It’s surprising how hard it is to go a day without spending money. Unless you live at home with your parents and never go out you will almost certainly end up spending money in some fashion every day. Whether this be on food, drinks, or event admissions, some dollar amount inevitably disappears from your wallet.
So I took it upon myself to try to not spend any money for two days last week. The first didn’t work out as I woke up to find that I had no coffee beans left, so I had to run to the Second Cup down the street for my morning jolt. This also necessitated a trip to the grocery store later to purchase another pound of beans.
I had been planning on going to the McCord museum for some time to do some research for my novel. This was a wednesday, so I decided to go there after 6 for the free admission. A good idea because normally it’s $14 and there really wasn’t that much too see relating to the time period I’m writing in.
Thursday, however, I successfully spent nothing. To do this I didn’t go to any cafes like I do almost every day. I did all my work and ate all my meals at home. To occupy myself at night, I went to a comedy show where there was no cover charge, but of course spending $0 meant I couldn’t buy any drinks. The comics were hilarious, so I didn’t really care about it for this particular occasion and many laughs were had. I had successfully spent no money for a full day and it felt like a major triumph over consumerism.
I invite you to try this yourself. See if you can last an entire day without buying anything. It’s tough, and life has a way of throwing us surprise expenses every now and then (like my coffee bean shortage). I have played with the idea of trying this for an entire month, allowing myself to spend only on necessities like groceries, rent, transit, and bills, but I think my social life would suffer dramatically. No spending means no nights out, no alcohol, no events, no cafes, no restaurants, no bars, no shopping. Basically, a serious lack of fun because fun costs money. That’s why it’s so hard not to spend anything.
At the very least, I am going to punctuate my weeks with zero-spend days. Let the savings begin!