Do ‘No Spend’ Days Really Work?

I’ve seen various personal finance posts which discuss ‘no spend’ days, which are, as you would expect, days in which you spend no money at all.

This sounds interesting, and it’s usually in the context of being able to save money.

I’m not sure that I buy it, so I was hoping for your input.

I’m skeptical because I believe that ‘no spend’ days don’t really save much, if any, money at all.  Why?  Because in most cases, you will probably spend the money anyways.

Take grocery shopping as an example.  Eventually I’m going to need groceries, so even if I avoid a trip to the store, I’m going to have to go at some point.  And, during the no-spend time, my grocery list will grow longer, especially if I use up a bunch of items from my house on the no-spend days, items that I’ll probably want to replace.

Personally, our spending budget cycles run as a combination of monthly or bi-monthly periods, depending on the category.  So, if I spend no money on groceries for 29 days, but spend the entire amount budgeted for the month on the 30th day, there’s no difference than if I spent 1/5th of the budget at five different times during the month.

Maybe I’m missing something, but help me out on how ‘no spend’ days help save money in the long run, or is it merely a psychological boost?

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