Home » Save Money » No Spend Challenge: The #1 Fastest Way To Save Money

No Spend Challenge: The #1 Fastest Way To Save Money

Inside: The No Spend Challenge is a simple savings challenge to encourage you to stop spending money. You can choose a no spend day, no spend week, or a no spend month. Make the pledge and take it for a test drive!

What would you do with an extra $500 at the end of the month?

Well, that is exactly what you are going to learn today. Those are the results you can expect from a no spend challenge.

You will learn how to not spend money.

That is dare, right?

But, first…let’s talk about the elephant in the room. This is the big one that is holding you back from achieving your money goals…

Spending money.

You don’t know exactly where your money goes and at the end of the month, there is never enough. You want to have money left after bills. But, some impulse spending happened. You don’t have enough income. And then, there is that overwhelming debt.

That is a lot of stress on your shoulders and a tough spot to be in.

If you truly want to learn the answer, then a no spend challenge is exactly what you need.

It will be a game changer for your finances. This no spend challenge guide will help you to be successful!

Are you so excited? 

Are you ready for this save money challenge? Learn how a no spend challenge will transform your budget. Get the no spend challenge rules and download your free printable. Use the worksheets for organization. Finally learn how to not spend money at all. See results in 30 days.

What is a No Spend Challenge?

First off, let’s be real… the sound of a no spend week or month sounds awful. Not spending money. Just miserable. Like going to the dentist for a root canal. Don’t we all want to spend money freely? I know I want to, but that isn’t our reality. Since we are in the same boat, let’s talk go into detail in this no spend challenge guide.

The definition of a no spend challenge…

You pledge not to spend money during a pre-determined amount of time.

This is a chance to force yourself to not spend money during a set amount of time. You don’t spend money. Period.

That is exactly the purpose of what is a no spend challenge. A forced timeframe not to spend money or have what is called no spend days.

This helps you to learn how to not be tempted to spend money.

Okay, there are some no spend challenges rules that we will discuss shortly. Because things like your rent and insurance still have to be paid. And you need to eat, too. But, for now… let’s just focus on what happens when you don’t spend money during this money challenge.

Not spending money = lots more money in your pocket.

That sounds amazing!

This is your chance to finally get ahead with your finances.

Time to slow down your spending (or maybe even overspending) and finally see what you can save.

Why A No Spend Challenge?

Picture of cash wrapped up in a lock for What is a No Spend Challenge

There are plenty of reasons to participate in a no spend challenge, which we will cover shortly. 

But first, I want to know… why would a no spend challenge help your personal situation?

For us, personally, a no spend month changed how we spent money. It started because we were aggressively paying down our debt. (You can read our story on why here.) We realized that we were buying stuff that we really didn’t care about or truly need. It was a chance for us to see what we would have spent and what we ended up saving to pay off our debt.

At the end of the month, we realize that we could add an additional $500 a month to paying off our debt – just by changing our spending habits.

That was the result of our first no spend month.

Oh, and the best part, we never went back to our old spending habits. Many of the spending just to spend money is gone and it is saved to our big expense fund. We still use our spending wish list for things we want. (that is a free printable in our resource library.)

What does no spend mean to you? 

This can vary to person to person and that is 100% okay. You have to make the no spend work for you.

As an example, our first no spend month changed our finances. Consequently, it holds enough power to change your finances too.

How could a no spend challenge transform your finances?

That is if you are willing to participate in learning how to not spend money. 

You will have to keep yourself accountable.

Going back to my earlier question.. what would you do with extra money at the end of the month?

What I learned from my no-spending challenge

Picture of minimalist home for a no spend challenge.

First of all, this is the #1 task I recommend to people all the time.

The reason why… we uncovered ways we were spending money that didn’t align with our values or goals. We had habits of how we spent money and wasted it.

I learned that spending money is a habit and not an essential part of life, which was something I had never considered before. I also learned that I’m much happier than when I was spending money just for the sake of it.

Everyone will walk away learning something from their no spend month! Guaranteed.

Results of a No Spend Challenge

Picture of a wallet in a vice for a No Spend Challenge

Let’s look at some of the reasons for a no spend challenge.

1. Save Money

Obviously, this is the first reason.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Too many times, we are focused on the fact our income isn’t enough. But, I want to dispute that mentality and say you need to learn how to spend what you do have. Specifically, spend money where it matters the most to you.

By saving money, it opens up opportunities. Plus it takes the stress and worry away about the “what if” scenarios.

A little side note… here at Money Bliss, we stress the importance of saving money. So much so that saving happens in 7 of the 10 Money Bliss Steps to Financial Freedom. Yes, saving money is key!

The ability to save money is the key takeaway during your no spend month.

2. Spot Trouble Areas

Oh goodness! This is where the rubber meets the road. That point is when you truly get a birds-eye perspective of how you would spend money. The blessing is that you didn’t spend the money during the no spend month.

You get to spot your trouble areas of how and when you spend money.

Overcoming your money obstacles is one of the best ways to get a grasp on your money situation. However, it is the hardest for us because we need to talk about emotions and things that are blocking or hampering how we relate to money.

Even if you last for a couple of days during your first no spend challenge, you will still benefit by learning the areas you struggle the most with.

 3. Stop the Waste & Have Less Stuff

Picture of a jar of coins

There are two things you will stop wasting. The first one is obviously you will stop wasting your money. The second is you will stop wasting the things you don’t use. 

This is especially true when it comes to food.

There is so much food waste in society. Typically, the number one way to save money on groceries is by not wasting food. Would you willingly throw $200 in the trash each month? Probably not, but as a society we do it ALL THE TIME.

True honesty moment… is it easier to buy a new one rather than find the one that you have in your house?

A no spending challenge will keep you accountable. It will uncover your eyes to the waste and extra stuff crowding into your life and stealing your money and time.

4. Build Habits

A new habit won’t happen in a day. Or two. Even a week. Even the old thinking of 21 days it outdated.

According to new research, it takes 66 days to build a new habit.1

That is the amount of time needed for you to actually completely change your spending habits.

Now, I am not suggesting you need to hold a 66 day no spend challenge. If you want to, then that is great, and go for it. We are talking about the habits you can build by paying attention to what happens on a no spend day.

During your no spend days, you are actively realizing how and when you want to spend money rather than passively spending money without any notice or regard.

It takes a pledge and commitment to build habits. So, start with a no spend challenge that works for you.

5. Improved Budgeting Skills

No Spend Challenge Free Printables

Learning to budget is hard.

There is no way to get around that one. Even on our site, we teach you budgeting. But, it takes time and patience to get to the budgeting concepts down. 

This time spent in a no spend challenge will show you how much you actually need to spend on certain categories. Thus, making your budgeting process more accurate and much easier to maintain.

Finding a budget that works for you is crucial to long-term success.

6. Discipline

Nothing like your pledge to a no spend venture to keep you disciplined. 

A no spend challenge will dare you to spend money many, many times.

This is your chance to stay strong and not give in to temptation. Remember your pledge of not spending money and saving money instead.

It will be difficult not to spend money for a certain amount of time. But, look at the discipline and millionaire habits you will create during that timeframe.

7. Learn What You Want

Saved the best reason for last. This will help you to uncover your ‘why you do what you do each day’ with money.

You will uncover what truly matters to you and what doesn’t.

That is huge in this game of life and money.

During the course of your no spend challenge, you will decide what you want to spend money on. This will help you to prioritize what is important to you. This will help improve your budget and find extra money each and every month.

This is what I found out.

These are the results I have had and can’t wait to hear the examples from you.

Key Hint for Long-Term Success: Understanding reason #7 will ultimately change your personal finances and how you look at life.

How Long for a No Spend Challenge?

Picture of a budget and calculator for No Spend Challenge Worksheets

Honestly, that is up to you.

Typically, most no spend challenges happen for 30 days or the month. That is the optimum amount of time to start seeing the difference in your finances. But, that doesn’t mean that is the only answer. You have options to fit your life.

Here we will lay out other options and you can decide what works the best.

Option #1 – No Spend Day

Exactly what it sounds like. This is one day that you actively decide not to spend any money.

These no spend days are great for someone who has completed a 30 day no spend challenge before. It allows them to quickly remember the difficulties they had to overcome and how much they were able to save.

It is the perfect mini challenge.

Option #2 – No Spend Weekend

This is a great starting point for anyone new to a no spend challenge. Plus a great way to enlist the family to save money!

It will be an eye opener to how many free activities are available and how conveniently we just browse and end up spending money in the process.

Option #3 – No Spend Week

This timeframe allows you to make quick wins on changing your habits. Some possibilities include picking up takeout, grabbing an expensive coffee, or having lunch / happy hour with friends. The $5-20 stuff that adds up daily and you don’t realize it equates to so much at the end of the week.

The downfall of the no spend week is it is only 7 days. It is really, really easy to put off buying something for a few days. So, you may be postponing your spending until the next week. 

Thus, for true habit changes, you may need a no spend month.

Option #4 – No Spend Month

Picture of a No Spend Challenge Bullet Journal

A 30 day no spend challenge is where the true magic happens. 

This is where you will uncover your tendencies and how you spend money. This will show you your weaknesses and where your temptations are the greatest! You will have to use discipline to stay on track to your no spend challenge pledge.

Also, during a no spend month, you can add up how much you saved throughout the month. That number might be a huge surprise and help you to overcome any overspending issues. 

During a no spend month, you will truly uncover your wants vs your needs. Those 30 days will help you clarify your spending going forward.

Option #5 – No Spend Year

The extreme no spend challenge would be to not spend money for a full year. For some that may be doable. For us, we are in a busy season of life and that would be a huge struggle unless we allowed many categories (like home repairs). But, boy do I wish I did this when I was single and stupid with money.

There are so many interesting books you can find on people who went through a no spend year.

No Spend Challenge Rules

No Spend Challenge Rules

Okay, before you dig in, let’s set out the rules.

These are the no spend challenge rules you must be willing to commit to in order to find success!

1. Commit to A Time Frame

This is the most important.

What timeframe could you have success with? As well as what timeframe would stretch your boundaries?

  • No Spend Day
  • No Spend Weekend
  • 7 day or No Spend Week
  • 30 day or No Spend Month

What about a no spend year?

Committing to your time frame is crucial. No cheat days are allowed here.

2. Categories to Include

This is the hardest area to decide what is and what isn’t allowed during a no spend challenge. 

Obviously, you will have to spend something on our basic needs – food, shelter, transportation, and basic clothing. Here are some options:

Allowed Categories:

These are the absolute basic needs:

  • Housing Expenses (mortgage, rent, utilities, home repairs)
  • Food – unless you want to minimize the amount you spend for a pantry challenge
  • Basic clothing (ie: you have too many holes and not another pair left)
  • Insurance
  • Child care / tuition
  • Fuel for car
  • Giving
  • Debt payments
  • Taxes

Eliminate Spending Categories:

These is everything in the WANT category – many are flexible expenses:

  • Take out / Happy Hour / Fast Food / Coffee
  • Personal care – hair and salon services, massages
  • Housecleaner
  • Activities
  • Gifts
  • Clothing wants to be stylish 
  • Cable or streaming services freeze
  • Hobbies
  • Entertainment
  • Shopping for anything
  • Lifestyle luxuries and fun

Even better, you can take a look at the full list of budgeting categories and decide what is allowed and what isn’t allowed.

There is no right or wrong answer. But, you need to commit to your no spend challenge, and to do that, you must decide what to spend and what not to spend.

3. Keep Track of Progress

Picture of a lady writing What does no spend mean during a no spend challenge

Besides seeing extra money in your account, you need to track your progress. 

Just like with a habit tracker, mark off each day you are successful in not spending money. That will show your progress as well as any hiccups along the way. 

We are all human.

  • So, if you are participating in a no spend month or year, there is likely to be something that may sneak into your spending and break the no spend challenge.
  • Be aware that may happen – just make sure it is something you have wanted for a really long time and waited for at least 24 hours to buy.
  • And don’t let it derail your plans!

To make things easier, download our No Spend Challenge Tracker printable in our resource library.

Side Note… The end goal is to find success. So, include what you need to make sure you have success while still limiting the excess spending.

4. Find Accountability & Share Your Story

Let’s face it. You will be saying NO a lot. (Probably more than a toddler likes to say the word no.)

So, you need to find a like-minded community to help you out. You can always join our Money Bliss Tribe, too!

Don’t be afraid to share your story and why you are participating in a no spend challenge.

When we paid off our debt, we hardly told anyone why we said no all the time. It was something we kept between ourselves. It didn’t bother us because we had each other for accountability. But, I have learned since…many other people were motivated by our story once they learned about it.

Don’t be like us. Share your story. Tag us on social media so we can follow your story!

What To do AFTER the no spend challenge ends?

Once you complete your first no spend challenge, you may be wondering, “What Next?”

At the end of this period, it is important to reflect on what changes have happened in your life because of the challenge.

When you complete the no spend challenge, you should have saved a lot of money.

This money can be used to make life easier and help you get ahead financially.

You can save money and invest in yourself. You could use it to get out of debt.

Others might choose to donate their money or put it towards something else like a vacation or a car.

Is a No Spend Challenge Worth It?


Depending on what you want to accomplish with your money, a no spend challenge might be an effective way to save money, or it might be a terrible idea.

A no-spend challenge is a great way to save money and reach your financial goals.

It requires some planning and willpower, but the rewards are worth it. If you want to live below your means or recover from money missteps, a no spend challenge is a fantastic way to fast forward your finances.

No Spend Challenge Printable

One of the keys for a successful no spend challenge is to track your progress. 

You can do this in several different ways. You can use our free printable, a bullet journal, or even a no spend app (daily habit tracker works well). The options are endless. You just need to track your no spend days and how much you are saving.

However, for the highest motivation, use a no spend challenge tracker that you can visually see each and every day. So, for that reason, I like paper and pens.

To make things easier, we have a no spend worksheet available for you.

Don’t forget to keep track on the times you were tempted to spend money. Knowing the amount of money saved at the end of your no spend timeframe will be eye opening!

Ready for a No Spend Month or Week?

No Spend Day. No Spend Week. No Spend Month.

Okay, that is pretty much an ultimate guide to a no spend challenge. Are you ready to take on a challenge?

Like everyone knows… I am constantly challenging people. My reasoning is simple… I want you to take actionable steps toward the things you desire in life. Plain and simple.

That means you must decide right now… how long of a no spend dare will you do:

  • No Spend Day
  • No Spend Weekend
  • 7 day or No Spend Week
  • 30 Day or No Spend Month
  • No Spend Year

The choice is yours. Comment below and we can help you stay accountable.

We have covered the reasons for wanting to learn how to save your money and not spend it. What is your reasoning why to participate?

Each time, I participate in a no spend challenge it is for a different reason. But, it always centers around saving money.

You know the rules, so you can play the game fairly.

This will help you on the path to becoming financially independent.

Don’t forget to download your no spend challenge printable from the resource library!


  1. James Clear. “How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit? (Backed by Science)”. https://jamesclear.com/new-habit. Accessed January 26, 2024.

Know someone else that needs this, too? Then, please share!!

Did the post resonate with you?

More importantly, did I answer the questions you have about this topic? Let me know in the comments if I can help in some other way!

Your comments are not just welcomed; they’re an integral part of our community. Let’s continue the conversation and explore how these ideas align with your journey towards Money Bliss.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *