Just as the name sounds, a “no spend a week” is where a person or family attempts to spend no money during an entire week. As you might well imagine, a no spend week is much more difficult to accomplish than a no spend a day due to it being a much longer length of time. The advantage is that it’ll test your creativity to a much greater extent, and it should also enable you to look much more deeply into the spending habits that you have. Where it’s often possible to delay spending when you are only doing a no spend day, it becomes more much more difficult to do so when you’re involved in a no spend week challenge.
While ideally you don’t want to spend any money during the entire week, due to the length some people will make exceptions to the rule. For example, if you have a long commute to work and you know you won’t be able to last an entire week without filling up the car with gas, you might decide to allow a gas purchase during the no spend week. To keep things honest, however, you use these exceptions only in rare occasions and limit their scope. While the exceptions may be necessary, they limit creativity that can help you get your finances in order.
One of the most important aspects of doing a no spend week is that unlike the no spend day, it’s much more difficult to predict all of the situations that may come about during the period you aren’t allowed to spend. During a no spend day, it’s often possible to anticipate all your needs ahead of time, and to make preparations so that the day runs fairly smoothly. With a no spend week being much longer, it’s much more common for situations to arise that were not anticipated before the week began. It’s how you’re able to handle these unexpected situations where you can truly learn a lot about the way you think about money and how you usually spend.
It’s also important to try to make sure that you don’t spend the week doing nothing. There are plenty of things that one can do that don’t costs any money at all. Simply sitting at home in front of the TV and refusing to do anything kind of defeats the purpose of why the entire challenge is taking place. The challenge is to do what you would normally do during the week, but figure out a way to do it without spending any money. Of course, this will necessitate some changes and the use of a lot of creativity, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing everything. It should be looked upon more as a fun attempt to do something that you know is going to be very difficult rather than some type of punishment. If you don’t have the right attitude going in, you’re unlikely to get much benefit from the challenge even if you actually accomplish the goal.
Again, it’s important to remember that this is a challenge, but the end goal is bigger than merely not spending any money during the week. It’s a chance for you to examine how you would normally spend, look for new and different ways that you can do things that you would normally spend money on, and to get a better feel of where your money is going on a weekly basis. It’s through learning these types of things that you can start to address areas in your budget that may have leaks, and to get better control of your financial situation overall.