Have you ever had a no spend day or week? Ever told yourself that you wouldn’t touch those credit cards?
If you haven’t and you’ve been struggling to save money and manage your spending, you should consider freezing your spending for a few days to reset your finances and generate some savings.
Incorporating a spending freeze into your schedule can be quite healthy for your finances especially when you feel overwhelmed with it all.
One way to do this is by adding a no spend day or week into your monthly budget.
These tips will help you get prepared and maximize the best results!
How to Prepare for a No-Spend Day, Week, Or Month
In order for your no-spend period to be successful, you must be prepared.
A no-spend period might actually include some spending on necessary items, such as gas or groceries.
The key is to eliminate any extra spending during this time frame.
Determine the length the no spend period will last – a day, week or even month
If you are a beginner, I would start with a small goal. This leads to more success!
This could include a no spend day or weekend or my personal favorite, a no spend work week.
I find it easiest for myself to save money during the work week.
I always pack my lunch and enjoy the coffee my work provides.
On my lunch break, I try to get out of the office and get some walking in when the weather is nice.
Otherwise, I’m tempted to get on my cell phone and online shop.
After work, instead of stopping at the grocery store to grab a couple things, I’ll head home instead and eat the groceries I already have.
It can be easy and tempting to swing by the grocery store every day after work, but the expenses add up fast.
Instead, try to grocery shop once a week.
If you are really looking to jumpstart your savings or pay off debt, you can really ramp up your spending freeze and challenge yourself to a no spend week or even a no spend month.
This is a great idea if you overspent the previous month and you are looking to get your finances back to normal.
Get creative to help you achieve a no spend day or week
If you’re able to carve out time to go on a spending freeze and are fully committed, that’s great!
One of the hardest parts during the no spend challenge can be figuring out how to use what you have. This is where a bit of creativity can really pay off!
This can include:
- Using up the remaining groceries in your pantry
- Ordering groceries online to avoid the temptation to overspend. You can also shop multiple stores for the same price with the Instacart app.
- If you are a business owner, get a free Amazon business account for better deals
- If you like blogging and want a fun, creative outlet, read this blog post.
- Downloading a podcast instead of renting a movie
- Borrowing a book or video from the library (many times you can do this online through your library’s website)
- Download Amazon’s Kindle book to access the library’s free ebooks!
- Signing up for an audible account
- Going on a walk with a friend instead of going to happy hour
- Clean your house and find items to sell
- Learn how to travel for cheap – or even do a volunteer trip where you get free lodging and food in exchange for volunteering!
- Make your own coffee at home
- Earn Swagbucks to earn free gift cards so you can treat yourself to little things like coffee. Other great survey sites include Survey Junkie and My Soap Box.
If you like to travel, try staying at an AirBnB instead of a hotel. This a fun and creative way to save money.
Over the past couple of years, I have stayed at a handful of AirBnB’s and saved a ton of money. Plus, I’ve even been able to bring my dogs!
I prefer to rent an entire house, condo and apartment instead of a hotel room. I even stayed in a tiny home to see what it would be like to live a more minimal life.
Reassess your wants and needs
A no spend day or week or month can really help evaluate what you want or need.
By saying no to everything for a set period of time, you can really get an eye opening experience on your spending.
This is a great time to figure out where you really value spending money.
On the other hand, you also learn what you are wasting money on without even realizing it.
All those little expenses can add up daily.
Plus, you learn how to work with what you have.
I can’t preach this enough!
Instead of spending money all the time as a solution, you may find that you can fix something so you can use it again.
This can be tricky if you aren’t handy, but I bet if you get on YouTube, there is probably a video tutorial for help!
How to proceed after the no spend day or week ends
This is an important period.
You don’t want to fall back into any bad spending habits or go on a shopping binge to make up for several days without spending anything.
This is a good time to look at how much money you saved during your no spend period as well.
What do you plan to do with your savings? Are you going to transfer it to your savings account or use the extra money to pay off some bills? Will you put it toward debt?
After you decide what you’re going to do, take action immediately. Put the money to use right away, or you might be tempted to use it for the wrong thing.
I also recommend getting a notebook and tracking your savings. If you aren’t into notebooks, create a simple spreadsheet online.
This is a great way to document your spending and savings, and it’s fun to look at your progress!
Start saving, even if it’s only a few dollars a week
Whether you want to start an emergency fund or a vacation fund, you have to start setting some money aside.
So many people struggle with saving. Start small and try to put away even $5 per week. If you primarily bank online, you can transfer money into a savings account each week.
For those that prefer to use cash instead of a credit card or debit card, put a $5 bill into a jar each week. It can be so helpful to have a visual and see your cash add up, which only makes you more motivated.
While it may not seem like a lot, at the end of the year you will have $260 in savings.
How to save money if you can’t do a no spend day or week
Can’t do a no spend week right now? No problem.
I recommend getting out your calendar and planning out your first no spend day or even a no spend weekend. There’s no reason you can’t find time each month to focus on reducing your spending, even if it’s just a few days per month.
Based on my experience, it can be a big mental shift to not grab a coffee while out running errands. Instead, I will intentionally make a coffee to take with me in the car. It tastes just as good and I feel great knowing I saved around $6.
When holidays, birthdays and travel are coming up, it can be difficult to do a spending freeze and you don’t want to set yourself up for failure.
If you need to spend money in certain areas of your budget, you can still reduce your costs and perhaps earn a little money back as well.
One of the best ways to make any money from shopping is using Rakuten.
Rakuten pays you a percentage back when you make a purchase online.
While I have to do some online shopping, I always use Rakuten first because they pay cashback on purchases from hundreds of retailers. Plus, they help you hunt down coupons that you can use to reduce the price of your order.
Each quarter, they deposit all of your cash back earnings into your PayPal account. Yippee for free money!
If you are new to Rakuten, claim your $10 now (either in the form of a $10 GC to places like Target or $10 off a $25 purchase!)
This cell phone app helps you make money off your grocery receipts. Yup, for real!
You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.
My favorite part about Ibotta is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc.
If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate.
For the diehard couponers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE.
When you sign up, you will receive a $10 cash bonus when you make your first scan!
If you are going to shop, you might as well make money doing it.
Another app similar to Ibotta is Fetch, but instead of getting cash back, you get points for each receipt you scan, no matter what you buy.
This app is amazing and the points add up fast!
Make money instead
If having a no spend period seems tough or if you don’t want to do it on a regular basis, consider trying to make money instead.
Increasing your income will provide you with more money to add to your budget.
You can pay off debt quicker and catch up financially at a faster rate.
There are so many things you could do to earn extra income.
It took me about four months from when I got started, but I was able to start this blog and made $60 in my very first income report.
In my first year alone, I made around $13,000 blogging while working at my full time job. That’s a lot of extra income that helped me get out of debt!
I have made more than $4,500 in one year in my spare time thanks to side hustling.
If you have something you would like to share with your readers that can help them – whether it’s mentally, financially or physically – go for it.
- Here is the best list of surveys to earn cash and make money.
- How to make extra cash during the holidays.
- Epic list of side hustles
Side hustling is great because it allows you to earn extra money by doing flexible tasks and monetizing your skills.
Take surveys while at home or on the go
This is one of the best ways to make money that won’t cost you anything to get started!
I have made thousands of dollars over the past few years taking surveys online and participating in research studies.
Not all surveys are created equal. I have weeded through a ton of companies to figure out which ones pay the best. Here’s a few to choose from!
- Survey Junkie
- Nielsen (great if you love to watch TV!)
- Pinecone Research
- Digital Voice
- My Points
Turn your home or bedroom into an AirBnB
If you have a room or even a home to spare, turning your space into an Airbnb can have amazing results.
I have friends that have switched from renting out a room in their house to using it as an Airbnb and are making so much more money!
With a renter, you get a fixed monthly rate and usually enter into a month-to-month contract or one year lease.
As an Airbnb host, you can oftentimes make more income in one week via AirBnB than an entire month of rental income.
Can A No Spend Month Help You?
I believe it can! A no-spend day, week, or month is a great way to reset your finances, save a little extra money, and get back into budgeting.
I am so excited to see if you decide to incorporate a no-spend period into your lifestyle.
Ultimately, there is a good balance to be had by having a no-spend period as well as trying to side hustle and earn extra income.