When you decide to do a No Spend Challenge, the first thing you’ll notice is that everyone is trying to sell you something.
There’s traditional advertising like tv, mail, Facebook and email. Then there’s the person you haven’t seen since high school trying to guilt you into buying bags and soap and plastic containers from multi billion dollar companies.
It’s kind of discouraging the first time you realize your value to the world is as a consumer and nothing more.
When I check email each day, I try to unsubscribe to as much as I can but there are some marketing emails that I find useful when I am spending and don’t want to part with in the future. I just delete these without reading them so I’m not tempted today but can still get the coupons later.
The next thing you’ll notice is how much marketing is designed to make you unhappy with your life. Women’s magazines are enemy number one. They are filled with stories that are glorified advertising telling you about the cream that will lift your eyes, the jacket that will make you look taller and thinner, and the new furniture line that will make your home feel like a spa.
How’s your relationship? Shouldn’t you lose weight? Here’s a complicated recipe to make you feel completely inadequate in the kitchen. Better yet, let’s talk about expensive meal subscription boxes to cater to your gluten free, vegan, paleo or fruititarian lifestyle!
For most, the goal of a no spend month is to save money. That’s a great reason to start. In fact, that’s why I started doing this a few years ago. However, I quickly realized that there is a greater purpose to the exercise.
As the days turn into weeks, I find myself growing more satisfied with what I have and even a little skeptical of most purchases.
THIS is why I do the no spend challenge now. The saved money is nice but the deep sense of satisfaction is the true reward. With satisfaction comes gratitude and a sense of peace that there’s not much you can buy that will make you happier than you are right now.
After all, will that expensive cream really make you look younger?
It’s ok to want things. I like my home to be cozy, neat and comfortable. I want it to look pretty. There are things that I would like to have but few things that will elevate my feelings of happiness beyond where I am now.
When I have a large chunk of time at home, I tend to put down my phone more and gravitate toward projects – cleaning out a drawer or closet can’t be done while reading news. You’re less apt to kill time on Facebook when you’re engaged with something that keeps your hands and mind busy.
I tend to cook more and to use up those odds and ends that somehow accumulate in the freezer and pantry. The creation above is basically my favorite meal of all time – a baked potato topped with scrambled eggs and leftover vegetables that are lightly sautéed. Hey! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. It’s tasty and it uses up odds and ends.
But I digress. The point is that these changes in habits make an enormous difference and help you to appreciate that it is not just about the money.
In case you are wondering, it’s day thirteen and I have paid bills but have bought nothing else. I do need a new phone case but that is a necessity to protect my very expensive iPhone from – well, from me because I am clumsy. That needs to happen soon as this one is no longer water proof.
Are you doing a no spend month? Give me an update!
Looks Yummy! In the same type of minimalist spirit, I’m actually doing the 30-Day Minimalism Game => https://youtu.be/s64GiwN3hCs on my blog.
This is awesome! twenty eight things is fabulous!! I have a friend who was planning to do this but I suspect she’s already fallen off the wagon. Haha.
“not much you can buy that’ll make you much happier..” what a true statement Brandi. Its got me thinking. I try to spend on things i need not what advertisers tell me i need.
It really is true that there are few things that will give us happiness beyond that immediate adrenaline rush when you make the purchase. There are exceptions – my new chair seems to be proving lasting happiness. lol.
It’s good to ignore the advertising and go with your gut! It’s better to have your money in your own bank account than in someone else’s pockets!
that chair does look comfortable..!
And it is!
Love your idea of the No Spending for Thirty Days!
People spend money for lots of reasons, most of which is not based on need, but rather want.
A friend of mine who was a car salesman for years, said he could never get over the reasons people gave for buying a car. One guy came in and said his ‘dog passed away, so he thought he’d just buy a car’. It’s difficult to understand how people think that spending money = Happiness.
I agree with you: Not spending = Self satisfaction and Gratitude.
Your dinner looks great too!
Oh my gosh! Who buys a car because they’re sad? I mean, that’s when to eat chocolate, right? Or am I confused? 🙂
It can be fun to shop. It is hard to argue with finding a deal on your favorite shoes and I can justify any book purchase. Lol. Still, distance brings clarity and it’s clear that I don’t need most of what they’re selling!!
And yes- that is the best and quickest meal imaginable. You can customize it with your veggies and spices so it’s not like eating the same thing repeatedly. 🙂