How to Do the No-Spend Challenge

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    • FNBO

      Nov 01 2023

Article | Read time: 2.5 minutes

The No-Spend Challenge has been gaining popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. It a world of consumerism and trends and easy-to-spend online shopping, overspending can happen more easily than ever. 

So, what exactly is it? It's a personal challenge, typically lasting for 30 days (but sometimes more) where you abstain from spending on nonessential items. By the end you'll have saved money and have a better understanding of your habits, and spending triggers, (maybe it's when you're bored or had a bad day you're tempted to shop online or it's when you get a particularly enticing offer).

The No-Spend Challenge isn't giving up all spending, again it's nonessentials. You need to pay the bills and buy important things that pop up (like groceries or school supplies, or even a new heater if yours goes out). The goal is to challenge yourself to only spend on the essentials. 

But, not spending for a month, or longer, can be easier said than done for many. So let's go over how you can implement it and some tricks for making it effective for you.

Ready, Set, Go!

How Long?

First, you'll need to commit to how long of a challenge you'll want to do. We suggest starting small, with the standard 30 days. If it goes well you can challenge yourself to another 30 days, or if it is a struggle, maybe try to do it once a year. 

The Ground Rules

While the true challenge should cut out all non-essential spending, that may not be feasible for some. And you don't want to get discouraged if you fail and completely give up. Maybe you and your friend always meet up for coffee once a month, and it's an important time for you to connect and unwind. Allow ourself some grace for things like that, that way you'll be less likely to fail or less hesitant to try in the future.

Have a Plan

Once you're committed and ready to start, it's important to plan ahead. What are some known triggers you have for spending? How will you handle it? Do you need to do a card lock to help remind you? Are your friends the reason you usually spend more—maybe you can challenge them to join you! Does the time period you chose have a lot of things that could cause you to fail (a family member's birthday party, a big spending holiday, a work trip, etc)? By planning ahead you'll be setting yourself up for success and have less of a hard time sticking to the challenge. 

Don't Forget to Save

Once you've completed the challenge, the goal is to have extra money. So put it to good use! Boost your savings, add it to your investments or retirement, or put it towards a trip to help relieve the financial burden down the road. Having a goal for your savings in mind will help you see the benefits and reward yourself with good financial habits.

The No-Spend Challenge is a great way to not only add more to your savings, but to help you gain a better understanding of your finances. And remember, even if you slip up—keep going! It's called a challenge for a reason. And if you know you can't fully commit to a month, start with a week or cut out a particular category (saying no to all online shopping but keeping social events and coffee).

Embrace the challenge, celebrate your victories, and keep working for a future filled with financial freedom. If you have questions about your budget, a Personal Banker from FNBO would be happy to answer them. Give us a call today.

The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.