I have a confession to make – I’ve been spending quite a lot of money in the past few months. And I don’t mean stuff I saved for like my trip to Mexico – I mean like spending $200 on makeup and $120 on a pair of Franco Sarto suede heels. I’ve spent so much money on beauty products I’ve been wanting to try this year that I hit VIB status at Sephora.
I know that neither expense is that much money in the world of beauty and shoes, and I also didn’t do this in lieu of my savings. I also really really love those damn shoes. But, to be honest, there is a bit of shame and guilt going on.
I feel like a fraud! I’m a financial blogger spending money on frivolous things.
I think part of what’s happening is pretty common. I spent years barely spending anything on myself because I always felt broke. I was underemployed back in the day and then I quit my job to pursue a business. You’re not exactly rolling in the dough when you do those things – at least not at first with a business.
Fast forward a few years and I’m starting to make money. I’ve made sure to put money away into savings and investments. I’ve also made sure to reinvest some of the money back into my business. But I’ve been spending whatever’s left over like water.
I’m starting to intuitively feel that I need to balance this out a bit, especially because I’m not really sure whether I’m falling prey to lifestyle inflation. So, I’m going to do something I’ve actually never done before – a No Spend Challenge.
It won’t be forever since you all know I’m not about deprivation. But, I do need to boost some of my cash savings so I figured this would be a good way to do it.
What is a No Spend Challenge?
A No Spend Challenge is exactly what it sounds like. You decide not spend money on unnecessary items for a set period of time. For example, let’s say you decide to avoid spending for 30 days. In those 30 days, you only spend money on necessities. Anything else needs to wait.
What happens during a No Spend Challenge?
During a No Spend Challenge. you may realize that you don’t even want the stuff you’d typically spend money on when you shop. Or, you realize you can live without it. This helps you start thinking before spending money.
What do you do with the money you’re saving?
It’s up to you to decide what to do with the money in a no spend challenge. I’m deciding to put the money into my emergency fund for a rainy day.
Throughout your No Spend Challenge, every time you stop yourself from spending on a non-essential item, immediately transfer that money over from your checking to your savings.
This will help you not only keep track of how much you’ve saved, but also make sure that you’re putting it into savings. There’s no point in saving money if it just sits in your checking account to get spent later.
What are some tips for being successful?
I want to make sure you’re super successful when undertaking your own No Spend Challenge, so here are some tips to help you out.
- Remove your credit and debit cards from online retailers.
- Unsubscribe to all the retailer newsletters you get.
- Get rid of that 1-click pay on Amazon.
- Put a note somewhere you will see it reminding you of your challenge and why you are doing it.
- Put that same note in your wallet so that every time you open it, you see it.
- Try the Touchstones of Freedom exercise by Kate Northup. Picture of mine is below.
- Find support. Get your friends and family involved.
- Remind yourself that this isn’t about deprivation. It’s about making sure you’re taken care of financially.
- Make some of the savings automatic. For example, I already found $39 I won’t be spending so I’ve made an automatic savings transfer for it.
If you follow these tips you’ll be more likely to succeed in your No Spend Challenge. Not only that, but you’re going to feel really good when you see that money in your savings account.
Want to join me?
I’m doing my own No Spend Challenge in the month of June and anyone is welcome to join me! Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates on how I’m doing with my No Spend Challenge. I’d also love for you to send me messages with your own wins.
Helpful Links and Resources That Add Value to This Podcast
- Podcast Episode : Are You Saving Enough Money? Here’s How to Tell
- Digit Review: How I Painlessly Saved Nearly $1,000 With Digit
- How to Pay Off Debt After An Emergency – Blog post from a couple of years ago where I talk about how I got myself into debt because I didn’t have enough money in emergency savings.
- Kate Northrup