A brilliant way to adopt good habits is by taking on self-motivated challenges at your own time. If you look forward to getting your finances under control, having a no spend challenge can bring that objective to reality.
Interestingly, millions of people across the united states have made this a ritual to improve their money mindset and become wiser at spending money.
Periodically, they embark on a no spend challenge to see how well their finances will improve. Besides, it also helps them realize how much they typically spend on monthly expenses.
This post will enlighten you on how to do a no spend challenge and reap the benefits afterward.
What Is A No Spend Challenge?
A no-spend challenge is a specific period in which you deliberately decide not to spend money unnecessarily. During the challenge, it is only ideal for you to spend money on your necessities. The no spend challenge could last for a week or a month, depending on what you decide.
Why Do A No Spend Challenge?
Sometimes, you need to evaluate your finances and find ways to improve on the areas you’re lagging. No-spend challenges can help you pull this off. The moment you decide not to spend money on unnecessary expenses for a specific period, you will realize how much money you have been wasting.
This experience is an eye opener that teaches you how to make the right choices when spending money. If you have never embarked on a no spend challenge, it’s high time you give it a try.
Benefits Of A No Spend Challenge
No-spend challenges come along with different benefits. As long as you can execute the challenge successfully, there are certain positive changes you’d experience in your finances.
Here are a few of the benefits you’d earn when you embark on a no spend challenge:
- Helps You Save Money
Cutting unnecessary expenses is probably the easiest way to reserve extra money in your bank account. Amazingly, that’s what this challenge helps you to achieve.
You will learn how to live below your means and gain control of your finances. But more importantly, you will save money by being frugal. This gives you more money to build your emergency fund and even invest when you’re presented with the opportunity.
- Helps You Identify Bad Money Habits
When you take a break from spending money, you will quickly realize how you have been using up your hard-earned money inappropriately in the past. If you have probably wasted money by going out for rounds of drinks the entire week or buying a fancy suitcase that you don’t need, you will identify these bad money habits during the challenge. Once you know what your bad money habits are, you can start making efforts to eliminate them.
- You’ll Reach Your Money Goals Faster
One of the main reasons you may struggle to reach your money goals successfully is because you spend too much money on irrelevant things. By embarking on a no spend challenge, you can avoid spending money unnecessarily, enabling you to save extra cash and reach your money goals faster.
- You’ll Avoid Debt
Many people are choked up with credit card debts due to their inability to control their spending habits. No-spend challenges can inevitably teach you how to avoid spending too much. Consequently, this will save you from incurring unnecessary debt.
On the other hand, if you have debts that need to be paid off, you can gradually save money for the repayment since you are not spending cash unnecessarily.
Steps For A Successful No Spend Challenge
To successfully complete a no spend challenge, here are the steps you need to follow strictly:
1. Begin With The Right Timing
Beginning with the right timing is one of the most important no spend challenge rules you must adhere to. To carry out this challenge without defaulting or struggling, you must do it at the appropriate time of the year.
For example, January doesn’t seem like the right month for a no spend challenge. This is because January is the beginning of the year when most people are trying to build a financial plan they will follow throughout the year.
When choosing a month for your no spend challenge, make sure the chosen month isn’t filled with birthday or anniversary celebrations or any other events that will inevitably require you to spend money. Moreover, it’s advisable to plan ahead before embarking on the challenge. If you need to tell someone about it, do so to get moral support.
2. Track Your Emotions And Urges
Whether rich or broke, almost everyone has the urge to spend money. There is this natural desire to like certain things and spend your money on them. For example, some people love shopping or going for rounds of drinks. This urge or behavior may be difficult to unlearn, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of it.
Whenever you get the urge to spend money unnecessarily during no-spend challenges, write it down in a spending journal. Write and explain how you feel about the item you want to purchase or whatever it is you want to buy. Be honest with yourself; write why you think you need to make that purchase.
After a while, return to your journal and read through what you have written. You will realize how much this simple exercise teaches you about your spending habits. You will discover that you don’t even need to make that purchase you had in mind. This will also enable you to take the challenge seriously instead of defaulting.
If you intend to learn how to save money with a no spend challenge, this is a crucial step you must take.
3. Use Your Free Time Productively
If you are someone who goes shopping when bored, you need to develop a new strategy to tame that habit. You must learn to make the most of your free time instead of spending unnecessarily on items you probably don’t even need. Learn to be creative during your no spend challenge. Develop good money habits and adopt decent hobbies.
It might interest you to know that there are hobbies that can make you money. This means that instead of misusing your free time and wasting money, you can get busy with a creative hobby that earns you real dollars weekly or monthly.
For example, if you enjoy speaking or sharing ideas with people, you can start a podcast or YouTube channel, where you create and share content anytime you are free. After growing your YouTube channel or blog to a certain stage, you can get monetized and start earning cash.
YouTubers and podcasters are making up to $3000 every month. Surprisingly, creators making this amount are among the least earners. But since it will be just a hobby, $3000 per month is a decent amount.
4. Don’t Use A Credit Card
Since you are embarking on a no spend challenge to save money, there’s no need to use your credit cards. You shouldn’t even look at them. Dumb them in the trash can if possible. Credit cards is one reason many Americans still struggle with debts today. In fact, some people already think it’s impossible to survive a month without relying on credit cards.
Purchasing items with a credit card might seem like a life-saver; however, it’s more or less a debt trap. It would be best to learn how to live above this financial limitation.
Using your credit card means you aren’t dedicated to achieving your objectives during no-spend challenges, and you’d be contradicting your goals. Hence, if you are comfortable with disposing of your credit card, go ahead with that decision. If you want a friend or family member to hold on to it until you complete your challenge, that’s still a wise choice.
5. Talk About Your No Spend Challenge
This is one of the no spend challenge tips you need to observe. By talking about your no spend challenge to friends and family members, you are making yourself accountable.
Knowing fully well that there are people who are expecting to see you complete the challenge, you will do everything within your power to avoid failing. Besides, you can get encouragement from anyone who knows about your intention to take on the challenge.
If you are active on social media, you can post about it. Let your followers or audience know about your goal, and if they are interested, they can join in on the challenge as well. Having someone doing the no spend challenge with you makes it more interesting, and you can hold each other accountable until the goal is accomplished.
6. If You Default, Don’t Write Yourself Off
Knowing how to start a no spend challenge is commendable, but being able to complete the challenge is more important. Notwithstanding, mistakes happen, and that’s something we can’t avert most times. If you accidentally slip up during your no spend challenge, that’s not enough reason for you to give up.
For example, you may be tempted to buy a chilled bottle of soda after a long day at work, but that doesn’t mean you should tag yourself as a failure afterward. Instead, admit your flaw, get yourself back up, and move forward with your goal.
If you have an accountability partner, you should tell the person about your mistakes. If there’s no one to hold you accountable, you can write it down in your spending journal. Write out the item you bought and why you made the purchase. This will help you acknowledge your mistake while you stick to the original plan to complete the no spend challenge.
7. Create Rewards For Reaching A Milestone
There’s a need to always stay motivated and focused during no-spend challenges. By setting a reasonable reward for yourself upon completion, you can be encouraged to continue with your goal.
Think about doing something you really like. It could be going on a dinner date with your partner, visiting the movies to see the latest film, or buying a new piece of clothing you have longed for.
Of course, you would spend money doing this but it would be worth it. It’s just a nice way of encouraging yourself to put more effort into improving your finances. Nevertheless, make sure you don’t overspend while rewarding yourself. If you spend too much money, you will simply defeat the purpose of embarking on the no spend challenge.
Final Thoughts On A No Spend Challenge
Completing a no-spend month or week is a great way to begin the year. Although you may not do this in January, it can still happen within the first quarter of the year.
Since you now know how to create a no spend challenge, nothing should stop you from trying it. Don’t forget this is one of the many things that will improve your money mindset and set you up for financial success.
Having a no-spend challenge won’t always be easy. There are times you might want to get your favorite drink or wish to step foot in that exquisite restaurant. Remember to control your urge and stay focused on the goal. By the time you complete your challenge, you can appreciate your efforts by offering yourself a reasonable reward.
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