How to Prepare for a No Spend Week
Whether you're recouping from the holidays, vacation or just trying to get a jump start on your savings participating in a "No Spend Challenge" will help. You can choose any amount of time you want a day, a week,a month and even for the adventurous few who have tried for a year.
What are the rules? Well this is up to you. However it is best to cut all spending except for necessities.
When I first heard about this little nugget, I was intrigued but doubtful. I convinced my sister to do it with me this way if I needed to complain I had someone to tell me to suck it up..
We started off choosing a no spend week (baby steps).
How To Prepare
Its not as if your going on vacation or a storm is coming but a little preparation is needed. You will want to try and save as much as you can.This means spend as little as possible on groceries and only necessary expenses are paid.
1.Pick a day to start and the length
This can be any day that works best for you. You will also have to decide if you are doing a No-Spend weekend, week or month.
Do a complete inventory of what you have available in the refrigerator/freezer and cabinets. This will help you see what you can possibly use for dinners or lunches and lower the cost of your grocery bill.
3. Shopping List
I know I said shopping, but you will need groceries its a need not a want list.This will keep you from overspending or having to make a run to the store during the week (you cant!)
4.Fill up your gas tank.
Once again a need, you do have to get to work and if your not in walking distance than your in trouble.
5. Pay Bills That are Due
Pay your regular scheduled payments. You want to keep all payments made on time so you keep your credit score(or improve) and wont be charged late fees.
6.Clean out Your Wallet
Remove all your Credit and Bank Cards from your wallet/purse.You can make your own rule on this one. We just wanted to remove all temptation. (Our Rule a single $20 bill is left in wallet for emergency only it goes in bank at end of challenge)
7. Free Activities
Make a list of all the free things to do in your area.(Check out the link below to see what I compiled of 50 Things to do during a "no- spend" week.)
- 50 Things to Do in a No Spend Week
50 ideas to make your No Spend week a little less boring and much more bearable. List outdoor activities and at home activities.
Break The News To Your Family
This could possibly be the hardest part. I explained to my children that there will be no extra spending. To be honest their faces did drop. My daughter who is sixteen was the most shocked I think it went something like
"Really how am I supposed to go a week without going out with my friends, do you hate me?"
I replied the same way my parents would have "You want money? Get a job."
My husband wanted to know if he had to stop using his cards or was this just something I was doing. Umm!
Once everyone understood completely and was on board we were all set to begin and so we did.
How Did Our Week Go
We survived and we were able to put a decent amount into our savings.
The first couple of days we questioned our decision.We reluctantly drove by the Coffee shops and did not stop at Target. However by the Friday when it was usually take-out and Redbox Rental we were on a roll. My daughter made fun appetizer with what we had on hand and we found a Netflix movie.
At the end of the week though we did realize there is a lot to do in our area for free. We visited parks, took advantage of free festivals in our area and actually visited the library.
We never realized how much we actually "piddled" away on things that were unnecessary.
Although we are not brave enough to try a "no spend month". We have decided that once a month we will have a "No spend week". Even my daughter is on board.
All the best and may your savings grow!