Remember when you were in the toy store and you asked your parent if they could buy you that one toy you always wanted? But then they said no and you might have lost it in the middle of the isle.

Don’t worry, I was there too. The memory above is a metaphor for my new challenge. The no spend year is an entire 12-months dedicated to eliminating unnecessary spending, using up what you already have, and saving more. Disclaimer, you can’t completely spend nothing throughout the entire year because of bills and responsibilities.

However, you can work towards self control and reducing your carbon foot print with this outlook on the new year. Too often I hear people claim, “the more you have, the happier you will be.” That is ridiculous. Life is not about what you have. Sure, material goods make us happy in the moment, but that is far from true happiness.

In my no spend year, I am personally striving towards focusing my happiness on my mindset rather than the world around me. Also, in the no spend year challenge, I want to be able to pay all my bills and save $100 a week additionally. In order to accomplish this, I have to stick to a tight rule of thumb.

My no spend challenge will be a tad different compared to the typical rules. The reason why I am bending the rules the slightest is because I personally believe that in the long run in will benefit me in more ways than one.

Saving is my main goal throughout the year, but I also really want to focus on my health as well. I decided to make them compliment one another through a rewards tracking system. This system is not in any way a new concept, I have just tweaked it to fit my needs. The more difficult the task to complete, the higher the reward.

$6 – Ate healthy all day

$5 – No coffee

$4 – Drunk 64 oz of water

$3 – No soda

$2 – Self-care

$1 Gym day

If went to the gym, drank 64 oz of water, and enjoyed some self-care after. I would have earned $7 to spend as I please. I could save it and use it for something big or I can spend it on the spot.

My no spend year has many different benefits. My first benefit is I am focusing my happiness on the things I believe rather than the things I own. Secondly, I am watching my savings a little closer and working towards it more intently. Third, I am refusing for society to control my spending and how I think towards my finances.

Although it is going to be extremely difficult, I have to try my best. Even if I don’t succeed exactly how I want, I will be better prepared for the following year because this is a challenge that I don’t ever want to give up. Saving your money is a habit you can create through practice and patience.