Play the No Money Game

The No Money Game is a game that I’ve been playing ever since I started keeping track of my finances. The challenge is simple: to have a day where no money is spent on anything: not essentials, not luxuries, nothing. It’s harder than it looks, because our societal push is toward the idea that we should be spending money ALL the time. Being a consumer is all about flow, right? Even those who advocate personal financial freedom aren’t AGAINST spending, they just want you to do it with purpose.

My longest streak playing the no money game is 6 days. It would have been seven, but I had to pay rent.

An optional rule that you can place on this is ‘no money on non-essentials’ You’ll be able to go a little further. The essentials translate to the ‘basic stuff to keep the household going’ like rent, utilities, car payment, and the like.

While playing the game, I became a lot more critical about money. I asked myself if I wanted to break the streak that was going. I finally wound up deciding to make all of my purchases and pay all of my online bills on a single day. That way, I assumed, there was only so much damage that I could do. Getting it all out of the way helped me clear my brain for non money adventures.

  • AverageJoe

    This is a great game. Turns frugality into a contest. Sweet!

  • Emily

    I’m really trying to make the rewards for playing the game worthwhile… in the beginning, the rewards used to be.. ‘hey, you spent no cash, now you can go out to eat!’ and stuff like that. It’s sort of a letdown to go, ‘hey, you spent no cash, now you can … umm… spend no more cash!’ :)