The no-spend challenge, “not buying anything” month, spending freeze – whatever you call it, these initiatives are supposed to help you save unnecessary expenses. To complete the challenge, you simply don’t purchase items that you don’t need.
Of course, it’s more difficult than it looks like. You might find yourself adding unnecessary items to your shopping basket at the grocery store or stopping at a convenience store to get a snack. It may sound like a “not spending any money” challenge wouldn’t work, but it’s easy to spend money.
Don’t worry! Here, we will show you how to set up a spending freeze in a way that will really work for you.
This will teach you the tips and suggestions you can use to avoid overspending. I’ll also offer spending freeze challenge examples that will get you started.
What is a spending freeze?
It’s a personal challenge you make to yourself to spend less money on things you don’t need. While there is no universal definition for the concept, it generally means only purchasing necessities for a set amount of time.
For example, many people choose to spend less money on a daily or monthly basis. They choose not to eat out, spend money on entertainment, and buy unnecessary items for an entire month. They will still spend money on necessities, such as rent or groceries.
Benefits of not spending
The most obvious benefit of freezing your spending is saving money when you shop by cutting out unnecessary items. Cutting out expenses lets you save more money. This money can be saved for financial reasons or for other purposes, such as paying off debt.
Additionally, ceasing spending habits may provide emotional benefits, too. No-spend challenges frequently require you to examine emotional reasons for overspending.
Many people, for instance, may waste while feeling jealous or upset. As you complete your assignment, you may find it more challenging to remain focused on it during particular times, events, or emotions.
Another positive aspect of a spending challenge is the confidence you gain from accomplishing it. A no-spend challenge is not always simple, but completing it can help build your confidence. You’ll be better equipped to take charge of your finances.
Your no-spend challenge would not be a “challenge” if it were too easy. Many people who try to cut out needless spending find themselves falling back into old habits before the challenge is over.
How to do a spending freeze
Not spending a fixed amount of time is a straightforward test that anyone can try.
One of the best aspects of a no spend challenge is the opportunity to customize it to your liking. In fact, customizing your challenge is an important part of making it successful.
Not everyone has the same income, spending habits, or discipline to complete the same task. For example, someone who spends a lot of money on entertainment will need to find things to do that cost nothing.
A person who doesn’t spend a lot of money on entertainment might not have a hard time cutting out those expenses.
5 Tips to make your spending freeze successful
There are a few tricks you can use to improve your chances of success in a spending challenge. Use these suggestions to set yourself up for victory.
1. Determine your “why”
Knowing the motivating reason for your purchases is one of the major hurdles to online success.
These are great locations to begin.
These reasons are vague, which may be why it is difficult to keep your challenge.
Why do you want to do this challenge? Is there something specific you hope to accomplish?
As an example:
Your objectives can remind you of your mandate, especially when it proves challenging to continue. If you find yourself tempted to purchase something that isn’t necessary, you can go back to your goals for motivation.
2. Make sure you have your essential needs stocked at home
Much of this idea is buying supplies in advance. When you’re trying to minimize your expenses, you shouldn’t buy toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, and other essential items halfway through the challenge.
These supplies are only available a few times per month or even per year so they’re something you could forget when beginning your challenge.
As you prepare for your expedition, make sure you stock up on items like toilet paper and toiletries. Stock up on any that are running low or could run out during your mission.
3. Set rules
While it is true that extreme no-spend rules are challenging to follow, not everyone can manage cutting out unnecessary expenses for an entire week or even a month. This makes it difficult for many people to finish tasks, resulting in many abandoned tasks.
Fortunately, your concern is about you. You get to determine the rules, guidelines, and parameters to follow.
responsibility for your freeze is your own. And since you know yourself the best, you can customize your experiment for the ideal level of difficulty.
Use these common freeze guidelines and customize them as needed.
4. Choose the right time
Timing your spending freeze can determine whether it is successful or not. A well-timed freeze increases your chances of completing it.
December, for example, can be a more strenuous month to produce this revenue. Holiday and end-of-the-year celebrations result in higher expenditures.
You may have a long list of holiday gifts to buy. Perhaps you plan to travel to visit relatives for the new year. Small amounts of money can accumulate quick when you’re trying to save expenses.
Selecting a time when you are not inclined to spend any money could make the fundraiser “too easy.”
For example, you select a one-day no-spend challenge. You choose a day when you have no plans and stay at home. You probably already had the money to spare today, so it probably wasn’t much of a hassle.
5. Make time to analyze your results
Freezing your spending can help you cut down on your costs – temporarily. They are not intended to be long-term fixes to financial problems. Most people return to their old spending habits once the challenge is over.
However, you can use your savings freeze as a valuable chance to evaluate your spending and saving habits. One way to do so is by keeping a diary throughout your challenge.
By reflecting on what went well and what did not, you can gain insights into your spending habits that will lead to long-term changes.
After your meal, ask yourself these questions to get a better understanding of your overall spending habits:
Spending freeze challenge examples
Most spending freezes are determined by how long the process takes to complete. For example, a one-month spending freeze is a common way to complete the task.
However, you can configure the metrics of your campaign to your liking. You may want to stop purchasing certain items until you reach a certain point in savings, for example.
Start easy with a no-spend day
A fast way to get started is to try a no-spend day challenge. This kind of short challenge is best done during a day when you expect to be out. A typical workday in the office is a good option.
You save a significant amount of money in a single day by simply not eating out at lunch and not buying coffee at Starbucks. This also includes avoiding midday meals.
Stop spending for seven days
A week-long challenge adds nominal difficulty. You have to get through a weekend without unnecessary spending.
Pick an average week for your challenge. For example, a vacation or a music festival might not be a good choice during the week. Just like in the all-day challenge, a regular work week and weekend is most productive.
Items you could cut out of your weekly schedule include eating out at your workplace, stopping off at a favorite boutique on the way home, or going out to eat and seeing a new movie for date night.
Don’t spend for a month
A month without expenses is the longest you should try. Anything longer than that leads to exhaustion and feelings of failure.
While a month is grueling, it is certainly possible. Give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding by choosing a month with a passive social calendar.
The 2019-2020 winter season has loaded up with events, which can make participating in the 2019-2020 Stube Challenge difficult. If you plan to participate, pick a month with four weddings, three family birthdays, and two planned nights out.
January is a popular time for monthly spending freezes because you can gain a fresh start at the beginning of the year. It can also help you keep any savings goals you set.
Modified spending freeze challenges
There’s no need to eliminate all of your spending during a specified timespan for an effective spending freeze. Specifying what you’re cutting spending helps you enjoy your freeze (and make it productive).
Stumped on what metrics to use? Consider one of these types of spending freezes for your challenge:
Celebrate your successful spending freeze
Finishing a budgeting challenge is one of the most fulfilling feelings in money management. It shows you that it is possible for you to live on less and wield control over your finances.
As soon as you finish your shift, celebrate your achievements. Give yourself a treat, such as a nice dinner out.
However, don’t waste all the money you saved on your trip. Instead, invest that money in your savings account, investment portfolio, or by paying down debt. Then look for other ways to reduce costs, such as saving $5,000 in three months.