While no spend days are you wonderful way to begin taking a look at the way that you spend money, and looking for habits where you spend money without even realizing it, they can have a limited positive effect if they are only done once. For this reason, many people decide to go beyond the single no spend day and do them on an ongoing basis throughout the month.
By doing no spend days on an ongoing basis, it gives you the opportunity to really see where you tend to spend money without even thinking about it. A no spend week gives you a great opportunity to catch those little leaks that we all have. You may catch yourself about to buy coffee at the local coffee shop, stick a few quarters into a vending machine, or grab some mints after buying some gas. The no spend day allows you to stop yourself on the days where you’re not supposed to spend money, and you’ll begin to notice purchases that you make without even thinking about them. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate whether these purchases are for things that you want to be spending your money on, and if not, coming up with ways to recognize when you’re making these purchases so that you can break the habit.
There are a variety of ways that different people do ongoing no spend days. Some people simply pick a certain day of the week and designate that day as a no spend day. For example, you may decide that Thursday is a no spend day, and so every Thursday during the month you know you’re not supposed to spend any money. While this is certainly better than never doing a no spend day or even a single no spend day, it has its limits. It’s a great way to begin when you’re first figuring out about your spending habits, but it can quickly begin to become a routine knowing that the same day each week is a no spend day. It’s important to evaluate after a few months whether you’re getting the benefit that you want from the challenge if you’re designating a certain day each week.
Another way to set up this ongoing challenge is to designate certain dates as no spend days which has the benefit of having to refrain from spending on different days during the week. For example, you may decide that no spend days will be every five days: on the fifth, the 10th, the 15th, the 20th, the 25th, and the 30th. By choosing different dates, you’re forced to do the challenge on different days of the week throughout the month. This makes it a little bit more difficult to anticipate all the things that may happen since many people spend in different ways on different days. This will force you to use your creativity more and you’ll come across more situations where you might be spending without even realizing it.
Yet another way to randomize the days is to decide that you’re going to have a no spend day once a week, but not know which day that will be. In this case, you would put seven piece of paper into a jar with six of them being blank and one of them having “no spend day” written on it. Each morning, you take a piece of paper out of the jar and when you pick the piece with “no spend day” on it, that is the day that you are not allowed to spend any money. Since this is a much more random way of picking the day, it’s more difficult to prepare and thus gives more of a challenge to make it through the day without spending.
If you decide that attempting to do a no spend day would be a good learning experience for you and your finances, making them an ongoing part of your month is an excellent way to really see where you spend money. Finding these financial leaks is an important part of getting your finances in order. It will go a long way for you to better understand how you have been spending money, and help you makes changes so you’re not spending without consciously thinking about it in the future.