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what is a no spend challenge

What Is a No-Spend Challenge?

In this article I am going to answer this question: What is a no-spend challenge or no-spend month? Learn how you can save money (and save it fast!) by doing a no-spend challenge!


What Is a No-Spend Challenge or No-Spend Month?

A no-spend challenge is where you go for a week, two weeks, or even a month or more either without spending any money at all or without spending money on anything besides the bare essentials or without spending money in a particular category such as groceries.

When doing a typical no-spend challenge, you could start with a one-week no-spend challenge the first time, and then do two weeks, and then go for a whole month. Or if you really want to turbocharge your savings and short-circuit your spending habits, you could go all in and start with a one-month no-spend challenge. It is an awesome way to save money fast!

Or, as mentioned earlier, you could do a no-spend challenge in just a particular category, if you have a particular budget-busting area such as clothing or entertainment or eating out or buying gadgets.


How Can I Do a No-Spend Challenge to Save Money Fast?

There are a lot of great benefits to doing a no-spend challenge. One of the main ones is that it can allow you to pay off debt or save money quickly! Do you have credit card or other high-interest debt? Get it paid off by participating in a month-long no-spend challenge!

Note: Learn how to save for a debt-free Christmas by participating in the November no-spend challenge this year!

By participating in a no-spend challenge, you can save a lot of money that you can use toward things like:

  • Saving the $1,000 for your starter emergency fund
  • Starting a savings account and putting money toward a down payment on a home, the purchase of a car, paying cash for this year’s summer vacation, and more (find 9 savings accounts every family should have!)
  • Purchasing a larger item with cash, such as a piece of furniture, an appliance, or an inexpensive car
  • Paying off credit card debt
  • Paying down student loans or car loans
  • Paying off debt from Christmas

A no-spend challenge has the potential to not only help you save money (sometimes a lot of money) but it can also really help you change the way you look at money and potentially even change your whole financial future and your life! So let’s talk about a no-spend challenge and how to accomplish it.


Related articles:
How to Do a No-Spend Challenge to Save More Money!
5 Awesome Reasons to Do a No-Spend Challenge
February No-Spend Challenge: Are You In?
November No-Spend Challenge: Have a Debt-Free Christmas!
91 Fun, Free Activities to Do during a No-Spend Challenge!


How Do I Participate in a No-Spend Challenge?

There are many ways to do a no-spend challenge. As mentioned above, one option is to go all in and not spend any money on anything but the essentials for a specified amount of time, such as two weeks or a month. Another type of no-spend challenge is to go for a specific amount of time without buying anything in a particular budget category, such as clothing or electronics.

Doing a month-long no-spend challenge is a great way to save money quickly. The way to save the most money during a no-spend month is to go all in and not spend any money that you do not absolutely have to for food and gas and so forth. If you are all in, let’s see if you can go all month without spending money on anything but the necessities.

So use food from your cupboards, pantry, fridge, and freezer. Don’t buy any clothes or toys. Don’t eat at any restaurants or order pizza or takeout. Don’t spend any money on entertainment—no bowling or golf or concerts or movies or sporting events. Don’t spend any money that you don’t absolutely need to.

Do you need some ideas for free activities for you and the kids to do during the no-spend challenge? Read this article with more than 90 ideas for free family fun.

You will also need to do some meal planning as part of your no-spend challenge if you plan to include cutting down on your grocery shopping as part of the challenge (which is a great way to save more money during the no-spend challenge!). Don’t have a good meal planning strategy? No worries; I’ve got you covered! Sign up for the free weekly meal planner below! This will help you save money not only during the no-spend challenge, but during the rest of the year, as well! 


What Should I Do with the Money I Save during a No-Spend Challenge?

If you want to save money toward a specific goal such as purchasing a car with cash or buying an appliance or furniture with cash, set up a specific savings account for that purpose. If you don’t have a bank or credit union that lets you easily open multiple savings accounts to save toward specific goals and purposes, then check out an online bank like Capital One 360.

You can even make the no-spend challenge into a game, to help keep things from getting too serious. With your family, once you have determined a goal for how much you want to plan to save, see how quickly you can do it or if you can even exceed your savings goal!

If you want to grow your savings or pay off debt even faster, also look for things around the house that you can sell. You might have sports equipment, electronics, toys, clothes, cookware, an extra vehicle, or other items that you could sell at a garage sale, through the online classifieds or Craigslist, or on eBay, for example.

And then maybe give yourselves an inexpensive reward when you reach your savings goal or complete the no-spend challenge—like going out for inexpensive ice cream, or buying a variety of toppings and making homemade banana splits. Or if your no-spend challenge helps you reach a really big financial goal, then maybe splurge a little more. 🙂

I hope you feel like you have a good answer now to the question what is a no-spend challenge?

Are you ready to dive in and do a no-spend challenge to save more money or to save money fast? Maybe the idea of doing a no-spend challenge is a little daunting—but you can do it! And when you do, it really could change the way you look at money and even change your whole life! It will strengthen your resolve to make positive financial changes in your life.

Most things in life that are worth achieving require a little hard work or sacrifice, or both, and winning with your money is no different. But the rewards are so worth it! 

Changing your money habits so that you can really succeed with your finances will have a bigger impact than many other things in your life. The transformation really can be amazing!

Are you ready to do a no-spend challenge?! Leave a comment below (and post a comment in our new, closed Facebook group!). I can’t wait to see the great things that you will accomplish with the money you are able to save!

Invitation to Share

Was there something in this article that inspired you to change something about your money? Are there ideas or tips that you feel could help others? Would you please take a minute to share this article via email or social media? I would love your help to share these principles of financial well-being. Thank you!

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