How the ‘no spend’ challenge can improve your buying habits

Challenge encourages consumers to take day off from spending to save money

Whether you're buying groceries or even coffee, you've likely noticed that prices have been rising -- which is affecting people's bottom line. One way to monitor your expenses and become more mindful of your spending is to take the "no spend" challenge.

DETROIT – Whether you’re buying groceries or even a cup of coffee, you’ve likely noticed that prices have been rising -- and are affecting people’s bottom line.

A new challenge is encouraging consumers to take a day off from spending in an effort to save money by becoming more mindful of their buying habits -- and by not buying anything at all.

Related: EXPLAINER: Why coffee could cost more at groceries, cafes

Experts say the “no spend” challenge is a great way for consumers to take a step back and see just how much those little splurges actually add up.

“The point is that you want to cut out unnecessary spending, so don’t go out to eat, to lunch with your coworkers or with your friends; don’t buy that little $2 toy, or that $1 item from the $1 bins at Target,” said money saving expert Andrew Woroch. “You might think of it as not hurting your budget, but it’s amazing how much you’ll spend over time.”

Woroch and her family have implemented a no-spending day every Wednesday in their home, though she says that it doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. The no spend challenge can last for a day, a week, a month -- whatever works best for you. But it’s a good idea to start small, and to plan ahead for the no spend day.

To ensure you’re prepared for your no spend day, make sure you have ingredients to make meals so that you can bring your lunch to work and/or cook at home that day. It’s also a good idea to make sure your no spend day is not scheduled during an event.

For Woroch, following the no spend challenge has helped her family save money on food costs, which have been rising over the past year.

“It’s a nice opportunity to just stay home, make sure that everything we bought on Sunday for groceries is actually being consumed so we don’t throw it away,” Woroch said. “What I noticed was happening was that we were throwing away a lot of spoiled produce specifically, and on Wednesdays we would start getting bored of cooking after a couple days, and ordered take out a lot.”

Of course, you’ll still have to pay for all the essentials like utilities and other bills during the challenge, but the point is to monitor -- and ultimately avoid -- spending that is not really necessary.

Watch the full report in the video above.

More: How to save money on groceries as prices jump

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.