Most Americans have less than $1,000 in a savings account right now and nearly 1 in 5 people aren’t saving any money at all. When people think of saving they think of what they will have to do without in order to save money. However, you may not have to change your lifestyle all that much.
Saving can be extremely difficult, but if you create a plan it can become simple. One of the easiest ways to save some money is to go a period of time without spending any money. This sounds hard, but it is possible.
Create a ‘no spend’ day
Many people start this saving tip by designating one day a week a “no spend” day. This means you will not spend cash. You will not swipe your debit card. You will not swipe your credit card. You will do with what you have for one day or find free activities to take part in.
Don’t spend any money for a week
A friend of mine, Suzanne, would pick a week (sometimes two) out of the month where she wouldn’t spend a dime. She would go grocery shopping and fill her gas tank on Sunday and starting Monday she wouldn’t spend any money until the following Sunday. She would save between $50 and $200 a month using this technique.
What do you do when you’re not spending?
This sounds like a stupid question, but I promise you once you start your “no spending” you will want to spend. Even if it is only two days out of the week, those are the two days you will want to spend money.
Make money instead of spending
Instead of spending money, you can try and make some money. On your “no spend” days, go through your closets and see if there is anything worth selling. You can also spend your “no spend” days doing some kind of freelance work to make extra money.
Have a movie night
Everyone has a small collection of movies (or Netflix or cable) in their home. Instead of going out with friends, invite them over to watch a movie or your favorite TV show. Make the “event” a bring-your-own-snack occasion.
Clean up a little
On your “no spend” day, clean your house up a little bit. Take the time you would usually be spending your money to tidy up around the house. Clean things like your oven, behind your refrigerator and underneath the couch (these places very rarely get cleaned, but you’ll have the time!).
Pick up a hobby
Hobbies can take up quite a bit of time and there are a few that cost little-to-no money. For instance, if you pick up crocheting, you can pick up yarn for $3 (or less if there are coupons or a sale). Instead of going out and spending money, you can tackle a crochet project. The same goes for many other hobbies.
The key to doing a “no spend” day or week is putting it on your calendar and hold yourself accountable to not spending any money during that period of time. If you are able to do that, you can save yourself a ton of money!
Have you tried the “no spend” challenge? Leave your comments about it below.
Photo: Flickr: 401(K) 2012