April 16, 2018

HOW TO: Not Spend Money // No Spending Challenge.


Heeeello, everyone!

In a capitalist world, not spending any money - even for a day - is already a huge accomplishment. If you play close attention, almost everything around us is propelling us to consume: the billboards we pass on our way to work, the comercial breaks on TV (now we even have them on youtube) and the way products are places at stores.

So, today I wanted to share with you guys some tips and tricks I've picked up ever since I started the No Spend Challenge a couple of months ago. These might sound very silly or even obvious to some of you, but I think sometimes it helps to hear the obvious from a different person in order for it to really sink in. 

ONE // Do not enter a store. 
This is number one because it is the most important one, the rest of the tips are all equally important but this one is key. The best way to not give in to temptation is to try to eliminate it. Alcoholics don't hang out in bars and weight watchers don't have their meetings on Dunkin Donuts, right? Therefore, if you don't want to spend money, DON'T HANG OUT AT THE MALL. Plain and simple. Ever since I started this challenge I've been avoiding the mall like the plague and that has really helped me out. If your biggest problem is online shopping, block the usual website you shop at on your browser and unsubscribe from email lists. You can't want something or be tempted by it if don't even know it exists. 

TWO // Never have extra money on your wallet.
This is a tough and kinda dangerous one because emergencies do happen and cash does solve a lot of problems, but it's something that has really helped me. I usually have my debit card with me and around  20 bucks - more like reais 'cause I live in Brazil and that's our currency but you get the point: I have a small amount of cash. That amount allows me to get a bit of gas on my car if I'm running really low and need to get home or maybe take a cab home if something happens to my car, things like that. It's my emergency money and I only really spend it on emergencies, I've had the same 20 bucks on my wallet since last December. For everything else I use my debit card, I just find it easier to control through my bank app and I'm able to see the big picture: how much money I still have on my account for that month. And that's another thing, as soon as I get my salary I transfer everything I want to save to my savings account and then I only allow myself to spend what's left on my checking account that month. 

THREE // Find a free hobby. 
Find a hobby that doesn't require you to buy anything and replace shopping with said hobby. Mine is blogging, but there are thousands of other things you could do, like: start a youtube channel, read (libraries have books available for free), go for a walk, start doing yoga. Literally guys, the possibilities are endless. 

FOUR // Appreciate the things that you have.
Whenever I feel like I don't have anything to wear I rearrange my closet. I don't go through everything right then and there, but I do a quick once over and challenge myself to think of new outfits I could put together and I also pull to the front the things that I haven't worn in a while. I've been decluttering and minimizing for three years now and I still have a reasonably big wardrobe, so a couple of things still get lost in the mess. Also, if you feel the urge to shop for makeup or cosmetics in general, you can "shop your stash", which is basically the same process I just explain but you focus on your makeup "collection" instead. It's really easy to take things for granted when you have too much, habits like this help you to not only save money but to also center yourself by being grateful for your belongings. 

FIVE // Learn to invest.
One of the things that keeps me on track with this challenge is learning what I can actually do with a large savings account. Like, learning how much money I earn by investing it properly or how much money I would need for a down payment on a house (and how fast I can get there) and things like that. Big long-term rewards (like a house) outweigh the fast and short-term rush I would get from buying a t-shirt. So, every time I feel the urge to shop or to "treat myself" to a latte I think: do I prefer a latte now or a house in a couple of years? I know this is a bit far-fetched, I mean.. you can have a coffee and still buy a house in the future, but every dollar (euro, pound..) counts towards your end goal. 

That's all the wisdom I have for you today. Hopefully this post was helpful to you. I know we all make different incomes and we're all working with a different budget, but I truly believe the majority of people can benefit from these tips. Let me know on the comments if you have any money saving tips to share with us. And also, if you feel like joining in on the No Spend Challenge, you're more than welcomed to do so. 

Do you have any tips on how to save money?

Let's chat!

Thanks so much for reading and come back soon!


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