You’re probably thinking, “Ha! That’s easy!” But stop and think for a second about the daily purchases you mindlessly indulge in. Think about that mid-morning vending machine snack or the midafternoon caffeine drink from the cafeteria. Sorry to burst you’re bubble, but all those “small” purchases add up at the end of the day.
So I challenge you: Can you go an entire day without spending a cent?
We’ve done a few stories breaking down the numbers of daily expenses versus buying items from the store. So just to hammer the point home, why would you spend $5 for a single cup of coffee when you can buy a pound of the same coffee for the price as two cups of coffee and get more coffee? Convenience may be a large part of that quick coffee stop, but let’s briefly take a closer look.
When I walk by Tim Horton’s in the morning before work, the line wraps down the hall of Compuware. It probably takes at least 10 minutes to get your order taken. Really, the time you spend in line waiting for your coffee could equate to the time it takes you to actually make it at home. Why spend nearly $2 on a 20 ounce pop from a vending machine when you can get a two liter for the same price. Or why not scrap the soda all together and drink water from the drinking fountain?
So really, how are you getting ahead by shopping at the cafeteria vending machine or waiting for your morning coffee?
You’re probably thinking, “Well, this means I have to go the entire day without buying anything, right?” Insert exacerbated sigh here.
Not necessarily. This doesn’t have to be black or white and going a day without spending money doesn’t mean deprivation. You don’t have to starve yourself or mope around the office without your caffeine. Time to engage that left brain and think about ways to not deny yourself during the day. Here are some tips to help get you started!
- First pick a day to try it out—preferably not the following day
- Think about what you buy on a daily basis
- Go shopping for the few items you just thought about
- Pack your items the night before the day you plan to spend no money so they are ready to go in the morning
See what I did there? Sure you’re going a day without spending, but in order to make it a painless process, planning ahead makes it so much easier. By preparing ahead of time, you’re spending less money on marked-up vending machine food. If you want to be an overachiever, you could even substitute healthy choices on your day without cash rather than buying the same junk food you get from a vending machine. Now you’re saving money and eating healthier!
Not buying anything for a day makes you pause and think about what you buy. Do you really need that $3 game for your phone to pass the time or could you use that time more constructively? What you are essentially training yourself to be aware of are your daily impulse buys, which you can control more easily.
To take it a step further, why not invite your friends or family to try not spending any money for one day. Just like having a gym buddy, group encouragement makes you accountable to others. Plus you can bounce ideas off others on ways to continue saving.
With a little planning ahead of time, going a day without spending any more is a lot easier than you think. Maybe you can even go two, three, or five days without spending any money.
How many days could you go without spending any money? Have you tried going a day without spending any money?
Let other Zing readers know by commenting below!