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The Problem With No Spending Challenges:I Don’t Condone Them



The idea of no spending challenges has gained much traction, but I would never recommend it to my clients. Ever.


What is a no-spending challenge?


A no-spending challenge is when you refrain from making non-essential purchases for a limited time. The idea is to save money for your savings or to send more into debt.


If you are here considering it, I will challenge the popular notion. I firmly believe in building sustainable habits and exploring the emotion that leads to overspending. I don’t condone the no-spending challenges.


Let’s explore the reasons behind my skepticism.


Unrealistic expectations


One of the flaws of a no-spending challenge is the unrealistic expectations. Life is unpredictable, and unexpected expenses will rise. For instance, a medical emergency, your car needs repair, or a household item breaks down.


A no-spending challenge is setting up the participants for failure and frustration. Instead of building a solid money mindset, it is doing the opposite, and participants need to develop trust in themselves. And the failure had nothing to do with them but the unrealistic expectation.


Emotional Toll


Someone who wants to do a no-spending challenge already experiences stress and anxiety around money. Overspending amplifies those feelings because they are not in control of their money. The no-spending challenge takes it up by refraining from spending, constantly saying “no” to social gatherings, impromptu outings, or a small celebratory treat to celebrate a milestone, leading to feelings like isolation and deprivation. Over time, this emotional toll affects mental health and overall happiness—the complete opposite of the supposed benefits of the challenge.


Temporary fixes, long-term problems


This temporary fix does not solve a deeper issue: poor money management. The challenge creates a short-term illusion of control and hitting a milestone; you probably have tried before, and it did not work. The challenge doesn’t address the root cause of financial instability, impulsive spending, lack of budgeting skills, or a need for higher income.


Personal finance is personal! Our stories dictate how we now view, feel, and act with money. Participants are likely to revert to their old habits once the challenge is over, and in the long run, the same money problems will arise.


The challenge seems appealing! You must recognize the drawbacks and consider a more sustainable approach. Instead of focusing on extreme changes in a short period, I will always advocate for a budget that includes FUN in moderation while you are working towards achieving your money goals.


Mindful spending to stop purchasing the BS you do not care about and spend on the experiences that bring you joy. Every action you take is to have a healthy relationship with money.


I believe in long-term plans without sacrificing our emotional well-being and sustainable habits that can transform our lives.


When we work together:


  • I help you practice healthy money habits by planning out your goals
  • I help you reflect on your money story and identify moments that are shaping your current now
  • I help you challenge the money beliefs that are limiting you from reaching your life and money goals


If this resonates with you, I invite you to work with me! I want to help you improve your relationship with money and attract abundance. Book a sales call.


I cannot wait to be part of your journey!



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Orlenda Cortez

Welcome to my corner on the internet! I’m obsessed with using money as a tool because it led me to pay off $30K in consumer debt in a year and a half, helped me save $20K in nine months to have my dream wedding in Costa Rica and is helping me build the life I never saw my family experience. Now I want to help others do the same!

Orlenda Cortez
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