Holidays are ending pretty soon, and it’s time I took a moment to think about all the fun I had.
But it wasn’t fun when I checked my wallet…
All family outings or dinner parties with long-time friends have undoubtedly left a massive hole in my wallet.
To make matters worse, I have a few more outings planned this week!
So I thought, why not take on a No Spend Week Challenge to control my spending, so I don’t have to worry about going over my budget before the year ends.
TL;DR: Rules For A No Spend Challenge
What is a No Spend Challenge?
When I googled “No Spend Challenge”, I found that many other bloggers did the challenge for different reasons.
For some, a No Spend Challenge could help reset their budgets after overspending on vacation or get back on track from spending on an unexpected expense. A No Spend Challenge can also be a great way to kickstart your savings or debt repayment on things like outstanding credit card debts with the money saved from the challenge.
Depending on how you like it, you could do the challenge for a weekend, a week, or even a whole month!
Whatever the reason you have for taking up the No Spend Challenge, I find that it is a great way to learn how to manage your finances, so why not give it a try now!
Setting the rules for my No Spend Week Challenge
Since it’s a challenge, it makes sense to set some guidelines & parameters to follow.
Without the rules in place, you might give yourself leeway in areas where you shouldn’t, then it wouldn’t be much of a challenge, would it?
Here’s an example of how I would set the rules for my own No Spend Week Challenge. Feel free to refer to it when planning for your own No Spend Challenges!
Rule 1: No Eating out / Takeaways
A huge bulk of my expenses come from food expenditure, especially when I buy my meals outside while I work.
Therefore, I intend to challenge myself to prepare lunchbox meals to bring to work for lunch instead of eating outside.
Since I usually have a light breakfast at home, my family usually takes care of dinner at home. Hence, there are no unnecessary expenses for eating out/takeaway other than during lunch.
Rule 2: Only Use the Food in the Pantry
It kind of defeats the purpose of going down to the supermarket and shopping up a storm just to fulfil the first rule.
So the second rule is to try and prepare my breakfast and work lunch for the week using whatever is available in the kitchen.
Time to get creative and awaken that inner chef inside of you!
Work with the ingredients and seasonings you have lying around at home. Maybe you might just create your new favourite, yet at the same time, budget-friendly dish.
Rule 3: Only take Public Transport
No Taxi, Grab or Gojek rides for the week!
Unless I’m running late, I usually just take the train to get around, so this rule is probably the easiest for me to accomplish.
For those who have an issue with getting up early, make sure you have a few alarm clocks ready for this rule.
Rule 4: No Shopping
Needless to say, this No Spend Challenge means no spending on ‘wants’. That means no unnecessary shopping for this week. Other than window shopping, of course.
If you are tempted by ads easily, I find that one way that might help is if you uninstall all the shopping apps on your smartphone and stay away from those websites.
Rule 5: Free Entertainment Activities only
Another sizable part of my expenses come from all the fun activities I do for entertainment outside.
This is why I’m setting this rule to only find free activities for entertainment.
There are so many free activities out there, I’m sure if I cracked my head a little, I could find something fun to do!
This is also a chance to try something new with my friends and/or family. If it works out, all of us can benefit by saving a little extra money.
Rule 6: No Paying For A Haircut
Now here’s a rule for those brave enough to try it.
Rather than pay for a haircut, why not take the chance to learn how to cut and style your own hair?
Of course, only do this if you feel confident that you won’t mess up your hairstyle. Otherwise, you might just end up having to pay a barber/hairdresser for another haircut.
Exceptions to the Rules
Even though this is a No Spend Challenge, there are some exceptions to what you can spend on, but you gotta ensure a fine line is drawn between what you can and cannot spend before starting the No Spend Challenge.
Another exception would be from other expenses such as shopping for essential things that I need, such as washing detergent, shaving cream, etc. and food ingredients that can aid me in cooking with the existing pantry ingredients.
How to Take the No Spend Challenge One Step Further
It’s not easy committing to the No Spend Challenge, but here’s one way you can make it slightly more fun for you:
Gather all your family and/or friends to take on the challenge with you!
Maybe have a mini-competition among your friends, where the one who saves the most can get a small reward from everyone else.
For those of you with children, this is also a good way for you to help them cultivate a habit of saving too!
Additionally, taking on the No Spend Challenge with others helps you keep track of one another, ensuring that everyone is committing to the challenge.
With that said, I’ll be starting my own No Spend Challenge, wishing everyone all the best when taking it on!