I think it’s time for a No Spend week. Can you live without spending for a week? We haven’t had a No Spend challenge for a while and this is just for one week, seven short days.
The rules are simple: no spending unless it is essential. You can pay your regular bills that fall due this week and buy your groceries (as long as you stick to the list), as long you have the cash to pay for them.
Because this No Spend challenge is going to be a little different. Cash only. No credit cards, no debit cards, just old fashioned cash.
Here are some tips that will make your spending freeze easier:
Register in the comments field below and tell us how much you are hoping to not spend. Then keep us up to date with your progress. This is important, we all want to know how well you are doing and if you post regularly you'll be able to see how we are getting on too. Bookmark this page so you can find it again easily.
Have a Plan
Planning is the key to surviving and thriving during a spending freeze. Planning ensures you cover everything you need to get through: lunches, groceries, drinks, having enough petrol in the car etc. Planning and knowing what's happening will let you prepare ahead of time and find no spend alternatives to those "spend, spend, spend" situations.
Get Your Cash
After you've planned your no spend week go to the bank and get the cash you'll need. Remember, no plastic this week. You might find it easier to actually go into the bank and get your cash in a variety of denominations. Divvy up the cash according to your anticipated expenses (aren't you glad of those smaller denominations now?) and put each amount into a labelled envelope or ziplock bag. Then when you need to spend, you can take the money from the right bag.
Seriously, stop spending money - no clothes, magazines, toys, makeup, computer bits and bobs, shoes etc. For seven days use your money to pay the essential living expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, food - bare bones basics, fares/petrol) and see just how much is left over at the end of the week. You must bank the leftover money - it is not saved until it is safely in the bank it is just not spent.
Track Your Spending
If you track your spending already, fantastic. Pat yourself on the back. If you don't, start today. Get a notebook (any notebook or piece of paper will do) and write down every cent you spend for the next seven days. Write down what you bought and how much it cost. Do this so you can see exactly what you are spending your money on.
Good luck. I can't wait to see how you do.