Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Money Saving Tips on February 4, 2013

“I want to save more money,” a friend asked. “Any suggestions?”

“Stop spending,” was my casual reply.

“And by that I mean consciously choosing not to spend on anything but necessities,” I continued.

“But won’t life be boring if I just spend on necessities?” he asked.

“Not really, in fact, that will force you to be creative in most cases,” I answered.

My friend went silent, and then I suggested to him that he start and try with just one day of no spending, at least once a week, and see how it goes.

After a month, he told me that my advise worked great. It was simple but effective.

Then I told him something that made him go silent and think once again…

“Now try a ‘No Spending Week’ and see if you can survive.”

icus cat 1 Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

Three years ago, I wrote an article here on How To Survive a No Spending Day.

So if you’re not familiar with the concept, then go ahead and read that first.

Towards the end of that post, I mentioned that after doing several “No Spending Days”, the next natural step is to escalate it to a “No Spending Week”.

If you think that not spending for a week is impossible, then I’d like to introduce you to another friend – fellow blogger and cat lover, Kate who shares below her thoughts on how she and her husband survive “No Spending Weeks”.

I hope you enjoy reading this short Q&A interview.

Why did your household went on a “No Spending Week”? Who decided to do this? Is this something your household regularly does?

This year I made a pledge to myself that I will be more mindful of the food we buy (Read her blog entry about her New Year’s Resolution: I’m Sorry I Let You Rot)

I realized that I have been throwing a lot of food away – dried up calamansi, herbs (after only using 3-5 pcs from the pack), neglected fruits and veggies that have gone bad etc. After changing some of my grocery shopping habits I realized that I was also saving money since we were buying and consuming only what we needed.

The concept of our “No Spending Week” began when we came across the show “Extreme Cheapskates“. They featured a couple that does a yearly “fiscal fast” meaning no spending for a week.

Although theirs is a bit extreme – looking for coins in public places, buying weird cuts of meat (that time the guy was able to afford a goat’s head with all the money he found) and watering down wine.

We decided that we wanted to try something similar but nothing out of the extreme icon razz Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

How did the members of your household react when the idea was first proposed? Were all okay with it? If not, what were their reasons for going against it?

It was very easy to talk about and implement the idea since it is just my husband and I in our household. We both wanted to see if we could follow our challenge for 1 whole week.

What are your household’s rules on the “No Spending Week”? Who decided on those rules?

Before starting we decided on the following rules: utility bills, gas and groceries are exempted.

It seems easy considering that you can buy so many things in the grocery but we made it a point to only buy what we needed and nothing extra like chips, chocolates and other snacks. I also LOVE buying things online on group buying sites – of course that was banned too icon biggrin Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

icus cat 2 Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

What were the challenges that everyone had to face to “survive” the week? How were you able to overcome those? What are the things that your household had to sacrifice during the week?

The “No Spending Week” made me realize that we spend so much on food delivery and take out. That also includes coffee, desserts and snacks that we buy needlessly. Nice to have a treat once in a while but not 3-4 times a week icon biggrin Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

It was also bit challenging not to just order food when I felt lazy to cook.

How did your household benefit from doing the “No Spending Week”? Please include not just financial benefits, but also emotional benefits as well, if there’s any.

The whole experiment got us thinking about a lot of things especially health and nutrition.

We now make sure that we eat what we have at home and not waste anything. We also limit eating out/food delivery to just once a week. Hope we can keep it up because we’ve both lost 5 pounds so far icon smile Can You Survive a No Spending Week?

Isn’t that great? Not only was she able to save money, but doing the challenge also helped her and her husband lose weight because they’re now eating healthy home-cooked meal more often.

I hope this post has inspired you to do your own “No Spending Week”. Again, start with just one day, then two, then three – until you are able to do it for one week… then how about doing it for one month?

Regardless if you did the “no spending” challenge for a day, a week or a month, I’d like to also hear about your story. So please share them below in the comments section.

Lastly, I’d like to again thank Kate for taking the time to share her story, and do visit her blog “It’s All About The Meow“.

Read more articles on real people and their inspiring money stories by subscribing to Ready to Be Rich.

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Photos above are that of my cat, Icus. icon biggrin Can You Survive a No Spending Week?


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5 Responses to “Can You Survive a No Spending Week?”


  1. peachy de guzman says:

    My husband and I are currently practicing this “no spending week” thingy. And even on days that we eat out, we don’t order drinks. Drinks costs too much, same price as a meal from fastfood restaurants, sometimes even more. Restaurants are required to serve filtered water anyways, so I always ask the waiter to give me their service/house water :)

  2. We always do this every payday up to a week. Instead of spending for groceries and all the day after receiving the salary, we just make do of what we have from the previous payday.

    It’s all about making it as a HABIT to save and do a lot of good things aside from spending right away. hehe.

  3. Enjei says:

    WitHi fitz. I have read most of your blogs and found out it very useful and informative to the point that I am no longer ignorant about ancial terms and living religiously according to set plans. My question btw is a clarification whether there is a need to save for emergency fund when I have been saving 10% of my gross income since the regularization was awarded to me back in 2006, or keep it for my retirement? m thinking also of using a portion of my savings to stock market with the objective of using it for r wedding and purchase of car. Pls advise

  4. Fitz says:

    Hi Enjei.

    Know how much is your regular monthly expenses and keep 6 months worth of that as your emergency fund in your savings account / time deposit account.

    Everything you have after that is your investment fund. Put it in an instrument which can help you achieve your objectives.

  5. Beatrix says:

    OMG, I try soooo hard to do this. I am the absolute worst with my money. I should do this once a month.

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