The No-Spend Weekend Challenge

Getting through one weekend without spending money might seem like a joke to you. I mean, you’re probably thinking, “What am I supposed to do? Lock my door, turn off my phone and sit in the dark?” Well, not quite. We don’t mean you should avoid everyone and everything in your life for one weekend of spending $0. The chances of this 48-hour event completely solidifying your finances are not that probable. But it is challenging. And isn’t that what personal finance is all about? Finding new ways to challenge and test your willpower with money?

So here is what you need to do to accept the no-spend weekend challenge:

Step 1: Plan ahead

This challenge isn’t one that you can spring on yourself with little to no notice. Okay, maybe for some of us it could be. But the reality is, without expecting a weekend of zero spend, you are at-risk for failing to complete this mostly easy challenge. Buy groceries you will need ahead of time, make plans or cancel plans, and get into the mindset early.

Step 2: Get creative

Not spending money is a wonderful chance to get creative around the house. Whether this challenge is being attempted by you and you alone, or you and your family, there are some pretty unique ways to ensure you do not spend any money. Get crafty with all of the leftover elastic bands in your kitchen, read a book, take care of yourself or hit the great outdoors for some quality family time.

Step 3: Reflect

Not being able to spend money gives you a chance to reflect on why you spend money in the first place. It also clues us in to where we normally spend our money on the weekends. Do you eat out, order in or give your kid a couple of $20s to head to the mall? There are many small habits that can be forgotten and begin to eat at our budgets.

Step 4: Retain

Remember that as you reflect on your spending habits, to also retain this information. What good is a no-spend weekend if you go back to your old ways as soon as Monday rolls around? Ensure that you retain the memories of ways you explored, enjoyed or relaxed without money. The feeling can be one of great pride.

Step 5: Experience

Experience what it would be like if you were unable to spend that $40 on a pizza order every Saturday night. Would your life be different? Would it be different in a better or worse way? Your experiences during this time should be small enough to not stop you from enjoying your days off, but large enough to understand that money doesn’t need to be the only way to “spend” your weekend. Sorry, had to sneak one pun in there.


Are you ready for your no-spend weekend? Let us know how it goes!

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