Surely you’ve heard of No-Shave November (support this great cause if you can!). But today, we’re talking about something a bit different. No-Spend
November. Scratch that. October.
While No Spend November has a much better ring to it (not to mention tons more Google results, it must be a “thing”), I’m adapting my No Spend November a month early, selecting October because, well… November has two key shopping holidays that I just can’t avoid (holiday gift shopping for others included!). This year, Black Friday falls on November 24 and Cyber Monday on November 27 and I will be partaking. Chances are, if you read this blog, you will also be partaking… more on that later!
Why Commit to a Month of No Spending?
For me, August + September were full of “just because” purchases. At times I felt “I’ve worked so hard, I deserve it.” In some cases it was justified by “it was a really good deal, hard to pass up.”
-I bought a designer purse (used) and another one (also used). Considered a third…
-I couldn’t pass up the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale (but in my defense, I only bought one thing).
-Then Nordstrom had Triple Points…
$750 dollars later… I finally started asking myself, “Why?” and “What’s next?”
While I do have disposable income available, it feels silly to “dispose” of it in this way. So while there’s not a huge push to save more / spend less, per se, I want to be more intentional about how I’m spending my money. “Just because” just doesn’t cut it anymore. These funds could be channeled to provide more meaningful experiences vs. things. More trips, more entertainment, more memories made. Hopefully, it will shape my long-term outlook on such things.
The Minimalist vs. Maximalist Dilemma
It’s not just the spending I want to curb, it’s the STUFF. If you know me, I’m quite the bargain hunter. Purchasing a high volume of goods at a low price point is a unique skill of mine. I love a good bargain, especially when the item can be “flipped” for profit (not that I put in the effort anymore, but it’s the prospect of it that counts, for me at least).
When I see something I want at a consignment shop, vintage store, thrift store, or discount online retailer, it’s hard to pass it up. But, the accumulation of stuff is real. How can 2 people living in a 4 bedroom house feel cramped? Stuff. Let me tell you, it’s because of stuff.
I’ll be the first to admit it will not be easy. 31 days of no clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, beauty products, etc. (just essentials like food and toothpaste and whatnot).
Searching Pinterest, there are some hardcore people trimming their spending on food, social activities, you name it. And I salute you. My rules skew much more simple:
- No spending money on clothing. Not online. Not in-store. Not full price. Not half price. Not $1.00. Includes athleisure, pajamas… yep, every article of clothing.
- No spending money on accessories. No jewelry. No handbags. No phone cases. No sunglasses, wallets, or perfume.
- No spending money on beauty products. No makeup. No Instagrammable apothocary finds. No chapstick just because you can’t find your other 6 sticks. No facial wipe travel packs even if they’re only $4.
- No spending money on footwear. No running shoes. No loafers. No riding boots. No chunky knit socks. No leopard print ballet flats no matter how seasonally appropriate.
- No home decor. This one is kind of tough. I’ve been on a decor kick. Plus with the change of seasons… No throw pillows. No blankets. No art. No plants. No flowers. No candles. No more fake succulents, alright?
I used to be really good at “No,” especially in college and just after, when I literally needed to prioritize my car payment and keep a careful eye on gas and groceries. But since growing up I’ve gotten caught up in “treat yourself, you deserve it” mode. In an effort to break this, I’m starting with these 5 rules. I’m hoping one month is more than doable. I still plan on eating out, engaging in some travel, and not depriving myself of a manicure or facial. But, those are experiences and not things that take up space in my house.
What’s your take? Am I being strict enough? What are your tips to curbing spending on unnecessary items?