SALT LAKE CITY — Dave & Dujanvoic are asking the members of their $1,000 Challenge group to take on a new commitment to help them take control of their finances: No-Spend Wednesdays.
Every Wednesday, they’ve committed themselves to not spending money. No morning coffee runs, no lunches out, no stops at the 7-11 for a Big Gulp full of Diet Coke. They’re not going to waste a single dime on anything that isn’t completely essential – and they’re asking their listeners to join them.
It’s not going to be easy — but No-Spend Wednesdays can save a lot of money. In fact, one CNBC Finance journalist says that keeping a No-Spend Day helped her save $18,432 in just six months.
Here’s how it works.
Tip #1: Cut out every non-essential purchase
On a No-Spend Wednesdays, cut out every single non-essential purchase. That means, that unless you get them for free, you’re cutting out:
- Fast food and restaurants
- Coffee, drinks, and convenience store runs
- Movies nights and nights out
- Shopping in all forms
- Uber and Lyft rides
- Beauty services of all kinds
Essential purchases are ok — but be careful, when you’re trying to save, that you don’t stretch the meaning of the word “essential”. We’re going to define “essential” as those regular bills you have no choice but to pay: things like utility payments, rent, gas — and nothing else.
As Debbie Dujanovic points out: “You can always find a way to wiggle out of something.”
“I can justify anything,” Dave Noriega agrees. “I can justify my Diet Coke. This is the: ‘Well, I’ll have a headache and this’ll affect my performance at work and I’ll get fired, so if I don’t drink this Diet Coke I’m going to get fired.’”
Tip #2: Don’t stock up beforehand
It’s easy to cheat on a No-Spend Wednesday by just doubling up your shopping the day before — but that’s not really the point. We want to cut our spending, not just move it to a different day.
This is your chance to use up all those things in storage you were just going to let go to waste. That means digging into the back of your fridge and eating those vegetables you were probably just going to let go bad instead of going out to buy something new.
Dave Noriega says he’s guilty of letting those stockpiles grow. Every time he goes shopping, he says, he stocks up products like Clorox Wipes without checking if he has any at home.
“I buy a 3-pack every time,” Noriega says. “I’ve got 27 bottles of those Clorox wipes now.”
Tip #3: Save the money you don’t spend
The $1,000 Challenge is all about building up your savings so that you have money for an emergency. No-Spend Wednesdays can’t help with that if you go out and spend that money the next day.
“It’s not just about not spending that day,” Noriega says. “It’s about taking some money and putting it away.”
Keep track of all the purchases you don’t make each Wednesday and put that money into a savings account or an investment you know will grow. If you can even cut out $20 of spending each Wednesday, you’ll save enough to build up your $1,000 emergency fund within a single year.
The $1,000 Challenge
Join the $1,000 Challenge Facebook group to see other brilliant ideas on how to get your budget in check and to be a part of a tribe that’ll encourage you every step along the way.
And tune into Dave & Dujanovic every day from 9 a.m to noon on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM / 1160 AM for financial tips and tricks Monday through Thursday.
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