Can No Spend Days Save You Money?


no spend day challenge, financial tips, financial adviceThe more you expose yourself to opportunities to buy things, the money you’ll spend. This is a statement I firmly believe in, especially given my experience with multiple trips to the grocery store within a single week. This got me thinking, could I reduce unnecessary spending by designating specific days of the week as days I am allowed to spend money, and others as no spend days?

The Experiment

Here’s what I’d like to try:

  • Weekly Spending Plans: Create a weekly spending plan for our discretionary funds. One of the best ways to keep yourself from wasting your hard earned cash is to have a plan for it. If we know we have activities planned, or things either of us wants, we will continue to account for those expenditures.
  • Designated Spending Days: Friday is the start of the weekend, and we like to go out to dinner, or movie, etc. Saturday is our day to find deals shopping day and there is one coupon site where you can get a variety of discounts from. Thus those two days make sense to be days where we allow spending. I’m also going to throw in Tuesday as a day that we can sweep up anything that we didn’t buy over the weekend, or can’t wait until Friday.  Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays are days when ZERO discretionary funds can be spent.

The Goal

The goal here is not necessarily to decrease overall spending, although it might be a pleasant side effect. The goal is to make our spending more purposeful. If we have to wait a few days to make a purchase we have time to think about it and decide whether it’s really worth it. No spend days create a natural waiting period even for smaller purchases (I always have a waiting period for large purchases). If my wife and I can decrease wasteful and impulsive purchases, we will have more funds available for other things.

The Results

I’d like to try this for a period of a couple of weeks to see how it goes. I think the best way to measure success will be to (at least initially) write down things that I would have purchased on a no spend day that I ended up not purchasing at all.

What do you think, Clever Friends? Have you ever tried just not spending money for a period of time? How did it work for you?

Disease Called Debt

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I’ve always thought that it’s possible to cut a little spending, but since most of the time you’re going to have more spending in advance and then afterward, it isn’t like you can just cut a full 100% of your budget from the planned time period.

    • True, Money Beagle, however any amount of wasteful spending that I’m able to prevent by essentially inserting a built-in waiting period into my spending is that much more I can use towards “the cool stuff.”

  • I’ve never tried “no spend” days or weeks, but when we end up going over budget several months in a row, or by a significant amount in one month, we institute a longer period of not spending on wants. This usually lasts for a couple months and gets our finances back in shape.

  • I think you will be surprised on how well you do. We do a no spend month in January. We have rules though. Things have to be bought and so forth. It’s amazing the amount of money we have saved (and then spent). We like to do this for home improvements or big trips to Hawaii etc.

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