Excess spending is a habit many of us find hard to quit. Be it a weekend visit to the mall or impulse spending online, it has become quite common to shell out extra bucks on ‘wants’ that aren’t absolutely essential to our daily existence. Yet, it’s always hard to resist a tempting discounted deal or a shiny new item adorning the shelves of your favorite shopping store.

One way to rein in your impulses is following the latest budgeting fad, which is appropriately named – No Spend Days!

What is this fad all about?

As the name suggests, no spend days (or week or month) is a new budgeting challenge where you don’t spend money on a certain category of items for a stipulated period of time. Naturally, it does not mean you are spending no money at all since we all have to pay the bills and buy essential everyday items. The practice dictates that you observe a complete spending ban on a category of items or services that you would usually slot under additional expenditure. It could be anything – You could have a no speed week on clothing, eating out or your morning coffee. You can also generalize it a bit more, like not spending any money for a month on just junk food or online shopping. 

[Related: Top 5 Budgeting Apps for Millennials]

Here are some of the reasons why the challenge works and may help you cut back and save some serious money…

Eliminate unhealthy spending habits

Can’t resist buying the latest collection of clothes no matter how broke you are? Following a strict no spend day challenge can help you get rid of habits that often eat into your budget. From giving up junk food to curtailing unnecessary spending on coffee, you can not only save a lot of money but also give up on habits that make you spend more. 

Utilize items you already have

From cleaning up your fridge to finally using that dress you bought a month ago but never wore, you will end up using items that you already own without stacking up more. You will also realize what items you don’t need at all and can cut them out of your budget in the future as well.

Regain control over your budget

Observing a limited-period ban on certain items will help you regain control over your finances and will also make you more aware of your spending habits. Plus, you might finally learn to live without certain things and can adopt a more minimalistic lifestyle. 

[Related: 5 Common Budgeting Problems & Their Solutions]

On the flip side…

Avoid going on a shopping binge 

While it’s great to save a chunk of money by not spending on certain items, it is also essential to ensure that you don’t end up ruining the whole challenge by overcompensating for the lost days. Most people often end up going on a shopping binge the moment the no spend ban window lifts, thinking they can now do it guilt-free. This will defeat the purpose of the whole exercise. Instead, you should learn from the challenge and try to avoid falling back into your old spending patterns.

Don’t take the challenge to the extreme

Some people take the ‘no spend days’ challenge quite literally and impose a blanket ban on all items. There have been cases of people actually borrowing money just to complete the challenge. These are instances where the challenge loses its importance and becomes a task that you simply have to complete. The purpose of the challenge is to identify areas where you are spending excess money and force yourself to cut down on that habit. The moment you take the challenge to the extreme or try hard to prove a point, you will end up losing sight of your goals and render the whole exercise useless.

If done right, ‘No Spend Days’ can help you rein in your finances and save more. So, why not give this latest budgeting trend a shot and see if it spells success for you?

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