Should You Try a No-Spend Challenge? – EP 286

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We love no-spend challenges for what they can do, but we hate no-spend challenges when done poorly. The no-spend challenge may not be for everyone, so hopefully, by the end of this episode, you can get an answer on whether or not you should do a no-spend challenge by looking at its benefits, dangers, and arguments against it.

When we are so used to solving all our problems by spending money, not only do we wonder where all our money has gone, but we also lose the self-satisfaction that comes with being creative, critical thinkers, and figuring things out.


  • Giving it a try. Cuz you should always try everything at least once (or most things ;)). Whether scary, overwhelming, out of your comfort zone, or slightly illegal… give it a try! And speaking of, you can give our new YouTube series a try. It’s a whole bunch of debt-free stories over on the Frugal Friends Podcast YouTube channel. Give it a try. You won’t be disappointed AND it’s not illegal. 

Benefits and Dangers of the No-Spend Challenge

Rinkydoo Finance takes a significant measure and tempered approach in this article on the pros and cons of the no-spend challenge. Let’s highlight your benefits and dangers to decide whether this challenge is for you. 

What Jen + Jill have to say:

One of the main reasons why Jen loves the no-spending challenge is because it helps us identify hidden impulsivity issues or spending triggers. Jill adds that when it comes to spending in ways that we don’t want to spend, a lot of times, it’s tied to impulsivity. This challenge helps with self-control and discovering creative ways to save money. In line with this, if you were not to spend money, you would achieve saving money faster. However, the no-spend challenge also makes one focus too intently on the smaller picture rather than the bigger one. We may fall into binge spending resulting in us shaming ourselves. 

No Spend Challenge? This Is Why It Won’t Work

We may love the no-spend challenge, but we are going to argue and look at why the challenge may not work for some, as presented in this article from A Dime Saved.

What Jen + Jill have to say:

Jen agrees that there are a lot of diminishing returns from no-spend challenges where it transitions from helpful to something that holds you back. This challenge may not be sustainable, so you may have to learn what you can about yourself and your spending. Mistakes will happen, so we have to be strong and resilient enough when taking on this challenge. 


However, Jill would like us to consider that the point of a no-spend challenge is to identify what is sustainable for you. It may not bring meaningful change, but this will depend on what your approach to the challenge is going to be. If you entered it mindlessly and didn’t have a goal, it would not produce meaningful change. 

What our no-spend weeks/month generally look like

Jill wouldn’t say she ever needed to fully engage in a no-spend challenge as she is not much of a spender, so she reigns in and identifies the reasons for spending. The no-spend concept helped her towards a particular goal in specific areas, such as food.

On the other hand, Jen has not done one since the last month she paid off debt which was July 2017.

Bill of The Week

Thank you Katie for sharing your bill about adopting a dog and getting her vet treatment AND having pet insurance AND receiving money from the attacking dog’s owner. So glad this went well!

Thanks so Much for Listening!

Thanks so much for listening! We love love love reading your kind reviews and we especially loved this one.

So, I stumbled upon this podcast just a few weeks ago due in part to my love for budgeting podcasts, and man, I wish I found it sooner!

I’m binge-listening (is that a thing?) to these episodes like crazy and I can’t say enough good things! To add to the fun, I’m right down the road outside of Tampa! What are the odds?! It’s meant to be, right?!

Thanks for such a great podcast, gals!

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