In the last few months, I saw so many videos on personal finance, tips to save money, and how to make the best investment, and so on. One of the things that made me realize that my finances were apocalyptic was when I realized how much money I could save every month and what I have in my bank account. And I have to say that the money wasn’t in the bank!
And when I saw my statements, I didn’t save money, not because of big purchases but small ones.
So in the middle of 2020, I started looking at my finances and how I could save a lot of money. Ok, it’s not that that will make me retire early, but it will help. And to go further into my minimalist pathway, I wanted to be more conscious about my consumption. And as you know already, I’m a radical person, so I decided to do a whole month without spending money on “things.” The only money I would spend would be in my rent and for groceries.
Last October, I started a whole no spend month, and it completely opened my eyes.
Why I decided to do a no-spending month
As I told you before, I’m the kind of girl who is really radical. I went vegan overnight (just by watching a documentary on Netflix). I did a digital detox for a month, and you can see the video here. I like to do things whole-heartedly to know exactly what I miss or not.
It’s simple; my boyfriend can’t believe how I’ve changed in the last few years.
As I said in my blog post about financial freedom, I was the kind of girl who prefers to spend all of my money because, you know, we have one life!
But it was always the same stress at the end of each month. I had no money if something happens.
So I started by automating my transfer at the beginning of each month, I radically decreased my spendings on clothes and beauty. If I didn’t have finished a product I didn’t buy a new one. Ok, it seems obvious, but it was always the case.
But there were always 10 dollars for this and 10 dollars for that, and in the end, it was a significant amount of money.
I saw many videos about doing a whole year without spending on clothes or other things, but I wasn’t ready for that. So I decided to start with a no-spending month.
To motivate me, I printed a calendar with empty boxes and, at the end of each day, I checked a box if I didn’t spend anything. This calendar really motivated me during this whole month; I was so proud when I checked a box.
But I have to be honest; it was hard. It was really challenging not to take out dinners, not to buy clothes, and so on.
So here what I did during a month to not spend any money
In order to not have a bad surprise, I made an audit of my statements and I checked all of my subscriptions. And if a spending was not really clear, or if it was something that I forgot, I emailed the company to delete my subscription. For example, during this month I had a spending for Lingoda and in the contract, on page 16, in a little note, it said that after the Sprint, 100 dollars would be withdrawn from my account to had 10 more lessons. But I didn’t have an email to remind me of this. I was furious so I emailed them and I had my 100 dollars back. With this system, I unsubscribed to 3 or 4 services.
The second thing that I did during this month was meal planning. Actually, it something that I do from time to time but you will see in my next video it’s something that I do a lot now. The point was to not take out for dinner. We saved a lot of money and our bodies thanked us! About food, another thing that I’ve started to do during this month is to compare the price per kilo or pound. I stopped buying brands and I saved so much money too!
The third thing that I did was to delete all the email subscriptions about clothes, home decor, and so on… I’ve started a new job so, in my head, it was like “I had to buy new clothes to fit with this new job”. But actually I have everything that I need. You will see later in this video that it was the most difficult thing for me.
And finally, I wanted to do this whole month of no spending because it was obvious that all the 10 dollars for this and for that was a real waste of money. And now that I do the minimalism game this month, all the things that I bought for a more organized and easier life are decluttering now! So in October, when I wanted to buy something new to help me with a recipe or to be more organized in my life, I tried to find something that I already owned. And most of the time, I found something or I reused something.
Ok so now that you know what I did during this month to not spend a dime except for groceries, here’s a list of all the things that I learned.
What I learned
Even if you don’t have big purchases, all the small things that you buy can break your wallet. For me, it’s clothes and all the small things on Amazon. And I realized how much money I waste on subscriptions I didn’t use.
I have to be honest with you, I thought that I couldn’t do it. But I did, and I’m so proud of myself. That’s why I want to do a low buy year in 2021 and I will tell you in my next video all the rules that I have to succeed.
BUT, because there is a big BUT. I was frustrated during this no spend month. I was frustrated because I didn’t have a clear why. I thought that it would be cool to do it. But when the challenge was over, I spent a lot on second-hand clothes, on gifts for Christmas, on so many things…
So I recommend to do this challenge if you have a big why, if you know exactly why you do it. And I think a month is great but not a whole year. Especially if you want to slow down your spendings or if you’re a shopaholic and you want to change to be more intentful with your purchases. A no spending month would be great if you really want to know what’s wrong with your buyer behaviors but be careful with the after.
Ok guys that’s it for today, I hope you enjoy this blog post. I see you in the next one 😉