No Spending Challenge

Now that it’s a new year, I want to get back on track with my budget. I used to be very good at tracking my expenses, but over the last few months, I haven’t recorded much as far as my spending. Most months I don’t go overboard, but there have been times when I’ve gotten my bank statement and have been like, “Who spent all this money?! Oh wait, that was me…”

But here’s to new beginnings, right? I figure 2020 is the perfect time to get back to budgeting and working on my savings. I’ve heard of “No Spending Challenges” before and always had some interest in doing one. What better way to start my year of saving money than to accept one of these challenges?

What is a No Spending Challenge?

A no spending challenge, for those who haven’t heard of one, it’s exactly what it sounds like, a challenge to not spend money. You can take the challenge for various amounts of time, a weekend, a week, a month, a few months, I’ve even heard of people doing them for a year. (It’s a no for me dog!)

The challenge is about setting a goal for yourself; it’s NOT about restricting yourself from spending even a single penny! There are things we have to buy to live.

Setting your budget and goals

It all starts with establishing your needs vs. your wants. I may think I “need’ to buy new makeup, but in reality, I have a ton that I already own. I just WANT to buy new products.

Once you’ve defined your budget and your goals, it’s time to outline your spending needs.

For me they look like this:

  • Rent
  • Car payment
  • Student loan
  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Cell phone bill

Your list may also include:

  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Internet
  • Insurance (I didn’t include this because my health insurance comes out automatically from my pay check)
  • Medicine

TIP: If you have items that didn’t make the list, they’re most likely wants and not needs.

Things I want to avoid buying/doing while taking on this challenge include:

  1. Coffee (I have two coffee machines at home, so really there is no excuse to buy out.)
  2. Clothes
  3. Makeup
  4. Eating out
  5. Beauty services
  6. Going out with friends that will require spending (I’ll try catching a free event!)

Picking your No Spending Challenge time

Like I mentioned before, you can decide on how long to take the No Spending Challenge, any time from a weekend to a year. I’ve decided on a month, which is is more challenging (pun intended) than a weekend or a week. Here is my reasoning, for the last few months, I’ve been “treating myself,” to say the least. I’m hoping this challenge will spark a spending revelation. Also, it takes 21 days to change a habit, so my second hope is to reinvigorate my budgeting and saving practices.

Let’s do this!

I’m kicking off my challenge on January 5th. In addition to avoiding the items and activities I’ve mentioned above, my goals include paying down my credit card and moving any extra money over to my savings. Considering I didn’t track my spending prior, and this is my first challenge, I am going to keep my goals a little vague this time around. In the future, I would like to assign dollar amounts to my goals.

Here goes nothing! I’ll do my best to check in throughout the challenge; I will for sure do a wrap-up post!

Have you ever done a No Spending Challenge? Share your thoughts or tips below!

Thanks for reading!

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