One Week Of No Spending
This past week, I decided to challenge myself by hitting pause on spending. What did this mean? It means aside from the necessary things—gas, dog food, and therapy—I didn’t spend money. How did I manage it?
I planned and prepared my meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—on Sunday.
I packed lunch and for work so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy lunch.
I made my coffee at home every morning.
Anytime I was tempted to spend, I checked my bank account and reminded myself of the reasons I chose to go through a no-spend week: so I can create an emergency fund, so I can save for my birthday trip to Disney World, so I can dedicate more time to the things I am passionate about, and so I can provide my pets a good life.
I’ll be honest: I had a nail appointment on Friday. While not a necessity, my nails have become one way I feel put together, so I do budget for those “personal” categories. And this appointment, though it fell in this week, was no different.
So, even though I did spend money on a select few things, how do I know this helped to save any money? The obvious is because I saw that my account didn’t change daily. But there are other ways.
I managed to transfer money into savings without setting myself back.
Since I would purchase something from work maybe two or three times a week, at roughly $8 each time, I saved at least $16 because I was consistently bringing my lunch.
Coming out of my own no spending challenge, I feel so much better about tackling my debt, about saving, and about budgeting in general. The week felt a bit like a reset. It also helped me feel better about, and ready to commit to, tithing at church. I stopped tithing because I was so worried about finances, but this week made me realize that I can sacrifice a little to support what I’m passionate about.
If it feels like your spending is out of control, or even if you just need a financial reset to re-evaluate your budget, I recommend pausing spending for a week. And be sure to set yourself up for success: plan ahead and use the resources available to you. It may end up being just what you needed.
Have you ever intentionally paused spending for a week? How did it feel? How did you do?