this, I usually do a marathon of a series. Jason Bourne is my favorite:)
Have you ever done a no-spend challenge? What tips and advice to you have for others trying it?
I would suggest doing a no-spend challenge for at least one week or two. I haven’t made it an entire month yet, but maybe some day!
There are even people that have not spent any money for an ENTIRE YEAR! There’s no way I could do that. Could you?
Hi, I am Ashley and I am here to teach you how to budget, save money, and pay off debt with simple and easy to implement tips. I was able to pay off $45,000 in 17 months including $25,000 in student loans in just 10 months. I am now a Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach and help people like you manage their budgets so they can live the life they want. I also have a degree in psychology and help you get to the root of your money problems. I have also written two ebooks to help save you money and how to budget for beginners.