January. The first month of the year. For many, this means new diets and weight loss goals, new habits to form (or break), and ways to better themselves. They take on “New Year, New Me” as their personal mantra. Of course, we will always stand by and support those changes. However, we challenge you to a new one this year. A “No Spend Week”. And we ask, do you think you can do it?
What is a No Spend Week
It’s as simple as the name. You challenge yourself not to spend ANYTHING for an entire week. Say “no” to eating out, groceries, gasoline, movie purchases, shopping, app purchases, etc. It will be a great way to start the new year, especially if you are coming off a Christmas spending spree.
Planning for the No Spend Week
Obviously, we don’t want you to be in a situation where you can’t eat because you don’t have groceries or get to work because you are low on gasoline. So, understanding when this no-spend week should logistically happen is key. We realize that if you drive a short commute daily, this is easier said than done compared to someone with a long daily commute. But the concept is there. This means you only drive that week to work and spend on “work gas,” not gas to take you to and from “fun” places if possible. See what is on the calendar regarding personal engagements or kid schedules.
Get Creative on the No Spend Week
Again, we don’t want you to be hungry this week, but we also don’t want you buying excess the week before to “last you” through the no-spend week. The no-spend week is to help push you out of your comfort zone and get creative. This is a great time to use up things forgotten about in the freezer or buried back in the pantry. This can also go for activities.
Many towns do free weekend events, some museums are free entry, and never underestimate the sensory refueling being in nature at the park or a local trail can bring you. Pack sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, and have a fun day. OR make it a double feature no-spend week and do something constructive around the house to occupy any free time. Clean out that pantry or freezer you’re finding dinner from, go through closets, organize the basement, and who knows what you may find down there that you could potentially turn around and make a profit on. Make your “No-Spend Week” turn into “I Just Made Money Week.”
Remember, this is an exercise in self-discipline and delaying gratification of your “wants.” Don’t tell yourself, “It’s only a few dollars,” or even use a gift card because “it’s not my money I’m spending.” I know I have preached the usefulness of gift cards in previous articles and how it is a great way to spend money without it being money from your bank account, but in this circumstance, it defeats the purpose of the No-Spend Week.
See the Benefits
Challenge yourself to a week this month. As I’ve said, this week does not mean you spend more the week before or after to make up for it. The idea is to have no spending for a whole week to see how it can impact your budget and bank account.
So, again, we pose the question, can you do it? A no-spend week? Can this be your new mantra for 2024? Perhaps this becomes a monthly challenge. And you can say, “New Year, New Me, No-Spend Week.”
If you need help staying accountable, finding ways to save money, or being better with money management, speak with our financial coach to help get you on track! If you want to learn more about your finances, one of our advisors will gladly talk to you. We wish you all the luck in your financial endeavors this new year!