With Christmas finally under wraps, your wallet may be craving a break. I know my bank account could use a little rest and relaxation before this New Year. The best way to do that is to do a no-spend day, weekend or, if you’re ready, a no-spend week.
What is a No-Spend Week?
A no-spend week is just as the name suggests. It’s a week during which you don’t spend any money. It’s a spending freeze for the given amount of time. It’s a step up from a no-spend day or weekend, but it’s a little easier than a no-spend month. No matter what amount of time you try, the only way for you to succeed is to be prepared.
Tips to Preparing for a No-Spend Week
- Meal plan and prep the day before to keep you from going out to eat or ordering in. This is a great time to clean out your pantry.
- Tell your friends and family that you are planning to go on a spending freeze, so they know not to randomly invite you out or tempt you with a shopping trip or drinks.
- Ask someone to check in. Accountability will help you with your no-spend week. Having someone to answer to will help you steer clear of spending during weak moments.
- Schedule the right time to have a no-spend week. If you have dinner plans, a vacation, or a meeting across town, those are all bad times to freeze your spending. the best time to do it is when you do not have any plans, or when you at least know you won’t be driving all over town. And on that note…
- Fill up your gas tank. You don’t want to be in the situation where you are all set to enjoy your weekend and you hop in your car and have no gas. Fuel is a necessity, and if you do not have it or run out of it, you will need to spend the money to get it. Be prepared.
- Take inventory. Besides gas, make sure you have enough of everything you need, including laundry supplies, toiletries, paper products, make up, etc. If there is anything you can’t live without for a week, refill your stick ahead of time.
- Get your errands done prior to your freeze. Pay your bills, get your oil changed, buy your groceries, pick up your prescriptions, etc. so you don’t break your freeze on things you need or need to get done.
- Equip yourself with prepaid gift cards or put some money aside for “just in case.” Accidents happen. Have some money ready in case something happens that causes you to spend a few bucks. While you’ll still be spending money, it won’t hurt as much if you already have money prepared to spend if you run out of gas, forget you lunch, etc.
- Make a list of free things to do so you aren’t tempted to go shopping, go to the movies, or spend other ways just because you are bored.
- Motivate yourself. Figure out what you will do with the money you spend and keep that as your motivation throughout the week. If it’s going towards something “boring” like an emergency fund or debt repayment, give yourself a little treat to look forward to after your week.
How do you prepare for a spending freeze?