When you want to learn how to do a no spend challenge, I can promise you that it is one of my favorites to recommend. Not only is it so simple, but the rules are easy to adjust to your lifestyle.
The no spend challenge can be anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on your financial goals. In fact, there isn’t really a reason to not try it.
I took some time and wrote out the top rules on how to do a no spend challenge and even included some extra credit!
Curious to see what made the list to successfully complete a no spend challenge? Keep reading…
What is a No Spend Challenge?
A no spend challenge is a fun way to try and save as much money as possible for a set period of time. This is done by not spending any money during the set period of time.
It may not be easy, but trying a no spend challenge with your family can be beneficial in the end. No matter your goal, this article is the ultimate no spend challenge cheat sheet.
Follow these rules and you will be surprised how much you are able to save.
Reasons to Try a No Spend Challenge
There are plenty of reasons to try a no spend challenge, but ultimately it comes back to gaining control of your spending habits so that you are able to meet any financial goals.
Many people I talk to are looking to attempt the no spend challenge do it to pay off a bill, have funds for the holidays, or go on a vacation.
For example, I am in the middle of opening a new business and need some runway money. To help pay for it I are attempting a no spend challenge.
Another reason that I have done a no spend challenge is to help clear out my pantries and freezer. About twice a year I get overwhelmed with how much food we have so we choose to do a no-spend challenge to encourage eating in.
There doesn’t have to be a specific reason to try out a no spend challenge either- you might want to break a spending habit (like a $5 coffee every morning) or save for a rainy day.
Rules in a No Spend Challenge
If you want to attempt a no spend challenge, there are a few rules that you need to take into consideration before you get started. These rules are optional, but are wise to implement if you want to succeed with the challenge.
It also may be helpful to find a money mentor who can help keep you focused through the process.
Plan With Your Partner
If you share finances with anyone, I cannot recommend enough that you need to plan this challenge as a team. Sit down and make a plan to make sure you are both on the same page.
You don’t want to try a no spend challenge and make dinner at home then your partner shows up with $40 worth of pizza, right? Trust me, this will ensure success.
Establish the Length
When looking at how to do a no spend challenge, the best way to go about it is to determine how long the challenge will be. This may be the weekend, the 2 week pay period, or even the entire month. That decision is completely up to you!
For beginners, I recommend trying out a weekend first, that way you build more confidence and see just how much money you can save in just a few days.
Decide What to Cut/What is Allowed
For a no-spend challenge, there is more than likely going to be exceptions that have to get paid. Determine what those things are at the beginning of the challenge so that you are able to purchase as needed.
For example, getting gas during the challenge. If you need to use your car to get to work or drop kids off for school, then gas is allowed.
What shouldn’t be allowed, however, is the extra $20 spent on snacks in the convenience market.
Sit down with your family and look at everything that you might need to purchase during the challenge and if it doesn’t make the list then you can’t buy it.
Think about everything- will your kid need lunch money? Will your car need an oil change? Are there bills due?
Really take the time to think about it so that you can successfully complete the no spend challenge.
Define Your Why
Whenever I try to complete a no spend challenge, defining my why is the biggest way for me to be successful. Maybe I need to pay off a credit card or perhaps I want to enroll my kid in a special club and I need to afford the tuition.
My biggest why? Escaping the rat race and obtaining financial freedom.
No matter what, your why will stop you from those frivolous purchases so that you can stay focused on your big goal. Trust me, you’ll stop that coffee habit when you begin to visualize something bigger!
Stop right now and write down your why. Tell me in the comments so that I can cheer you on!
Prepare Ahead of Time
Okay, you have gone through all of the other decisions and you know exactly how long the no spend challenge will take place in your home. Hooray!
The next rule is to prepare ahead of time. Take a look around your house and make sure that there is nothing that you will need to run to the store for.
Do you have laundry detergent? What about shampoo? Making sure that you have all of those items will help prevent you from a quick Target trip and over spending.
Communicate with Friends/Family
Let everyone in the world know that you are doing a no spend challenge! Yes, they might think that you are crazy, but trust me.
If they know that you are doing a challenge to help you meet your financial goals, then they are less likely to want to go to a restaurant for lunch and instead invite you over for dinner.
This goes for your kids too! Let them know that any extra spending is put on pause because you want to have more money in the future.
That way, when they are begging to go through the fast food drive thru, you can remind them of the challenge. Heck, they even might be able to keep you accountable!
Trust me, the more people that know, the more support you will have.
The rule to avoid temptation is one of the most important ones that you can follow when you want to try out a no spend challenge! It may be difficult, but turn down anything extra if at all possible.
Maybe you won free tickets to a baseball game- hooray! The only thing is that you now have to pay for parking and food once you are in the stadium. That’s not so easy when you are in a no spending challenge.
Avoid the pressure all together and gift the tickets to a friend. Or sell them to make some extra money.
Another example is that maybe you are a coffee addict. You can’t drive within a mile of a Starbucks without needing some caffeine (I get it- trust me). Avoid the temptation by taking a different route and avoid the coffeehouse altogether.
Being intentional by avoiding whatever tempts you will help you complete the no spend challenge with ease.
Decide Where the Money Saved Will Go
This is the fun part! Similar to defining your why, deciding with your partner where the money will go after the challenge is one of the most fun parts. You can use it for whatever you want!
Is your goal to increase your credit score? Pay off those credit cards!
Do you need a vacation? Book a flight!
Does your kid need braces? Pay them off!
I love how this challenge helps you take control of your finances, reduce your stress, and make your dreams a reality. Take some time to really decide what it is that you want to use your extra savings on and commit to it.
Extra Credit: Earn Money During the No Spend Challenge!
If you really want to go above and beyond the no spend challenge, make it a goal to not just save money but to earn some extra money. This can be done in so many ways, and being intentional to earn a few hundred extra dollars can go toward your big goal.
Here are some ways that you can earn some extra money during your no spend challenge!
Connect with a few of your favorite blogs and see if they need any help with articles! If you’ve never done freelance writing before, and it’s something you’re interested in, you can learn how to become a freelance writer.
That’s right! You can take pictures of different things and sell them as stock photos to different websites. For example, if you make playdough from scratch with your kids, set some of it aside and snap some pictures of it.
You’ll be surprised at how many sites need pictures of homemade playdough!
Sell Crafts at the Farmers Market
If you are creative and good with making something, why not set up a tent at your local farmers market and try to sell some? You can make anything from jewelry to pot holders to bird houses!
I think that you would be surprised at how much you could make.
Get on your local Facebook groups and start selling any cookies/cakes that you can create!
If you can make an adorable cupcake to look like a dog, why not try and sell them? Just make sure to charge for ingredients as well as your time.
There are certain times of the year when everyone needs their lawn mowed, right? Why not grab your lawn mower and offer your services on the weekend?
The best part is that you will guaranteed have returning customers!
Depending on your financial goals, picking up a night time job might help you reach them quicker. Find a night shift at your local grocery store and you will be surprised at how much money you can save.
Have you heard about EBates? This is one of the easiest ways to earn some extra income!
Do Some Online Surveys
Plenty of companies will pay you to do their online surveys. If you have a lot of spare time, this might be the answer for you.
While you are waiting at the bus stop or while the kids are playing at the park, for example, this is the perfect time for you to do some online surveys and make that money.
Become a Stylist with Hello Pink
Are you good with putting outfits together? Why not look into becoming a stylist with Hello Pink? They pay well and its super fun.
There are plenty of rules on how to do a no spend challenge and to do it successfully, you want to follow each and every rule listed in this article. It may seem difficult, but I promise you that it is worth it.
So tell me… what did I miss? Any other rules that you would add to the list on how to do a no spend challenge? Tell me in the comments!