I’m sure if you have been around enough money, budget, or just financial groups in general you have heard of the “no spend month challenge”. At first, this challenge sounded incredible to me until I looked at the bigger picture. Let’s look at why I hate the no spend month challenge.
The No Spend Month Challenge
The no spend month’s challenge in essence is a challenge to get you to not spend money for 30 days. Sounds crazy right? The title is misleading as you are not spending zero dollars for the month. What you are doing is spending only on needs…
- Household supplies
At first glance, it sounds appealing and you might be asking yourself where do I sign up. Yet let me dive deeper into why this shiny idea simply does not work. Time to get into reason one why I hate the no spend month challenge.
Reasons Why I Hate The No Spend Month Challenge
Listed below are five reasons I hate the no spend month challenge. My beliefs are keep things simple, fun and sustainable. This money challenge does not check off any of those three key beliefs of mine. I honestly feel this challenge could hurt more than it helps in the long run.
My motto is to spend based on what you value in life. Sounds simple enough, yet it’s much more difficult to do especially consistently in life. By simply not spending except on essential needs you are not focused on your values. Instead, you are focused on scrapping by that month. This is not an approach I would advocate for anyone.
Money experts should encourage their readers and followers to dig deep and figure out what you value. Make value-based spending a challenge! This is a life long lesson that will help them build serious wealth over the years. I have found life to be way cheaper once I narrow down what I value and spend based on that.
It also frees up your time and what you focus on. In turn gives you are richer life experience. Now you have less stuff and more time to truly enjoy the things you do have.
Everyone I assume would agree with “habits simply work”. Even money experts agree habits work and encourage their followers to create more healthy habits. Yet the no spend monthly challenge does not create a lasting habit. Funny, yet these same money experts will encourage you to do the no spend monthly challenge.
Instead, people should form good spending habits. This will last them a lifetime. They will be able to pass on these good money habits to their kids, family, and friends. Even deeper you can stack these habits on top of each other to be more optimized. That is getting pretty deep yet that is how you can change so much in your financial life so quickly.
I make investing a healthy habit thanks to M1 Finance. They make it simple and fun with their pie approach and fractional shares.
Make conscious healthy habits with your money and stack the habits to make your wealth machine work on full capacity.
Our mindset about money truly affects our financial choices, future, goals, and life. It’s important that we have the right mindset about money. Even more important is that money experts take the time and effort to voice this to their followers. As we have real influence over people and what they will ultimately believe, do and preach about everything with money.
The no spend month challenge does not take into account someone’s mindset with money. As your needs might be different than my needs. Thus the challenge is not really taking into account our mindset nor helping to better influence it either. Only through changing our beliefs around money will we succeed with building wealth.
Challenge your money beliefs and watch your finances change for the better.
How impactful is money advice if it is not sustainable? The answer is “Not At All”. All financial or money advice should be built around it being sustainable. Especially in the personal finance space like the monthly no spend challenge is. Any money expert suggesting personal finance advice that is not sustainable is no money expert and honestly not someone you should look to for advice.
I have been able to create a sustainable money system thanks to Personal Capital. Tracking my portfolio from $20K to over $350K today was fun and simple thanks to them.
Let’s give a sustainable approach to personal finance that people can make into healthy long-term habits.
By participating in the monthly no spend challenge you would be sacrificing. By not being able to spend on things that bring you joy. Remember you are supposed to only spend based on essential needs with this challenge. I know no one that loves to sacrifice or feels accomplished after doing so at the risk of their joy and happiness.
I can even see where people potentially would spend more the next month. This is a phycological factor when people sacrifice too much. I see it often in fitness when people are trying to lose weight. They cut too much too quickly and the next month they binge eat. Making them not only gain weight but weigh more than what they originally started at.
When the things we do become a sacrifice they typically won’t last. Make it enjoyable and meaningful so that you can sustain your money habits.
Simple Impacts That Work!
My methods and mindset with personal finance are to keep it “stupid simple” while creating healthy habits that are sustainable. This approach has had the best long-term effect that I have seen. Some of these simple impacts are…
- Grow the gap
- Automatic saving
- Automatic investing
- Value-based spending
- Paying off high-interest debt
- Creating healthy money mindsets
- Keeping low-interest debt and investing the rest
Do you have to do all of the above to be successful long term? No, not even remotely. You can even manipulate the above to fit your situation. Like “budgeting” in a traditional sense is I have only $200 to spend on food this month. I don’t budget like that, as I found it super ineffective. Instead, I tell myself I am saving this percentage of my income and the rest will be spent based on what I value. At the end of the month if any is left over I invest that amount as well. Most months I find I have leftover money to invest.
BlockFI makes earring up to 8.6% interest for just letting your money sit there as simple as it can be!
I just find it so odd that these money experts keep trying to get people to do this challenge with them when it has no long-term impacts financially. I can only see it as a flashy gimmick to try to get more followers in their space. The idea of the no spend month challenge sounds great to the common consumer who is in desperate need of financial advice. So I can see why so many people flock to it.
Yet its long-term effects do more harm than good. I’m sure now you can see why I hate the no spend month challenge. This is where we can do better for the community and give sound, morale, sustainable suggestions that can help people.
Do you love or hate the no spend month challenge?
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