“No-Spend Days”; and How To Be Successful
Discretionary spending is not often a luxury many retirees experience, but if you plan your
finances well, then you should have at least an occasional allowance. However, since retirement usually means you have a fixed income, it is crucial to keep to a budget so that you do not limit your ability to have some financial freedom. A "no-spend day" is a great way to ensure that you stay focused on your budget, and if planned well, the day can even be a little fun.
Understanding the Purpose of a "No-Spend Day"
The primary aim of a "no spend day" is to experience a single day without spending a single
dollar of your discretionary income, or money not tied to pre-existing financial responsibilities, like utilities or car payments. Avoiding the expense of existing bills for a day can lead to overdraft or late fees, which is not responsible and undermines the value of a "no-spend day."
Another reason people commit to "no-spend days" is to uncover where their money is going. It is not uncommon for someone to view their bank account and realize that somewhere during the last month, they spent more than they expected, which creates a deficit at the end of the month, and no one wants that.
Creating a Successful Plan
A "no-spend day" requires planning for success, but it is also essential that you do not spend
money in preparation. For example, do not go out and buy food and games for the day because that defeats the purpose. You need to control your spending. Instead of buying more food, try looking in your pantry or freezer to find and plan a menu for the day. Instead of buying new games, find a book or movie that you have meant to watch. You want to use the resources you already invested in and save as much money as possible.
During your "no-spend day," track your money. While you are not spending money, you know the situations when you typically would so write down that data. By writing down when you may have spent money on a regular day, you can estimate how much you saved by not spending anything.
Enjoy a Hobby
Do you have any hobbies that you have neglected? If so, consider taking the time during your
"no-spend day" to revisit something you love to do. If you love reading, then find a book on your shelves. Love gardening? Then, go outside and weed your landscaping. Just because you cannot spend money does not mean you cannot have a productive and rewarding day.
Make It a Competition
Nothing brings about success like a competition. If you are nervous about having a "no-spend day," contact a friend or family member and challenge them to the task as well. It is often easier to complete a difficult task with company.
A "no-spend day" provides an opportunity to reassess your finances and to evaluate your
discretionary spending. In retirement, it is crucial to keep track of every penny, ensuring that your money lasts your autumn years. If you enjoyed this piece, then continue reading the Wise Ol' Crow for more financial advice.