There are only a few days left for the month of September and I’m proud to say that I’ve gotten through a whole month of no shopping. As I make my transition towards a more minimalist lifestyle, I made a goal at the end of August to complete a no spend challenge, which turned out to be surprisingly an easy. Now, there are different types of no spend challenges–some as much as preparing your entire month to buy absolutely nothing (not even food!) but I limited myself to not buy any clothes, beauty products, or objects I didn’t need. I also didn’t go out to eat, but I did buy a few coffees because…coffee. Today I’m sharing 8 tips to inspire/help you try this challenge as well.
1. GET INSPIRED
I was inspired by a few bloggers and vloggers and figured September was the perfect month for me because a) summer was ending, but I could still wear my summer clothes and b) I could save money for fall things come October. Youtuber Jenny Mustard’s “How To Shop Shopping” video really hit home for me and gave me motivation to try a no-spend month.
2. FIGURE OUT WHY YOU SHOP
Jenny Mustard makes a connection between unhappiness and going shopping to make us feel better. Sometimes we feel a void in our lives and shopping becomes an activity to fill it. We’ve all had days when “retail therapy” was just what we needed, when in reality the root of our problems can’t be solved by shopping. I’ve always been a bit of a materialistic person and whenever I spent my money I needed something to show for it–something tangible. Shopping was also a hobby for me–you could even say it was a habit. On my days off work I would go to the mall because I didn’t know what else to do with my time. I’ve become more conscious of what I buy and ask myself why I want to buy it. Now I’m working towards saving my money for travel and experiences, rather than things.
2. TALK ABOUT IT
Once you decide to take on this challenge, tell your friends, family, or coworkers about it. They might become inspired themselves to try it or have some advice to give you. You will also become more motivated to stick to your goal because you don’t want to be a hypocrite by hyping something up, only to not achieve it.
3. EVALUATE YOUR “NECESSITIES”
As humans we need food, clothing, and shelter to survive. Beyond that we also might need to spend money on toiletries, gas, rent, etc. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this” every time you go to buy something. Be conscious of what you spend money on and track it in a journal. This month I really needed deodorant (ya girl can’t be smelling funky) and also got a baby shower gift for my sister-in-law. Other things I spent money on were groceries, gas, medicine, and bills, bills, bills.
4. ELIMINATE TRIGGERS
Don’t watch any shopping hauls, stay off of clothing websites and shopping apps, and do not go to the mall. Kindly refuse an invite if asked to go–real friends will understand your goal and won’t get mad or offended that you declined. I didn’t post any Wednesday Wants wishlists this month to avoid any impulses and it definitely helped keep my mind out of shopping mode.
5. GET CREATIVE
Being a fashion or beauty blogger and trying a no-spend challenge might seem like an impossible feat, but it enables you to get creative with the things you already have. I have to admit that I have received clothing from companies to style this month, which definitely helped my “I need new clothes!” mindset, but when I styled outfits and thought about how a new pair of jeans or shoes would look nice with it, I got creative and thought about how to style old pieces new ways. I do this same thing when I’m low on food in the kitchen and don’t feel like going to the grocery store. You’d be surprised what you can come up with and afterwards you have a sense of accomplishment!
6. FIGHT THE URGE WITH PRODUCTIVITY
The biggest point that struck me from Jenny Mustard’s video was whenever you get an urge to go shopping, be creative. Replacing your shopping time with productivity can help you work towards goals and use your time wisely. Take a walk, read a book, grab your sketchbook, call a friend, shoot photos, reorganize your room, clean the house, try a new recipe, take a free online class. The possibilities are endless.
7. YOU’LL SAVE MONEY
Okay, this is obvious, but after a whole month of no shopping you can look back and see how much money you saved. This is why I also recommend journaling or even blogging what you spend each month. It allows you to see where your money is going and to help you create a budget to reach your financial goals.
8. YOU’LL GAIN A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Now that my no spend month is almost over it’s amazing to look back and see what I’ve done with my time besides going to the mall or spending hours on ASOS. I explored my creativity, improved my photography, and pushed out a lot of content–especially over on my Instagram. This month has helped me work towards my blogging goals and I’m already seeing results in higher blog traffic and engagement (thanks you guys x)
I hope this post provided you with some useful information and maybe even inspiration to consider a no spend challenge yourself. I know it can seem daunting to go a whole month without shopping, but my biggest tip is that once you figure out why you shop and if it’s connected to an emotional issue in which you want to change, it’ll be much easier to consider. If a month is too much, start small and try a week.
Remember: you can only change if you really want to.
Have you guys tried a whole month without shopping? Would you ever consider it?