No Spend Challenge

finance Jan 10, 2021

Wouldn’t it be nice if you finally conquered that urge to touch those credit cards, work further towards your saving goals, or even become debt-free?

With a no-spend challenge, you can.

What is a no-spend challenge?

A no-spend challenge is pretty basic, and it can be fun if you want it to be.

It means going for a specific time period without spending any money. 

Think of it as fasting, but with spending habits rather with your eating habits.


Why do people do a no-spend challenge?

When a no-spend challenge comes up, many people sneer at it and see it as impossible or unsure if it will really improve their spending habits. 

The Daily Mirror research revealed that the average UK household fritters away a humongous £9,051 a year on items that will never be used.

A no-spend challenge can help to cut down or eliminate unnecessary or non-essential expenditures of this nature.

Of course, when doing a no-spend challenge, you don’t have to live on the breadline, but you’ll only buy the absolute necessities. And why not? Because we spend so much on things we don’t need.


Is No Spend Challenge worth it?

There are many benefits to be gotten from a challenge like this. Like fasting from food, you’ll discover all of your bad habits when you put a break on spending money. 

This will also help you know yourself better and evaluate your financial position.

Obviously, when you go some time without spending money, you get to save more. And saving more means having more money to pay off your debts, buy a new car, or go on a vacation.

Everyone should do the no-spend challenge but if you find that you spend impulsively and feel bad afterwards or you spend money on unnecessary things, then you should consider it even more.

Will a no-spend challenge completely cure my impulse spending?

It really depends on the core issue of your impulse spending, the reason why you want to pause on spending and for how long.

The main benefits of the no-spend challenge are that it helps you to identify wastage in your budget and distracts you from spending by getting you to focus on other aspects of your finances like organising your financial documents, reviewing your goals etc.

While a no-spend challenge will help you short term it's best to also include other long term strategies for financial success like budgeting, setting clear goals and creating a debt and savings plan. 

When is the best time to do a no-spend challenge?

There is no best time to get started with a no-spend challenge. Doing it for even just a week could transform your life a great deal.

You could do a day, one week, a month, or even up to a year, however, make a plan ahead so that you don’t end up running out of items and rushing to the store.

In this post, we will look at the different ways to do a no-spend challenge and how to implement them.


Different Types of No Spend Challenge

There are four suggested no spend challenge types you can try out.

1. No Spend January Challenge


The beginning of a new year is a great time to start any new habit and one of the best things you can include in your resolutions is to start a no-spend January challenge. 

While December was fun and full of festivities and tons of impromptu spending, it’s time to deal with the fallout, to regroup with a no-spend January. 

Okay, a no-spend January doesn’t imply you won't spend on things, but it means you going on a frugal fast, spending only on essentials. 

One of the things that causes us to spend too much is with buying food items. So just by sticking to your food budget during January save your money in the new month of the year. 


How to Do No Spend January Challenge?

With a no spending January challenge, you have to spend as little as possible within the first month of the year. And here are tips on how you can do it.

  • Consume the food you have before shopping for more or having already prepared and frozen food at home to help resist the urge for restaurants and takeaways.

  • Another thing to do is to avoid shopping for the sake of it. It’s time to begin to rethink your hobbies and interests. Think of more things you could do by yourself or with family, rather than shopping. You could try going out for a walk, engaging in craft activities, see movies on Netflix or watch old DVD’s, start with a new exercise regime, and if you can get around to it a book reading project. 


2. No Spend Day Challenge

If you’ve been struggling to take control of your spending, freezing your spending for a few days can help you reset your finances and generate some savings.

How to do a No Spend Day Challenge

This is a straightforward challenge - spend nothing for one day or as many days as possible. 

You can set a target for what you’ll save and decide on what counts as spend and what doesn’t. Things like groceries or petrol may not count during the challenge. However, you can still look at a reduced budget for these categories and only buy food to cook, and minimise car trips.


To do a No Spend Day challenge here is how to get started:

  • Create a budget

  • Make a meal plan and take your own foods and snacks out when out

  • Whenever possible, buy second hand

  • Invite friends to dinner rather than a meal out

  • Avoid shopping malls, instead, go for a walk in the park or forest

3. No Spend Month Challenge

There’s an old adage that says it takes 21 days to build a habit. With the remaining 9 days cementing that habit. 

If you are looking to cut down on daily or weekly unnecessary expenditures that add up on your savings over the next 30 days, positively impacting your finances down several months and even years, a no spend month challenge can help rein this in. 

No matter what you give up, it will give you time to train yourself on cutting back.

How to do a No Spend Month Challenge

Going on a month-long financial fast can help to slow down the drain on your bank account but and make clearer your biggest financial weaknesses so you can begin to focus. Here are some steps to get started:

  • Time it right as it will not be a great idea to go on a no-spend month challenge in
    the holiday season for example

  • Make a list of rules, which include non-negotiable expenditures

  • Plan your meals

  • Go public with your goals by telling family and friends

  • Clean your inbox and get rid of every obstacle to spending

  • Have the future in mind when spending and make smart money choices 


4. No Spend Year Challenge

It may appear to be an insurmountable goal to do discretionary spending throughout the year, but this has proven to leave long-lasting benefits for many people.

If you are looking to become completely debt-free, well, you can get started with a no-spend challenge. Here is how to do a no-spend in a year.


How to do a No Spend Challenge in a Year

  • Start small as keeping to a resolution to not spend a whole year isn’t as easy as it sounds. Take baby steps like going from a no-spend day to a week, a month and before you know it, it’s one year!

  • Before you start a no-spend year challenge, document your spending so you see recurring expenses you may not be aware of. Identify those things you have no option but to spend on and list what you will intentionally not spend money on.

  • Find a community to share your goals with and will offer you support. Science has shown that when you make your goals public, it becomes easier to achieve them. 


It’s  a wrap 

No-spend challenges help to develop good financial habits and help you accelerate your financial success. Whether you do it for a day, week, month, or even years, the rewards are absolutely tremendous. 

Not only does it impact your finances, but it helps improve your work-life balance, and boost your health and quality of life as you no longer have to live in fear and anxiety regarding your financial state. 

If you are ready to take control of your finances then join our FREE 7 days no-spend challenge- You can rinse and repeat the process as many times as needed!


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