How a No Spend Weekend Can Save Your Finances
When it comes to budgeting, implementing a no spend weekend may sound a little daunting. Sure, it can be easy to stick to your budget during the work week, but who doesn't enjoy fun activities during the weekend?
Whether that means dining out, shopping around the mall, or even catching the latest blockbuster at the movies. While you shouldn't stop yourself from enjoying your weekend, sometimes these activities can put an unplanned dent in your budget. A no spend weekend can help reset your spending and set you back on track for your financial goals. The best part? You can do this without giving up on your fun weekend activities.
The Definition of a No Spend Weekend
A no spend is literally just that — not spending any money on the weekends.
It helps to think of it as a challenge to complete or even a game you can get your friends in on. Perhaps you can give yourself a reward at the end, like taking the money you would have spent and putting it towards your savings goal for a big purchase in the future.
When preparing for the weekend, try getting what you need ahead of time. If you typically shop for groceries on the weekend, try and head to the store ahead of time. Set a budget for the weekdays so that you're purchasing everything you need without overspending. As for your weekend fun, you can look into a list of free activities to do at home or around the neighborhood. Examples can include author readings at the library, free festivals, or bike rides around the park.
Take advantage of free or prepaid passes. For example, are those free movie passes from your birthday still sitting in your wallet? Or do you have half-used gift cards lying around? This is a great time to use them while sticking to your challenge of a no spend weekend.
Enjoy the Finer Things in Life
Embarking on a challenge like this can help you save money in the long run. You may learn that you're spending out of habit or impulse and that you don't always need to reach for cash or your credit card when going out. Completing a challenge like this can help you be more mindful in the future about what you spend, any day of the week.
After all, spending quality time with family and friends isn't about going out and spending. Think about the best memories you have with them. Was it about the movie you went to or the fact that you got to spend time with them? Or was it when you all laughed so hard that you got bellyaches? That quality time is great for teachable moments, especially if you have kids. It isn't always about spending money, but rather about the time and memories you're making.
That money you save can then be put toward other goals, like saving up for a trip abroad or paying down your student loan debt. That, in itself, is worth giving this challenge a try.