Challenge 001: 30-Day No-Spend

Mmmm … doooughhhnnnnuts. Mmmm … venti soy blonde misto with two pumps of chhhaaaaaiiiiiiii. Ain’t that a familiar feeling. Whether it’s eating out, buying shoes, updating tech, flagging taxis, collecting makeup, or going to the movies, we all have our indulgences. A few dollars here, a swipe there, it all adds up, and in what feels like no time at all, we’re transferring our entire paycheck to our credit card. Of course, then we feel bad for ourselves and start the cycle all over again.

Or maybe we’re not that person. Maybe we just have a habit of spending a little too much on lunch or drinks after work or tickets to all the events. Whatever camp we’re in, we could all benefit from a spending cleanse. A hard reset. A break from opening our wallet. A fiscal fast.

Welcome to the 30-Day No-Spend.

For the month of February, your goal is to avoid buying anything that isn’t necessary to live. If it isn’t groceries or medicine, you can confidently walk away. Just put it down and don’t look back.

Now this won’t be easy but here’s a few things to keep yourself occupied while you stay away from all your favourite spending spots.


Instead of looking for something new to add to your closet or cupboard, make some space in your life and say no to hoarding. Seriously. When was the last time you used that s’more maker?


You know that section of the closet you don’t even bother looking at because you’re kinda over it? Either show those clothes the door or give them another life. They deserve better.


It’s not too late to finish your scrapbook or fill up that recipe book. But if you’ve regretted buying it since the day you brought it home, trade or re-gift it. You don’t need to feel guilty anymore.


Raise your hand if you have travel soaps and shampoos for “emergencies.” Let’s be real. They’re super inconvenient to use. But! Now you have a great excuse to use ‘em up.

Do not.

Go to the mall. I repeat. Do not go to the mall. Or the bar. Or the salon. Or the corner store. It’ll be worth it!


Borrow. What are friends for, right?

DIY. Even if it means rebooking all your grooming appointments.

Ignore. Start with deleting cookies and avoiding all promotional emails (especially the ones that say, SALE).

Pack. Convenience can be expensive. Try meal prepping and then posting it. It’s more fun that way.

Downsize. Caffeine is a hard habit to kick. So, don’t go cold turkey. Just stick to drip. Or bring your own.

Google. Free activities. Free exhibitions. Good road trips. You don’t have to be a hermit for the month.

Use. Rewards, points, bonuses, movie passes, gym subscriptions, it’s all on the table.

Dig. Freezer diving is a thing now. Shrimp, scallops, smoothie ingredients? Yum.

Substitute. Deprivation is not the same thing as saving or budgeting. Local brews over highballs.


Just in case. Something always comes up. So, everyone has a $20 emergency buffer each week.


Alright, get set, ready, and …


We’ll check in with you next week!


Illustration by Teddy Kang