No Spend January | My ‘I do not need’ list.

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As it’s the last day of my No Spend January, I thought I’d do a little exercise to help me keep on top of my spending in the future. A little while ago, I listened to Tara from Buy Me Once speaking on this podcast. It is really inspiring to hear how she turned her back on a stable ‘high-flying’ job in advertising and the more, more, more way of life, and turned towards helping people to live more ethically and simply.

The Buy Me Once site is a really great resource for finding products that are designed to last a lifetime and often have lifetime warranties. Whenever I’m in need of something, I always check if BMO has any brand recommendations because they’ve done the research! Personally, buying less but better quality products has taught me to value what I do own, and I’m trying to buy in the knowledge (or at least hope) that it will serve me my whole life.

One of the main tips Tara has for kicking the compulsive buying habit, is to make an ‘I Don’t Need List’. You guessed it, it’s just a list of things (be as specific as you like) that you don’t need any more of; a promise to yourself not to fall for it again. We all have our weaknesses when shopping, and this is just a way of remaining accountable.

I thought I’d have a go at writing mine below… I stole quite a few off Tara’s list that were relevant to me, and then added any more I could think of. I also wrote it up nicely and keep it on my wall for future reference ๐Ÿ™‚

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MY ‘I DON’T NEED’ LIST!

Clothes/Accessories/Beauty:

I do not need more than a capsule wardrobe

I do not need more than 1 coat

I do not need more than 1 hat, scarf and gloves set.

I do not need more than 5 bags (tote, handbag, rucksack, sports bag, carry on holdall)

I do not need jewellry (excluding earrings and nose rings)

I do not need more than 5 pairs of earrings

I do not need more than 5 nose rings

I do not need more than 1 pair of sunglasses

I do not need more than eight pairs of shoes (wellies, heels, boots, shoes, pumps, trainers, flip flops, sandals)

I do not need more every day makeup than these 5 items: lip balm/stain, mascara, eyeliner pencil, solid perfume, eyebrow powder

I do not need any toiletries that come in plastic

I do not need to partake in beauty trends that require new gadgets and tools

Technology:

I do not need a tablet (thereโ€™s nothing it can do that a phone + laptop canโ€™t)

I do not need to upgrade my phone if itโ€™s not broken

I do not need DVDs

I do not need a fitness watch

Leisure/Furniture:

I do not need decorative nick nacks

I do not need any freebies that I donโ€™t find useful or add to my home in a valuable way

I do not need to pick up ANY pens from ANYWHERE

I do not need any more fabric (unless I need something specific for a project Iโ€™ve ALREADY planned. Basically donโ€™t buy it just cos it would be nice to use one day)

I do not need to buy greetings cards

I do not need any more jars or tins (only buy if you don’t have any at home already that fit the purpose. Not allowed to buy just because they’re cute or pretty!)

That’s about it for me at the moment! I live with my parents at the moment, so the kitchen bit isn’t really applicable. I think I’ll take a leaf out of Tara’s book and update my list this time next year, adding and amending as appropriate- it’ll be interesting!

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No Spend January | Week 4 round up.

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Yeah! We’re almost there!

At this point, I’m resigned to the fact that I can’t buy anything on the whole. I honestly couldn’t be more content with my wardrobe, I don’t want any more clothes. And as for stuff, I’m making better distinctions between what I need and want. There are a handful of things I’ve had on a list for weeks, which I’m probably gonna buy in the first few days of Feb, but I’m feeling confident that I’m not going to go on a crazy freedom spree.

Isn’t it mad that I’m unemployed (and therefore have soo little money) and yet it was still so hard to stop spending! Anyway, this challenge was well-timed in that sense: good for my long-term well-being and wallet ๐Ÿ˜›

Going forward, I still want to operate a low-spend lifestyle when it comes to possessions, focusing more on experiences. Thanks for coming on this journey with me, let me know your thoughts and experiences with spending less!

 

No Spend January | Things to do.

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I’m getting so into this photography lark. So proud of this picture ๐Ÿ™‚

So, I think we can all agree I’ve now become an expert in not spending money and I’m perfect… I wish!

But I have been thinking- as much for my own sanity as for this blog post- about things you can do with no money. Even when this challenge is over, I don’t think it would hurt me financially or emotionally to spend more time doing things that don’t cost money!

So here’s a list I compiled of things I could think of. It is a bit London specific in places, because that’s where I live, but it might prompt ideas of places near you too (if you’re not London based).

  1. Visit a museum – all the museums and a great deal of galleries in London are free to enter, it’s pretty cool actually. I just finished a Christmas temp job at the Natural History Museum which was the first time I’d been to a museum in years (boo!). It reminded me how great they are, and I realised I’ve been missing out! I paid a visit to the Science Museum this week too, that’s always a fun one.
  2. Go for a walk – I know, anyone could’ve thought of this one! But you know, it’s an easily forgotten activity (at least for me). Some days I do plenty of walking from a to b, but it’s a completely different feeling walking just for the sake of it. Some of my happiest and most mindful times have been walking in the rain, kitted out in my raincoat and wellies, sometimes with an audiobook in my ears, or just listening to the sounds around me. And you don’t even have to be in nice surroundings for it to have a significant effect on your wellbeing. Trust me, I’ve been through some grotty, concrete covered places on walks! Or you could go to a park if concrete’s not your thing ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. Take pictures – Whether it be a flower in the park, your wellies next to the door, or your friends laughing on a day out. Whipping out your phone or camera is a really nice pastime. I had no idea I would get so into it, but I now spend hours every week taking + editing my pictures for this blog, as well as for personal enjoyment. I can thank my sister for teaching me to appreciate the process- thanks Naomi!
  4. Make something – Be it sewing, drawing, colouring in, crafting is really good for getting you really immersed in what you’re doing. It’s a personal goal of mine to have at least one craft always on the go, it’s so good for my mental health. If you get creative with things you have around the house, you won’t have to spend a dime!
  5. See the sights – It’s easy to live and work in London and become desensitised to the view. It’s not all pretty, like I said, but when you pause for a second you can find beauty. I often like to walk along the Southbank next to the river Thames. There’s such a variety of magnificent buildings. You can go the 10th floor of the Tate Modern and look out over the whole city, or cross over the river to St. Paul’s Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. My favourite is standing on Waterloo or London Bridge at night, looking over the river with all the lights shining ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. Write a letter – I suppose this doesn’t count as strictly free, if you consider stamps. But paper and pens can definitely be scavenged from around the house. I wanna make more time to write letters and make my own birthday cards, I think people appreciate the effort.
  7. Declutter – If you haven’t tried it, I swear once you get into it it’s the most therapeutic, addictive thing! Taking an afternoon/day to get a room in order can make a huge difference to how you feel, plus you’ll be one step closer to a simpler, more eco-friendly life.
  8. Exercise – Go for a run! Do some press-ups! Follow a Youtube workout! Yoga! I have a very love/hate relationship with the gym, I’m about to cancel my membership for the second time in 6 months. There’s something about being in a stuffy building with other people working out that makes me hate it in the end! Then I get all guilty that I’m paying money and not using it.. I much prefer being out in the open, or at home. But whatever your thing is, do it.
  9. Journal – When you challenge yourself not to spend money, you find you’re freeing up a whole load of time. If you’ve ever wanted to start or keep up a diary, spending less money is a good way to do it! Sometimes these days, I find myself with so many thoughts and feelings in my head that I can’t not write in my diary- it’s the dream! I really want to start a bullet journal too. Just need to find the right notebook (Google it, they’re super cool!)
  10. Cook – Cooking seems to be one of the first things to suffer when we get busier. But if you’re not spending money on much else other than food, why not learn to enjoy it? Look up some new, exciting recipes on the internet, and try them out! There is nothing more satisfying than making an awesome meal from scratch (especially when you present it really nicely too).

 

I’m sure you guys have some much better ideas- if so, share them in the comments, I’d love to hear them ๐Ÿ™‚

No Spend January | Week 3 round up.

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I made this! And it’s wearable!

Would you believe it’s week 3 already?! I probably said that last week about week 2, but this time it’s even more insane! It’s always nice to know you’re over halfway ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway without further ado, this past week hasn’t been too bad. I still get the odd itch to buy things (trust me, the urge hasn’t gone away) and my mind has been bargaining with itself as to whether one sensible purchase would ‘count on my record’ or not when it gets really bad! But thus far I have resisted. It was very painful yesterday when I passed my favourite charity shop and they had posters up saying it was 50% off everything! I couldn’t believe my bad luck! I always find good things in there… But you know, I did this for a reason, and besides, it’s a charity shop. The stuff is always cheap.

I’ve been able to make much more time this week for reading and listening to audiobooks. I also did some sewing and even found a half-finished DIY I’d forgotten about that I’m going to get stuck into next week. Honestly, this is the stuff that gets me really excited. This is the stuff that brings me deeper happiness. I have to remember that when this challenge is over.