No Spend Challenge When You’re Flat Broke. Budget Re-Set – Over 30 Ways to Make it Happen!

No Spend Challenge | How to do a No Spend Challenge to save money. Money saving tips to help you spend less and save more. Rules & ideas for a No Spend Challenge. image of cup of coffee with decortive cream. white mug and plate.

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I think a no spend challenge will be fun, even adventurous and time to catch up with one another, family, friends, get stuff done. And you know what, it’s like hitting the re-set button on our spending.  So, I’ve put together a list of ideas, not rules.  I’d love you to join me. Can’t make it this weekend? Pck another.

Before we get started, let’s go over some of the ‘nitty gritty’ of a traditional No Spend Challenge and the benefits of Saving more.

Are you down for a NO SPEND WEEKEND?

I’m going to take just a minute here to talk a bit about the WHY. My first answer is why not? Growing up we didn’t have internet or even cable TV. We played outside, visited family and friends. Imagine that!

Does anyone even know what Red Rover or Hide and Seek are anymore? We played Cards! Yeah, real card games at the table, on doorsteps, at the beach, in the park. My favorite was playing games at the Laundry Mat. We socialized and it was all FREE! 

My best memories are from ‘unplugged’ moments. I think most of you will agree on that!

So, while this is an exercise in saving more, spending control, hitting the reset button on your budget. This is also a moment to experience a little bit more of your life.

  • Attend free music/movies in the park or some local community theaters.
  • Have a Yard Sale!  May as well turn this into a fun and money making weekend while you’re at it.
  • Have a picnic at a local park, in your backyard or on your family room floor.
  • Take a hike! Literally, take a walk, hike, stroll. Get to know your neighborhood or explore a new one.  Try a local state forest or park. Earn some $ with your activity tracker too!
  • Bike ride or roller skate? dig out the wheels and have some fun!
  • Games! not video either haha. Don’t have any? invite some friends over and play charades, cards (remember card games?) !
  • Scavenger Hunt!  I’m on the ‘hunt’ for some fun kid and grown up ideas, got any?
  • Friends and Family Dinner or Brunch, pot luck style.
  • Learn something new.  Check out YouTube.  Even better, ask a friend to show you a craft.
  • Read a book, there are many freebies online now or borrow one from a friend.
  • Cook, Bake, freeze ahead snacks and meals (this will save you all week or month long)

Must Read: Ask Yourself These Questions Before Spending Another Dime!

  • Create! Plan ahead and go on Pinterest and find how many things you can make with items you already have.  I’m going to try finishing up a rag wreath (fabric from old worn out clothes) on a coat hanger!
  • Organize your files, photos, closets. Put aside bags for donate or yard sale for your next no spend weekend!
  • DIY something (refinish or paint some furniture), o.k. this could be your ‘craft’.
  • Visit the library, borrow a movie or book, see what other great resources they offer today.
  • Volunteer, help an organization or a neighbor, school.
  • Camping!!   Backyard camping has some fun memories in my family or family room camping!
  • Go Fish!  (grab a stick, some string and a hook! Huck Finn style if you like or borrow a fishing pole).
  • Visit your local lake, ocean, or pond and pick up driftwood, shells, stones. Pack dinner!
  • Take pictures of your no spend weekend and pick some good ones for framed gifts!
  • Paint a wall, a room, a cabinet or two or clean out that really gross closet you avoided all year! (ps.. Yard Sale!)

Try Painting Your Front or Back Doors to Remember the Great New No Spend Chalenge Tradition!

  • Get organized. Use this no spend time to collect your thoughts and come up with a plan to help you feel more organized going forward. Journal those goals and baby steps towards them.
  • Garden or yard work.  Ask a friend if they have any plants they can share/ split.
  • Have lots of plants already? Split a bunch and share or hmmm, have your own plant sale!
  • Chill, take some downtime to do zip zero nada nothing.
  • Clothing swap for yourself, kids
  • Draw or paint or print out some fun coloring pages for free.
  • Play a video game or Pokémon go! Is that still a thing?
  • Invite your friends over for a girls or guys weekend, sleepover and all!

Related Post: Celebrate A Birthday When You’ve Got NO Money.

  • DIY Mani Pedi or with friends.
  • Write bunch of small notes to friends or anonymously send words of kindness throughout the week, have these little notes handy, you can even drop them on cars in parking lots ( a smiley with have a nice day would bring a smile for sure).
  • Put together your holiday gift list and what you can DIY this year.
  • Join a Facebook Group that is useful for helping you learn something new.
  • Take in a free local school football, soccer, softball, etc.. game.
  • Browse Etsy stores for DIY inspiration or inspiration of how to start your own store.
  • Start a Blog!!!

Upcycle some old items you have laying around, elevate their use while sprucing things up!

Time’s Up! How Did Your No Spend Challenge Go? Did you Save More Money?

Don’t sweat the little things. I know I originally made this list pre-pandemic. So, there aren’t football games and sleep-overs are a bit risky for many still. There are many ways to take on a no spend challenge and each one is unique to your life, your family. Find what works for you.

Try to put a value to the money you saved by not spending. Put that money aside, however small or large. Set up a savings account just for your no spend weeends and months (yes, you may want to even try a whole month at some point!). Use this savings towards your Emergency Fund or to start paying down debt so you’re not always living paycheck to paycheck.

Most importantly, use this first no spend chalenge to learn from it. At the end of the time frame you set, take a minute to evaluate what worked. Plan your next one. You’re going to save more each time, More importantly, you’ll have a stronger family bond.

Matt R

Hi, my name is Matt and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you budget and save money.

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