The Sabbath is a weekly day of rest practiced in Judaism as well as in several other religions. However, you don’t have to be religious to benefit from taking a Sabbath day each week. There are many different ways that you can adapt this practice to fit your own life. One option is to set aside one day per week as a spending Sabbath, also known as a no-spend day.
What is Sabbath?
Sabbath is a day of the week that people adhere to specific rules. In Judaism, the Sabbath runs from Friday night to Saturday night. Christian religions that celebrate Sabbath often do so on Sundays. The specifics vary between religions. The general idea, however, is to take a break from the usual way of life in order to focus on things of religious value. For example, people who observe the Sabbath may choose not to work, cook, or use electronics. If you are religious, you may use this day to honor God. If you aren’t religious, you may use the Sabbath to connect with self, family, and community.
Spending Money and the Sabbath
Jewish people who observe the Sabbath generally follow rules about money. They do not do work to earn money. Moreover, they do not engage in commerce. In other words, strictly following this religious Sabbath means that you don’t make or spend money on this day of the week. Traditionally, they may not even handle money at all. Of course, people participate in their religious practices to varying degree of strictness. Nevertheless, this tradition is a good reminder that money matters can take us away from loftier pursuits.
What is a Spending Sabbath?
Whether or not you participate in a religious Sabbath, there are many good reasons to consider implementing your own spending Sabbath. A spending Sabbath is simply a 24-hour period each week during which you don’t spend any money. If you are really strict about it, you might even set your automatic bill pay services to avoid paying out on that day of the week. However, it’s more about consciously opting to replace spending money with actions that align with your core values.
For example, on your spending Sabbath Day, you might have the urge to go out to eat with your family. However, since you’ve decided not to spend money, you have to find an alternative. Maybe everyone can figure out one thing to cook using the ingredients that you already have at home. This might meet your core values of spending time with family, avoiding food waste, and living frugally.
How to Start a Spending Sabbath
If you’re ready to give this weekly no-spend day a try, then you should start with some brainstorming. First, figure out which day of the week is likely to be most successful as your spending Sabbath day. If you know that your family is always out and about on Saturdays, shopping and whatnot, then that might not be the best day of the week to pick. On the other hand, if you find it hard not to buy things on your lunch break from work then perhaps a weekend Sabbath day is best.
Next, track your spending over several weeks. Pay attention to the types of things that you tend to buy on impulse. You will need to learn to avoid the temptation to buy those on your spending Sabbath day. Furthermore, pay attention to things that you spend money on every single day. These are the things that you might have to plan ahead for so you don’t buy them during your weekly spending Sabbath.
Next, make a list of ideas for how to spend your Sabbath. Get in touch with your core values. Align your plans and activities with those values. If you typically spend money to achieve your goals, figure out free alternatives. The more well-armed you are with ideas before you begin, the more successful your Sabbath will be.
Finally, put it all into action. Stick to it. If you spend during your Sabbath, don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Think about what caused you to spend. Re-assess, re-adjust, and recommit next week.