In January I participated in a no spend month as a fashion blogger – you can read more about it here and the goals I set before the month started. This post is a recap and follow up to how #NoSpendJanuary actually went.
Why I did No Spend Month
First of all, my primary motivation behind No Spend January was because I spend WAY too much money on clothes. My closet is jam packed, and I don’t “need” a single thing. As fashion blogger, the pressure to continue to buy more, more, more consumed me – and I knew I had to learn to control my spending habits. So, clothing was the prime category I cared at succeeding in, as I knew it would be tough! Especially with so many after Christmas sales.
I will say, I SUCCESSFULLY DID NOT BUY ANY CLOTHES!! I am so proud! However, I did eat out more than planned, but Ross treated me to most of our “out to eat” dinners. That was the category I actually did the worst in!
Overall, 3 main lessons I learned:
1.I can still be just as “influential” without buying new clothes as a fashion blogger
Crazy sounding, I know. I think it’s just a lie or excuse I told myself in order to buy new clothes. But in reality, I don’t need something just for Instagram. It’s not going to get me more likes or followers. It’s more about my creativity, sense of style, and my voice that makes me my brand. NOT my OOTD or the latest top that’s in stock. I knew this was true before I did the no spend month, but since I enjoy buying new clothes, I used the “need to post something new on Instagram” as an excuse.
2. Helped motivate me to reach out to brands for collaborations
This is probably the biggest game changer for me – my mindset. With the mindset of no spending on clothes, I need to rely on brand collaborations in order to share new things with you! a micro influencer, no major brands come knockin’ on my email door wanting to collaborate. It’s all about MY EFFORT, reaching out to a brand and showing them why I’m worth working with. Usually, I let pitching to brands slide to the back burner, but now I’m actually feeling the burn to reach out to brands if I want something new. This is one of the main reasons I want to restrict my spending – it’s making me work harder!!
3. I have enough
This one kind of ties in 1 and 2 together, but this challenge really helped distance me to materialistic things in such a materialistic job. It felt like a juice cleanse, detoxifying and refreshing, and something your body might need once in a while. But it’s not like I’m committed to juice cleansing (aka not shopping) for the rest of my life. It was a good recharge for my mindset!
If you want to know more details of my journey, here’s a recap of how I felt each week!
- Week 1 – The After Christmas sales consumed me and my feed. I shopped, I browsed, I exited. I wanted to cave more than once, but DIDN’T. Week 1, hard. Didn’t like it. I only ate out once and it was a planned night at a new restaurant in Nash.
- Week 2 – Getting better! The only thing I really wanted to buy was a new ski jacket / snow pants for our snowboarding trip. This is probably only a fashion blogger problem, but I’ve been photographed in the same snow pants / ski jacket for the last 3 trips, and this was going to be the 4th trip in the same outfit. It is 100% perfectly functional and I love it (Roxy jacket & snow pants, but it’s from a few years ago so I can’t link the exact print) yet my brain has been trained to always feel like I need something new. That’s where the No Spend Challenge really came in handy, because I had something I was tracking and it would hold me accountable.
- Week 3 – Once I made the decisions NOT to buy anything, it became easier. I was on the right path and not caving! This week I ate out more than I should.
- Week 4 – Week we went to Whistler, so I did eat out all week. Ross paid for 90% of meals, but I paid for 1 dinner date, 1 drinking night at the bar, and our dessert and pizza night, and 1 day on the mountain for lunch. Confession here, I bought the fam “souvenirs” aka we all got shirts or sweatshirts. To me, this didn’t really count because it was part of the planned vacation spending, and we ALWAYS get a t-shirt of each place we visit!
- Week 5 – At this point, I had lost my “shopping” cravings to an extent. It was getting easier for me to not spend on anything and my outfits and blog post ideas started getting into a flow using what I already have. I have so many content ideas based on styles I already have, like this Best Date Night Outfit for Valentine’s Day, that I want to keep up the no spending in February.
Tracking my Spending & Budgeting
I’ve had the Mint app for awhile, but LOL if I’ve ever actually used it really. The mint app is free and you can link all your cards and bank info to track your spending and also set budgets for each of your spending categories. It’s helpful, but I never wanted to face how much I was spending, which is why I didn’t look.
Even though I didn’t use the Mint app for this challenge, I did review my transactions in the app afterward for the month. I realized I spent way too much money eating out, and I really need to start using the Mint app to help keep my eating out budget in check.
So this month for February, I set the following budgets:
- $40 on coffee shops
- $60 on fast food (aka Taziki’s and Juice Bar)
- $350 on groceries
- $200 on restaurants / bars
Are there any other budgeting tricks, tips or apps that you use to help? Have you tried a no spend month? Comment your thoughts below!