The no-spend month challenge doesn’t mean you have to stay locked in your home eating beans on toast. Setting yourself a financial no spend challenge can be fun. It’s a good way to shake up your spending habits, test your saving willpower, and open your eyes to what really matters to you.
Not spending any extra money for a whole month may seem impossible, but you can do it. (The HyperJar team believes in you). This guide will show you how to successfully do the no-spend month challenge, the benefits of a no-spend month and no-spend month tips and tricks to help you smash your financial goals.
What is a No-Spend Month?
A no-spend month challenge is testing yourself not to spend any money on non-essentials for one month. You cut out all your unnecessary expenses and live frugally. The rule of the no-spend month is that you must only spend money on things that you need for one month. Think about what you spend your money on each month that you could challenge yourself to live without.
Necessary spending – rent/mortgage, transport costs, food, utility bills, phone bill, credit card payment, childcare, insurance
Unnecessary spending – social events, takeaways, meals at a restaurant, cinema, clothes, treats for yourself, takeaway coffee, holidays and impulse buying
Each person will have different financial responsibilities, so your list may look different to ours. If it helps you, approach it like a 30-day no-spend challenge and track it one day at a time.
You can find out more about the different types of spending in our blog on the most common personal budgeting categories.
What are the Benefits of a No-Spend Month Challenge?
A no-spend month challenge doesn’t have to feel like a chore; saving money by taking on a financial challenge can be fun. There are lots of benefits to curbing your spending that you may not have thought about. You won’t be paying attention to the material things; instead, you’ll be focusing on spending quality time with your loved ones and making the most of what you already have.
The main benefits of the no-spend month challenge are:
Saving money is one of the main benefits of the no-spend month challenge. You won’t be spending on anything except for your necessary expenses, so the rest can be saved. You can set a specific savings goal and save money for a holiday, a car, a new phone, or a house deposit. You can move the money you have saved into a HyperJar Jar easily and watch your savings grow.
This no-spend challenge will give you an insight into your spending habits so you can see where your money is going. You’ll have to have the discipline to complete this challenge and learn to cut back. Instead of impulse spending, you can use up the things you already have at home and declutter your space too. Minimalism could help you save money and declutter at the same time.
Creates a positive mindset
This challenge can kickstart a more positive money mindset. You can develop new healthy money habits that will benefit you long after the challenge is over. You can also relieve some stress or worry about your spending or saving by clearly understanding your budget.
Read more about the relationship between money and mental health.
Achieve financial goals
By taking on the no-spend month challenge, you can reach your financial goals quickly. Your short- and long-term financial goals can only be achieved if you focus and save your money. You can’t have your cake and eat it!
Want more fun and creative ideas to save? Read more about our fun saving challenges today!
How to be Successful in a No-Spend Month, 10 Tips and Tricks
A no-spend month sounds intimidating, but those 30 spend-free days will be a breeze with the right tips and tricks. Here are our 10 money saving tips for a successful no-spend challenge:
1. Choose the right month
You should be realistic when choosing which month to complete your no-spend month challenge. December is usually a no-go because of Christmas. You should also avoid months when you have a holiday booked or many birthdays or events. People usually go for January.
2. Research free activities to do in your local area
There are plenty of free activities in your local area. You can check online, in the local paper, or in Facebook groups to see what’s happening near you. Museums, Galleries and Theatres often have free events each month too.
3. Put your money away to reduce the temptation
Moving the money from your main account can help you to reduce the temptation to spend. You can keep your money safely stored in a HyperJar savings jar. You can use the payment control feature on your HyperJar account to boost digital willpower when you need it.
4. Get your friends and family involved
Get your friends and family involved and motivate each other. If you involve your friends and family in your no-spend challenge, you remove the temptation of them inviting you out for dinner or to go shopping because you’ll all be breaking your no-spend streak.
5. Remind yourself why you’re committing to a no-spend month
Why are you doing a no-spend month? If you want to track your finances, curb your spending, or save for something special, keep this in mind as the month goes on. Regularly remind yourself why you’re doing it to keep your no-spend month on track.
Having these goals in mind can help you remain focussed, like saving money for travelling. You can also listen to the best personal finance podcasts to help educate yourself and remind yourself why you’re doing the no spend challenge.
6. Track or monitor progress
You can track and monitor your progress with a no-spend month tracker. You could use a calendar format or a simple list. Create a no-spend month tracker on your phone or print one out so you can:
· Tick off each day as you complete it
· Mark down how much you have saved so far
· Monitor your progress to stay motivated
7. Treat yourself to a reward at the end of the month
Did you even complete a savings challenge if you don’t reward yourself at the end? You should reward yourself when you have completed your no-spend month challenge to celebrate. This could be a meal out, a trip to the beauty salon, a concert ticket, or anything you like.
8. Create a weekly or monthly food plan
Food is an essential expense, but you should try to lower the food budget costs where you can, especially as costs rise. You can keep on top of your weekly or monthly food bills by creating a meal plan and food budget. Plan the meals you will have each day in advance and only buy what you need. This will help you save money on food and reduce your food waste.
9. Socialise at home with friends and family
Instead of going out with friends and family, socialise at home instead. There are many fun ways you can socialise with your friends on a budget - you could have a game night, watch a movie, or just hang out together. By staying home, you still get to have fun with your loved ones, but you don’t have to spend any extra money.
10. Give yourself one free pass
You could allow one free pass during your month. This allows you a bit of wiggle room to spend on one day without breaking your no spend challenge, but only use it if you have to.
What Happens if you Break the Challenge?
Nothing will happen if you slip up during your no spend challenge. If you break your no-spend month challenge, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Just dust yourself off and start again. Take it as a lesson and understand why you broke it and what triggered you to spend that money.
Be kind to yourself. Sometimes unexpected costs happen, and breaking the challenge can’t be avoided. Even if you do break the challenge for a non-emergency, it’s not the end of the world. Simply start from day one again, or pick up where you left off. Even if you spend money one day, you’ll still save a lot of money overall.
While you may think this challenge is extreme, it’s a great way to refresh your money mindset and think about how you spend your money. It’s not a realistic long-term challenge, but it’s a great way to kickstart your savings and prove what you could live without. If a month-long challenge seems unrealistic, try committing to a no spend day challenge.
Now you know how to do the no spend month challenge; you just need to put your savings somewhere. HyperJar has a range of products and features to help you track and save your money so you can budget and save like a pro.