I feel like February is the perfect month to set yourself a challenge. Aside from it being slightly shorter, its also a way to keep the momentum of the New Year going. Everyone sets New Year resolutions in January but quite often they tend to fizzle out (not always but some do!). So, just like last year I set myself the challenge of being vegan for the whole of February – which is now something I embrace in as much of my life as possible – this year I am giving myself a no spend rule.
First of all you may be wondering why I’m having a no spend February. The answer is pretty simple: I need to spend less money.
January (and December) were pretty heavy spending wise for me: plenty of presents to buy and lots of indulgent food, plus a “I’ve finished my exams so I need to treat myself” day was maybe not necessary at all. So, as a way to counteract these outgoings I thought I’d give this challenge a go! I’ve seen so many people doing a spend-free year and that does scare me quite a lot. Which really is quite crazy! Am I really so wrapped up in this consumerist society that the idea of not being able to buy a new top makes me scared?!
Now what this means is that I can spend money on food, because you know don’t want to die, but I cannot make any unnecessary purchases. Below is a list of the only things I am allowed to buy:
Food – as I said I don’t want to die from starvation so I’m allowed to buy things to eat. However, I need to be mindful still with what I’m buying. I don’t need vegan cheese (it is quite expensive after all) so I’ll just do with what I’ve got already in my fridge or I won’t have cheese for a while. Buying food after a night out is also not allowed. No matter how much I love chips at 3am, they really are not a necessity. The ONLY exception I am allowing myself for this rule is when Josh comes to visit for Valentines. We are planning to have a meal out, and I feel this occasion is an acceptable spend. I don’t get to see him often so it’s nice to do something special when we are together. Therefore, that is the only food I am allowing myself to purchase in addition to my usual shopping list.
Transport – now this one comes with rules attached. I currently have no plans in February to travel anyway outside of Cardiff so at the moment I am not allowed to spend on travel. However, if for some reason I am needing to buy transport I am allowed to do it. I’d rather pay £6 for a taxi than to walk home alone at night!
Basic toiletries – no one likes bad breath/smelly people so I am of course allowed to buy toiletries should I run out. At the moment I have a some so shouldn’t need to buy them, but my personal hygiene is obviously more important than this challenge!
Other than that I am not allowed to buy anything else. No new clothes, new makeup, or new shoes. I don’t need new books as have plenty to see me through! Really I need to refrain from any sort of internet shopping or sales!
One of my New Year resolutions to myself was to try and learn how to save, so maybe this month of no spending will help me towards that a bit more. Who knows, if I like it and it’s a positive experience, I can’t see why incorporating it into my daily life more frequently as being a problem. Maybe I could do a fortnightly no-spend for the rest of the year? Or who knows! I could just try and be more mindful with my spending; I guess that would also work!
I’ve also got another challenge I want to give myself…Project 333! This is a way to reduce your wardrobe and be more conscious with the clothes you wear and need. So look out for this!
I love giving myself new challenges so comment or send me some ideas!