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Why it’s Important To Save Money with No Spend Days
We all know how to spend money. That’s never a problem right?
But have you tried going a day, a week, a month (or even a yeeeeaaaaaar) without spending at all? Sorry not sorry for the Friends reference 😅
Now I’m not talking about necessities like food, gas and medical appointments.
I’m talking about things like that daily takeaway coffee or bought work lunch every week.
And yes I’m using the classic “cut out coffee to save” in part of this post because I actually did this (one of many things) for a year and saved a lot.
$1,310.40 to be exact! It really does add up. But for all of the coffee lovers out there who love their daily latte habit and wouldn’t give it up for anything, I have a solution for you! Keep reading to find out how you can still have coffee in your life without spending a dime.
You might also be interested in these posts:
— 12 Lessons I Learned During a No Spend Challenge
— Sip, Sip, Hooray! How To Get FREE Starbucks Drinks!
— How To Save Money on Groceries in 2023!
A friend of mine and I also used to go out for lunch twice during a working week. It was our escape from the office when our boss was giving us a hard time.
I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point!
We would always order the same lunch special and not think too much of it. We’d split the bill which came to around $26 each.
Times that by two and that’s $52 a week. Times that by 52 weeks and that’s $2,704 a year!
Imagine if you put that money into a high yield interest savings account throughout the year?
At the end of the year you would have extra cash to spend on whatever you like! Things like Christmas presents, holidays or paying off debt.
Whatever you do with that cash, having an extra few grand a year is always welcome.
Remember that consistency is key!
1. Edit Your Budget
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with your finances, look at your budget and see where you can cut out non-essentials.
Some examples of these could be:
- Daily coffee
- Bought lunches
- Takeaway meals
- Clothing items (non-essential)
- Streaming services
- Non-essential grocery items
While it might take some getting used to, once you get yourself into good spending habits you will thank yourself!
You might like to start by adding two no spend days a month. Then, gradually increase that to say, four no spend days a month.
It might be easier for you to save during the weekdays, as these are generally more routine with work life.
So, if you find that it’s easier to spend less during the week, aim for one or two no spend days every week.
I find that even just being more conscious of what I’m spending my money on helps a lot. Giving it serious thought and asking myself is this a need or a want? Most of the time it turns out to be a want!
2. Plan Your Month
To prepare yourself for no spending, planning ahead is a must!
When looking at your calendar for the coming months, consider days where you might have an event to go to and budget for that event. For example, birthday party or work outing.
Remember you are trying to spend as little as possible. So, when you can have a no spend day, mark it in your calendar.
There will of course be days where you need to spend money. You might have a birthday coming up, need a hair cut etc. So wherever possible, budget for these days and mark them in your calendar.
An awesome way of spending money on gifts is by using gift cards. You can earn free gift cards from places like Survey Junkie.
I find it’s easiest to save during the week. So for me, I set out one day a week for grocery shopping so I’m not visiting the supermarket every day. Making lunches instead of buying them, snacks from home etc.
3. Swap This For That
I managed to save so much money with swapping out the items below. You’d be surprised at how much you can save when you do something like this.
- Gym Membership – I swapped my paid exercise classes for a free exercise app and now workout from home. I save $60 a month.
- Streaming Services – I used to pay for three streaming services because all three had different shows I wanted to watch. I made the decision to end two subscriptions because I didn’t really need three. I save $17.98 a month.
- Groceries – I started shopping at Aldi to save money on every day items. I save on average $100 a month.
- Phone plan – I ditched my expensive mobile phone plan and opted for a more affordable one which saved me heaps per month. I save approximately $55 a month.
- Hotels – I started staying at AirBnbs for vacations to save costs on accommodation. I save on average $40 per stay.
Even if you do some or all of the above temporarily to save for awhile, it’s a lot better than not doing it at all!
When you’re trying to save, you need to make small adjustments every month. Once you do you will start to see that you have extra cash you didn’t have before. Yay for saving!
4. Put Savings Aside
If you can put $10 into a savings account a week, you will have $520 at the end of the year. That’s without accruing any interest.
Personally, I know I was spending more than $10 a week on items I simply did not need. Realizing this helped me to put that money aside into a savings account.
You may not be in a position to put away $10 a week but if you can, even $5 is better than nothing.
If you can think of something that you can cut out, like a daily coffee, then put that money straight into your savings account.
It’s small at the beginning but adds up quickly. Unfortunately, the same way debt does!
There are hundreds of high yield savings accounts you can open to start accruing interest on your savings. And many have sign up bonuses just for creating a new savings account, so it’s worth shopping around to see what you can find.
5. Live Within Your Means
This may be easier said than done I know. Totally get it!
However, thinking twice about pulling out the credit card for something you know you can’t afford will help you in the long term.
If you can’t afford to go to the movies, consider staying home to watch a movie. It might not be as exciting but being disciplined is important while trying to save.
With a little thinking outside the box and looking at cheaper alternatives outside your main expenses, you will find that you can save in most areas.
While you’re on your new frugal living journey, you could check out Fetch Rewards, a free mobile app that pays you to shop.
How does Fetch Rewards, well, reward you?
The way it works is you earn points on your purchases by submitting your receipts through the app. You can then redeem those points for free gift cards.
6. Invest Your Spare Change
Got some spare change sitting in a coin bank on the shelf?
Investing your spare change for as little as $5 can help boost your money in the long run.
Acorns is a micro-investing platform that you can invest your spare change left over from day to day purchases. And you can start with just $5.
Set up an account within minutes and start to build your own portfolio by investing in stocks or bonds.
Acorns allows you to invest in:
- Over 7000 stocks and bonds in top companies
- ETFs (Exchange-traded funds)
- Asset classes
Acorns is very secure with their security at bank level so you don’t need to worry about your money’s safety. They have 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication. As well as that they also have detailed articles and videos to help you understand the variations of investing.
If you want to start investing your spare change today, you will receive a $10 sign up bonus using this link.
7. Track Your Expenses
Something that I must share that really helped me while I was trying to save was tracking my expenses through a finance tool called Empower (formerly Personal Capital).
For starters, it’s FREE and very user friendly and easy to navigate, something that I appreciate!
Some of the features of Empower for personal budgeting are:
- Getting a clear picture on your spending vs your income
- Discovering areas that may be opportunities to save
- Personalize your budget using their budget categories
- Easily track your budget across all devices
It may come as a surprise to see where most of your money is going!
If you are wanting to plan for an emergency fund and make progress towards paying off debt, I highly recommend getting started with this free tool.
8. Take Surveys & Use Cash Back Apps
While you’re trying to save and may have some spare time on your hands, taking online surveys can earn you some decent pocket money and rewards.
I would take surveys on the go as a lot of them took me just a few minutes to complete. Or, I would spend some time at home for the more lengthy ones to earn more rewards.
My top 3 picks for survey sites are:
If you’re interested in taking surveys for cash you can read my in-depth post on the Top 10 Best Paid Survey Sites To Make Money From Home In 2023.
💡 Survey Junkie is a highly rated and trusted survey site used by millions!
👉 Sign up now and start earning from an extensive gift card selection, or transferring points to PayPal cash.
Why not get cash back on your every day purchases too? Here are some great cash back apps to download to save on groceries and more:
9. Get Creative With Your Spending
While I was completely committed to my no spend weeks, I had to think of new ways to work with what I had. As well as ways to avoid spending cash.
I want to mention here some of the ways I got creative with my spending habits, and they may help you too!
Some of these were:
- Visiting the library to hire books
- Subscribing to podcasts
- Organizing regular walks with friends to a different destination each week
- Order groceries online instead of in-store to avoid overspending
- Sell your stuff you no longer need or use
- Cook recipes using up what’s already in your pantry
- Take homemade coffee on outings
- Cook at home instead of eating out
- Take surveys to earn rewards and join research groups
- When traveling, book Airbnb’s instead of hotels and save
- Workout from home or go on walks with a friend
- Shop at thrift stores for clothes – you can find some hidden gems!
I hope this post helps you to think about where your money goes and how you might be able to save.
It’s not easy, but as I mentioned if you get into good spending habits it will all add up and you’ll be glad you did.
Thinking long term really helps. Happy saving readers! Let me know in the comments if you found these tips helpful or if you have any questions at all.
Related post: How To Stop Living Paycheck To Paycheck in 2023
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