Is your savings account a little depleted after all that holiday shopping? Give it a boost as we head into the new year by attempting the no-spend challenge. The idea is simple—go a day, a week, or even an entire month without spending money on anything besides necessities. Rent, groceries, and the electric bill are necessities, while buying video games, eating out, and getting a pedicure are not. If you’re new to the no-spend challenge, here are some tips to help you succeed.
- Set a goal: Why are you doing the no-spend challenge? Maybe you’re saving up to buy a new laptop, replace your worn-out shoes, take your dream vacation, or simply boost your emergency fund. Remind yourself of this goal every time you feel tempted to spend.
- Adapt the rules to fit your needs: The way you approach the no-spend challenge is personal and varies depending on your lifestyle, budget, and goals. For instance, you may choose to ban all discretionary spending or just certain categories, like clothes and take-out. The idea is to target the areas that tempt you the most, which also tend to be where you spend money without realizing it.
- Decide if you want to make the challenge public: If you announce your goals to friends and family, you may find that others want to join in, lending support to your efforts. You may also feel more motivated to follow the rules. Of course, you have every right to keep the challenge private if you prefer.
- Track your progress: Mark a physical or digital calendar every day you successfully spend nothing. Seeing a string of successes will inspire you to keep up the good work.
- Create spending barriers: One key to breaking bad habits is to make them harder to do. For example, if you’re addicted to online shopping, remove your saved credit card information from your internet browser so you can no longer buy things in a single click.
- Plan for exceptions: Most people can handle spending nothing for three or four days, but when you’re aiming for three or four weeks, things can get tricky. Look ahead within the timeframe you want to complete the challenge. Are any birthdays, get-togethers, or other events already planned? If so, you can either postpone your challenge or work these exceptions into the rules.
Do the no-spend challenge long enough or often enough, and you’ll develop better spending habits and money management skills. Even so, necessary expenses tend to crop up when you least expect them. If this happens, turn to VIP Title Loans for the extra money you need to get by.
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