Buy Nothing Day Challenge: Got the Urge to Spend? Save the Money Instead

Saving is the foundation for building financial stability and being able to reach any financial goal. Whether you want to buy a house, get out of debt, get married or go on vacation with your family, you’ll need to save your money.

If you feel like your budget and spending have both spiraled out of control, now is the perfect time to get back on track right before the holidays.

There are tons of tips, tricks and techniques out there will help you save money, but it’s no argument that the absolute best way to save money is to just do it. Once you commit to your cause and understand that spending money each day is not necessary, you’ll be ready to plan a no spend day, weekend, or undergo even a week without spending.

Buy Nothing Day is actually an official holiday in Canada that kicks off in the fall. There are plenty of ways to celebrate not spending no matter where you live. Here are some tips to help you get started with your Buy Nothing Day challenge.

Determine Your ‘Why’

Before you even get started with your challenge, determine why you are doing it and what you hope to get out of it. Of course your focus will be on saving more money, but do you want to change your spending habits, squeeze out more of your income to put toward debt, cut out emotional spending or work towards another goal?

Figuring out what your ‘why’ is will help give you a clear focus about what you’re doing and why it’s necessary.

Lay Down Some Ground Rules

The next step is to define your rules. While spending absolutely nothing the entire day or week would be ideal, you may have some mandatory bills due around that time or other commitments. If this will be your first Buy Nothing Day challenge, try to schedule it during a time where you don’t have any major events or commitments going on that would cause you to spend money.

Remove credit cards from your wallet, pack a lunch to bring to work and commit to doing free things with friends and family that will help you avoid having to spend money. Set stricter rules that won’t make it so easy for you. This is a challenge after all.

My rules generally consist of paying bills and putting gas in my car when I have to but spending on nothing else.

Ban Temptations

Temptations will sneak up quickly during your challenge. This is why it’s so important to define your ‘why’ and let it motivate you. To avoid being tempted to spend, ban your favorite stores and unsubscribe to all mailing lists for popular retailers. That way, you won’t be setting yourself up for failure.

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Email coupons and offers can be super tempting so it’s best to just avoid receiving those types of emails altogether by temporarily unsubscribing (or sending them to a hidden folder). Whether your guilty pleasure is Target or Old Navy, spending all your extra money at retailers will not be helping your bottom line. The no spend challenge will maybe even help you develop a no-spending habit.

Get Creative and Involved

The Buy Nothing Day Challenge is not meant to be boring and dreadful. You can still do some of the things you love and have fun with your friends and family as long as it doesn’t require that you spend money. It will definitely call for some creativity though.

During your challenge, you might want to try out new recipes from items in your pantry and diversify your meal planning, make gifts for others, attend free neighborhood events or just invite a few people over to play cards.

Ask friends and family to join in on the challenge so you can all keep each other motivated. The creative ideas you come up with during the challenge will certainly continue to help you save more money in the future.

Calculate Your Savings

This is the best part. Since you most likely won’t have any spending to track, it should be easy to calculate how much money you were able to save along with the new money saving habits you developed during the challenge.

Imagine how much extra money you could have to build up your savings account, invest and pay off debt if you did a few no spend challenges throughout the year…

Have you ever gone a day or week without spending money?