8 No Spend Challenge Rules (With Free Printable Tracker)

Do you need help with saving, budgeting, and achieving financial targets? Does your money run out before the month’s end? Looking for no-spend challenge rules?

Many people fail in no-spend challenges because they need more knowledge. Read an article to learn the best no-spend rules, tips, and valuable information.

What is a No-Spend Challenge?

 A no-spend challenge means an individual decides not to spend money on non-essential items within a specified period. It includes basic food, monthly bills, medical care, and gas. After completing a challenge, you can pay off debt, control the budget, and save money in your accounts.

People can create targets for the short term, medium term, or weekend. Target a specific category instead of freezing spending on all expenses. For example, if you spend a lot of money online shopping or dining out, decrease overspending by using the no-spend challenge. As a result, you won’t order anything online or make meals at home. 

Moreover, saving money will not make you rich, but you can easily save a lot of cash by using a challenge once or twice a month. John Davison Rockefeller states, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”  

No Spend day ideas

No Spend Challenge 2024 Rules

Rules are necessary to achieve success. Customize goals according to budget or needs. You can use others’ rules or get help from a partner who motivates or keeps you accountable. Here are the eight best and most common rules which anyone can follow to freeze spending for a specific period.

  • Firstly, know you’re ‘why.’
  • Secondly, choose a timeframe.
  • Thirdly, set pre-planned ‘cheat’ days.
  • Fourthly, don’t include necessary spending. 
  • Fifthly, eat from the pantry before grocery shopping or buying basic domestic supplies.
  • Sixthly, during the challenge, never go on a shopping spree 
  • Seventhly, if you slip up, don’t quit the challenge.
  • In the end, after the completion of the challenge, use the remaining money to pay down debt or put in savings.

What are you saving for?

The first step for a no-spend challenge is to know your ‘why.’ People save money for debt repayments and financial stability. You have to face many difficulties while sticking to a plan. If you are struggling, keep yourself motivated and never quit the challenge. Achieve the target with proper planning. 

How long will your spending freeze last?

Well, it depends on how much time you want to freeze spending. You can create a challenge for a short or long period. However, many people choose a challenge for a different span. Here are the common no-spend challenges.

24-Hour Rule:

In a 24-hour rule, people wait a full day to buy unnecessary things. They swear not to spend during the challenge on clothes, electronics, makeup, Amazon purchases, books, hobby gear, etc. 

One-Week Rule:

This rule is the same as the 24-hour. In the one-week rule, you must wait for seven days instead of one day. It is good to stop spending money on big items such as a Peloton, an inflatable kayak, a new phone, a GoPro, and other expensive items. 

No-Spend Day:

In a no-spend, people try not to spend within a specific period. During the challenge, they buy nothing outside and only use the things available at home. On the no-spend day, save money by avoiding Starbucks, a bag of chips, or Amazon purchases

No-Spend Weekend:

It means spending nothing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Many people spend a lot on weekends, so this challenge is good because it forces them to save money at weekends and spend less.

No-Spend Week:

People spend nothing on unnecessary items for seven days in a no-spend week. They make a list of all necessary items and purchase them before the start of a challenge. They don’t use a debit or credit card for a week.  

30-Day No-Spend Challenge:

It is helpful to save for long-term purchases if you make 28 days no-spend habit. This challenge requires a lot of focus and determination. The results are super if you stick to them. 

90-Day No-Spend Challenge:

A 90-day no-spend is a real lifestyle change challenge that allows you to live one-fourth of a year without wants. 

No-Spend Year:

Saving more cash and transferring it into an account or pocket. Instead of cutting back on all the items, you can choose one category to cut out, such as dining out, clothing, Amazon deliveries, books, electronics, etc.

Things Allowed in a No-Spend Challenge

Dog Food
Debt payments
Free entertainment
Charity Donations
Transportation expenses

  Things Not Allowed in a No-Spend Challenge

Restaurant meals
Cable/Streaming TV
Salon services
Paid entertainment
Home Decor
Hobby gear
Lottery Tickets
Other ‘wants’

No Spend Challenge: Keys to Success

Most people failed in the no-spend challenge because they needed to follow a plan. Below are the tips to keep on track and become successful.

Know the Difference Between Wants vs. Needs:

The first step is knowing the difference between needs and wants. Needs are the necessities for survival, such as food, clothing, shelter, air, and water.

In contrast, wants are desires people use to improve living standards. It includes designer clothing, travel, gym memberships, coffeehouse drinks, and entertainment. Compared to needs, it is easy to live without wants.

Plan to Succeed:

Always make a plan to succeed because if you plan to fail so, you will never get good results. A positive attitude is the primary difference between failure and success. An accountability partner from your friends or family keeps you motivated, which is an excellent way to freeze spending. 

If You Fall Off the Wagon:

Winston Churchill states, “Success is not final: failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that count.” Instead of spending, consider different ways to generate more money. 

  • Control spare change
  • Sell unused items
  • Start a blog
  • Start a side hustle
  • Use the Ibotta app to save money during online shopping.

How can I stop spending money?

Here are the popular tips you can take to stop spending.

  • No manicures or salon
  • No toys
  • Don’t use a credit card for shopping
  • No entertainment purchases
  • In a challenge, don’t use an Amazon Prime account 
  • Use an items list while shopping and stick to it.
  • Motivate yourself to achieve a new goal
  • Stop spending at restaurants
  • Avoid temptation
  • Shop necessary items with a specific goal
  • Don’t purchase clothes and other accessories
  • Learn money management technique
  • Don’t go through the drive-thru

Steps you can Take to Break Your Bad Spending Habits

  • Think before making a purchase.
  • Include all the yearly spending on unnecessary purchases. 
  • Calculate the working hours required to pay for any item.
  • Keep an emergency bag with snacks and bottled water.
  • Avoid window-shopping
  • Use paper money instead of cards.

How can I do a Spending Freeze when I have kids?

Below are the tips to keep a no-spend challenge with kids.

Be Honest:

Tell your children why you have decided to complete a challenge and assure them you are not spending extra money. 

Get them Onboard:

Kids always feel happy if you give them a more significant role or include them in a major discussion. For example, if your kids are old, you can give them the role of an accountability partner. They always remind you to keep on the challenge and freeze spending.

Keep them Entertained:

Entertainment keeps everyone fresh and plays a vital role in keeping them healthy. During the challenge, choose free entertainment activities when you want to spend on something other than paid entertainment.

Free entertainment includes coloring contests, visiting farmer’s markets, bike riding, camping, playing board games, etc. 

Learn to say “No”:

Completing all the kids’ wishes is challenging, so learn to say no when they demand non-essential items. Find different free creative and unique solutions to resolve their issues. 

How to Plan Your No-Spend Challenge?

Here are the easy steps to customize your no-spend challenge.

Create a Goal:

Having a goal motivates me to stick with a challenge. Create a goal for how long you will freeze spending. There is no hard and fast rule to choosing a goal. For example, some plan zero spending for weekends, weeks, or months.

It all depends on you for how long you will be stuck on it. Always create a realistic plan that you can easily achieve because including impossible things in your plan is risky and creates a negative effect.

Create a Meal Plan:

Nowadays, people spend a lot of money on dining out. Control your food budget by following the no-spend challenge. The prices of housing, utility, and other necessary expenses won’t change, but the meal costs change and affect a lot.

It is essential to plan everything before ordering because a single mistake can derail you from your goal. Instead of dining out, plan to cook meals at home, find easy recipes, and ensure all the ingredients are available before starting a challenge.

Plan for Entertainment

Before starting a challenge, find different free entertainment activities. For example, look free resources, prepare favorite meals at home, go for a hike, watch yoga videos, etc. 

Keep Yourself Busy During Your 30-DAY No-Spend Challenge

  • Enjoy outdoor time at a park
  • Play your favorite video or board game
  • Go for a bike ride, rollerblade, walk, or run. 
  • Garden
  • Relax for a while
  • Organize house
  • Put together a puzzle
  • Try a new recipe with a partner in the kitchen 
  • Book reading
  • Visit local museums in your free time
  • Exercise
  • Visit friends or family
  • Visit the library
  • Watch a movie

What should I do with all the money I save?

Transfer all the extra money to a separate account you save through the no-spend challenge. Then use the money for debt repayments. 

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Jessica joined savvybudgetnow in 2022 as a Content Analyst. An MBA-Finance graduate from Alaska Pacific University with three years of experience. She is a seasoned content writer specializing in finance niches and has worked as a content writer with Yahoo Finance, adding to her extensive expertise. Follow her on Twitter (@JessicaArn97) and LinkedIn (@jessica-arnold-53132120b)

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