20 May 2010

No Spend Challenge

I think it’s time for a No Spend week. Can you live without spending for a week? We haven’t had a No Spend challenge for a while and this is just for one week, seven short days.

The rules are simple: no spending unless it is essential. You can pay your regular bills that fall due this week and buy your groceries (as long as you stick to the list), as long you have the cash to pay for them.

Because this No Spend challenge is going to be a little different. Cash only. No credit cards, no debit cards, just old fashioned cash.

Here are some tips that will make your spending freeze easier:

Register in the comments field below and tell us how much you are hoping to not spend. Then keep us up to date with your progress. This is important, we all want to know how well you are doing and if you post regularly you'll be able to see how we are getting on too. Bookmark this page so you can find it again easily.

Have a Plan
Planning is the key to surviving and thriving during a spending freeze. Planning ensures you cover everything you need to get through: lunches, groceries, drinks, having enough petrol in the car etc. Planning and knowing what's happening will let you prepare ahead of time and find no spend alternatives to those "spend, spend, spend" situations.

Get Your Cash
After you've planned your no spend week go to the bank and get the cash you'll need. Remember, no plastic this week. You might find it easier to actually go into the bank and get your cash in a variety of denominations. Divvy up the cash according to your anticipated expenses (aren't you glad of those smaller denominations now?) and put each amount into a labelled envelope or ziplock bag. Then when you need to spend, you can take the money from the right bag.

Stop Spending
Seriously, stop spending money - no clothes, magazines, toys, makeup, computer bits and bobs, shoes etc. For seven days use your money to pay the essential living expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, food - bare bones basics, fares/petrol) and see just how much is left over at the end of the week. You must bank the leftover money - it is not saved until it is safely in the bank it is just not spent.

Track Your Spending
If you track your spending already, fantastic. Pat yourself on the back. If you don't, start today. Get a notebook (any notebook or piece of paper will do) and write down every cent you spend for the next seven days. Write down what you bought and how much it cost. Do this so you can see exactly what you are spending your money on.

Good luck. I can't wait to see how you do.


  1. I'd like to register for the No Spend Week. Hope to save at least $100.

  2. Welcome Pam, $100 sounds good! Do you have plans for it?

  3. I'd like to register, I hope to save $75. I'm trying to build up my savings after moving house, fixing my cars' alternator and my washing machine blowing up all in the last 3 months!

  4. I'm in! I have just started doing the 'cash only' thing every week (been three weeks now!) - have occasionally needed to use the debit card (I don't have a credit card!) so hoping to have change left over from my cash amount and not spend any other!! That would be saving enough for a start!

  5. I will have a go, first time I have done this, so I would like to save $50.00 this no spend week. Just hope hubby will come onboard with it.

  6. Would like to join. I am hoping to save at least $40. Not much I know but in the last two weeks I have had to clear out my saving/bills account and now only have $1.11 to fall back on in times of trouble :(

  7. How did everyone survive their first day? It was a stay-at-home day for me, apart from doing the school run. Not even an opportunity to spend money!

  8. Well the weekend is over. I'd love to know how everyone went with "no spending" over the weekend. Did you just stay home? If you went out did you find free activities? How did you manage the snacks and drinks if you went out?

    I did go out for coffee, but I used a voucher for a free cappucinno and sat and enjoyed a nice long chat with a couple of friends. We met straight after lunch so I wasn't even tempted to buy something to nibble on.

  9. Talk about tempted!! I went to Good Guys with a friend over ther weekend and they had a HUGE sale on! My laptop died a couple of weeks ago and even though they had exactly what I needed (with 20% off) I did not purchase! I still have $40 cash in my wallet! not bad for a whole week!! It was great to not need to use the card too!! Hope everyone else went well!!

  10. hi cath i did join u but not registered... i end up spending so much in my non spending week!!! i spent my 150 allowance for the forthnight ( when to spotlight,k-mart and target) i need to resist temptation i am going to do it again starting monday... ill try and try until ill get used to it!


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