The No Spend Challenge Guide or spending freeze
Perhaps the most important things we must do today and now, to improve the quality of our lives and reduce our stresses are the most difficult of all.
It is saving money and controlling our expenses. This always rises with our income and most of these expenses are on things that we do not really need and do not add any real value to our lives.
We all suffer from our strange and unjustified behaviors towards money, and from our wallet that you always find empty in the second half of the month. We really want to change our habits and act wisely and effectively towards money, but the question remains, HOW?
What’s The No Spend Challenge?
The no-spend challenge or spending freeze challenge is a shorthand for the eternal struggle between “what I need” and “what I want to acquire.” It is a real confrontation with the self and proving (to someone who succeeds in completing it) that life continues despite the complete absence of the concept of buying. The idea may be difficult at first sight, but many have tried it and produced amazing results.
First, the no spend challenge continues for a temporary period, such as a weekend, no spend a week, a month, or even 6 months or a no spending for a year. But this no-spend challenge comes with exceptions such as buying food and fuel for a car, although some may go as far as Vegetable planting and Poultry farming
How No Spend Challenge Works?
The biggest problem that many people fall into is that they have, over the years, negative spending habits that are difficult to leave behind.
And to leave those negative habits sometimes need to push yourself only to prove to yourself that you can do the thing, you can control yourself and your expenses.
The way is to set a No Spend Challenge to yourself by not spending at a specific time that you choose according to your ability and circumstances. Whatever day, week or month, try to spend only on simple essentials.
You will be surprised after a period of changing your method and your attitude towards spending and from the bank balance. Expenses can only be controlled with restraint.
The owner of the tiny life website has decided to go through the No Spend Challenge experience for a full year. After 6 months, Ryan Mitchell came up with some lessons from the stressful experience of self-reflection.
What’s the summary of No Spend Challenge?
“This year I decided to take on the personal challenge (of No Spend Challenge), I wanted to know if I could buy nothing for a whole year. After six months, I succeeded (and learned some lessons as well).”says Ryan.
After sharing his story with friends and several blog readers, many people wondered how to tackle the no spend challenge.
In our world of buying, buying, and buying, where we get almost any purpose right away with the click of a button, it seems like spending a whole year without getting anything is tedious.
“I will admit that I was not sure of my ability to deal with such a challenge. Although I live in a small house and follow the simple lifestyle and the minimal principle of Minimalism, the idea of not buying anything at all for a year seems very difficult.
Now that I’ve got into this No Spend Challenge and it’s been six months, I have to admit, it becomes easier when you go ahead with this experience. It was mainly based on setting some rules and then changing my thinking style. Here’s what I learned about not buying anything in the first 6 months. ”
Why No Spend Challenge?
First: Why would you try not to buy anything (other than saving money, of course)?
Among the first questions about the No Spend Challenge is “Why?”.
“To be honest, the answer to the question“ Why might I not buy anything?”
It is a big part of the year-long process. The conclusion that can be reached is that the No Spend Challenge is not intended to prevent people from spending money, saying that it is bad or wrong to buy everything we want, knowing that there is nothing wrong with shopping itself.
Buying becomes a problem when we spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need. It is a real problem when we buy some things and create small, fabricated stories about them to justify our purchases. We often expect our purchases to bring us happiness, friends, freedom, or other rewards that cannot be offered.
In the end, we end up becoming less happy, because those stories that we tried to persuade ourselves with have not materialized, while our expenses now limit the possibility of reaching our long-term goals in the future.
Ryan confirms that he has a lot of goals to achieve, and one of the biggest obstacles to achieving this, is money. Spending money on unnecessary matters was delaying the achievement of his bigger goals, as this created a barrier to the big dreams he so desperately wanted.
Once he realized the answer to the question “Why am I not spending?“, He managed to maintain his focus, giving more attention to the No Spend Challenge (spending freeze challenge).
“I am now trying this temporary solution to fulfill my dreams, especially since spending money now instead of ensuring a better future is not worth it”
What are the rules of the No Spend Challenge?
Second: I accepted the challenge, but what are the rules of the No Spend Challenge?
He does not consider himself a fan of the rules. Among his rules, it’s good to ask questions about everything (including the rules). This “guideline” applies to his approach to work, and also in arranging his home.
However, when it comes to this challenge, there are tips and tricks.
Here are the No Spend Challenge (spending freeze challenge) rules that he decided to follow:
spending freeze rules
1 – Food is fundamental
Everyone needs to eat, but Ryan is currently working on embarking on his own food but must spend to buy food. As part of the No Spend Challenge or spending freeze, he completely stopped eating fast food and allowed himself to eat only in self-catering restaurants on special occasions, which means that cooking at home is required daily.
2 – Daily consumer products are allowed
Consumer products are another necessity, such as toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, soap and other similar holdings that are used permanently. To ensure no way to breach the No Spend Challenge rule and achieve the personal spending freeze.
He also allowed himself only to preserve basic items and not to add them to the inventory. These household necessities are a basic necessity, and he has only bought what he uses daily.
3 – The acquisition of medical items is permitted
If you need a prescription or medication it is necessary to obtain it, and this is only limited to the doctor’s recommendations.
4 – Only buy what you want and when you need it
When the stock of “everyday consumer products” or the aforementioned food ends, you can buy a substitute for it.
The spending freeze or The No Spend Challenge rule helped prevent Ryan from buying what he didn’t need. For consumables that he uses frequently or ends quickly, he often adjusts the amount needed to store them. The rule is that the amount of material that can be stored can be specified, but it is never allowed to exceed.
5 – Try to fix the damage first, then consider replacing it
Ryan only has the basics in his house, which means that if something goes wrong, he needs to be replaced. But it is advised to try to fix it, and if you do not succeed, it can be replaced.
6 – The digital version is only books
For those who love reading, the Audible iBooks app can be downloaded to the phone. If you want to get a paper book, it can be borrowed from the library.
You can check this awesome article about the Best Financial books:
7 – Gifts .. only when necessary
In some cases, it is necessary to give gifts to others. In many cases, the priority is to share with others experience rather than gifts. Thus, on the occasion of someone’s birthday or a special celebration, it is better to accompany them to dinner, go to an event, take a trip, or make another gift that does not involve buying more “things”.
During six months of unlimited spending, the only purpose Ryan (unlike food and shampoo) acquired was a new bathroom carpet, after it was rotten and its carpet dirty. Buy a high-quality bathroom rug and dispose of the old ones for only $20.
In his opinion, this was a real achievement, and that the No Spend Challenge ( spending freeze ) has been successful so far.
How to succeed in No Spend Challenge?
6 lessons you must learn to succeed in No Spend Challenge (spending freeze challenge)
There are 6 practical lessons a person learns from a No Spend Challenge ( spending freeze). The special thing about this is that these lessons will remain valid even after the challenge is over, and every time you purchase something.
But if you want to buy fewer things or spend a whole year without spending or saving money and making sure to be wiser when purchasing something, it is recommended that you rely on these six lessons to guide you.
No Spend Challenge guide
1 – “Why am I going to buy this thing?”
Ask yourself this question before purchasing any item
When you discover this question, it becomes easier to face the No Spend Challenge, as it is based on adopting a “focus on the grand prize” mentality. And if you want to achieve bigger goals, all you have to do is focus on the primary goal.
Ensure that your goal is what will keep you on the right track and guide you. It should be noted that a No Spend Challenge (spending freeze) is not based on preventing people from purchasing needs for a whole year on the pretext that buying things is bad, it is about implementing plans and controlling purchases to make your life better in the end.
And if there is a purpose that does not make your life better or pushes you towards your biggest goal, it may not be worth spending your money on it.
Why do I want to participate in a challenge without spending?
What are my top goals?
Why will this No Spend Challenge or spending freeze push me towards achieving my goals?
Once you answer these questions, the rest will be easier.
2 – Do you have money?
This may be one of the easiest and most obvious questions, which we often overlook. With credit cards that often tempt us with the phrase “buy now and pay later“, in addition to promotional offers, it is easier to spend more money than we can.
And when it comes to making a shopping process, like buying dinner, ask yourself are you able to buy that or not? And if you don’t have enough money, don’t buy it, it’s very straight forward and simple.
If you want to buy a necessary item and you cannot pay for it, search for it in other places, so that you can purchase this item according to your capabilities.
Are you renting a house that costs more than your budget?
It may be time to find another home.
Do your car exhaust your budget every month?
It may be time to sell and buy a cheaper car.
The credit card world has spoiled our view of what we can and cannot afford to buy. So if you don’t have the money at the end of the day, simply don’t buy anything.
3 – Postponing the gratification of personal desires
If you are convinced that you need to purchase an item, add it to your list and wait for the next day. If you are shopping and have seen something you want to buy (but it is not on the list), wait for your next day to buy it. Most of the time, that desire to buy that thing will fade away and disappear before returning to the store again.
This approach is also very effective for online shopping. Every time you want to buy something, just add it to your e-purchase card and leave it there. After that, and on the next occasion where you are shopping, if you still want to buy that item, you will find it ready to buy it.
In the meantime, the idea of finding a solution to your problem may be without spending any additional money, or you will discover that you did not need that purpose as you had imagined. For people with impulsive buying, the wait strategy will help them tremendously.
After doing this regularly over a period of six months, Ryan discovered that in most cases he did not need that.
4 – Ask yourself what are you really going to buy
We buy food because we need to eat, as we have a compulsory biological need to eat. For most of our purchases, such as clothing, decorative items, exercise equipment, and hardware, we often buy them because we actually buy a perfect concept or idea.
When you buy a workout tool, it is not only simply that you “love” to exercise, as this is due to your desire to reach the end result, which is an ideal and healthy body, not to mention having more energy, lower blood pressure, and other Positive results from the workout. Therefore, you purchase such equipment because you believe that this device will give you the result you want to achieve.
When do you decide to buy something, ask yourself:
What am I really going to buy?
What do I hope to earn from acquiring this thing?
Is it really that I’m going to get the result I’m looking for, or am I just trying to convince myself?
It is absolutely imperative that we dive well into the stories we are trying to tell ourselves, and the narrative that we are working to include in the procurement process.
Ryan has noted this aspect especially among people who buy cars in the form of mobile homes or what is known as a caravan, where they often wish to try it first. In most cases, they discover that they are not people who may live in a caravan, and that they have made a huge purchase that is difficult to cancel.
5 – Ask yourself what other ways can you achieve your goal?
If there is something you want or need to buy, like clothes, books, and tools, ask yourself is there another way in which you can achieve the same results?
Try to come up with a way to get what you need but without spending money. Can you borrow, for example, from your friend? Is it possible in some way to find an alternative solution to achieve the same desired results?
Most of the time, we buy things without even bothering to look into alternative options available. In the event that you want to buy a specific book, there is a great chance that you will find it in the library, and the same is true for the movies you want to watch and the music you want to hear. For most equipment, you can enjoy the rental options that home improvement stores offer.
As for other acquisitions, such as clothes, home appliances, utensils, and dishes, they can be purchased for less at the second-hand stores. You can also go to the Craigslist website, or the neighborhood’s exchange pages, to find the items you want for free.
Bartering and trading with others is a solution until you get what you want without spending any amount. You must learn to be an innovative person: learn to cook, or try to turn the courtyard of the house into a garden. You can also learn to sew and make simple repairs.
When we focus on the outcome we want to achieve, we will often find different ways to achieve what we aspire to achieve. While the treadmill may give you the solution to your desire to have a perfect body,
why not start going out for a walk periodically instead?
Is there a track somewhere you can use for free?
In the long run, could your membership in a sports club be cheaper and secure the space your treadmill could occupy? Simply, you will not get the result you want to achieve by simply buying an item, so you must do more.
Can you get the perfect body without spending?
6 – Ask yourself: Will what will you buy be a substitute for anything?
Based on the principle of minimum, many adopt the rule of “one thing I buy in exchange for giving up something else”. This is essential and indispensable if you live in a small place.
However, even if you have an extra room, applying this rule will help you reduce clutter and prevent oversubscription from your home. Every time you buy a new item, ask yourself what will you do without it to make way for the new purpose?
If you buy a new shirt, dispense with your old shirt. Or buy new shoes, get rid of your old smelly shoes. Or I bought new bathroom carpets … Replace the old moldy (but what is the reason for buying new carpets in the first place?).
Do not cling to collectibles that will create chaos in your life and take up too much space in your home. Committing to not buying anything for a whole year will help you prioritize again and discover really important things. You will check the holdings that you buy “for purchase only” and what you really need. As you work to shrink your number of items and set your priorities, you will discover that there is a great deal of simplicity and aesthetic in maintaining the number of holdings that you already own.
In the event that you decide to purchase a new item, make sure it represents what you really need and is a source of your happiness.
No Spend Challenge or spending freeze, Not purchasing anything for a whole year is a very difficult challenge, but it is not that complicated. Once you take on a challenging, spending-free experience, you’ll be surprised how your priorities change radically.
You may be able to earn a lot of hours every week. Alternatively, you can spend time cooking delicious meals, enjoying your time with family or taking a stroll around. This will bring you closer to your financial goals and create momentum for you to keep moving forward.
You can download The No Spend Challenge bullet journal .pdf from here
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