Admit it, you love treating yourself, don’t you? A cheeky latte and bacon sarnie on the way to work, a delicious BLT meal deal for lunch and your favourite magazine for the afternoon break – it all adds up. So how would you feel if you were not able to spend anything, nothing at all, not one penny? Does it induce feelings of panic? Or do you think you’d be able to achieve it easily?
Well, why not challenge yourself to complete a No Money Monday. This coming Monday, ditch your grab-and-go brekkie, say so long to your meal deal lunch and borrow a magazine if you really need one. Instead follow our guide below, and once you know it’s possible to live perfectly well without spending loads of lolly – you may want to extend the challenge to more than one day.
If you want to do no-spend days, you will have to get used to making all your food and drink and taking it with you when you go out. So, prepare your lunch, plus snacks, a flask of hot coffee and a bottle of cold drink too, if you want something other than corporation pop! (that’s water for those under a certain age!)
Plan, or even cook your evening meal in advance so that you know what you’ll be having and you’re not tempted to grab something on the way home.
Wants and Needs
Sort out in your own mind what are wants and what are needs. As a guide, needs are generally things you really can’t do without, such as travel to work if it’s too far to walk and there’s no alternative. And wants are those things that you don’t really need, such as cigarettes (you may think you need them, but you don’t really!), and that morning coffee that helps you peel your eyes open.
If you want to shock yourself into giving something up, like tobacco, pop the numbers into The Demotivator calculator to find out how much you spend over a year. You’ll probably want to stop spending on wants right there and then.
Leave your purse at home
Now, this is one of those things that you may feel okay doing, or you may think it really not a good idea. Our thoughts are that it’s always a good idea to have some money on you, just in case there’s an emergency of some kind. You could leave your debit and credit cards at home, but have at least, say, £10 in your purse or wallet. And if you’re thinking, ‘I can’t do that, what if I see a pair of gorgeous shoes that I really need’. Well, not being able to pay for them until the next day gives you time to really think about if you need them or not. Impulse buys can be really bad for your bank balance! And, you may find that if you’re made to wait for something, you’ll probably forget about it, which means it wasn’t that important after all.
Keep yourself motivated
If you’re struggling to keep to your new regime, keep a note of what you owe (perhaps your credit card bill) with you – or a picture of that dream location you’d like to be able afford to go to on holiday. So, when you feel like you’re about to crack, pull out the list and remind yourself of why you’re putting yourself through this. Actually, you may find that you start to enjoy it after a while, this usually happens when you start to see a difference in your bank account.
That should get you through your first few no-spend days. If you fancy taking the challenge further, there are loads of blogs you can read by people who’ve been doing it for a while. Good luck!