How to spend less and why it will benefit you and the planet
Yes, we are halfway through September already- seriously where does the time go? Soon we will be eating turkey and planning out our halloween costumes. But even though we are halfway through the month, I think this is a challenge that you can run for yourself at any time – or always! All you have to do is commit to giving up non-essential items or at least budget for them. As we head towards the holiday season, we all know that spending increases astronomically. So right now may be a good time to see where you can cut back and how that translates to more money in your pocket and a positive impact on the planet.
HOW TO DO IT?
Have a look at your budget. Do you even budget?
My husband and I try to budget. We have the YNAB (you need a budget) app and we try to put our spending into a whatsapp group we have between the two of us. However, we need to get better on the actual input of those numbers into the budget. But even the little act of telling each other when we pay $6 for a coffee or our $150 stop at Walmart (when we were just heading for milk) can really open your eyes up to how much you are spending (maybe this is a good topic for another blog!).
Essential vs. Non-essential Items
Essential items are items that you need to live healthy and safe. For our family, I would put insurance, medicine, food, gas and bills into this category (To be clear, I’m not pausing my Netflix subscription for a month!).
Non-essential items are the ones like to go coffee, eating out, new clothes, certain beauty appointments that might not be necessary (don’t come at me!) or home decor.
Set your own boundaries
I don’t think challenges like these are black and white. If we don’t set our own boundaries, we won’t set ourselves up for success. Feel free to edit the challenge to help you succeed. If you really like fall fashion, maybe you set an amount to spend or vow to buy your pieces secondhand. Maybe you already have a date night set with a friend or partner, so you include that night of eating out as do-able, but nothing else. For me, I have had a few friends have babies so I am planning to buy a couple baby gifts, but otherwise I won’t spend anything else on myself or others.
WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT
You’ll Save Money.
Well obviously, this little challenge no matter when you do it should save you money. Even if you fail on a ‘no spend’ month, whether it is by still buying clothes, decor or heading out on a few lunches- you should still have saved money or at the very least be more conscious of where your money is going. Do you want to go on a trip this winter? Maybe this is motivation to stop those weekly lunches with a friend and go on a noon hour walk instead. Maybe instead of Starbucks everyday you bring your coffee from home. There are so many areas in our lives where if we implement a few money saving tactics, they can really go a long way.
It’s Better for the Planet.
In sooooo many ways! We all know that for many of us, we overconsume. And that overconsumption by affluent households in the western world is polluting our planet. We are filling up our landfills and our oceans with garbage. We know that each thing we buy not only costs us money, but has many other associated costs for that one item. These include the resources and pollution taken to make the item, the working conditions of the people that made it, the carbon footprint to ship the product to our door or a store near us and then what happens to it at the end of life. You might really want that fall decor now, but in two years it will be filling up your garage because you no longer feel like putting it out. That cozy fast fashion sweater that you just NEED to have for this fall, well it will probably end up in a donation bag by next season.
Those of us that have the privledge to participate in a no spending month should take this opportunity to save money, reduce our waste and our carbon footprint.
Still need motivation?
Encourage a friend to do it with you.
Think up creative ways to save like DIY projects, a clothing swap, a buy nothing group or finding free local activities to do instead of paid ones.
Hopefully this challenge will make you realize a few easy ways that you can save money and do more for the planet- like always making your coffee at home or shopping secondhand way more often.
Let’s crush it together- leading to more financial sustainability and a more sustainable lifestyle.
We are in this together. Yesterday, my husband said we should go to lunch and I wanted too but said I couldn’t do to this challenge (that would have been quite hypocritical of me hey?). I also am missing my beloved PSL season, but the amount I’m going to save from not buying Starbucks is probably going to be huge:)
Share your wins and struggles with me below or on Instagram. I’d love to see where we are all succeeding or having a bit of trouble!
As well, screenshot this graphic for your phone to check off all the days where you didn’t spend anything extra and tag @do.more.good on Instagram to share your progress!
Until next time,
Keep DOing More Good,