The key to surviving financially is to simply to spend less than what you earn.
Some people might say that this is easier said than done. Well actually, it is if you could put your heart and mind into it… seriously – it is easy.
If planning a monthly budget seems like a daunting task for you, then I suggest you start by doing something simple like having a No Spending Day.
A No Spending Day is a challenging but very effective way to save money, specially when your budget is really tight, trying to pay up some debts or just saving up for a big purchase. Personally, doing a no spending day allows me to tap into my internal resources and be creative with my time. How you might say? Then read on and find out.
What is a No Spending Day?
Sometimes called a Buy Nothing Day, it’s a day when you challenge yourself and avoid spending and buying anything within 24 hours.
Of course, we do incur expenses everyday – using electricity at home, sending text messages on our mobile phone, etc. Fortunately, these activities are allowed when you are on a No Spending Day challenge. What you are NOT allowed to do is to buy anything with your money and credit cards for one whole day.
How do you start a No Spending Day?
If you want to take on this challenge, then all you need to do is to schedule it on your calendar and plan your activities for the day. I usually do this on a Sunday, when I usually just stay at home the whole day anyway. Go on and try it during your rest day from work to get a feel of the challenge, but also try doing it on a week day and see if you can survive a day at the office without spending anything.
The key to a successful No Spending Day is planning your day properly and having the discipline to stick to your schedule. Sort out first how you’ll be getting your meals and then write down your planned activities in between. Although it’s perfectly okay to just sleep or watch the television all day, I suggest for you to be creative and do something more fun and active.
Personally, I go to my parent’s home during most of my No Spending Days because there’s always food in the kitchen. Haha. Then I surf the internet or read a book in the morning, go to the gym in the afternoon and have a DVD marathon at night. On some instances, there will be a party I can go to in the evening for some free food and fun.
Does a No Spending Day mean becoming a freeloader on a weekend?
Of course not, what I just told you is one of the many ways you can spend your day. You can alternatively buy some groceries the day before and do home cooked meals the whole day. Then you can clean and organize your room in the morning, work on a home project in the afternoon and call some friends to come over for a pot luck party in the evening.
If I spend on groceries and other stuff the day before, then I’m not actually saving money.
Well, that’s the initial impression, but if you think about it, doing home cooked meals is much cheaper than eating in restaurants. And if you do your No Spending Day on a weekend, then you might consider not going to the mall at all which consequently, prevents you from unnecessary spending and impulse buying.
What about doing a No Spending Day on a work day?
When taking up this challenge during the week, your primary concern is actually how you’ll get to the office. For these instances, you can allow yourself a minimum budget to spend on transportation and nothing else. Which means, bringing your own food to work and saying “No” to after-office activities with your mates.
What’s next after doing a No Spending Day?
What about a No Spending Week? Sounds impossible? Why not go ahead and try. Start with two days, then three and go on until you can actually do a week. Be flexible and allow yourself to spend on necessary and unexpected expenses.
Remember that doing a No Spending Day is more than just about saving money. It’s actually about financial planning and discipline. You’ll learn about time management, goal setting and more importantly, you’ll realize what’s really essential in your life and discover that some of the stuff you thought you need are things you can actually do without.
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Photos courtesy of reubenz