This is the month of no-buy. After a crazy generous holiday last month my wallet is crying and my house is overflowing so I thought, what better way to reflect on my finances, use what I have, and reassess my upcoming budget then now? It’s like a financial reset. Yeah, I like that. Sounds all official.
So what exactly does a no-buy challenge look like? For the next 31 days I will be only buying what I need to survive, which is pretty much gas, minimal food, and one or two nights out (like a date night and a supper club event with my friends). No starbucks, no fresh flowers, no clothes, no toiletries, nothing.
Will this be hard?
It’s going to suck.
Have you met me? I live to shop.
I might cry or freeze my credit cards in a block of ice to keep from spending. There will be moments I rock back and forth singing eye of the tiger as the new Hermes spring collection comes out but I am determined to stick to it and you can too. It’s only 31 days… right? RIGHT? Oh gosh what am I getting myself into.
1.Pre-planning is your friend.
Sit down and review what your expenses are versus your “fun money”. This will open your eyes to habits you never knew you had. You might discover a majority of extra income goes to a make-up collection you never knew existed or that you love to eat out. It’s these “shocking discoveries” that you want to get ahold of in the coming months challenge.
2.Locate where your surplus is.
I currently discovered that I have an insane surplus of mayonnaise and pasta sauce in my pantry. I also have a hard time following through with beauty products. I recently came to terms with my unintentional collection of half used shampoo and conditioner bottles, random but the amount is mind blowing. Take note that you are fully stocked in these areas and resist the urge to buy!
3.Create lists of item you can buy and those that you can’t.
What’s on my can buy? Food, Gas, and two nights out (because these were pre planned)
What can I not? Everything else
4.Create a savings goal.
What are you going to do at the end of the month with all that money? Save it. My savings goal this year is to save $4,000 for my week trip to England, Ireland, and Scotland. Give your money plans, it will make each dollar count.
5.Make a wish list.
When the month is over you can decide what to do with all those almost impulse purchases. You’ll either still want it or realize what was important at the time is unnecessary now.
6. Create a clutter free space.
Clean out your house in a spring cleaning fashion. Donate what isn’t needed, organize what you use the most, and adopt the waste not want not attitude when you have to haul the trash bags to the recycle center (guilty).
All those retailer emails you get. Just unsubscribe. I’ll wait.
8. Avoid the stores.
That includes online retail. Stay away you won’t need the temptation. If you do come across a lovely item add it to the wish list mentioned in point #5.
9. Your attitude means everything.
Don’t say: “I can’t”
Do say: “I don’t need”
10. Preplan for success.
When you are prepared the likelihood of grabbing a pizza for dinner on the way home or an iced coffee on the way to work will be slim. Take a few extra minutes to pack your own home brew, pre plan your weeks meals on Sunday night. Grocery shop like you are on a mission.
Just remember, life happens. An unexpected dentist visit or bill will pop up. Don’t dispair because you haven’t lost the challenge you are just living life. For example: I have a record player on order and when it comes in, thanks to the holidays, it will be after January 1st. I added that expense to my budget. Doesn’t mean I didn’t accomplish my financial goals, just means I gave myself grace. Give yourself the small grace too. Just keep swimming.