You may have heard people talk about a no-spend challenge before and want to know more about how to do a no-spend challenge. I’m here to share with you how it can help your family and give you some tips on what to do when starting out with this new adventure!
The no-spend challenge is a great way for families of all sizes and budgets to save money. It’s also really good if you’re trying to get out of debt or just want more to put more money toward your savings goals. I hope you have fun and enjoy your own no spend challenge!
How to Do a No Spend Challenge + Printable
Do you feel like you’re spending too much money each month? It’s hard to get ahead if you’re not keeping track of your expenses and are eating out a lot or spending on other unnecessary purchases.
Benjamin Franklin said: “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” source: (1818). “Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin” , p.251, Printed for H. Colborn
If you’d like to get better at saving to have money to put into a savings account, you should try to do a no-spend challenge. You can use the printable to help you get started with becoming more financially stable in no time.
What Is a No Spend Challenge
The no-spend challenge is a way to challenge yourself to not spend money on anything you don’t need. While you’ll still need to spend money on regular expenses, such as the water bill, electric bill, rent or mortgage, and more, you don’t need to spend money on a trip to the hair salon, trips to Starbucks, and food at fast-food restaurants.
You can even avoid making trips to the grocery store, but you’ll need to make sure you have enough food to eat with the family throughout the challenge. The goal is to show yourself that you can avoid unnecessary expenses, save money, and build your wealth.
1. How to Do a No Spend Challenge
When you’re doing a no spend challenge, you’ll need to consider a few different things, such as when you’ll start it, how long you’ll attempt to do the challenge, and a few other factors that can contribute to you successfully completing the challenge.
Step 1: Decide the Best Time to Do the Challenge
Start by figuring out when it’s the best time to do the challenge. For example, trying to do a no-spend challenge in December isn’t always ideal. It isn’t easy because you might plan on buying gifts for different people. While these are unnecessary expenses, they’re items you’d like to buy for your loved ones during the holiday season, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, with that in mind, choose the best time for you to start the challenge. You may want to start at the beginning of the week after getting paid and buying groceries to last for the duration of the challenge.
Step 2: Set a Timeframe
Set a realistic timeframe to stick to the challenge. Don’t make yourself try to do a no-spend challenge for a month when you’re just getting started because it might be a bit too challenging. It’s better to start by challenging yourself for a week. Do you think you can make it without spending money on anything you don’t need for a week? If so, set that as your timeframe. If you can make it longer than that, it’s always a bonus because it means you’re saving more money!
related: How to Have a No Spend Weekend
Step 3: Prepare
Think about what you’ll need to do to prepare so that you’re not spending any money on anything you don’t need. Will you need to go to the grocery store in advance? You might want to stop at the grocery store to catch a few items while they’re on sale. If you have plenty of food to prepare at home, you’ll feel less tempted to buy food at different restaurants.
Step 4: Set the Rules
Set some rules to follow. Make a list of what you can spend money on and what you shouldn’t spend money on. Your list should include all the necessary expenses that you can’t avoid, including rent and utility bills that you don’t want to ignore. After all, you don’t want to incur late fees on those bills because you didn’t pay them.
2. Plan Your Meals
You can have more success with the no spend challenge if you decide to plan your meals. It’s a lot easier to stick with staying home and eating what you have than going out to get food at a restaurant.
Make a List of Meals
Try to come up with a list of meals that you’ll prepare for yourself and your loved ones throughout the no spend challenge. Create a list of easy meals that taste good and don’t require many ingredients to prepare. It’s a good idea to include some casseroles on the list because they tend to provide you with plenty of servings with minimal ingredients.
Check Your Pantry & Plan to Use What You Have
Look through your pantry to see what you already have available. You might have a stockpile of canned veggies, pasta, spices, and more. You can also look in the freezer to see what types of meats you might have, such as ground beef and chicken. Once you know what you have available to use, you can start coming up with different meal ideas. It’s good to prepare various meals so that you won’t get bored with what you’re eating and feel tempted to spend money elsewhere.
3. Tips and Tricks to Make It Work
If you want to make the no spend challenge work, make sure you’re stopping at the grocery store before you get started. Get the essentials that you’ll use to prepare different meals. It’s a good idea to have meal prep containers available that you can use to prep food in advance and store it. Avoid going to the mall for window shopping because you might feel the urge to spend money on clothes and accessories that you don’t need.
4. Evaluating Things You Learned From the Challenge
Once you’ve completed the no spend challenge, evaluate what you’ve learned. Did it help you? How much money did you save? Was it as hard as you initially thought? After asking yourself these questions, you may decide that you’d like to do another challenge in a few days or weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Go a Month Without Spending Money?
Going a month without spending might seem hard. Once you get used to eating at home and finding fun things to do that won’t cost you anything, you’ll realize it’s a lot easier than you thought to live life without overspending. Doing this challenge can help you become much better at budgeting your money in the future.
What are some Free Things to Do During a No Spend Challenge?
Instead of spending money at the mall, movies, or anywhere else, find free things to do during this challenge. You can visit local playgrounds with the family. Check out local parks in your area with trails for hiking and bicycling. Attend any free festivals where you can make memories and have a good time. Don’t forget to look for free museums and other fun places to visit in your area that won’t cost you a thing.
The no spend challenge is a great way to get in touch with your spending habits and curb any unnecessary purchases. It can also be used as an opportunity for self-reflection, which will help you make better decisions when it comes time to purchase things in the future. And if you’ve been having trouble sticking to your budget or saving up money, this might just be what you need!
Are you ready to take the no spend challenge?
Free Printable Paycheck Budget Worksheet
How to Use
- Click here to get instant access to my free printable no spend challenge worksheet.
- Print the worksheet out and place it in your budget binder.
- Fill out the worksheet each time you get paid.