It’s a new year and that means we have the opportunity to set the vision for how we want the year to go and make the plan to bring that vision to fruition. If you’ve made the decision to take control of your finances, then you’ve certainly set some financial goals for the year. Whether your goal is to save money, pay off debt, or purchase something you’ve been wanting without going into debt for it, no spend days are a great tool to help you achieve those goals!
Here’s why no spend days should be a part of your financial goals and some tips on how to have no spend day success!
What are No Spend Days?
Simply put, no spend days are days in which you don’t spend money but particularly money on things that aren’t necessary or urgent. No spend days challenge you to be more conscious of why you spend money, what you spend your money on, and to evaluate whether spending money on that particular thing is actually necessary. As a result of this awareness, you’re less likely to spend money, keeping more of it in your pocket!
However, there should be exceptions to no spend days such as the paying of bills, emergencies, gas and other transportation-related expenses, child care and healthcare costs…you know the things that when they come up, you have no choice but to spend money.
What are the benefits of having No Spend Days?
If saving money isn’t a big enough deal, here are a few other benefits to no spend days:
- No spend days can help to identify your spending triggers. Are you more likely to spend money on unnecessary things after having a bad day at work or when that one friend calls and invites you to happy hour or even from an encounter with your mother? Okay maybe that last one is all about me but you get the idea.
- No spend days can help you identify your spending habits too! Do you know whether you’re less inclined to spend during the work week but get the urge to spend money on the weekends when there’s less structure to your day?
- No spend days also promote an increased awareness of needs versus wants. No spend day challenges make you ask yourself whether the thing you want to purchase is needed at that very moment or whether you can get the same or a better result if you delay or abandon the purchase all together.
How can I be successful at No Spend Days?
- Set a SMART goal. The first step to ensuring your success, like with anything else, is to set a SMART goal. SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time related. So using this criteria, your no spend goal would be something like “I will complete 15 no spend days during the month of February.” But before you set your no-spend goal be sure to look at the month ahead and be practical about what you can actually do given the obligations you already have or can anticipate having.
- Be proactive. If you have the tendency to stop for take out on the way home, try to meal prep ahead of time or have what you need on hand to whip up something in 30 minutes or less once you get home.
- Keep it real. We can spend money on something unnecessary that we’ve budgeted for and then justify the spending because it’s “in the budget.” But ultimately no spend days can only work if you’re honest with yourself and hold yourself accountable to achieving your goal.
If you’re ready to give No Spend Days a try download my free No Spend Tracker!