How A “no spend challenge” Can Help Make You Wealthy

Hundred Dollar Bill Frozen in Ice

A “No Spend Challenge” can change your life. It’s a quick way to save hundreds of dollars and develop new money habits.

We feel that everyone should try a no spend challenge if they are seriously interested in improving their relationship with money. You will learn so much about yourself. You will become a richer person. There will finally be some extra money in your bank account at the end of the month. You will also learn to be grateful for what you have and you will discover that you don’t “need” as many things as you used to.

It was a life changer for us. We think it will be for you too.

Written by Joel and Leah DePeri

Let’s be honest.

Chances are you’re tired of living the way you have been living. You’re sick of pinching pennies and wondering how you’re going to pay the bills at the end of each month.

Your life doesn’t have to be that way. But it’s not going to change unless you get fed up with your present path and emphatically state “Hell no, I’m not going to live like this anymore.”

Are you sick of being broke?

A No Spend Challenge is not going to change your life overnight, but it is a very significant force. Its impact packs a much stronger punch than simply putting a few hundred dollars in the bank. Surprisingly, the biggest lesson a No Spend Challenge will teach you is not about money. It will be about the habits you learn and implement.

You will learn a lot about yourself and your spending habits by completing a No Spend Challenge. Some of the habits you unconscionably do each day are literally costing you hundreds of dollars a month. 

You must objectively look at every expense you incur in a typical month. Determine which expenses are “wants” and which are “needs”. Put each expense under a magnifying glass to see if it is pulling its own weight.

Life is short. How many more days are you going to waste?

Make a decision TODAY to take action. Face forward and strive to reach your highest potential each day.

You can do this.​

Let’s get started.​ Ready, set, go.

What is a No Spend Challenge?​​​​​​

A No Spend Challenge is a period of time in which you make a commitment to FREEZE SPENDING on everything except your bills. That’s it! 

You must make a commitment to stop paying for everything else. That means everything… lunch out with friends, morning coffee at Starbucks, that delicious chocolate bar you have every afternoon. Everything.

How long can a No Spend Challenge last?

We feel two weeks is best for your first No Spend Challenge. It’s not so short as to not make a difference, nor too long to be overwhelming.

You will likely want to schedule more challenges in the future. Their length will be totally up to you. Some people choose to do a week at a time. Some want to make a massive change and regularly schedule challenges of a month or more.

You can even customize the challenge if you wish. We recommend a full freeze to start, but later on, you may want to schedule “category freezes” in which you choose a particular area of your budget you want to focus on (like not eating out for a month).

How can a ​​​​No Spend Challenge improve my life?

Your relationship with money will change. Before buying something, you will ask yourself “Do I need this?” You will be amazed by how many times you reconsider your purchases and put it down.

You’re going to learn to be frugal. And guess what… you’re going to be surprised that you have extra cash in your wallet. Use it for a worthwhile cause. Boost your emergency account. Pay down some debt.

You will discover that having fun with your friends and family doesn’t always have to cost lots of money. It’s amazing how many activities in your local area are low-cost or free of charge.

The No Spend Challenge will teach you to be grateful for what you have. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by our seeming “lack” of money. We forget our greatest assets are our good health and our friends and family. Enjoy your life. Live with positivity and thoughts of abundance. Have fun.

You will discover that you already have what you need. As part of your No Spend Challenge, you will use up what you have already purchased in your food pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. You may also find yourself going through your clothes closet instead of buying something new. You will likely find many items that you rarely wear (or even have forgotten that you had). Perhaps you don’t “need” as much as you thought.

How much extra Can I save?

You’re going to be surprised about how much money you are going to save in a short period of time. It’s not unusual for families to save a few hundred dollars in just a few weeks.

How often should I do a No Spend Challenge Freeze?

We think 3-4 times a year is ideal. The timing is up to you.

Many people intentionally schedule a spending freeze a month before vacation season or the holidays. It’s an easy way to free up some extra cash when you need it.

We don’t spend a lot of money now. Will a No Spend Challenge work for us?

Yes. Even a savings of $50 or $100 is worth it.

Especially since you will learn some new savings habits. It’s those savings habits that will continue to compound and help you save money long after the challenge has ended.

Perhaps you will decide to brown bag your lunch every day, go out to eat less often, or use your local library more. These new habits will accumulate into a substantial amount of money over time.

Will a No Spend Challenge  “hurt”?

A little… or maybe a lot.

It depends on how much money you are spending unnecessarily.
Some families are living lean and may not have much extra spending. Some are spending extravagantly and will realize substantial savings.

We feel that any money you save (and new habits you learn) far outweighs any effort or sacrifice you will make.

Determine your “wants” and “needs

Before you start your No Spend Challenge, you should review your monthly expenditures and categorize each expense. This will give you a good idea about which expenses should be frozen.




washing the car
coffee at Starbucks
pizza delivery
candy bars
buying lunch out
lottery tickets

Should we involve our children?

We think it’s a tremendous idea to have the entire family share in a No Spend Challenge. Your children want to participate – especially if you can make it fun!

We want this to be a good learning experience for children, but we don’t want them to suffer needlessly. In light of this, we suggest putting a small amount of money in an envelope in case your children are invited to a movie or out for ice cream. They will be happy and will never associate a No Spend Challenge with something negative.

How to start your No spend challenge

Decide how long your No Spend Challenge will be.
Set a start date _______________ .
Set an end date _______________ .

Determine what you will do with your savings. This is a perfect opportunity to pay down some debt or boost your emergency savings account. You might want to dedicate your savings towards something you really need (a new refrigerator or washing machine).

Tell everyone. You may be surprised to learn that many of your friends
and family may want to join your challenge.

Make a list of all the items in your refrigerator, freezer, and food pantry. See what items you can combine into meals. You will save a lot of money simply by using what you have already purchased. Please don’t go to the supermarket and stock up on food for your spending freeze. You’re supposed to eat what you have in your home and transfer your savings to a savings account as you go through your challenge.

Make sure you have all your essentials on hand before you start your
freeze (toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste).

Put some cash in an envelope that you can use to purchase fresh vegetables and milk during your challenge.

Gas up the car. Put aside some cash if you feel you will need to
gas up again during your challenge.

Put your debit and credit cards in a safe place that is not easily accessible.
They should not be in your wallet where you will be tempted to use them

Put aside a small cash envelope for emergencies and unexpected necessary expenses.

Transfer your savings to a savings account as you proceed through your challenge. If you normally eat out twice a week, transfer what you save immediately into savings. Do the same if you normally buy lottery tickets, have lunch out with co-workers, or have the car washed each week. You will be surprised about how much you will be able to
transfer to savings in a short period of time.

Celebrate with a small treat at the end of your challenge.

Have a family meeting to talk about your spending freeze. How much did you save?
What new habits will you carry over to your normal routine?

In conclusion

We have observed that people will choose between two paths in life.

There are those who say “that’s a great idea” after reading something that inspires them and then do absolutely nothing. They move aimlessly through their lives frustrated by their inability to improve their situation.

Then there are those who take action. They actively look for opportunities to advance their lives. They have big plans for their future. There will not stop until they get what they want.

Thankfully, you’re in the second group. We know that to be true because you would never read this far otherwise.

Congratulations on being you. 

We hope you give our No Spend Challenge a chance.

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