After splurging money on your new apartment, the last thing you want to do is splurge some more. That’s why you need a no-money weekend, which is exactly what it sounds like: A two-day period where you’ll get to spend as little cash as possible — assuming you spend at all.
But how do you go about it? How do you rise up to the challenge of not reaching for your wallet within a 48-hour period? Worry no more about that, friend; these pointers are just the thing you need.
A no-money weekend isn’t just about spending zero dollars in two days. You should have a stronger, more concrete goal for it — preferably something long-term like “Save X dollars every time I have this kind of weekend.” That way, you’ll have more incentive to stick to your definition of “no-money,” which brings us to…
What does no-money mean to you? Does it literally mean not spending a single buck, which, by the way, might be impossible? After all you’ve got to eat and maybe also run some errands (laundry? dry cleaning?) that cost money. Or does it mean no discretionary expenses at all? Or is it just cutting down your usual expenses by at least 50 percent? You need to come up with a concrete definition; otherwise, there won’t be a way for you to know whether you met your “no-money” goal or not.
The best time to have a no-money weekend is during the first or fourth week of the month. That’s because the fourth week is “pay the bills” time, while the first week is “recover from paying the bills for the previous month” time. It’ll be easier for you to stick to your no-money goal if you have little or no money to begin with.
That said, you don’t have to be too strict about the “first or fourth week” thing. If your friends invite you to watch a blockbuster movie at month-end, there’s nothing wrong with going. Not only will you enjoy yourself, but you’ll also strengthen your relationships with the people who matter, as cheesy as it sounds.
If you’re bored with the usual home entertainment options — books, TV, video games, the Internet — try poking around your apartment for recyclables. It may sound like grade-school home economics stuff, but with a little ingenuity, you can craft brand-new things out of empty wine bottles, used soda cans and even old term papers.
In case crafts aren’t your thing, you can always ask a friend to come over and play good old-fashioned board games with you. It can also work the other way around — you visit your friends and enjoy your no-money weekend with them instead. You can even make the no-money weekend a group thing and compete to see who can plan best no-cost entertainment.
On the other hand, you may not like being cooped up at home for two straight days. In that case, explore the places surrounding your apartment, and see if you can find any form of free entertainment. It could be a nightly gig in a cafe, a trip to the nearest library, check out a meet-up, or even a walk through the local park. Remember — just because you can’t spend any money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself!
You’ve made it through the two-day weekend without collapsing from the sheer force of the — thankfully temporary — Ebenezer Scrooge syndrome. Congratulations! You deserve a reward. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — just a simple treat like your favorite Starbucks cookie will do. Also, millennials have an average credit score of 628, which is lower than the recommended 700, so consider your achievement as a first step towards your financial goals, whatever those may be.
A no-money weekend doesn’t have to be a no-fun weekend. If you open your mind to the possibilities of what you can do when you’re cash-strapped, you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with.
Do you celebrate no-money weekends? Please share your tips!
Our contributing blogger is Savannah Hemmings. a personal shopper and lifestyle blogger who has moved around the country more times than she likes to count. You can find Savannah at Sincerely Savannah