The Weekend Challenge

Taking two days out of your week to refrain from frivolous spending is a challenge worth every penny. Doing this on a monthly basis will surely increase your savings if you put the cash away. Spending it later defeats the purpose.

Before starting any challenge it’s important to be mentally prepared. Once you’ve decided to commit, prepare for moments of weakness triggered by boredom, temptation, and restlessness. Having a plan will help and below are a few tips.

  1. Plan ahead and make it your mission not to spend any money over the next two days (except for essentials like fuel and groceries). No coffee runs, impulse snacks from the 7-11, or random shopping trips. Tell friends and family so that they don’t tempt you into attending costly social events. Plan free activities to keep yourself busy.
  1. Work on that home project you’ve been putting off for months or give your house a thorough cleaning. Not up for work? Relax. Garden or lounge in the backyard and enjoy the fresh air.
  1. If you’re a social butterfly, you don’t have to convert to being a hermit. If you skip Saturday night out, invite your friends over for Sunday brunch. Make it a potluck where each guest contributes a food item. You’ll save on groceries and time and still enjoy your friends. Or just invite them over for coffee and chit-chat.
  1. Living simply doesn’t equate to confinement. There are plenty of outdoor activities free of charge. To name a few, take your dog to the park, go to the beach, hike, exercise, or volunteer.
  1. Reconnect with your loved ones or enjoy quiet time on your own. Take up a hobby, prepare home-cooked meals, or fire up the grill and cook whatever is on hand. Use the opportunity to clear out your fridge.
  1. Contemplate the past week and plan to make room for self-improvement where needed in the coming week.
  1. Unplug and take a nap.
  1. Focus on the end result. On Monday morning you’ll know that you’ve saved money and, perhaps, started the process to correct a destructive overspending habit.

After completing this challenge, you’ll have practiced self-discipline; a useful skill for any healthy habit you’re trying to achieve.