Can you go an entire week without spending a penny? The short answer is probably – YES! So easy…right? Well, it might not be as easy as you think. You might not realize the little pennies that you are spending on a weekly, probably daily, basis. The opportunity to make purchases happens several moments throughout the day.
But you might think, “well, so what!?! It’s just a little bit of money here and there!” Well, it’s actually quite surprising how much of a gold mine you might find when you seriously track and deliberately not spend a penny.
This little 7-day exercise might also add quite a chunk of change to your bank account and teach you lifelong lessons.
We call it a “penniless week” meaning that we treat our budget and our spending as if we literally do not even have a penny. We skip grocery shopping, online shopping, store shopping, the quick snacks, eating out, treats, sales, deals, activities…all of it!
So just how much money can you save? Well, ourselves who try to have a strict budget, often come out a couple hundred ahead! Hundreds of our readers have participated and come out several hundred dollars ahead and in the bank! Yes, you can’t avoid the very basic necessities, like groceries for long…but most can go a week easy with the foods in their cupboards and fridge.
Will it be the best of meals you’ve had? Probably not, but you will probably have some pretty creative food concoctions and clean out your pantry and fridge at the same time.
We URGE and BEG you to give this a try…once the week is over, many benefits will have become manifest, many of which we have learned:
- Extra money you didn’t know you could squeeze out of your budget to apply to your current goals for a sweet boost.
- Clean out your fridge and pantry by making meals out of them instead of throwing things away in a month or two because you forgot what you had or just simply didn’t use it in time between your shopping trips.
- Learn that perhaps you might engage in careless spending here and there and you should become more conscientious of where every penny goes.
- It’s a character building exercise. Can you really live without? Can you give up the little things for a short time? Was it hard for you? Your family? Your lifestyle?…to make this small sacrifice for seven days? What can you learn from this?
- Can you possibly live without more on a regular basis? Are the things you allow yourself to spend money on really necessary and needed?
Even further, can you take this challenge longer? Two-weeks? Three-weeks? Longer? We know that you cannot fully go penniless for weeks because you probably need groceries, but what if you came out of this week and very slowly began spending again, while taking the opportunity to evaluate what can be cut out on a more permanent basis. You can probably refine your grocery shopping quite a bit. How much of your grocery budget is not on the list or even budgeted? For most, a good amount is not planned and not necessary! Can you reevaluate the items you need and use everyday? Are many of those items really needs?
Also, you might just find that you are dipping into your wallet a lot more than you suspected between the many small $1, $2, $3+ purchases per week. It really, really adds up fast……
So, now we challenge you to join us this week to go the whole week without spending a penny!
Will you join us?
Leave a comment to let us know you will.
Let’s Do This!!
*We’ve done penniless week here before on our site because we like to do this in our family every few months as it is such a beneficial and financially boosting exercise. If you want more details and tips on how to make this penniless week a success and information on why this is different than living broke or being broke, please read the further details on The Penniless Week Challenge.
Need to catch up? Come join us on this challenge from the very beginning by clicking on the 52-Week Take Back Your Finances Challenge and sign up to start receiving your automated challenge from the very beginning!
One final thing…we also have a Facebook Group where you can engage in discussions, receive encouragement and talk to others that are participating in the challenges too for more ideas! Head to the Be Intentional with The Thrifty Couple Facebook Page HERE and ask to join us there! You can also invite friends and spouses too!
Disclaimer: We are not licensed financial planners. We are only a couple that have been just a hair-breadth away from bankruptcy and found our way out of debt with a goal to now help others. Please make sure to consider any advice given on our site and in this challenge as tips we have used ourselves; they may not work for everyone. If you have questions please make sure to contact a licensed professional.