family around the table in the backyard doing a no-spend weekend

How to Master No-Spend Weekends Now to Increase Wealth

family around the table in the backyard doing a no-spend weekend

You want to stop worrying about not having enough money to retire.

You want to stop worrying if you can keep up with the cost of living in your town.

These financial worries are an enormous burden for you.

The problem is that most families live beyond their means.

If you want to get better with your money, you need to do weird things to save money.

One big weird thing to do is to do no-spend weekends.

Spend time together, not just money.

Keep reading if you want to know how to master no-spend weekends to increase your wealth.

What is a no-spend weekend?

family playing with cars on a no-spend weekend

No-spend weekends are exactly what it sounds like, spending no money during the entire weekend.

It can start on Friday night or Saturday day until Sunday evening. You decide!

No-spend weekends can occur once a month, twice a month, or even every weekend for the month.

Some people even stretch it out from a no-spend weekend to a no-spend month. You decide!

We don’t have a set schedule of when we have a no-spend weekend.

If we have an upcoming trip, we will intentionally have a no-spend weekend one or two weeks before the trip.

If we unexpectedly had an expensive month, we will undoubtedly have a no-spend weekend.

In our family, birthdays and expensive holidays occur at the end of the year, starting from August to December.

So we will have one weekend a month as a no-spend weekend and add a couple more in between the months.

Why have no-spend weekends?  

family playing board game and doing no-spend weekend

The idea of the no-spend weekend challenge is to save money. If a weekend usually costs you $50-$100 a weekend and you have no-spend weekends once a month for the whole year, it will save you $600-$1200 a year.

Wow… that’s a lot of money!

Being intentional with your money is the idea behind doing a no-spend weekend.

After a long week, it’s so easy to go out and spend time as a family.

However, whenever you go out with your family, those moments also cost money.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to keep yourselves entertained. There are many free things to do as a family while creating lifelong memories.

Related Post: Ultimate Checklist: How to Live Frugally on One Income

How to have no-spend weekends? 

Involve

mom talk to daughter about no-spend weekend

Everyone in the family needs to know what’s going on to be on the same page.

Kids don’t necessarily need to agree with the idea but respect them enough to let them know what the plans are.

It would be best if you had buy-in from family members so they aren’t complaining the entire time, and they are prepared mentally for what’s coming.

If your kids are old enough to have input, ask them what they want to do.

They can come up with their own ideas of what makes a no-spend weekend fun. They will be more inclined to do it and do it happily.

You may also need to let other family members or friends know that you are doing a no-spend weekend.

Prepare

Preparation is key.

Get grocery shopping done before Friday, so it is genuinely a no-spend weekend, and you have all of the ingredients on hand to cook or bake new recipes.

If you are learning a new skill such as knitting or lei making, make sure you have all the supplies available.

If you’re going camping in the living room or backyard, make sure you have your camping equipment ready and intact.

If prepared, you don’t need to buy anything.

Everything you need is available, and you and your family can successfully do the activity.

Plan

make-plan-scramble-tiles

To be successful, you need a plan.

Planning is the second key thing to do for a successful no-spend weekend.

You need to plan out things that you are doing, whether it’s just for you, for you and your spouse, or if it involves the kids.

You need to be aware of the events in your neighborhood if you’re looking to utilize local events/festivals.

You need to know what tv shows or movies you’re watching or where you’re getting them from if you’re planning to binge-watch.

Suppose you’re going outdoors and exploring nature.

You need to make sure you know what hiking/nature trails you’re going on and the intensity level, especially if you have kids.

Have snacks and ideas of lunches on hand, and make sure you have appropriate clothes and shoes readily available so there’s no excuse for not doing it.

If you’re planning to do some arts and crafts with the kids, make sure you have all your supplies ready.

This includes markers, paint, paper, playdoh, or kinetic sand.

Suppose you want to do water play, make sure you have a water table or bins for the water, toys that can be used in water, bubbles, water balloons, or even water guns.

Time it well

Lastly, you need to time it well.

You don’t need to do the no-spend weekend challenges on the first or last weekend of every month.

It’s your life, so you name the best time to have it.

The best times to have it would be when free events are going on in your local community or when your children have set events to go to (i.e., a party to attend).

This way, a couple of hours is already planned out for you. The present will have been bought before the day of the party so technically, you are still not spending any money.

33 things to do on no-spend weekends with your family:

Get outside

dad on bike with girls during a no-spend weekend

1. Bike- Either around your neighborhood casually or look for a safe biking path

2. Picnic- Made with homemade food and find a park to go to and enjoy

3. Parks- Don’t be afraid to check out new parks or parks that are a bit nicer than what your family is used to

4. Hiking/nature trails– Be aware of the length of the trail and intensity level

5. Walk around the downtown city– Stores can have some events going on, so check it out

6. Pool/beach– Whichever is closest or possible. It will be fun either way. 

7. Skatepark– Fun for kids to bike, skateboard, or scooter around

8. Window shopping– But only if you trust yourself 

9. Library- See if they have storytelling events or a craft event going on. If not, it will be fun just taking your time and allowing the kids to take their time to read a few books there

10. Geocache– It is a worldwide experience of hunting for treasure in the most unlikely places using your GPS and coordinates set by someone else

11. Use annual memberships– Use what you already have

12. Hold a garage sale– Declutter your home, spend no money and make money instead

Stay inside

boy cooking with mom during a no-spend weekend

13. Camp in your living room (or backyard)– It will be fun for the kids to help build the tent or fire, and everyone can make their smores

14. Cook new recipes– Trying something new is always a fun experiment. You can all decide if you guys want to eat it again

15. Bake– The experience is always better when there is some junk food

16. Binge-watch tv/movies- Everyone can take a pick at what show or movie to watch 

17. Board games– Toddlers can start as young as two years old, assuming it is toddler-friendly. We do this a couple of times with our young children

18. Arts and crafts– Have your supplies ready to go and be prepared for some mess

19. Family puzzles– Enjoyable to do as a family, and you can even find toddler-friendly ones to do  

20. Spa day– Give yourself a bubble bath, use bath bombs, and paint your nails

21. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks– Listen to podcasts or audiobooks that you have been putting off since you had no time

22. Teach your kids a childhood game of yours– It’s always fun to share your childhood memories with your kids. They might enjoy your game!

23. Finish a project you’ve been putting off– It’s hard to get things done when you are always working or on the go, so now is the time to do the project you have been putting off

Get organized

mom moving furniture during a no-spend weekend

24. Declutter– The best time to declutter the house is when you have nowhere to go

25. Organize your house– It takes a long time to do it, so a good time to do it is when there is nothing else to do

26. Rearrange furniture– Sometimes, rearranging furniture will help rejuvenate a dull room. You will feel very accomplished by having a new setting

Get social

kids and moms eating in backyard during a no-spend weekend

27. Have a BBQ/potluck– Having a no-spend weekend doesn’t mean you can’t socialize. Invite friends over for a fun time and tell them to bring food along

28. Go to local community events– There are usually things happening in your local community. You need to know how to find it.

29. Call family members and friends– We live far from family, so we do this often. It’s always fun to catch up with other family members and friends that you don’t talk to often, and they get to “meet” the kids.

30. Volunteer– It’s an excellent way to meet other people, connect and give back to your community

Learn something new 

love to learn sign

31. Learn a new language– It will be a good and fun challenge to do. There are many apps to assist with learning and many videos on Youtube to watch

32. Dive into deep research on a topic you enjoy– The world is full of information, and most of it is free. Dive into your topic of interest via books, the internet, podcasts, or social media

33. Learn a new hobby– Ever wanted to learn something, but never had time? It’s the perfect time to explore a new hobby to see if it’s something that will stick

Check these places for free events

  • Community pages
  • Library
  • Malls

If you are a military family, go on and read this below. If not, skip to “OK, What now?”

Military families: 

military base

Military families have access to many free events available to them.

Check out your base’s main facebook pages where families and spouses share information about the base.

On Air Force bases, multiple events are hosted by various groups such as the USO or FSS and different organizations throughout the bases trying to raise awareness or fundraise.  

Many of the military events are free or low costs. You usually have to pay for the food to eat.

OK, What now?

family walking in field during a no-spend weekend

Imagine a life where you’re not worried about how much you will have in retirement, but rather when you can retire because of all the money you have.

Imagine a life where you’re content, and you have extra money to invest.

Rather than spending it, you automatically invest it in your future.  

You can create a life where your money is not controlling you, but you are controlling it.

Be intentional with the money you already have and take extra steps in saving.  

Take weird actions to save money today. 

Start small and have no-spend weekends.  

Spend time together, not just money. 

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