Saving money can some times be a difficult task. Incorporating a spending freeze into your budget can be a great way to save money and also assess your finances. I’m going to show you how to save money by using a free printable no spend tracker. A no spend is a period of time where you don’t spend money on non-essential items. No spends can be for any period of time that you choose. The no spend may span over days, a week, or a month. It’s really up to you how long the no spend will last.
No Spend Time Periods
If you’re just starting out, it may be best to start with a shorter no spend time period. Start out with a week and track your progress. Once you’ve accomplished a week of no spending you can choose if you want to continue the no spend or take a break. A month long no spend may seem hard to complete, but once you’ve completed a week of a no spend you’ll have the confidence to go even longer.
Necessities As Part of a No Spend
During a no spend, you can only spend money on necessities. Necessities are anything that is essential for you to live (i.e. mortgage/rent, insurance, utility bills, food, gas, credit card payments, car payments etc.). All non-essential items are part of your no spend. Although eating is a necessity, eating out is not a necessity and would be part of the no spend. During your no spend it is encouraged that you eat at home every day or as much as possible.
How to Save Money by Using a No Spend Tracker
A no spend tracker is used to track a period of time where you don’t make any unnecessary purchases. You can use our free printable tracker to keep track of your period of not spending money. After every day that you didn’t spend money on non-necessities, you mark it off on your tracker. This will help you keep yourself accountable. We’ve included a log in our tracker for you to keep track of items that you thought about purchasing but didn’t. This is a great way to see how much money you saved at the end of the no spend period. You can add up your log and see how much money you saved by not spending it. If you want, you can move your saved amount into your savings account.
Ways to make it through a no spend
- Use up the remaining groceries in your refrigerator and pantry.
- Borrow a movie from a friend instead of going to movies.
- Go to the library to check out books.
- Have a fun night in with your significant other instead of going out.
- Clean your house and find items to sell.
- Have family game night. Get out all of those old board games that you never use.
- Take part of any free activates that your city may offer (some cities have monthly free concerts or festivals).
Get creative! If you have any ideas for no spend activities, feel free to let us know about them in the comments.
Reassess Once the No Spend is Over
A no spend is great because it not only allows you to save, but it really helps you think about the purchases that you are making and where your money is going. It’s really easy to spend money on things and not even realize it. For example, a trip to Target where you picked up just a few items from the Target dollar spot, or your morning coffee from Starbucks. At the end of your no spend you can reflect on the list of things you didn’t buy. Would those items make your life better in some meaningful way or would they just be lost like the money that you spent on them? The no spend really allows you to reflect on the purchases you want to make. Some times you come back to them and realize you don’t really need those items like you thought you did.
Personally, I put myself on a no spend once every few months for usually a 30 day period. During that time, I really think about my purchases and how I’m spending my money. Have you ever tried a no spend? How did it work out for you?