Back in July I challenged you to go an entire weekend, from 5:00 pm on Friday until 5:00 am on Monday, without spending any money. To eat from the fridge and pantry, to only drive where the gas currently in your tank would take you, to entertain yourself without paying for movie tickets or sporting events or whatever.
The purpose was not to encourage you to shop early on Friday, fill up the gas tank on the way to work, and purchase your movie tickets online before 5:00 pm. The purpose was to encourage you to find other things to do besides spend money, to think about how and why you spend, and to consider what benefit your spending brings to your life. If you are in debt and struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck, such examination can be enlightening…and sometimes painful. Being forced to find alternatives highlights ways you might handle money differently and more beneficially. Being forced to go for a weekend without spending will also highlight how you might cope if you ever find yourself living through a period of limited banking access like the people of Greece are currently experiencing.
After the challenge I encouraged you to make some changes based upon what you learned. How did that go?
I kept notes during the month long No Spend Challenge my husband and I did earlier this year. I identified some “holes” in my pantry and reevaluated some priorities, which caused me to make a few changes in how I do things around here. So now it’s time to repeat the No Spend Weekend Challenge to see if the changes made a difference!
Are you up for the challenge? Are you willing to be inconvenienced in order to learn things that could make a huge difference in your budget? Would you like to learn more frugal ways to “do weekends” so that you’ll have more cash left over for things that are really important to you long term and not just urgent today? Would you like to have some money left on Monday morning that you could actually save?
All right, then! Let’s go!
Click over to the original No Spend Weekend Challenge post here for all of the details. Keep notes on the times you’re tempted to spend. Write down what you did instead of spending, paying particular attention to what worked or what didn’t work to keep cash in your pocket. Think about why you spend when you do and then come up with alternatives. What might you need to do differently in the future?
Here’s a somewhat obvious example that will give you an idea of what I mean: Suppose you and your kids like to go to the movies on Saturday afternoon. What’s the alternative? You could get a free movie from the library, perhaps a classic that you enjoyed when you were little. Get two! Why not? Pop popcorn at home, grab some fruit punch or homemade sports drink, and snuggle up on the couch. If you don’t keep popcorn and “fun” beverages around then you’ll need to make a note to add those items to your grocery list (and work them into your existing grocery budget) so you’ll be ready the next time without additional spending.
So the challenge is to avoid all spending between 5:00 pm on Friday and 5:00 am on Monday. Get creative with what’s in the pantry. Pull out board games or look up a new playing card game online. Walk or ride your bike to go places if your gas tank is nearly empty…or car pool!
Ready? Set? GO! How much money can you NOT spend this weekend?
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