NBC 7 Responds

Taking On The No-Spend Challenge

Cutting back on expenses by cutting out non-essential items.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

This is the time of year when holiday shopping bills start piling up.

That’s why Jen Smith says it’s time for the No Spend Challenge.

“A no-spend challenge is committing however long, 30 days, seven days, a weekend, to not spend any money on non-essentials,” said personal finance expert Jen Smith.

Smith says it is all about little purchases that add up to big expenses.  She says most people are not splurging on cars, big tv’s and fancy vacations, it is the 5, 10 and 20-dollars transactions that can impact a budget.

Smith and her Modern Frugality website lists a number of ways to pull off a no-spend challenge.  It includes preparing a set of items or activities to cut out of the budget.  Tell friends and family about your plans and encourage their support.  And then set a specific time frame for the challenge.  It could be certain days of the week, or a set number of weeks or weekends.

One could be included in the challenge?

“Not going out to eat, not going out for drinks, passing up the Starbucks line, stuff like that,” said Smith.

Smith says you could save a thousand dollars a month depending on your current spending.  But the plan does have its limits.

“The change you make during a no-spend challenge are not meant to be sustainable,” said Smith, “t hey are meant to be something to change up your routine and get you thinking.

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