At this point, you've probably tried everything to save money—skipping your morning coffee, using apps to squirrel away extra change, etc.—but some strategies just don't feel doable, or like they even save you all that much in the long run. Saving money—no matter what you're saving it for—can sometimes feel like an impossible chore.
But there is a strategy that just might help you in more ways than one: Having a No-Spend Weekend once a month. A No-Spend Weekend means that for the entirety of that particular weekend, you don't spend any money. No brunch, no going out for drinks, no ordering food—instead, you're using the things you already have at home and holding on to the money you would normally spend.
If a No-Spend Weekend doesn't feel like it would be particularly effective, consider this: the small purchases you make over the weekend can add up fast. Say a typical weekend for you (just you alone, not factoring in partners or kids) involves ordering in on Friday night ($15), a visit to your local coffee shop Saturday morning ($5-10), a trip to the movies ($15) or a night out at a bar ($30) on Saturday night, brunch with friends on Sunday morning ($20) and a quick trip to the grocery store to get last-minute dinner supplies for Sunday night ($10-20).
With those average-weekend activities alone, you'd be spending between $65 and $95, and that's a conservative estimate doesn't take into account things like shopping for clothes or home goods, visiting museums or anything else you might do productively or for fun on a typical weekend that all cost money.
Having a monthly No-Spend Weekend is also a good time to take advantage of the things you already have. Your Netflix account is already paid for and you can watch as much as you want at no additional cost, and there's likely food in your pantry you can enjoy using up (that you might usually let go to waste). It's also an opportunity to make yourself be more productive or just focus on relaxing, since you can use your time to get chores done around the house or spend some time pampering yourself at home. Overall, it's a great excuse to shut down and focus on yourself or your family and save money at the same time, so it has many perks.
And if the idea of spending a quieter weekend at home doesn't appeal to you, having a No-Spend Weekend doesn't necessarily mean you can't spend time with friends or entertain. Since it's about using what you have, you can still do things like host a low-key dinner or movie night with close friends (crappy dinner party, anyone?)—all you need to do is use snacks and alcohol you already have at home.
However you spend your monthly No-Spend Weekend, the point is to curb your overall spending—and if a typical weekend would cost you upwards of $100, that's an extra $100+ a month you can use to pay off debts, put in your savings or put towards a future big purchase. Whether you turn your No-Spend Weekend into something fun or something quiet and relaxing, it'll help you out in the long run in so many ways.