Make a Game of Not Spending

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Just trying to save is boring. Let’s make it fun!

I heard someone say once that almost anything fun costs about eight dollars on average. That obviously depends heavily on your definition of “fun,” but I’d like to posit a counterpoint: what if you can have fun by specifically not spending money? Sounds like witchcraft, right? But anything can become a game with a little creativity, which is how the No-Spend Challenge came to be.

A No-Spend Challenge, as the name may imply, is when you try to go as long as possible without incurring any unnecessary expenses. Obviously, it’s impossible to completely halt all spending; after all, you’ve got bills to pay. But it is possible cut other miscellaneous things out of your life, if only temporarily. For example, forget about going out for a burger when you’ve got food at home. Did you want a new video game? How about working through the backlog of games you already have first. Browsing for new clothes online? When was the last time you wore the stuff in the back of your closet?

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Doing this on your own can be a bit of a downer, though, so you want to try and make a contest out of it. If you can, try to rope some friends or family members into the process and see who can go the longest without unnecessary expenditures. Nothing lights a fire under you like a little healthy competition. The longer you set the contest for, the more it turns into a game of strategy and planning. Are there any birthdays coming up? Did some brand new cool thing get released right after your competition started? You need to think and work around these events to keep your costs as low as possible. It’s like playing The Price is Right at home!

When the contest is over, don’t be surprised if you have a big chunk of extra cash lying around. You should reward yourself if you win, albeit with something small. Don’t want to spend all of the money you just saved, lest the purpose of the challenge be defeated.

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