When was the last time you spent a day without spending a dime? If it takes you a moment to think, it's been too long. Try to challenge yourself to a day without spending. The amount of savings you can build might surprise you, and making a goal to try and spend nothing at all eventually adds up. Maybe you're thinking about unavoidable costs because, yes, unexpected expenses pop up regularly. That's totally normal. But, trying to see how many days you don't spend is a challenge for a reason, and with some planning it can be more often than you think. To start, try differentiating your costs and rethinking a few routines.
Differentiate your costs
Your typical costs fall into two categories: fixed and variable. Fixed costs are typically the same every month like rent, car payments and daycare. Variable costs, on the other hand, fluctuate from month to month. They can include utilities, clothes and groceries, and also impulse purchases like entertainment, new outfits, dining out and everything in between. According to a study in 2018, 88.6% of Americans have the tendency to impulse shop with an average spend of $81.75 per session. Try paying your fixed costs at the beginning of each month and set aside money for your "wants" so you won't be tempted to use your credit card as much when impulse purchases pop up.
Rethink other routines
Another way to add to your no spend days, is to rethink habits like exercising or socializing. Instead of opting in for a costly exercise class, try going for a walk and exploring your local trails or find a free workout video series online. Joining in with friends can make it a social opportunity, as well. Also, there are ways to share a meal with friends other than dining out. Try a potluck dinner, and invite your guests to contribute to the meal.
A no spend day doesn't have to mean making sacrifices to your happiness, it's about rethinking how you spend your money.
Next Tip: How to Budget Like a Pro. Small steps toward saving, is still saving.