My No Spend Challenge was an absolute blessing. At first, I thought it was going to be a pain to take on, but it ended up being truly eye-opening. Instead of missing items I normally overspent on, I found that they were unnecessary. I realized that I don’t budget enough for what I need and the things I do want to spend on aren’t excessive but meaningful to me. This leads to my next points: What were my rules and how did I do? Well, dear reader, read on!
My No Spend Challenge Rules
Before I dive into what I learned from the challenge, let’s discuss my rules for the challenge. I did a bit of research before setting rules for myself. I didn’t want to follow someone else’s version of the No Spend Challenge, I wanted to have an experience that was entirely unique to me. These are the rules I followed for my No Spend Challenge:
- No spending outside of my set budget. That means no touching savings for purchases I want to make unless it’s an actual emergency.
- All money saved is 100% allocated to an emergency fund.
- Outside of the extra spend expenses previously allocated, I am to put monies normally allocated for spend into the emergency account.
- No spending on the credit card!
Different from other spend challenges I’ve seen online, my challenge allowed me to spend money on bills, needs, planned outings (keyword planned outings), but I did not allow myself to budget for willy-nilly spending.
Did I follow my No Spend Rules?
Here we are, the moment of truth: Did I follow my no spend challenge rules or nah? Well, the answer to that is a solid yeah. Yeah meaning I spent outside of my budget for a few willy-nilly purchases, but I saved a crap ton of money.
Let’s break it down:
- Yes, I spent extra money and yes I spent on my credit card, but it made me realize that I need to allocate money for spending on family. I love to treat my family and friends when I feel compelled to. In future budgets, I will set aside a few bucks to do so.
- When I don’t have spend money regularly available to me, I don’t feel the need to buy. It blows my mind the simple psychology of money. When I budgeted for spend money, I felt the need to spend it just because (mind you it was for frivolous items). When I decided to nix that part of my budget and take a moment to analyze what I wanted to spend money on, I spent less. Mind blowing!
- There were some areas in my budget that are short for my needs. I spent a little more than budget to cover groceries or other items and for next time, I am going to add $20 or so to my budget.
What did I learn overall?
I did my absolute best for this challenge and overall, I realized I could be saving waay more than I even remotely think. I have goals, desires, and dreams and if my money is not actively going toward them, I am not spending point blank. Setting a budget is not about restricting fun. I truly believe the opposite! You can have fun and buy what you want with the knowledge that you planned your purchases. I felt more secure when I planned my buys and allocated my needs. I couldn’t shake feeling out of control when I didn’t.
Tell me dear reader, would you do a no spend challenge? Have you tried one before? Let me know in the comments below and follow our social pages!