Zero Dollar Day and Gratitude

Photo by Mathieu Turle on Unsplash

I have everything I need to survive for one day.

I probably have enough for several days–but I am certain that today I do not need to spend money.

It’s a Zero Dollar Day!

As I mentioned in a previous post, committing to spending zero dollars is a freeing feeling. Absolutes make decisions easier. If I am not spending money today I don’t need to stop at the grocery store or any other store.

My day becomes completely open and errand free. My kids and I have fun because I am not distracted.

I feel tougher at the end of these days. I recognize how I waste money on other days. My gratitude is heightened.

If you have never intentionally done a Zero Dollar Day, here are my tips to try it:

1. Grocery shop ahead

Buy two days worth of meals, snacks, etc so you have no food temptations. Also make sure you have toilet paper and other hygiene items!

2. Pick an open day

Choose a day where you have no known plans. If you know you are meeting a friend for lunch or coffee or going to a birthday party, pick a different day.

3. Pick the day before pay day

This is a personal preference, and we have found it powerful. Not only will this help you avoid credit card usage at the end of a pay cycle, it will also increase gratitude before you get paid again.

If you can spend zero dollars on this day and live fully, you will view money different when you get paid tomorrow. You will realize how little you need each day and stretch your next paycheck farther.

4. Reflect

At the end of the day reflect on how you felt. This will be different for everyone, but identifying how you felt when you didn’t spend might uncover how you feel when you do spend. Understanding these feelings and triggers leads to mindful consumption.

5. Celebrate

Find a small way to congratulate yourself the next day. A cup of coffee out (my personal favorite), a treat, whatever feels right for you. This treat will be amplified after your Zero Dollar Day. It will show you the inverse relationship between frequency and gratitude. The more you get something the less you appreciate it, and the less you get something the more you appreciate it.

So today our family of four will spend zero dollars and I encourage you to give it a try!

Please share your experience in the comments if you give it a try. I would love to hear about it!!



  1. Great idea! I often have zero dollar days (and paradoxically, getting a second job has led to more of them because I don’t have much time to shop) but I haven’t reflected on them or celebrated them. I’m generally grateful for what I already have, and feel sad for folks who blindly consume trying to fill an unfillsble void, but to be grateful for all the things I don’t need – that’s brilliant.


    • Nicole, I can see how a second job would provide less opportunities to spend…there is no extra time to spend! Thank you for sharing your experience with Zero Dollar Days. Hope you find a fun way to celebrate the next one 🙂 Thank you for reading! -Brittany


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