If you are hoping to save money quickly, or if you are wondering what you really spend your money on, a week-long spending sabbatical may be a great idea. Not spending money for a certain amount of time offers insight to see where your money is going. The best thing about this money-saving idea is that you can tailor it to your needs and goals.
Set your first time goal modestly. If a week is too long, pick a different period of time. The goal is to make this a meaningful exercise that helps shed some light on your spending patterns and save a few dollars.
Tips for a Spending-Free Week:
- Plan ahead. It takes a lot of organization for the family to be ready to not spend money for a period of time. Make sure there is gas in the car and food to eat for the entire period.
- Be resourceful. You can go to the grocery store to get essentials, but use the frozen food and canned goods you already have sitting around. You can make interesting dishes by using the food in your freezer and pantry.
- Get partially completed projects finished. Maybe you’ve had the paint for over a month to finish the bathroom, or you need to touch up some of your walls. Use this extra time to finish smaller projects that were already started.
- Look for free entertainment. During the week, you will not be spending money on going to the movies or pool. Check out your community’s events calendar to see options that don’t cost anything.
- Don’t be tempted. If you tend to look online at email deals and online shopping, try not to look through them while you are on your spending-free week. It is easy to give into temptations like these, but stop and remember why you are doing this in the first place.
- Take notes. There may be some pain points over your spending-free time, so make a note every time you go to spend and don’t. Add up the amounts. Evaluate if that spending can be eliminated. Celebrate your savings!
Even if you start by doing a three day time period and working your way up, you can save money. A week of spending-free saving can be eye opening to your spending habits. Perhaps this can become a regular exercise – take a week each quarter or even each month.
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