My bank account immediately plummeted when we moved back to Manhattan after quarantining in Florida for four months. The city was opening back up and I was determined to eat at all my favorite restaurants as much as possible. Money was flying out of my account so I decided to try a zero-spend week. I spent no money Monday through Friday with the exception of an unexpected vet appointment for my sweet Goldendoodle. Here are a few tricks to help you get through 5 days of spending $0.00!
Buy groceries so you don’t eat out. Sit down and plan out your meals so you don’t overspend and waste food in the end. It’s also helpful to take inventory of what food you already have. Noodles in the back of the cabinet can finally be put to use! My biggest mistake was only buying one chocolate bar for dessert so don’t forget to grab some sweets. Drinks including wine, coffee, sparkling water, and tea will also help curb your cravings for grabbing happy hour drinks.
List activities to keep you busy. Learning how to cook a lavish meal was one of the best takeaways from my zero-spend week. Turn on some Italian music and make your grandmother’s famous lasagna! Have a BYOB potluck with your quarantine friends. Sunrise and sunset are always on the top of the list for me. We also recently adopted a goal to walk for at least an hour a day! No one said you can’t walk with a glass of coffee or wine in hand! Here are a few of my favorite zero-spend activities:
- Video chat with a friend
- Play board games
- Start a new book
- Prank your roommate (my personal favorite)
- Cook a new recipe
- Watch sunset/sunrise
- Learn how to play an instrument
- Build a sheet fort
- Go on a walk or bike ride
- Bake cookies for a neighbor
This is either a middle schooler’s list of hobbies or quarantine has turned me into a child.
Delete temping apps and avoid your favorite retailers. An easy way to not spend money on Amazon, Poshmark, or Target is to delete the applications for the week. The same goes for any retail websites you find yourself mindlessly browsing. Lululemon will still be there next week if you really need it! You can make a wishlist of the things you want throughout the week on your phone, but I have a feeling you’ll reconsider these purchases before the end of the week.
Gas up on Sunday! Buying groceries on Sunday is important, but don’t forget to fill up your gas tank for the drive to your friend’s house for a game night.
Save money, minimize things, retrain your brain, and pick up new activities. The best part about a no-spend week is resetting your mind frame to prioritize expenses and soak up quality time doing things that truly matter. You can incorporate this strategy into your lifestyle and try a no spend week once a month! Let me know how your zero-spend week goes.