The No-Spend Challenge

Do you ever do the thing where you tap your card and just pray it does not get rejected, because that’s how you track your spending?
Because that used to be my go-to budgeting strategy, just hope my card didn’t get rejected. Obviously that was a terrible strategy.

I hate cleaning out my closet and having this underlying guilt about money. I also hate looking at my savings account and thinking, damn I work so hard, where does my money go?

Furthermore, excessive consumerism is not good for the environment, not good for human rights or an ethical lifestyle in general.

I have seen the no spending challenge going around the internet, and I am intrigued, one of my co-workers is doing a no spend YEAR, where she does not buy any clothes, cosmetics, or unnecessary eating out food for an entire YEAR.
I have been so inspired by her action that I have been trying to enact some of those no-spend principles into my own life, I don’t think I can have a no spend year, but I can try and look at my spending critically and make changes where I can.

So I am doing a baby no spend challenge.

Here are the rules:

1) Beauty Products

I love beauty products, and I am always looking for the next best thing instead of just appreciating what I have already bought.
I will not buy any beauty products, unless I need to replace a product. But this will only count for things like toothpaste, if I run out of bronzer, I need to use one of the other bronzers I have. I also want to extend this to other things I don’t want to buy, like home decor and hair products. I want to appreciate the things I have, not always looking for more.

2) No new books or magazines:
This is the most difficult one for me, every time i pass a bookstore, it’s like I’m compelled to go inside. It’s a problem, and my boyfriend teases me about it all the time, he always tries to hustle me away.
But, I have so many books at home that I haven’t read, so I’m really just adding to a pile that never shrinks. If I magically read all the ones I have, I will have to go to the library, but I have about 40 I haven’t read so I don’t think it will be an issue.

3) Stop buying new electronics and useless gadgets.
I have a confession, I bought AirPods, and I also recently found out that AirPods are a landfill nightmare, and I probably didn’t need them. I want to limit purchases to the replacement for important things that get lost or broken, because tech, especially tech that is difficult to repair, is a significant landfill risk.

4) Stop buying new clothes:
I already try not to buy fast fashion, but now I will try and limit myself to thrift stores, or not buy anything at all.

5) Limit eating and drinking out
I buy a coffee everyday, I order delivery once a week, and I eat out at restaurants fairly often. This is an expensive habit, and I am going to try and cut out at least one of these habits (probably the delivery) which I hope will add up. I also try and cut out the trash I do consume food and drink outside the house.

This spending challenge is a challenge because the possibilities are endless, these are the ones that would fit in with my lifestyle, but for you it could be video games, lottery tickets, single use products or gourmet food. I really want to see what I can live without, and what I already own.

What would you give up in the no-spend challenge?

6 thoughts on “The No-Spend Challenge

  1. Spending money is a tricky one to break but it’s possible! I stopped buying stuff in 2017 and I’m used to it now. I’m a millennial who lives a simple, frugal lifestyle and personally, it works really well for me.

    The money spent on ordering food really does add up. I have never ordered from food delivery services and I have no plans to order subscription boxes either (not sure if you do this but I know several people who do). I stopped buying coffee every day and started making my own. These sound like habits, and habits can be hard to break. If you can replace your habits with another activity such as making coffee at home instead of going out to buy coffee, it will be an easier transition.

    Ordering food in is a luxury, not a need. I recommend finding recipes online that you can make at home. You’ll save tons of money cooking at home and it’s also a lot healthier in the long-run. There’s tons of yummy recipes online!

    It seems like shopping is an enjoyable activity for you. I’m not sure if you order online, but if you do I would suggest using cash instead. I don’t order online anymore and I don’t miss it. Finally, try making a spreadsheet for a month to track your spending. Don’t leave anything out. This method might help kickstart your no-spending/spend-less challenge. Good luck! 😊💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d try and not buy food at Costco. I’m concerned the quantities result in having more food going bad before we can eat it, which is bad for the environment.

    To still be able to enjoy shopping, I’ll shop at thrift stores, because it satisfies my itch to find treasures, and still shop and buy, without buying new. I often view those purchases more like rentals. I’ll own them for a little while, and then send them back to the thrift store.

    Good luck. And be kind to yourself as you try this.

    Liked by 1 person

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