Monday, June 17, 2024

Can You Go a Month Without Spending?

No Spend September:
“What, Like It’s Hard?”

Jenna Flood, aka the Ironic Minimalist and our resident sustainability warrior outlines what No Spend September is all about, along with the benefits of having a go!

No Spend September
Still from Legally Blonde. Source: @indiewire

We all know that the best way to save a little extra cash is to slow down on the daily spend. Those everyday treats really add up! A little iced oat latte here and cute new tee there. But as much as these daily pick me ups give us a spring to our step, they also eat away faster at our bank accounts. And with the current cost of living crisis looming over our heads, many have been forced to drop these indulgences for cheaper alternatives, such as at-home- manicures and BYO lattes. The big trend this month, pushed by local radio stations is to not spend a cent on unnecessary items for a month. Sounds hard right? Well, it might actually be easier than you think. Here’s what No Spend September is all about.

What Exactly is No Spend September?

Coffee and Calculators
Image Credit: Unseen Studio, Unsplash

It is what it says on the box – no spending for September, or, for your chosen month. It could be as simple as not spending your hard earned cash on a little morning treat, or forgoing a trip to the mall each weekend. Or it could be as extreme as pledging to spend only what is actually needed: groceries for the week, petrol for the car and public transport fees. It’s essentially hitting ‘pause’ on your impulsive spending habits. Some have even extended these no spend months to entire years.

I’ve actually done a wardrobe freeze for a whole year. No clothing, new or preloved, has entered my wardrobe since the end of 2022.

As boring as these measures sound (we all need a little treat on humpday right), they do come with a host of benefits that will help you grow a bigger savings account, become money savvy and find new hobbies.

Ok, Lay the Girl Math on Me

Image Credit: Roberto Cortese

So first up, you will probably save some money! A simple girl maths here would be no spending = saving more. But when you forgo a few impulse buys for a month, you may also notice that your financial awareness grows. You begin to evaluate areas that you could probably cut back long term and become mindful of how you are spending your cash. Maybe Netflix, Stan AND Prime all aren’t needed. It feels good to see that bank account grow, doesn’t it? Replace those harmful spending habits with healthier ones.

Break Time

Woman Shopping
Image Credit: Ian Taylor, Unsplash

Sometimes you just need a break: a break from consumerism, that is. The hamster wheel of trends, must haves and need-it-now’s is constantly spinning and sometimes we just need to step off. Maybe you don’t need to get whatever your Tik Tok feed said you do. Maybe you can just appreciate what you already own. A well timed break can also reduce stressful thoughts about money and reduce anxiety.

Marie Kondo

As we take that break from consumerism, you might notice less clutter around you. I did. No more parcels arriving at my door means a clean aesthetic and more space. Often mindless purchases lead to us stuffing things in cupboards that are already full. Take a break, clear your space and clear your mind.

Temptation All Around

No Spend September
Image credit: Artem Beliaikin, Unspash

Okay we know there will be temptations! A new dress for a spring wedding? A new emotional support drink bottle? But you can do it! A whole month of avoiding those temptations will lead to stronger willpower and discipline. These are valuable life skills that help with managing finances and achieving other goals in the future. 

None for Me, One for the Planet

Buying less equates to an actual reduction in our environmental footprint. With already full wardrobes of clothing already purchased, so go ahead and get dressed! Create new combinations you’ve never tried. Dye a stained top. Sew on a button. Make your wardrobe more individualistic with a few simple touches and be an outfit repeater for ever!

Explore the Great Outdoors

Current Mood Tee Shirt
Image Credit: Marco Xu, Unslash

Buying less doesn’t mean we having to sit around at home, bored. Get out there! Local parks are free and often hold events. Plan a pot luck with friends. Host a swapping party. Smash out a puzzle. Try knitting. Even a simple phone call with a loved one can give us a bigger dopamine hit than opening a package could give.

Most importantly, a no spend challenge doesn’t have to be extreme. You can customize it to your own financial goals and needs. Maybe a little less caffeine hits from the cafe and a little more at home coffees. The benefits of taking on No spend September include learning from experience, developing better financial management skills, and casting a softer footprint on the planet.

Jenna Flood - the sustainable Fashion Stylist

About Jenna:
Jenna Flood, known as the Ironic Minimalist is a slow fashion stylist based in Melbourne,
with a Master’s Certificate in Styling from the Australian Style Institute and is a specialist in
sustainable dressing and living. See more about Jenna in Meed the Sustainable Fashion Stylist

Featured Image by: Hong Nguyen, Unsplash

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