No Spend Challenge

.

by Olivia Pink

Hi my name is Olivia and I am a total clothes horse. I buy for a mixture of reasons, including being a spin instructor so always “needing” new workout sets or severely overestimating the amount of times I go outside my house. In reality, I wear the same t-shirt and sweatpants every day (yay for working from home!). Essentially, I have spent so much on clothes that my bedroom has started to look like a TJ Maxx popup shop. 

In all seriousness, I buy so much because I’ve always loved fashion. I am the type of person who enjoys getting dressed up and being trendy (trendy or not, I will still be rocking a side part and wearing skinny jeans for the rest of my life).  It started when I was 10 and I would never leave the house without a necklace that matched my outfit. Then when I discovered LimitedToo, I would color coordinate every outfit to the headband I was wearing, and in the winter months, you bet I wore a matching scarf. Luckily, I did avoid the trend of layering your Hollister popped collared shirts.  

Throughout the years, my style has changed but my love for creating outfits has remained the same. The problem with this, though, is I have big goals. I want a house and to pay off my student loans but that will not happen as easily if a new package arrives at my house every other week. I need to do something to reset and refocus. My savings need to go into hyper-drive while my spending needs to get reeled in. To really clamp down on my spending, increase my savings, and most importantly, hold myself accountable – I’m doing a no-spend challenge! Shamefully, I already failed at this in October. I was doing great but then, like a complete sucker, I got a $20.00 coupon from Gymshark and I couldn’t let it go to waste! So, November it is!  

Here’s how it works: 

The Challenge: No non-essential spending for the month of November. You’ll have to get clear on your needs and essential purchases and go from there!  

As a way to really hold myself accountable, seeing that I failed this once already, I’m going to up the stakes. For every tempting purchase, I will transfer the amount of money I would have spent on that item into my savings account. At the end of November, I will then tally what my total savings was!  

When: November 1 – 30, 2021  

Goals: To have a better relationship with money and shopping by becoming less of an impulse shopper. To keep saving toward a home and to pay off my student loans. 

Obstacles: With any new spending plan, there are going to be some challenges along the way! For instance, I am going to have to budget for Christmas. Although I buy for myself a lot, I genuinely LOVE giving gifts! It makes me happy to see others happy. For this reason, I’ll be adding a caveat for buying Christmas gifts.  

Essentials:  

  • Bills and reoccurring payments (student loans, car payments, etc.) 
  • Groceries – I will continue to buy the same quality of food I normally buy but will meal prep more efficiently. I will also avoid the temptation of going out to eat (which shouldn’t be too hard as I prefer home cooked meals). 
  • Christmas gifts – our siblings do a secret Santa, capped at $50, and I will be buying for my parents, as well. 
  • Beauty – I rarely get my hair done and I don’t ever get a manicure, however, my eyebrows are my pride and joy. I typically go every 2 weeks but I can push it to only going 1 time in November.  

Non-Essentials: 

  • No clothes! My heart hurts thinking about it but I know my wallet will thank me! 
  • No going out to get drinks (remember when I said I underestimate how many times I do this? I think I’ll ace this category!) 
  • No ordering out or getting take-out 

Whether your goal is to repay debt, improve your credit score, save money for your first home or to travel, a no spend challenge can help make it that much easier to reach your financial goal! If you’re like me and you’re ready to make a change – let’s do this challenge together!