Unless it’s on Disney Jr. or Nick Jr. or Taylor Swift mentions it in the midst of one of her songs through the Bluetooth in my SUV, I don’t typically hear about it. With four small kids, I rely heavily on reading things online and hearing about the latest news in the world thanks to shared links on social media and through my local news source’s Facebook page. It’s not that I don’t care what’s going on in the world, it’s that I have four small kids who really don’t provide me much time to catch up on the mundane. When I began noticing people posting things about a “no spend day/week” on social media, I didn’t care.
When I realized that it seems as if everyone is posting about it, I thought I might check it out and see what the heck is going on and why no one is spending anything on any given day or week (is there something going on I don’t know about?). I quickly realized that it’s not some sort of stance against something crazy; it’s just a way for people to save money. I like it. I thought you might like it, too, so I went ahead, did some research and thought about how I can help anyone who wants to save some money do so by not spending anything today or all week. It’s up to you.
Start with a small goal
The point is to not spend money, obviously. But the point is also to get on track with your spending as a whole. It’s easy for us to spend a lot more than we thought we might on any given day thanks to the fact that we don’t bother with things such as budgets or small interferences with our budgets. The goal should start small, with a day. Let’s say you decide you will not spend anything at all tomorrow. In fact, you’re leaving the house without your wallet. Be prepared, however, to be prepared. You need things like gas and groceries, so either get them now or be prepared to buy the necessities.
Buy that gas, get the groceries you need to get you through the week and then get prepared. You’re going to need to do things like make your own coffee and breakfast in the morning, take your lunch with you to work and have something on hand to cook for dinner. Prepping in advance makes this much easier for all involved, to be quite honest. When you are prepared, you are less likely to spend no matter what you do.
Practice saying no
When a coworker asks you if you want to walk down the street to your favorite coffee shop for a bagel, say no. You don’t want to; if you can’t just say no, make yourself so busy that you actually cannot do it and therefore it is much easier for you to decline. You’ll have to say the same thing at lunch and for happy hour. If you are home with your kids, you’re going to have to tell them that they don’t get a donut this morning and that you’re not stopping for a Happy Meal on the way home from school.
Don’t forget the little things
Nothing can derail a no spend day like forgetting the little things. Let’s say, for example, that you promised the kids they could stay up and watch a movie with you tonight and they chose one that you have to rent. Either find a new movie to watch that doesn’t cost you anything, or use a coupon code to get a free movie from the redbox or something. You can easily forget about little things like this, such as handing over lunch money to your kids or whatever; don’t forget those things or you will feel as if you failed.
Do something to make money
The best thing about a no spend day is that you can do something to make money. You can sell some things you don’t need from around the house. You can start an online business, take on a freelance job or even update your resume and look for a job that pays better. It’s my experience that feeling as if I cannot do something makes me want to do it even more. Telling myself I’m not spending anything one day is like a prime invitation for me to buy all the things. I suddenly remember everything that I never needed that day.
However, when I tell myself I’m not going to spend anything but that I am going to make some money, I’m more likely to actually focus on that part inside of the not spending part. See what I’m saying? Find a new way to focus your energy and it might just work out for you a bit more.
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