So before you get too excited and think I have left society and run away to the forests to live on berries, let me clarify what my self-imposed rules for no-spend no shopping October were, how I managed and what I learnt and how you could try it.
The point of my rules was to make sure I am actually able to complete this successfully. There is no point setting yourself up to fail. So my no shopping was:
- no clothes,
- no shoes,
- no accessories,
- no makeup,
- no toiletries,
- no alcohol
The permitted items were:
- coffee (I usually take coffee from home in a flask but a quick coffee in Pret was allowed),
- dining out with friends,
- office lunches (this is where I grab a salad or soup from Pret or Nusa)
- other groceries,
- absolutely essential toiletries (like toothpaste because umm…gross).
So How Did It Go?
The first of October was my dad’s birthday. This is the first time in years I was there to celebrate his birthday with him! We went out for a great meal and then my parents wanted to go to Primark to get some gifts for family back home so we all trooped in. And I found the coolest pair of tights.
And I bought them for a cool £4!
So my no-spend started as a fail. In my defence, I actually forgot. So I decided I am going to do better for the rest of the month.
Almost ran to the Decium store in Spitalfields to get some oils!
I actually began to question the point of the exercise after I resorted to stealing my husband’s night cream after mine finished. Of course I could have been better prepared for this no-spend month by stocking up on supplies. But I had thought that would not be honest. (Although how honest was it to steal poor DJ’s jar of cream?)
We lost friends
I kind of just threw in the no-alcohol thinking I was going to drink quite a bit over the November and December holiday so the no-alcohol part sounded like a good idea. The issue with this was we rarely saw friends that month since a lot of social activity was centred around drinking and we really were dampening the party vibe! I did end up drinking on Diwali. I would like to mention I ended up drinking a gin and tonic by mistake thinking it was water but there is no point, I know no one will believe me it was a mistake.
What Did This Exercise Teach Me?
That the perfect beige jumper is now gone and will never be mine.
Ok kidding. Kind of.
So on one hand, I did feel slightly relieved. I had no agenda when going into stores, I could just look around, follow my parents around and be a part of their shopping trip. There was no moment spent wondering if my size is available in that top and hoping that it isn’t too absurdly expensive. All shopping options were blocked out. Shopping was not competitive.
The other thing that happened was I started making a list of the items I wanted once my no-spend month came to an end. This was the best part of this exercise. One, I really thought through some items before actually going out and getting them. Two, I went back and forth on some items and ended up crossing some off my list or got bored of my list and didn’t end up buying some of it. Three, the stuff I actually ended up buying was after a lot of thought and research.
That beige jumper is now gone. I have a feeling this one is going to haunt me.
I am not sure if going to make me any less of a spend thrift than I already am.
And this was not for me.
So even objectively I am not really a major shopper. I definitely was once but things have changed. I do a lot of research about everything I need to buy – lot of research bordering on obsessive amounts of research. I am not the typical compulsive shopper. This skirt was probably the only thing I have actually just walked into a store and walked out with in 10 minutes flat (I have now updated the links for the skirt so its available!). So anyway, to come to the point – I don’t think this no-shopping month exercise helped me a lot. Shopping is not what I actually need help for, what I really need help on is on how to take care of the clothes I already have and how to let some of them go.
But it could be for you!
If you are the type to shop indiscriminately this shopping ban could work for you. Definitely do the list thing – anytime you see something you want, put it on a list with the expectation of buying it once your no-shopping month is over. I am 100% certain most of the items on your list will not excite you as much in a month’s time. Like almost every other addiction, the key is to delay. Trust me.
Happy no shopping! would love to hear if you have ever done a no-spend or no-shopping month? How successful was it and did you think it helped? Did you think you managed well? I am especially keen to know from anyone who did a stricter version of the no-spend I did.
Also make sure you follow along on Instagram. I will doing a lot of review videos on Instagram or Instagram stories – would really like to know what you guys think of the idea?