No Spend January

With all the sales and discounts this time of year, right after the holidays, people shop a lot and resisting, in this materialistic society, can be difficult. One way to deal with it and save some money, is to do the No Spend challenge for a month or more if you’d like.

While it is called the No Spend challenge, you will still spend money on your bills, your rent (if you have one) and on food. But you will do your best to limit your bills, and you will eat more frugally than you usually do. However, if there’s some food that is more expensive that you must buy at some point during the month, because your health demands it, then that is fine. This is not a challenge where you put your health on the line. It’s a challenge to create better habits.

The goal is to only spend money where you absolutely need to and stop any kind of shopping be it online or in store, and save whatever you can, and to limit your “wants”. It’s like the detox you do to start off a new life with new eating and exercise habits. Only in this case, you detox yourself of materialism and consumerism to give room for a life where you live below your means, where you always have money to spare, and where you don’t feel the need to shop to either feel something or bury a feeling.

So many people use money and shopping as a way to try to make themselves happy or as a way to bury or deny any feelings they have but don’t want. But the truth is that buying things does nothing for our happiness or our joy. The things we buy, we’ll get sick off or sell, and most likely we will regret ever buying them. We spend money to buy things we don’t need to feel better and in the end we feel worse and we’re stuck with things we don’t need and we now have less money for what we do need.

It takes something dramatic like a No Spend Challenge to make someone consciously step away of materialism and consumerism. There is a peer pressure from all of society and commercials and advertising urging you to shop is everywhere. It’s on TV, on the radio, on Facebook, all over the internet and even on the bench in your neighbourhood park. The point is, it’s everywhere and it is nearby impossible to escape unless you truly make a conscious decision to stay away.

Kick-start this year full of opportunities with a No Spend challenge and prove to yourself that society does not dictate what you buy and when you buy it.