Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it seems impossible to save money — especially now, when prices on basics like food, gas and health care have increased dramatically. To help kick-start your savings, try giving your wallet the weekend off. That means no spending money on Saturday or Sunday, no matter what (unless in case of extreme emergency, of course). 

 No, it doesn’t mean you have to sit at home and be bored. There are plenty of opportunities to play, explore, rest, and care for yourself that don’t cost a cent. Plus, you’ll avoid the dreaded Monday morning bank account check, in which you discover you spend way more than you wanted to.

Here are a few tips for a successful no-spending weekend. 


Tuck away your funds.

When you give your wallet the weekend off, start by making it difficult to access your cash and credit cards — even if it’s just an extra step. Tuck your wallet in a drawer, put it on a higher shelf, or have someone you trust put it somewhere you can’t easily access it. Removing the ease of having money at hand will be a reminder of your commitment to a no-spending weekend — and potentially spark new habits moving forward. 


Cook all weekend. 

While the ease of take-out or a quick restaurant meal is tempting, giving your wallet the weekend off means you’re cooking at home. All weekend long. And it’s the perfect time to dig deep into those cabinets or pantries and use up ingredients that have been there for a while — think beans, pasta, grains, or other non-perishable food items. Not only will you save money on food, but you’ll also clear out kitchen shelf space, so you can restock with versatile foods that will help as you begin to meal plan (another money-saving tip!). 


Find free things to do.

Check out local newspapers, magazines, online publications and social media accounts for information on free events in your area. Or, make it a weekend to explore your neighborhood’s parks, waterways, free museums and other community spaces. The free opportunities create a mini staycation and help reacquaint you with your own neighborhood, town, or city without spending a dime. 



Use this no-spending weekend as an opportunity to give back to others. Dozens of non-profit organizations are looking for hands-on volunteers, whether you’re serving food, sorting donations, cleaning up a park, or doing anything else that gives back. Reach out to a few organizations that are meaningful to you and ask how you can volunteer your time. Or, just grab a bag and pick up trash around your neighborhood. It’s a no-cost activity that gives you the kind of good feeling money just can’t buy. 


Enjoy time at home.

While it feels like we need to be maximizing every moment, it never hurts to take a breath, have a seat, and rest. Read a book. Watch that show you’ve heard so much about. Play a game with your family. Take a nap. Position your wallet-free weekend as a few days of rest and relaxation, and you might warm up to the idea a little easier — and come out more refreshed on the other side.