Embarking on a No Spending Journey

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no spending journey

At the end of December, I discovered a new favourite YouTuber. Her name is Hannah Louise Poston and for the entirety of 2018, she did a No Buy Year. No spending for an entire year sounds crazy right? Being inspired by someone who did a no buy year sounds even crazier! Let me explain:

Our reasons for our No Spending Journey

Our reasons for this journey are multifaceted, but I’m certain we are not alone in the way we have been feeling about our spending, and the way we have been affected by consumerism in recent years. We are part of a microgeneration; not quite generation X but a touch too old to consider ourselves millennials. Most people our age didn’t grow up using a cell phone. My first phone was the Nokia 5110 when I was 18 – what a brick! We weren’t surrounded by social media (thank goodness because fashion was questionable in the 90s) and dial-up internet was the only way to get onto MSN.

But we have been dramatically influenced by living the most affluent part of our adult lives so far (our 30s) in a digital age where anything is possible. We barely remember life before Amazon Prime and we live for free shipping so we don’t have to leave the house! Therein lies the problem.

Our spending is out of control

We don’t spend thousands on fancy items. We do not have a house packed full of toys or clothes. But what we do is buy too much in specific categories. For me, it’s skincare and makeup. For my husband, it’s golf-related items (seriously, there’s a whole world of golf accessories and clothes out there, who knew?!) and stuff on Amazon.

He’s addicted to Amazon Prime and I’m addicted to Sephora and it’s time to cut the cord. As a family, it’s too many little treats here and there and too much eating out. They’ve got to go too. See Ya Target.

My vanity unit is FULL of products. Everything on and in it gets used, but I own too much. Yet still, I shop.

I shop to feel that beautiful high of getting something new.

I shop so I can wait with anticipation for boxes to land on my doorstep. When I get a nice bonus, I ‘treat’ myself to something I really don’t need. Towards the end of 2018, I started to actually get bored of shopping, and of looking for fun stuff to buy. 

Packaging, packaging and more packaging

Isn’t it gross how one pack of AA batteries can be delivered in a giant box filled with plastic packaging? Much of our no spending journey is influenced by my looking into eco-friendly lifestyle options. There’s nothing like realising how much packaging we are putting into landfill to spark feelings of guilt and sadness. The world isn’t actually ours to do with as we wish.

We owe it to future generations to be more mindful of the way we are treating it.

Using fewer products results in less packaging, less fuel used for delivery, less energy to recycle what can be recycled and less plastic going into landfill. 

Consumerism at its worst

Life is filled with a constant stream of products being bombarding in our faces. We do not have cable and I don’t allow my kids to watch YouTube, but that doesn’t stop the advertising giants getting into our psyche at every given opportunity. Everywhere we go there are new fun things to buy.

Consumerism is going crazy and I do not want to raise children who are only interested in things, and the value of things.

It isn’t just about THINGS! My 7 year old is fascinated by money and always has been, but I want him to recognise that love and happiness aren’t bought or controlled by THINGS. 

Mo Money Mo Problems

Notorious B.I.G had it right when he sang:

I don’t know what they want from me 
It’s like the more money we come across
The more problems we see

When I was in my early 20s, I remember thinking in our 30s we’d be loaded and life would be so easy. Someone once told me that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, most people will spend to their means. I want to stop doing that.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should.

Our current spending has caused our kids to believe that they can ask for anything and eventually they’ll get it. They aren’t spoiled, they just see me and my husband buying stuff when we want it, so of course, they expect life to be the same for them! Mo Money, Mo Problems.

The Rules

So now I’ve explained the why for our No Spending Journey, let’s talk about the HOW. We decided to set ourselves rules. There are 2 main reasons for having our rules.

  1. Having clear rules will make it easier to stay on this journey
  2. We’re competitive – if we have rules, we won’t fail!

So here are our rules:

  • I cannot buy any new skincare, makeup, or candles (yes, I have a candle addiction and I’m not talking Bath and Body Works).
  • I can replace items in pre-agreed categories, but only when EVERY item in that category has been used up. That includes sample sizes and miniatures.
  • My husband will not buy any new golf stuff other than consumables (balls, tees, and gloves).
  • The kids know they will not be given anything by us unless it is for their birthday or Christmas. They will not ask for stuff (HA. Ok Mummy, good luck with that one).
  • We will not eat out more than once a week (including fast food, family dinners, date nights and takeouts). We will probably reduce this after the first month. To help with this we will meal plan more consistently.
  • We do not drink enough alcohol to get through the stuff in our bar. NO MORE BOOZE BUYING. At all!

To stay accountable, I am going to write a post every month about our No Spending Journey.

I have purposefully not said how long this journey will be, because we haven’t decided. The aim is to change our spending habits and desires. We have set an initial time of 3 months but if it takes 6 or 12 months then that is what we will do. We are committed to our No Spending Journey.

Do you want to know even more about the no spending journey? If so check out our podcast episode on the subject!

 

Sorry Sephora. It’s not you, it’s me. This love affair is over. 

no spend year

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I am Viv, stay at home mom (mummy) to Edison who is 7 and Arlo who is 5. I am married to my best friend and university sweetheart Steve. In October 2014 we moved 5321 miles from our beautiful Victorian home in Sheffield, England to Anaheim Hills and are loving the wild adventure this move has turned our life into. I am so very grateful that this move has given me the opportunity to quit my kinder teacher role to stay home with my crazy whirlwinds and enjoy the adventures of modern motherhood. I love farmers markets with my little foodies, antique shops, restoring antique finds, reading, baking, eating out and trying not to spend everything we have in Target! Oh and chips. I LOVE chips (crisps for any Brits reading this). All the chips.

3 COMMENTS

  1. We could be friends as Sephora is my happy place and I want to use up all I have too. We also have plenty of booze. Love your ideas.

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