It’s March. It’s the start of Spring. I’m daydreaming of spring cleaning the house but then, again why stop there? Why not spring clean our finances too? I think one of the best ways to do this is to kick off the season with a no spend challenge. Now, if you’re on Pinterest at all with any sort of interest in personal finance, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Many bloggers have talked about the joys of saving with a no spend weekend, week, or month. Well, it’s my turn!
Over the next two weeks beginning Monday March 6th, I’m going on a spending freeze! Yay! So what does this mean for me exactly? Let me explain.
With every no spend challenge, there has to be set rules otherwise you’re just going to make excuses for the entire duration of the challenge. So, if you want to do this, I highly recommend sitting down, establish what is considered extra spending, and post the rules up where everyone can see it.
Lately, I’ve been spending about $150 a week on groceries and my husband isn’t even home right now! I’ve really enjoyed the healthy meals and snacks but I want to challenge my budget here. I want to to cut this down to $80 each week. This includes household goods and produce. This means no stops at the convenience store for milk because it’s crazy expensive and no unplanned trips. It also means some couponing, which you already know I’ve started doing again.
Total Savings: $140
This goes hand in hand with cutting back on groceries. If I’m feeling too lazy to cook dinner, well, too bad. I’m not going to order takeout. This also means the occasional Starbucks drink cannot happen. Honestly, this rule isn’t too tough for me. It comes down to combating laziness which I plan to do by cooking my meals ahead of time. Lately, this has been around $30 a week in extra spending.
Total Savings: $60
This one is pretty easy right now because daycare is temporarily much closer to us. Normally, I’d drive about 30 minutes to drop off our son and again to pick him up. I’m also not having to take my husband to and from work (we are a single car family). The challenging part comes back to not making extra, unplanned trips anywhere for the most savings. Typically we spend about $60 a week on gas. I’d like only spend about $40 each week. I’m definitely hoping for more but this kind of thing is hard for me to predict.
Total Savings: $40
I will not purchase any clothes, furniture, toys, entertainment, or spend on household projects for these two weeks.
Bills will always be paid on time, no matter what. This is not something that will ever be cut until we pay off our debts!
What other reason is there to do a no spend challenge other than to save money? Um, I really can’t think of anything unless you just enjoy torturing yourself. Kidding! Saving money isn’t torture… Anyway, here are some of the big reasons I’m doing a two week no spend challenge right now.
First and foremost, we need an emergency fund. It has been on my list for a while and honestly, I wanted to have this saved by the end of last month but it didn’t happen. Time to make it happen! I’d like an emergency fund of $1000 but for right now, I will be happy with $500 in savings. This way, we won’t be tempted to get into more debt should we be stuck in a bad situation. To save an emergency fund, I’ll have to save or earn and additional $250 each week.
Credit Card Debt
I’d absolutely love to pay off one of our credit cards, the one with the smallest balance of course. To do this in just two weeks, I’d have to save or earn and additional $240 each week!
I’d also like to pay off the accounts I have in collections. It’s so hard not to be embarrassed by that and this is my most ambitious goal. To do that in two weeks, I’d have to save or earn an additional $600 each week.
If you’ve already done the math, you’d have realized that my savings from this challenge WILL NOT cover everything I want to save for. That’s where my no spend challenge is different. Part of this challenge is hustling as hard as I possibly can in 14 days to make these things happen. It’s kind of a way to prove to myself (and you!) I can pay off debt quickly if I put my mind to it. So here’s to two weeks of saving and earning a total of $2,180! Remember, this additional income separate from what I usually make freelancing. I can’t wait to share the results!
Have you ever done a no spend challenge? Were you successful? Be sure to download my free No Spend + Hustle Hard workbook that will help you save!