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Do you try hard to save money but your efforts fall short? A no spend challenge may be exactly what you need to save more money and learn how to control your impulse to spend money.

coins and dollar bills on table

A no spend challenge is a great way to save money and teach yourself healthy spending habits.

It can be as long as you want or if you’re just starting out a short trial run may be better. 

If you haven’t heard of a no spend challenge it’s when you don’t spend money on anything other than necessities for a certain amount of time

Necessities include things like:

  • Mortgage/Rent
  • Utilities
  • Car payment
  • Medical bills
  • Credit card debt
  • Student loans

The hard part is cutting out impulse buys and being able to decide which expenses are necessities and which expenses are wants. 

These challenges are great because they help you realize how financially disciplined you can be when you put in the effort. 

Personalize your no spend challenge to your needs to make it easier for you and your family to stick with it. 

Here are a few ways you can get prepared for a successful no spend challenge.

Save more money with these easy to use trackers!

  • Debt Tracker
  • Monthly Finance Tracker
  • Savings Tracker
  • Daily Expense Tracker
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1. Keep it simple 

I know how easy it is to get super excited about something new and dive right in. In this case, you want to start with a simple challenge and build your way up to massive savings. 

A no spend weekend is a great option if this is your first attempt. You could also try having a no spend day once a month. 

Eventually, you may surprise yourself and pull off a no spend month or year once you become a pro.

2. Clear expectations 

Set a goal and be certain why you feel like you should try a no spend challenge in the first place. 

Is it because you want to save enough for a family vacation? Or maybe your bank account is overdrawn and you have no choice.

Either way, if you don’t know why you’re starting a no spend challenge it’ll be even harder to stay the course. 

And if your family will be participating make sure everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations. 

Commit to your reasoning of why and stay persistent.

3. Start planning 

Once you’re crystal clear on why you want to do a no spend challenge the next step is to start planning and preparing. 

To know where you’re going you have to know where you’re starting. 

Keep tabs on your usual spending so you can point out your problem areas. If you have no idea you’re spending $115 a month at McDonald’s there’s no way you can fix it. 

Also, check your accounts for any memberships or subscriptions that are coming out every month that you’ve forgotten about.

4. Take inventory

In my free mom vault there’s a pantry inventory worksheet that will help you track what items you have on hand and when they expire so you can plan meals with those items before they go bad. 

We get in the habit of buying a new jar of spaghetti sauce just in case we don’t have any at home and now 4 jars are sitting in the pantry. 

Make it a goal to use those items before they go bad so they’re not a waste of money. And during the no spend challenge try not to eat out or do any grocery shopping. 

Meal planning and Pinterest recipes will be a time and money saver during your challenge!

5. Get out and about 

If you’re like me, anytime you leave the house you spend money. I get it! 

But there are so many free things to do that you’ve probably never even considered. 

Check out this list of free things to do during a no spend challenge. There’s no need to sit in the house and be miserable!

To make it impossible for you to spend any money while you’re out try leaving your money at home. 

That’s a sure-fire way to stop yourself from spending!

6. Inform your friends

It’s important to let your friends and family know that you’re doing a no spend challenge so they don’t keep inviting you to do things.

It’s already hard enough to not spend any money so you don’t need anyone tempting you with a good time.

Try inviting them to do some free activities with you instead.

If they know you’re in a no spend challenge that will also give you more motivation to succeed. 

The more people you tell about your challenge the better! 

They’ll want to know how much you saved and if you stuck to your guns. Use that fear of failure as motivation to succeed.

7. Make money

Since you won’t be out spending any money now would be a great time to declutter and sell some old stuff you forgot you had. 

These apps are easy to use and they’ll help you get rid of those dusty items. 

Consider hosting a garage sale over the weekend. Let people know by posting about it on social media and local garage sale sites. 

Ask your friends to share the post with their friends so you can reach even more people who can become potential customers.

8. Be prepared for surprises

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go as planned. And when that happens you don’t have to stop the challenge.

Set aside a certain amount of money in case of emergency. Let’s call this your emergency fund. 

Hopefully, you already have an emergency fund started, but if you don’t, now is a great time to start!

9. After the challenge

The challenge is over. Now what? 

Don’t go out and spend every penny you worked hard to save. Instead, put that money towards something beneficial.

Continue finding more ways to save money and include a side hustle or two that will make you even more money. 

Keep tracking your spending so you know every single penny that enters and leaves your household. 

Don’t stop building your emergency fund. Those unexpected expenses don’t have to cause stress and overwhelm. 

Stay ahead of the game and be prepared.

Famous last words…

Doing a no spend challenge is a great way to save money. Start simple and you will be able to have a no spend year with ease.

Get everyone on the same page so you’re not fighting anymore temptation than necessary. 

And when the challenge is over put your savings towards something useful instead of splurging on everything you didn’t buy during the challenge.

Save more money with these easy to use trackers!

  • Debt Tracker
  • Monthly Finance Tracker
  • Savings Tracker
  • Daily Expense Tracker
slay your savings workbook
  • Pin This To Your Favorite Pinterest Board
jar with coins and woman looking at piggy bank
money with a bow; skyrocket your savings: how to prepare for a no spend challenge

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