No spend week. This week i decided to set myself the goal of a no spend week. What is a no spend week? It’s quite simple in its definition:
- No spending money on anything for 7 days
- Excluding fixed living expenses like mortgage, loans and groceries
That’s basically it. The challenge aims at providing the participant a better understanding of how much money you spend on unnecessary ‘expenses’. It will also help you to be more resourceful instead of just reaching for your wallet or purse as a knee jerk reaction to even the smallest situation. The challenge is all about lowering expenses to add value to your life.
Some things to cut down on: Ubers/Taxis, eating out, cafe latte’s, shopping, beauty services, kfc, ect ect. Anything you do not absolutely need is cut for the no spend week.
A regular week
On a regular working week I usually try to make meals at home as well as take work lunch from home. But from time to time I do, like most others like to buy lunch at work. At least once (or twice) a week Steph and I also have dinner out too.
Throw in a Boost juice here and a Big Mac there and we start to see how quickly the expense of eating out adds up.
On the weekends I occasionally like a few beers down at my local pub accompanied by some betting on sports. Don’t hate me for it, I’m a regular guy.
If I have a project at home I’m working on I would usually need a trip to bunnings to buy materials for that project too!
I also spend on taking my dog down to the dog wash every fortnight. Sorry boy, it’s a bath at home this week.
Eating out would be my kryptonite I would say though.
This week I hope to have some sort of minor epiphany as to where I need to add more value into my life.
Day 1, Monday
I packed a healthy lunch at home ready for my work day. All in all was an uneventful day with not much feeling towards buying anything. Probably because I didn’t want to ruin my whole challenge on the first day. I had lunch around 12 oclock.
Then at 3pm on my way home I got an urge. KFC has a special on $4.95 fill up lunches right now and I just so drive past one on my commute home. Last week I would have swung my car straight in that drive through. Not today evil Colonel.
Money saved $4.95
Day 2, Tuesday
Another healthy lunch packed for work kept me going all day so no danger of buying lunch there. Post work I had a few chores to get done around the house. Mowing lawns and moving some furniture around in a room we are remodelling. None of which cost money to do. So Tuesday was an easy no spend day with no spending required.
Day 3, Wednesday
Lunch packed, no risk of spending whilst at work.
After work I had a Chiropractor appointment to help with some long standing back issues I’ve had. Usually this appointment would cost upwards of $99 per session.
However, with some resourcefulness I used my entitlements via medicare to get a chronic health plan from my GP. Which gives me 5 sessions at a recommended health care specialist. These sessions are free and covered under medicare.
Post Chiropractor I decided to take a little walk. Since it was nearing dinner time I was quite hungry. Along the walk I had to stroll past my favourite kebab shop smelling the aroma of chicken kebabs and garlic stick to me in the afternoon breeze.
Sorry kebab man, not this week. Another $10 kept in my wallet.
Total money saved $109.00
Day 4, Thursday
No issues keeping that wallet in my pocket all day at work. After work Steph and I had wanted to go out for dinner on a date night. Instead of spending we were going to have a picnic somewhere instead. Just as we got home from work our friends invited us over for a bbq dinner! Even better!
Bbq was lovely, plus we got to catch up and hang out with friends for a couple hours. On an average date night we usually spend around $50.
Total money saved $50
Day 5, Friday
Friday was a hard one at work. I had an all day drive to do on a long run up and around the central coast then back to sydney. On a long drive I have a habit of stopping a couple times to pick up some nibbles. Today I had my lunch packed like all week but I had to pack extra snacks to keep my mind wandering into the convenience stores.
Friday night we had all our friends over for a few drinks (everyone always BYO). My own drinks were supplied by leftovers from the weekend prior so I saved there.
Total money saved $80
Day 6, Saturday – Uh Oh
The day started fine, my motorbike required some repairs so I dropped it at the mechanic to be fixed throughout next week. That cost nothing to drop it off.
We had planned to spend the day with my mother wandering around a gypsy crystal festival in Wollongong. But the rains came so that was called off. Instead we found ourselves at Macarthur square, our local and largest mall.
Long story short. I bought us lunch. $30.
I also bought a new HP laptop. $600
Before you say, you blew it! I don’t think I did. Since starting our blog I’ve struggled to post new articles as well as keep the site updated because my old laptop was so goddamn slow! I couldn’t even have a zoom call on it because the camera quality resembled a scrunched up piece of paper.
Now, The end of this blog post is flowing out of my hands like water in a stream on my brand new HP laptop. I actually needed a new laptop.
I added value to my life. Isn’t that my overall goal?
That evening I also attended a poker night with the boys which had a $20 buy in. I made the finals but lost after a valiant effort to survive.
Total money saved -$650
Day 7, Sunday
Just because I blew my entire challenge the day before doesn’t mean I shouldn’t continue today.
In the morning I made breakfast at home before heading to a New Zealand Maori weapons lesson I had previously signed up for (before I took on the challenge) and began today. Class was awesome. Cost $13
After my morning class I went home. Made a healthy grilled fish and rice lunch for Steph and I. The weather was cold, wet and raining so we spent our Sunday snuggled up together watching tv.
In the afternoon we went out to do our groceries. Usually we always treat ourselves whilst shopping and buy some hot food. Today we were full of fish and rice so we skipped that expense today. Saved $15
Total money saved $15-$13 = $2
No Spend week
Overall I was very happy with how I made progress through changing my habits of buying lunch while I’m at work. That seems to be where I am spending most during the week.
I know Saturday was a huge fail but hey, I never claimed to be this perfect frugalista who has the financial secrets of the world all perfected. I’m a regular guy just trying to save money where I can and add value to my life instead. With a new laptop I can further continue sharing my frugal stories with you and improve the quality of content I produce.
All in All. A successful week.
Today Money saved -$404.05
Sold my old laptop for $300
Total money saved -$104.05
In future I will plan a bit more for a no spend challenge. Here’s how to plan