What to do when you fail your NoSpend Challenge?

I’ve written in the past about NoSpend Challenge I am trying out. I’m currently doing NoSpend weeks every once in a while, to train myself for a couple of NoSpend Months, before trying a NoSpend Year. I’m still training myself out of the buying impulse (pizza is my Kryptonite). And while I know, in theory, how not to fail a challenge like that, I still stumbled.

Because sometimes, no amount of planning can help 🙁

So when I stumbled during my second NoSpend Week, I asked myself:

What do you do when you fail a NoSpend Challenge?

I wanted to avoid the snowball effect, where, after I spent money on one thing, then moved on to spending more. I didn’t want one purchase to completely invalidate what I was trying for.

Just because you failed, doesn’t mean the Challenge stops.

Sure I bought that snack during a particularly difficult day at work. Doesn’t mean my NoSpend Week is over and I can buy anything anytime. The rules for spending are still in effect, and there should be NO spending outside of them. Failing one day shouldn’t mean the end of my spending and saving goals.

For every failed day, add a day.

I don’t know how this will work in the long run when I’m doing NoSpend Months or a NoSpend Year, but I decided to add a new rule to my NoSpend challenge. Every day I fail during my challenge, I will add another day to make up for it. So my NoSpend Week might end up being 7 or 8 days and my NoSpend Month might end up being 5 weeks instead of 4, but just as there needs to be a reward for every accomplishment, there should be a punishment for missteps and going against the rules I set up for myself. There needs to be a price for indulging in that consumer mindset, just as the idea of a down payment for my apartment is my reward.

Share your failures with a friend.

I have discovered a long time ago that support outside of your immediate family is really important. I have a money buddy, a friend with whom I share my entire money journey. We were sharing my journey to get out of debt, celebrated when I became net worth positive. We cheered each other on to opened a retirement account and start investing. We discovered the minimalist and zero waste movement the same month (separately, without knowing the other stumbled onto the same thing). We keep each other accountable and motivate each other.

Sharing your failures is just as important as sharing your successes, maybe more so.

How do you deal with failure?

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