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No Spend Challenge – How to have a No Spend day

The average person in the UK spends £588 per week to cover their living expenses such as food, rent, clothing, transport and others. Depending on your stage of life and financial circumstances, you may spend extra on health care, college tuition, childcare and others.

In 2020, the average household budget in the UK was £2,548 a month or £30,571 a year. Compared to 2019, expenditure on household bills increased by more than 0.4% in 2020. We all work hard for the income we receive. When it comes to developing good spending habits, a no spend day is the best technique.

What is a No Spend Day?

A No Spend Day is a challenge where you commit not to spend money on unnecessary things. For example, buying shoes, clothes or electronics just because they are on sale. As a challenge, No Spend Day is an excellent way to kickstart a big saving goal or help pay off your debts.

When you start and finish a No Day Spend challenge, you get to learn a lot about yourself and your spending habits. Spending is a natural part of living, and it’s not a bad thing. The bad thing about spending is that we buy stuff we don’t need. For example, we all feel the urge to eat out after a long day or go for a drink after work. Saying no to such habits enables you to find healthier ways to handle stress.

When you complete a No Spend Challenge, you can break addictions, and build healthier spending habits. No Spend Days can also help you break the cycle of living pay-check to pay-check.

How Do You do a No Spend Day Challenge

Here is how you do a No Spend Day Challenge.

Set a Time Frame…

How long do you want the No Spend Day challenge to last? You’re not restricted to challenge yourself for a day. You can extend the challenge for a week, month or even months. Please note, the length should be doable.

Doing a No Spend Day is easy. It starts to get difficult after five or seven days. If doing this for a week, you have to make hard decisions. Besides doing it for five or seven days, you can carry out the challenge on weekends. This will depend on your schedule.

The weekend is a time to rest and reward yourself for working hard all week. With all the free time, it’s easy to spend your money. If you have to go out, we suggest a free activity or event.

Get Your Necessities…

You’ll need to get necessities depending on how long you’re challenging yourself. If you’re doing a no-spend day, week or month with no grocery shopping, make sure you prepare ready freezer meals.

You should also prepare the necessary work and even outfits. Don’t forget to check the pantry, toiletries, cosmetics and kitchen items. If anything is running low, we recommend that you grab it before you start the challenge. This prevents temptation that will lead you to make extra shopping trips.

Understand Your Spending Habits…

Look at your past spending habits. Understanding your purchasing habits will help you break bad spending habits. This will enable you to create healthy ones.

Besides creating new healthy spending habits, you can prepare yourself to make hard decisions. Sleep deprivation and stress prevent you from making wise financial decisions. During your No Spend Days, schedule in self-care. This will boost brain and body health.

Set Saving Goals…

How much would you like to start saving every month? Would you like to save £1,000, £2,000, £5,000, £10,000 or more? It’s possible to save this and more. The key is to set realistic savings goals to propel you forward.

That means if you want to save £2,000 or more every month, but your income is £5,000, and monthly bills are £2,500, it’s unrealistic. If you’re making £5,000 and your expenses amount to £2,500 to £3,500 then you can save £500.

Track Your Progress…

We recommend having a No Spend Day worksheet to track your progress. The worksheet will allow you to cross off each day on a calendar. You can colour in piggy bank symbols or money symbols in a bullet journal so that you do not spend money.

Keep track of the money you’re saving on a savings tracker worksheet. Alternatively, you can download free printables for your No Spend Day challenge and savings goals.

How to Curb Your Overspending With No Spend Days

The following are ways to curb your spending habits with the No Spend Day challenge.

1. Bring a Packed Lunch With You to Work

It’s noon, and you’re starting to get a case of the munchies. What’s your solution? Typically, many people make an order on UberEats since it’s super easy and there are various options. When you order, you’re looking to pay close to £20 to £50. This includes fees, taxes and tips.

If you opt to bring your own lunch, for example, make your sandwich using ingredients from your local grocery store, you’ll save. This is because shopping at a local grocery store means buying ingredients for an entire week. As such, you’ll make healthier meals for lunch at work. It’s a no-brainer that packing your lunch is the better choice for your wallet.

Read: 27 Awesome Easy Lunches To Bring To Work

2. Make Your Coffee at Home

In the UK, people drink two cups of coffee per day. Only a tenth of people drink six or more cups each day. Weekly spending on coffee amounts to 42p per person. In 2020, consumers spent about £3.9 billion on coffee.

Brewing coffee at home doesn’t need to be difficult. With the right techniques, your homebrew can also be delicious just as the coffee served in cafes. A big part of what makes coffee taste delicious is the presence of aromatic elements in roasted coffee beans. Before you brew, use fresh coffee and grind it. This will ensure a flavourful cup of coffee each morning.

Read: 11 Tips for Brewing Better Coffee At Home

3. Invite your Friends to Dinner

The average Brit eats out 1.5 times a week spending up to £53 a meal. That equates to 25% of the average annual income. Millennials dine out more than people aged 55 years+ despite earning 30% more than millennials.

However, millennials eat more. In fact, they eat twice as much as their elders. Over half of millennials would rather have one expensive meal than three cheap ones. In contrast, 71% of younger diners would rather eat out cheaper than eating one lavish meal.

To have healthy spending habits, invite your friends to your home for dinner.

4. Avoid Shopping Centres

Have you ever wondered why you can’t find a clock anywhere in a shopping centre? This is because malls are typically designed to make you lose your sense of time. As such, you get to spend hours moving from one store to the next. This is why every trip to the malls results in you spending way too much than you set out to do.

For example, all you needed to buy at the shopping centre was a few lightbulbs, but you end up walking away with a bundle of shopping bags hanging from each arm. Shopping Centres make you spend more. In fact, architects call this the Gruen Effect or Scripted Disorientation. To avoid spending more at the mall, learn their tricks. This will enable you to control your spending.

5. Avoid Impulse Supermarket Purchases

Over 7.1% of people in the UK admit to impulse shopping every day. More than 1 in 5 say they make impulsive purchases every week, while 18.1% do so every three months.

To avoid impulse supermarket buys, we recommend ordering groceries online. You can shop from the comfort of your home and have your orders delivered right to your doorstep. If you opt to shop at the Supermarket, do not do so while hungry.

If you shop while hungry, you’ll end up with unnecessary items to satisfy your immediate craving. This is because when you’re hungry, you’ll reach for convenience items. Limit your shopping to a certain amount. It’s easy to spend more if you swipe a credit card. Instead of a credit card, pay in cash. Also, bring a set amount of cash.

6. Pay Your Credit Card Balances Early

Paying your credit card balances before the due date can lower your interest payments. This is because paying early leads to lower credit utilization. At a minimum, you should pay your credit card before its statement is due. Paying after the due date can result in hefty late fees. Generally, you’ll get charged a late payment fee of about £12. Always pay your credit card before the due date.

7. Loan Books for Free From the Library

On average, people spend between £15-£60 on books each month. Instead of spending a lot of money buying expensive textbooks, check out the books for free from the library. You can also check out the free section of the Google ebook store. You’ll find free books from various genres. The Internet Archive, Project Gutenberg and the Open Library also have a collection of free e-books such as Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein and many more. These books are available in HTML, Kindle, ePub and other text formats.

Final Thoughts

The No Day Spend challenge is an ingenious tool for cultivating healthy spending habits. From bringing your lunch to work to shopping for groceries online, all these decisions help you learn to save money. When you stop spending money impulsively, you’ll be on a journey to building wealth.