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Learn how a simple no spend planner can improve your personal finance.
You know you need to increase your savings so you can fully fund your emergency fund but are worried you are failing in that department.
You think you did everything you can. You started a budget, reduce your expenses, and even started a side hustle but it seems that your progress is too slow for you.
I totally get it. I’ve been there.
Sometimes, we can be impatient and wanted to see results overnight. And we get frustrated if do not get the result as fast as we want to.
But today, I will show you a way that can help you make a bigger stride towards your goal—boost your savings.
You will learn how to use a no spend tracker to complete a no-spend challenge that will eventually turbocharge your savings.
But before I teach you how to use a no spend printable, you should learn what a no spend challenge is first.
What Is A No Spend Challenge
A No Spend Challenge is a dare that makes you stop spending money on anything besides your bare essentials for a certain period of time.
I repeat “besides your bare essentials”, meaning you will still pay for your rent/mortgage, utilities, gas, and the likes. Let’s be real, some bills are just inevitable.
You can do it for a week, two weeks, or even a month. Some people even just do it on the weekends.
We started ours on weekends then work our way up to a month. Start slow and be successful rather than go big and fail.
I also see some people who just do their no spend challenge on a certain expense category, like clothing, beauty, or entertainment.
What Is A No Spend Tracker
A no spend tracker is something that visually guides you through the challenge. It serves as a motivation as you track your progress towards your goals. It can be a no spend tracker app, a no spend tracker bullet journal or just a simple no spend challenge printable.
Benefits of No Spend Challenges
The biggest thing that a no spend challenge can do for you is saving money. When you reduce your spend days, you will have extra money to go to your savings account.
For example, if you usually spend money on restaurants every Friday, can you imagine how much money you can be saving if you stop doing that for a month?
Break Bad Money Habits
We all have our own bad money habits. It can be a daily expensive latte, using shopping as entertainment, or relying on credit cards to buy unaffordable things.
Whatever it is, a no spend challenge will help you break that habit by increasing your awareness of the things you are spending on.
Reduce Or Eliminate Debt
When you stop spending money on your wants, you will also reduce your tendency to be in debt or add more to your existing debts. As a result, you’ll have extra money to throw into your savings or to your debt payment.
Achieve Financial Goals
All the above benefits go hand in hand in helping you achieve your financial goals. A no spend challenge can help you have a financial reset and gets you back on track.
No Spend Month Rules
The best thing about this challenge is you get to decide your own rules!
Afterall, you are in charge of your money. You can decide on what works well for you and what doesn’t. Here are some general rules to consider:
Necessary Expenses Do Not Count
Anything that provides your basic needs is not part of the challenge. That will include your rent/mortgage, utilities, food, gas for the car, and medications/insurance. Remember, we are targeting your discretionary expenses not the things you need to survive.
Decide On What Kind Of Transaction Counts
Be clear on the kind of transactions that are counted towards spend. For example, if you use a gift card, will that count as a spend?
Make Rules Challenging
Although you get to decide your own rules, you would want to make it challenging enough but not impossible to do.
Free No Spend Tracker Printable
Before you start your challenge, here is a free no spend challenge tracker for you. Use it to track your progress.
How To Start A No Spend Challenge
1) Write Down Your “Why”
Before you even start the challenge, do a deep dive into why you would want to do this. This is a challenge and you will be putting yourself in an uncomfortable position. You should be able to identify the reason why you are doing this to yourself in the first place.
2) Set Your Goals
Set SMART goals. Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-sensitive. Start by asking yourself what you are trying to achieve, or how much are you trying to save.
An example would be, “I want to save $300 by not eating out every Friday and going to movie theatres on the weekends for a month.”
3) Set Your Rules
Decide on your rules. Pick a time frame that you know it’s challenging but doable. Decide on the things that you can spend on and the things you shouldn’t. Remember, focus on your discretionary expenses.
4) Plan Ahead
Identify your spending triggers and plan around it. If one of your spending triggers is Starbucks and it so happens that it’s within your daily route to work, consider changing route.
You can also avoid unnecessary extra food shopping by eating at home first before going to the grocery store.
5) Track Your Progress
Stay motivated by constantly monitoring your progress. Use the no spend challenge free printable to mark your progress as you go. Hang it on the wall or on the fridge to serve as a daily reminder.
6) Be Accountable
Tell the world about your progress to stay accountable. Share it with your friends, family, and coworkers through social media. You’re not only helping yourself succeed but you might even inspire someone to join you.
7) Evaluate How You Did
After completing the challenge, evaluate your performance. Take note of what motivated you and identify where you can do better next time.
8) Do It Again
After seeing the benefits, you would want to try it again. You can even make it a routine. The more you do it, the more money goes to your financial goals.
Tips On How To Be Successful In Doing A No Spend Challenge
To save on food, you would want to be creative in planning your meals. Create a monthly and weekly meal plan for you and your family.
If you have not done this before, you will immediately notice the reduction in your food bill. If you want to learn more about meal planning, you would want to check out How To Meal Plan On A Budget.
Eliminate Spending Triggers
The best way to cut back on retail therapy is to eliminate spending triggers like catalog subscriptions, visiting retail websites, or going to the stores.
Find Free Entertainment
When you can’t spend money on entertainment, you will be surprised to find how much free entertainment is out there. Your public library alone is the best place to start.
Declutter Your Home And Sell Your Stuff
Spend the time to reorganize your home. You will be surprised how many items you’ll find that you no longer need.
Make some money out of these items by selling them on decluttr. They make it simple for you to make money out of your unwanted items.
How Much Money Can You Save With A No Spend Challenge
That my friend is a million dollar question!
The amount you can save from doing this challenge will depend on how much effort you would want to put into it. It will depend on how long the challenge will be and how much money you usually spend on non-essentials.
For example, if you and your husband normally spend $50 on dining out every Friday and spend $25 in movie theatres, that is $300 a month.
So if you decide that you will make a meal at home using what you already have in your fridge. Additionally, you’ll visit the library and borrow some movies. If you will do this for a month, you could be saving $300!
Final Thoughts On the Use of No Spend Tracker To Boost Savings
A no spend challenge is one of the most effective ways to build your savings and even pay off your debt. Not only that, it is also a great way to keep your mind and finance on track. And by using a no spend tracker, you will stay motivated seeing your progress towards your goals.
Are you ready to use you no spend tracker to start your no spend challenge?
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- How To Use Apps To Save Money On Groceries
- How To Save Money To Buy A House (When You Are On A Tight Budget