I went one week without spending and what I discovered was quite life-changing.
I have been in a season of my life where I’ve been focused on zoning in my mindset on appreciating the simple things in life.
Life surrounds us with wonders and blessings daily, seeing them is up to you.
Lately, I was so focused on what I didn’t have and how I could get it that it led me to a never ending road of dissatisfaction.
Ambitions are great, but being so ambitious you forget the small things?
Not so great.
With ingraining a daily gratitude practice in my life, I’ve been finding happiness in the “small” things of life and rewiring my brain to search daily to find that.
In return, it’s bringing me joyful satisfaction with the everyday mundane life tasks that you get so wrapped up in.
But that’s what most of life is.
It’s brushing your teeth, your daily job, driving here and there, cooking, picking out your outfits, and cleaning your bathroom.
When you get to a place of gratitude where you find pleasures and thankfulness in those mundane tasks, well, that’s when life gets good.
Life is all about your perspective and how you look at the world.
How are you looking at it? Really?
I hope you find some guidance and motivation to also take on this challenge by this post.
Keep reading for tips and insight!
So Why Go A Week Without Spending?
You might be asking why I even did this in the first place.
What benefit did it bring?
Well, to be 100% honest I am not the best with money.
I’m not the best at telling myself “no”.
Over the years I’ve created unhealthy habits with money and how I view it.
I let external factors really influence me like friends and events.
Also, recently with moving into a new apartment and adding on new and steep bills to my budget, I needed a reset.
So I knew this exercise would be best for me.
And no, it wasn’t planned! lol!
Ever since I was facing burnout I’ve cleared my schedule as much as possible and given myself time to relax, be calm and reset.
Because of that I was limiting my activities and that results in not spending money.
One weekend went by with no spending and I thought, “Hey this is cool let me see if I can keep it up!”
And I’m glad I did because it gave me such a new perspective on how I’m living my life and where and to who my money is going.
It gave me refresher and allowed me to be creative.
I’d plan my days/evenings/weekends on activities that were no cost and allowed me to take advantage of “blessings” that were offered to me.
**For me, food and dining out is where all my extra money goes, so with this challenge, finding a way without spending any money on food was the biggest obstacle. Because of that I’ve outlined what I ate those seven days.**
Friday: Used gift card for lunch, made a huge pot of chili I ate for dinner
Saturday: No breakfast, attended a sorority alumni event which provided lunch, ate chili for dinner
Sunday: Boyfriend bought us breakfast tacos-yum! Had a veggies for a midday snack and ate chili again for dinner
Monday: Breakfast bar for breakfast and salad with chicken I prepared for lunch, made chicken breast with a side of hummus and veggies for dinner
Tuesday: Breakfast bar for breakfast and salad with chicken I prepared for lunch, Astros watch party event with my work that provided dinner
Wednesday: Breakfast bar for breakfast and salad with chicken I prepared for lunch, ate more chili and some pizza rolls for dinner
Thursday: Breakfast bar for breakfast, lunch provided by my work for our Halloween party, met up with my family and had a Halloween dinner out
Friday: No breakfast, sandwich and work snacks for lunch, friend “owed” me and paid for our dinner
You might be thinking, “wow she ate a lot of the same things…” and yes, I did!
Like I said, food for me is a huge impulse, especially eating out and this way of living I knew would be hardest for me.
Everyone has their thing.
For me it’s much easier to spend money on a great meal than a great outfit–I don’t know why!
What is your “thing”?
It made me find pleasure and gratitude in the food I did have and pay money for prior, not waste food and find joy in what I was eating.
What I Learned
This week gave me such a new perspective and reiterated the point that money doesn’t equal happiness, at least not for me.
Here are some things that I learned:
- Putting my ego and desires aside by far was worth it and I need to do that more often
- Some of the best things in life are free
- It’s more than okay to have free time and not book yourself out completely
- I work very hard for the money I make and I need to think it through much more before I give it away to people and businesses
- Yes, I will survive AND be happy without spending for a week
Things that are free that I spent my time doing:
Spending time with loved ones and coworkers, exercising, church, crafting, spending time in nature riding my bike, cooking yummy meals, writing, reading, connecting with others, working and relaxing.
It was so nice and wonderful reconnecting with a “simple” life.
Sometimes we get so caught up in going going going that we don’t stop and think, “Do I really need to be doing this or how is this serving me?”
A huge takeaway was learning to NOT give into my wants and desires over and over again.
This was a huge wakeup call for me.
I learned to say no to myself for the benefit of something greater.
It today’s world we see everyone on social having “everything” they could ever want and then we immediately compare that to our own lives.
We think, “They have it so why not me?”
Oh hun, having that rule your life and desires is somewhere you don’t want to head.
Learning to have a humble heart and put your ego away is something you should always be working on because it’s never 100% done.
It always comes back.
It’s just human nature.
This challenge humbled me more than I can explain.
*It made me get creative and recognize my many blessings in my life.
*It increased my gratitude when I got free meals or someone paid for me.
*It really opened my eyes and will influence my life from here on out.
Y’all, it really was that impactful.
Tips For Your No Spending Challenge
First, you need to have a plan.
No I didn’t have plan, but somehow it worked out for me!
And it was able to work because I’m good at consistently grocery shopping and making sure I have food to eat at home.
I would fill up on gas, plan out your meals, grocery shop and look at your calendar.
Pro Tip: You need to do this on a week without holidays, birthdays or celebrations.
A week when you have the most down-time where you won’t be forced to spend money.
Sidenote: I didn’t take into account bills that you have to pay. I counted anything that wasn’t a bill. Please pay your rent! Lol
However, the bills that I could manage counted.
For example, I filled up on gas beforehand and planned a week where I only needed to drive if I had to.
For bills you can control to an extent do your best to do that and plan accordingly.
Secondly, you need to be intentional with your day and week.
You need to know what you have going on and be real with yourself.
If you are a busy bee make sure you know of events that are free that will keep you entertained and happy.
Know in the morning what your day is going to look like and stick to it.
Don’t get sidetracked when new plans popup that will make you go against the challenge and your intentions for the day.
Just for one week, stick to your plan and see what it does.
You got this girl!
Lastly, you need to have a goal for what you want to focus on and get out of this challenge.
What are you doing it for?
To be better at not spending?
(For most this will be it.)
Is it to change your perspective?
To gain more gratitude in your life?
To humble yourself and get rid of your ego?
To see where your time really is going and manage that better?
Have a goal for the weeklong challenge and a desired outcome.
It’s Really Quite Simple
The best things in life are the simple things.
When you can change your outlook on life to look for those things and appreciate them, finding joy will be continuous and easy.
This no spending challenge I did really had a huge impact on my life and it is my hope, it does to you too, if you decide to take it on.
And please let me know if you do it!
Make sure to use #ffnospendweek on social so we can connect and support each other.
Thank you for reading. Please let me know in the comments how you relate to this post and what you thought. If you want to get notified when there’s new posts make sure to subscribe!