30-Day No Spend Challenge + Printable Workbook

by Journals to Freedom August 01, 2021 5 min read

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more info. All printables are for personal use only.

Have you been searching for a way to save money? If so, then this blog post is for you! We all know that saving money can be difficult at times. But what if I told you there was an easy way to do it? It's called the 30-day No Spend Challenge! 

This challenge will help anyone who wants to save their hard-earned cash by cutting out unnecessary expenses and perhaps even earning a little more in the process! 

In this blog post, I'll show you how it works and why it can benefit your personal finances. Let's get started!

What is a no-spend challenge?

No spend challenges come in different shapes and sizes. What they all have in common though is that they encourage participants to spend less money.

Non-essentials and luxuries tend to cost us quite a bit on an ongoing basis: indeed, you might be surprised at just how much you're spending on things you don't actually need!

What does no-spend mean?

No spend does not mean you can't eat. Nor does it mean you don't pay any bills. What it does mean is that you only spend on things that are necessities. Think about things you need as opposed to things you want.

Why do a no-spend challenge for a month?

Doing a no-spend challenge after you've had a period of extra expenses can be useful for getting back on track.

It's also ideal for saving some money ahead of a major purchase, such as a holiday or new car.

Some challenges are shorter, say a weekend or a week. A 30 day challenge though is a great period of time as most of us get paid monthly and/or have monthly expenditures.

The 30-Day No Spend Challenge is an excellent tool for those who want some quick wins in the short term by evaluating what expenses can be cut. 

Not only will the wins be greater than in a shorter challenge, it's also more likely that this challenge will lead to longer-lasting good habits and lifestyle changes.

How can I do a no-spend challenge?

In order to make this as successful as possible, we have a fantastic 30-Day No Spend Challenge Workbook for you to print out and use. It will help you identify essentials that need to be paid from luxuries that you can live without.

Preparation is key

First, you need to decide on your spending rules. These are the guidelines you will follow for 30 days. 

Figure out what your essential needs are and how much money you need to cover them. This includes rent/mortgage, service or utility bills, car expenses to be able to get to work, for instance.

However, there shouldn't be anything on this list that you don't NEED. This is a list of essentials, things you have to pay. Note these items down on our printable worksheet.

Second, set aside a reasonable amount for groceries. For sure, there are things you normally buy in your grocery shopping that you don't need. Take a look at the last couple of shopping receipts and try to work out how much on average you need for the essentials. 

Strip out the rest and note down the details on the worksheet. There shouldn't be any clothes, toys or donuts on your list!

So now you have a list of expenses, and an overall amount of money you need to cover them.

Remove temptation

To make this easier for yourself (and harder to give in to temptation), take out the cash needed for the expenses that you would normally pay for on your cards. Then put your cards in an envelope, wrap them up in lots of tape like a pass-the-parcel game, and store them away safely for the next month.

That way, when you do go out grocery shopping, you won't feel as tempted by that pretty little dress you catch sight of in a store window...


It's really easy to start things... but even easier to give up! 

Why are you doing this challenge? Keep this front of mind and write it in the space in the worksheet. If you're saving up for something, note what it is and how much you need for it - you can even add a picture of something to remind you of your 'why'.

Being clear about your intentions and your goals will help you stay motivated and on track.

Family rules

Who is taking part in the challenge? Make sure all family participants know and understand the rules, and more importantly, WHY you are doing it.

If you have kids in your family, come up with things you can do together as a family that don't cost money - this can be a great way to work on your family bonding time!

Brainstorm ideas for different activities. They could be picnics in the park (rather than eating at home), scavenger hunts in the garden, playing games.

Save money by using what you already have

Doing some meal planning is a really useful process for no spend challenges. Instead of going to the store and filling your trolley with whatever catches you eye, go through your pantry and fridge and do a full meal plan. 

Write down your meal plan, then work out which ingredients you need to buy to complete them.

Look in your freezer: I bet you have lots of food have that you've forgotten all about! Use the challenge to declutter your food stores a little - food doesn't keep forever, even in a freezer!

How to make money during a no spend challenge

By not going out to eat, to the movies, or any other paid activity or entertainment, you are already saving money. Not only this though, you are also saving time. 

Use this spare time by decluttering the things in your home that you don't use or need anymore. By selling your unwanted items you can actually earn more money during the challenge!

In this way, your 30 day no spend challenge encourages you to strip out unnecessary expenses AND get rid of unnecessary 'stuff'. Win-win!


If you're looking for a way to re-evaluate your spending habits, try a 30 day no spend challenge. Commit to not buying any items outside of food and essentials for thirty days! 

It's a great process to help you see how much money you waste on unnecessary purchases over time by making you think about every purchase before making one. 

It also forces you to be more practical withyour decisions when shopping since there's less money available to blow! 

Have you tried the 30 day no spend challenge? What were some benefits that came from doing so?

Related Posts:

Are you or someone you know looking to do a 30 Day No Spend Challenge? Pin this post to Pinterest to share it with friends or save it for later!

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