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5 days without spending a penny

5 days without spending a penny

the best challenges are the ones that motivate us to reflect on the things that are vital to us personally- especially money.

i created a little challenge for myself in college: how long could i go without spending any money? i played this game a few times, but never took it too seriously. one or two days into it, and i would already be buying a coffee and a muffin before heading to a long class.

adulthood is a different game. more freedom = more purchases; which is why i decided to commit to 5 days of zero spending. here’s how i did it:

{1} meal prep. yeah, i said it. It’s not just for people who are trying to diet! there are plenty of ways to meal prep, and it’s exponentially cheaper than buying your lunch each day. for this particular week, i had hard-boiled eggs for breakfast (my co-worker loves to make sure i’m eating enough protein), mexican chicken and rice for lunch, and for dinner i literally ate WHATEVER was already in my kitchen. i didn’t pre-plan my dinners so i could finally purge the cabinets and fridge of canned veggies and other foods that would have otherwise gone to waste.

pro tips: {1} make sure to meal prep the sunday before your work week and {2} prepare foods you actually enjoy! you’re not required to suffer while trying to be financially smart.

{2} take care of the necessities: food, fuel, rent and utilities. these are expected expenses, and they can be paid ahead of time. sunday is the day i get my –ish together, and take care of my grown-up duties. i grab some groceries, fill up my car and handle any other mandatory expenses. finishing “adult” tasks before the week can help reduce stress and time that should be allocated toward more important areas: i.e. working on your side-hustle!

{3} prepare your mindset. this might be the hardest step. tell yourself: “I WILL do this, and I AM capable.” Plan a reward to look forward to if you succeed through motivation. i made plans to have brunch with friends the following weekend: mimosas and all. there’s always a good reason to celebrate, but this is the perfect reason!

{4} just say no. yeah, yeah, yeah: abstinence. your adolescence isn’t the only time you need to practice self-control. saying no to an outing with friends, or not buying that nail color and pineapple pool float will not be the end of the world. however, it will make your will power a tad bit stronger, and your bank account a lot larger. i’d call that a win.

{5} find support. i’m blessed to be surrounded by some awesomely supportive people who made those five days easier. my co-worker was encouraging the whole time, and even bought me a coffee on day four! don’t be afraid to share the challenge with your friends. maybe one of them would like to play the game too!

all-in-all, the day after the challenge was the best part; not just because i had a lovely brunch or because i was finally “free” to spend again, but because i felt accomplished, strong and less attached to the power money can have.

if you decide to give the challenge a shot, let me know how it goes! comment on this post if you’re starting and need a little motivation, and check out our social media below.

good luck and as always, keep it real ladies.

-mo

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