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January 16, 2019

Zero-dollar days can make you more mindful of your money

Try the challenge to save more cash

Lifestyle Money
Stock_Carroll - Money, coins Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice


January's a time when everyone is trying to be their very best self. 

We make resolutions to give up alcohol until February and to hit the gym more to improve our health and looks. We promise we'll read more, watch less TV and listen to informative podcasts to try and expand our minds. And we swear we'll make a budget and stick to it so we can save more money in the new year.

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Often we don't stick to our resolutions, for a number of different reasons, but if you're serious about trying to save money this year then consider doing the zero-dollar days challenge. It can help you stop overspending each month.

Many of us need a reminder to save the money we want to spend on unnecessary things.

With the zero-dollar day challenge, you'll need to commit to days where you can't spend any money and keep track of how many days you spend $0.00.

To start, keep a diary or make a spreadsheet to track your spending each day. Every day that you don't spend anything, you get to write "zero-dollar day."

If you did spend money, reflect on whether the purchase was necessary or not. Did you really need Starbucks that morning? Maybe, but did you need Starbucks three times that week? Try and determine what expenses you can cut down or eliminate.

Moving forward, commit to increasing your zero-dollar days. Each month, choose certain days to be zero-dollar days, and challenge yourself to stick to it. It may take some extra planning, especially with groceries, but it will be worth it when you meet your savings goal.

Also, remember that not spending any money one day, doesn't mean you can double what you spend the next day. That won't help you drop your overall spending for the month.

By taking on the challenge, you'll hopefully have a fuller wallet than last year. At the very least, it will get you to pay attention to your spending habits.

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