Saving is a necessity if you ever want to improve your finances, prepare for the future, or build wealth. It’s certainly a hot topic as everyone scrambles to find new and interesting ways to save and cut down expenses whether it’s a cheaper phone or cable bill or a sale, discount, or cash back rewards program.
If you ask me we’re all forgetting the most important, most effective (not to mention the easiest) way to save. Stop spending money on stuff period! It’s a pretty obvious conclusion that if we stop spending money on various things every day, we will instantly save a nice chunk of money. When you really think about it do we really need to spend money every single day? For me the answer is no as I’m starting to realize I can get by just fine without making a daily purchase.
The best way to train yourself to stop spending period is by having a No Spend Week. It’s simply the best way to save money by far!
Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality. In turn, it allows freedom from the passion to possess more and more things. Minimalists are simplistic and prefer not to deal with lots of clutter and material possessions. Thus, reducing the desire to purchase many items makes them ideal savers 🙂
I woudn’t really consider myself a true minimalist just yet but I do understand and respect this unconventional way of thought.
I say unconventional because Americans at least, are trained from birth to consume everything from goods to electronics to food and everything in between. Consumerism keeps the economy going but it leaves us all with a house full of crap wondering Do I really need all this stuff? That’s when we get shows like “Clean House” and “Hoarding: Buried Alive” where the people look so depressed and unfulfilled with their lives.
My weakness is clothes shopping but then what’s that popular saying? All dressed up and nowhere to go. Yup. I realized that relationships and experiences are more important to me than things and I’m ok with not having the newest and the best of everything. (Plus, I’ve started a 6 month shopping ban that I’m super excited about. Details coming soon!)
The Best Way to Save Money is By Having a No Spend Week
Now that we’ve explored the idea of living with less stuff, it’s time to plan and have a no spend week to generate instant savings.
1. The first thing you need to do is determine how intense your no spend week will be. While spending absolutely nothing the entire week would be ideal, there might be some necessities that need to be funded. I usually set aside my gas money for the week so I can get to work and continue to pay bills if their due date falls during my no spend week. But as far as anything else goes, my wallet remains closed until further notice.
2. Next you’ll need to take some time to plan when your no spend week would work best for you. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend choosing a week where there won’t be any major events like holidays or birthdays that will tempt you to spend.
3. Finally, you’ll need to prepare yourself mentally as well as plan out how you will navigate through your week without making any purchases. Figure out what type of food you’d like to eat and the free things you can do in or near your home to keep busy. Make it fun and invite your whole household to try a no spend week with you for added support.
Ban the Store and Make it Easy on Yourself
During a no spend week, you should avoid heading to the store at all costs. That way you won’t be tempted to buy anything. Just by not going to the store or buying any takeout you will save plenty of money, especially if you dine out normally, and you will have the opportunity to question those random impulse purchases you make every week.
Don’t Defeat the Purpose
Stocking up on extra goods the week before or after will only defeat the purpose of having a no spend week. The idea is to use your resources you have and keep your cabinets stocked all the times. If you get into the habit of planning meals that will help a lot. It’s also helpful to budget your essentials or home expenses each month and build up a good stock of toiletries and other essentials all the time.
That way, when you stop spending money for a week, you won’t feel like you’re down to the bare essentials. In the following weeks, it’s crucial that you resume following your monthly budget like normal. Just having a little self-control will prevent you from overspending to make up for the time you didn’t spend anything.
Having a no spend week forces you to be creative and work with what you have. This could mean trying out new recipes to diversify your meals, making gifts, defining new ways to entertain yourself and finding better ways to spend time with loved ones. The creative ideas you come up with during your no spend week will continue to help you save money long after the week is over.
Have you ever has a No Spend Week before? If so, how did it turn out?
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