My Zero Day Challenge

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When my blog first launched during the 4th of July, I went through my Twitter feed and saw that David from Zero Day Finance was offering anyone to do the Zero Day Challenge. It was featured on CNBC, Yahoo Finance and on the Rockstar Finance.  So I read about what the purpose of challenge was the how to track your spending.  I figured that since I track all of my spendings on a monthly basis then I should try tracking it daily and see where it goes.  So during the second week of August I went ahead and started the challenge for a month long period.

What is the Zero Day Challenge?

The Zero Day Challenge is where you tracking your daily spending and see what days you spend no money at all: zip, nada, zilch!! It is month long challenge to see how many zero spending days you have within that month long period.  The more zero days you have the better.  This is also a way if your spending days were worth going to buy or just to buy something that was not worth it.

Zero Day Tracking Chart

David was gracious to provide a spreadsheet to whoever took the month long challenge to track your spending and the amount of zero days you had. I originally had it on my own spreadsheet and I posted on my Instagram:

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My original zero day tracker

But after looking at David’s spreadsheet, it looked more detailed and tracked how much you spend on a particular day.  So I went ahead to entered all of my tracking on his spreadsheet.  Check it out:

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The sheet shows how much I am spending as the each day passes.  Like I mentioned earlier, there were a few days like on the 21st, 23rd and 24th where I could spend it all in one day and it would have given me two extra zero days.

As you can see on the graph on day 24 where my spending shot up, it was my rent and internet payment.  Everything else was pretty much on a steady line

Thoughts on the ZDC

For the first week of the challenge, I wanted to try out this challenge just to see how my daily spending went without the worries of feeling that I should not spend just because of this challenge.  I wanted to spend the way I usually do and after the first week, I went through my Personal Capital account, where I link all of my credit cards, and see how my spending went.  I did spend a few days on cash so I would just keep the receipt and put it together on a paper clip.

After that first week, I realized that there were days that I could have bought the day before or day after but stuff comes up like needed food for home and thus their a couple days where I would spend $3 at TJ’s and another $4 the following day.  I could have lumped my spending into that one day and it would had resulted in a couple more zero days.

I tried to consider everything I spend as non-zero day just to figure out how my spending would go on a daily basis.  Like the bag of cheese puffs that I bought as my only purchase that day.

Lessons from ZDC

After doing this challenge for a whole month I realized that my spending are fine but the way I spread them out is something I need to work on.  Maybe I am being too harsh on myself but I should plan to lump my purchases into one whole day and not randomly buying a couple items one day, one item the next, and three items the day after that and so on.  Instead of 13 zero days I could have had 17 zero days.  I did not put an exact number of zero days I wanted to achieve but 20 zero days would have been nice.

Also it would be have easier to do the challenge throughout a whole calendar month instead starting the second week of August then overlapping into the first week of September. But the thought of starting this challenge was running through my mind the first weekend of August and figured to  start the following week.  If I want to do the challenge again,  I’ll make sure to do it in a whole calendar month so it will be easier to track.

Should I do the challenge again?

Yeah, it was a fun challenge to do would want to give it a shot again.  I highly recommended doing it for any purpose you so desire.  Whether it be see how your budget is doing, know where you are spending or just want to know if have a goal in mind on how many days you can have zero spending.

Maybe towards the end of year I will try the challenge again and hopefully I will get to 20 or more zero spending days.

10 thoughts on “My Zero Day Challenge

  1. Thanks for trying it out! Glad you saw some success from it. Something to consider is that the ZDC is just a tools help you identify spending that just doesn’t make sense. I would advise against trying to squeeze out a few extra zero days “just cause.”

    Finally, if you try it again, I would actually not recommend tracking rent. There are 2 reasons: 1) you need to pay it every month, and 2) it’ll make your spending graph hard to interpret.

    As an added bonus, check back next week, I’m running a large ZDC (hoping for a few hundred people) with cash prizes!

    Thank you for sharing and trying it out!

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    • It was a fun experience trying the ZDC, thanks for creating it again. I will try the challenge again before the end of the year and I’ll definitely watch for stuff that I spend that are out of ordinary. That makes more sense than aiming for more zero days.
      Can’t wait what you have in store for your large ZDC!!

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  2. Nice job! I’m testing out the ZDC by tracking days right now and it is amazing how much more mindful I am about my spending (especially the small, impulse or convenience buys) when I have to check “yes” or “no” on my spend day list.
    ~Mrs. Adventure Rich

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  3. Gosh I totally failed at this. I tried to do this for the month of July but I think I got less than 10 days of zero days. I have a lot to work on but it’s hard even when I count small purchases. Good job on this challenge tho! I think you can definitely make it to 20 days!

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  4. I haven’t tried the ZDC but I do like to have ‘no spend days’. Good job on your meticulous tracking@ Being on maternity leave this has been pretty easy because I can’t leave the house very much LOL.

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  5. Sounds like you did pretty good for your first ZDC. I’ve never tried it, but I have done my own “no spending spree” when I felt like I was wasting my blow money on unnecessary things. Although it is my own spending money, I sometimes feel guilty when I keep spending it on stuff that I know I don’t need or won’t get much use out of. – Kim

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    • You should try doing the ZDC! It can make you be more aware of what your spending and makes you think if should buy things that you don’t really need. After going through the challenge, I felt their were some unnecessary spending and if I want to take it again I feel that I would cut down on the unnecessary stuff.

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