Are you trying to save a little extra cash or maybe getting ready for a vacation this summer? Trying out a no-spend challenge can be an awesome way to save some extra money. Recently my family took the plunge and tried a no-spend challenge for a whole month! We had never even attempted a no-spend challenge before so decided to do a full month was a little crazy.
We decided to do one the month before our spring break trip. It ended up working out wonderfully. We finished the no-spend challenge and came up with a nice pile of cash to take with us on vacation. We were able to have a great time and not worry about how much we were spending on vacation.
If you are thinking of trying out a no-spend challenge I highly recommend it. Check out these tips for a successful no-spend month to get started.
Set Ground Rules
Sit down before you start your no-spend month and set some ground rules. What makes it a no-spend month in your mind? If you are doing this challenge with a spouse you will want to make sure you are both on the same page. For my husband and I, we decided that we would skip eating out, skip buying things that weren’t necessary, but still get a small amount of cash each week for the both of us to spend. We use the envelope system so we really just tried to cut back drastically on the amount we put into our envelopes. You want to make rules that will save you money but not so harsh that you need to end the no-spend month.
Have a Goal
It can be tough to stay on focus for an entire month of no-spending. It’s easy to get distracted or defeated during the month and just give up. By having a goal and a purpose for the no-spending month it will help keep you motivated. There were times during my no-spend month that I was tempted to give up, but I was excited about our vacation and it gave me the motivation to keep going.
Plan Your Entertainment
Have a plan, especially on weekends, for your entertainment. It’s easy to get bored and fall back into the habit of spending money. By planning some free activities you can make sure you avoid spending money. My husband and I did lots of hikes and walks. As a family, we would have a family game night or movie night. Pinterest is a great place to find some free or cheap activities.
I found myself forgetting a few times that we were having a no-spend challenge. If you don’t post reminders you can often forget and find yourself in the drive-thru line grabbing breakfast. It’s easy to post a few post-it notes as a simple reminder. You can also post some reminders for what you are saving for.
Check Your Calendar
Make sure you check your calendar before you start the challenge. We had three swim meets the month we did the no-spend challenge. It wasn’t a huge deal, we just made sure to have a plan for how we would pay for the swim meets. I wouldn’t recommend doing a no-spend month during December or a month that has a lot of birthdays. Maybe find a month that isn’t so busy for your family and try one during that month.
Try A Short Time First
If you are concerned about a no-spend month maybe start out with just a week. Or you could always do a no-spend weekend. Once you get the hang of it, you can go longer periods of time with a no-spend challenge. This was the first time we had done a no-spend challenge and we started with a month, but I could see it being much easier starting on a smaller scale.
Have you done a no-spend challenge before? What tips do you have for a no-spend month?
P.S. For more frugal tips and tricks delivered to your inbox subscribe here!