BOSTON (CBS) — According to statistics from the Federal Reserve, nearly half of all Americans have little or no savings and would have trouble covering an expected bill of $400.
A blogger has come up with a way to get people to save more: all you have to do is stay out of your wallet one day a week.
It’s called the ‘Zero Dollar Day Challenge‘ and it’s the brainchild of an anonymous financial blogger known only as David. “It gets addicting,” he said. “I spend five minutes a day trying to save money and I saved a hundred bucks this week,” he said.
He started the Zero Dollar Day Challenge because he says his spending was out of control. “It was really to challenge myself to spend less money,” he said. It does require a bit of planning. David says he makes sure he’s stocked up on groceries and has a full tank of gas before his Zero Dollar Day.
Lindsay Champion gave it a try and immediately saw results. The key, she says, is to remember to bring coffee and lunch to work. “The things that end up costing the most are the things that come up at the last second. These are little impulse purchases or you realize, ’Oh, I forgot to make coffee this morning,’” she explained.
CBS business analyst, Jill Schlesinger says Zero Dollar Days may be gimmicky, but they can help to train those who don’t pay close attention to their spending. “People couldn’t account for something like 10% – 20% of their take-home pay. Once you know that it’s going someplace, you may be able to capture and redirect it,” she said.
Last year, David started doing a couple of Zero Days a week and banked $18,000.