I first heard about no-spend challenge from an episode of the Stacking Benjamins podcast where Joe, OG, and the gang interviewed Jen Smith from Modern Frugality about how implementing No Spend Challenge helped her to compensate for budget flubs.
What is a No Spend Challenge?
When I googled about "No Spend Challenge", I found that there were many other bloggers who did the challenge for different reasons.
For some, a No Spend Challenge could help to reset their budgets after overspending on a vacation, or to get back on track from spending on an unexpected expense. A No Spend Challenge can also be a great way to kickstart your savings or debt repayment on things like outstanding credit card debts with the money saved from the challenge.
I decided to challenge myself with a No Spend Week Challenge to reduce this month's expenses as I purchased a nice tea set that wasn't budgeted for.
Setting the rules for my No Spend Week Challenge
Since it's a challenge, it makes sense to set some guidelines and parameters to follow.
Rule 1: No eating out/take-aways
Bulk of my expenses come from food expenditure. I intend to challenge myself to prepare lunchbox meals to bring to work for lunch instead of eating outside. I usually skip or have a light breakfast at home and dDinner is usually taken care by my family at home so there's no eating out/take-away expenses incurred.
Rule 2: "Eat down the pantry"
It kind of defeats the purpose if I go down to supermarket and shop up a storm just to fulfil the first rule. So the second rule is try and prepare my breakfast and work lunch for the week using whatever is available in the kitchen.
Rule 3: Only take public transport
No taxi and Grab rides for this week. I usually take the train to get around so this rule is probably the easiest for me to accomplish.
Rule 4: No shopping
Needless to say, this No Spend Challenge means no spending on 'wants'. That means no unnecessary shopping for this week. Other than window shopping, of course.
Rule 5: Free entertainment activities only
The last rule that I'm setting is to only find free activities for entertainment. I'll probably have to crack my head a little but I'm sure I can find things to do.
Exceptions to the rules
For this challenge, I only have one exception that will qualify for spending money this week.
Exception 1: Only shop for essentials and groceries that can go with existing ingredients in the pantry
The only exception I'm giving myself permission to spend money is only for essential things that I need, like washing detergent, shaving cream, etc. and food ingredients that can help me cook existing ingredients that's already in the pantry, such as carrots to go with spare rib soup.
Will I succeed in this challenge?
Do you think I will succeed in this? Check out my next post as I write about my No Spend Week Challenge.