No Spend Year Update

So as you may remember, I successfully completed a No Spend Year for 2019 with only purchasing sunglasses and nail polish off my banned items list. It was so effective in resetting my financial values, that I decided a second year would be an amazing idea.

So here we are, just about five months in, and I am wanted to give an update. Almost 18 months without buying any clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup or haircuts/dye has been life changing for me and really helped me better understand what I truly value. I’ve noticed something else lately though. Things are different today compared to my decision in January to sign up for another year of this. To be honest, I think this is one of the best things I’m seeing come out of this whole pandemic stuck in your house for the rest of time thing. It seems people I never would have imagined have stopped buying stuff and things. I’m seeing people not wearing makeup and also am starting to see the home haircuts and dye job pics showing up in my social media feeds. While I’ve been doing all of that for a while now, I get that my No Spend Challenge was a choice and others have had the choice made for them. With stores and hair salons being shut and stay at home orders put in place it’s forced people to not buy these items or services, but I’m thinking and hoping there may be some changed people after all of this is over.

So I think now would be a great time to declare a No Spend Challenge in your own life through the rest of 2020. Especially since there’s still so many uncertainties with how long all of this will last, may as well set a goal to see how long you can not spend money on certain items and what you can do with that money instead. You may also find that cutting your own hair isn’t so bad, maybe even rewarding, and I bet nobody has left your house and never returned over seeing you without makeup. Also, the clothes you have are getting a break right now, so they will be like brand new clothes once you get out of those pajamas when this is all over. Who all has changed their spending habits during the past month already?! Who’s ready to commit to doing it for the rest of the year?!

Fighting the urge to splurge in 2020 with another No Spend Year

Because I mean..what’s better than a full damn year of doing a No Spend?! I can’t think of anything except for doing it for a second year in a row!!

Yes you read that right..another No Spend Year for 2020!! If you’ve been busy shopping at the latest BOGO sale or living that AmazonPrime “what’s in this new box” lifestyle, then you may have missed my multiple posts about not buying certain things for all of 2019, along with my updates and all the ups and downs of the journey. I encourage you to look back at my previous No Spend posts to catch up, but I will also summarize here.

I banned buying any of the following items for all of 2019:

Clothes, shoes, accessories, purses, makeup, haircuts/dye/waxing (undergarments and socks can be replaced as needed). I think I added household decor items to my banned list, but I hate throw pillows anyway, so I don’t really need to ban them..lol.

I DID fail and buy a pair of sunglasses, along with a new nail polish, so I wasn’t 100% successful, but I have come a LONG way from who I was before my No Spend Year. I will take the under $15 total for the year versus the $3,000-$4,000 total I was likely spending before per year. It’s also changing my lifetime expenses, which the average woman now spends around half a million dollars in their lifetime on vanity items. 😳 (more to come in a future post on this topic)

I have to say, I was certain I would die when I started this. Well, if you haven’t picked up on it from the fact I’m writing this..I actually did not die. I in fact LIVED..lived like I never have before..completely free of others opinions about my same old clothes, about my hair showing grey or being “slightly” uneven from cutting it myself, or showing my makeup free wrinkly face for a year straight. Damn that shit was freeing and turns out most people didn’t even care or notice the clothes or makeup free face, or at least they didn’t say anything. Now the hair, people had very strong opinions either supporting me and saying they do their own hair also, or telling me to leave it to the professionals. Overall, it wasn’t as drastic of a change for me to ban these items as I anticipated.

I really haven’t lost anything except for the weight of worrying what others might think..and turns out I really don’t give a shit, which honestly surprised me a little (keeping it real..after 35 years of caring to some extent about impressing others, it’s been a big change). What I gained was a LOT..more money in my account, more time since I am no longer shopping or putting makeup on every morning, and a lot of inner reflection on my values and getting comfortable in my own skin. I can truly say that I have never felt prettier or happier with who I am and what I look like, inside and out.

I encourage everyone to try a No Spend, even if it’s for one day or week or even a month. If you can commit for a year, I promise it will change you as a person. One of the joys of a No Spend is that you get to customize it to fit your life and determine your own banned items list. Also, I have a ton of quick tips that helped me and can help you also. First, stay out of the stores all together and keep emails about deals out of your inbox by hitting that unsubscribe button. Clean out your closet to donate unworn items and organize it so you can easily find the items you do love to wear. Take care of your appearance in other ways..drink more water, eat a healthier diet, exercise, and stop damaging your hair with heat and product and let it dry naturally and embrace whatever your natural appearance is. I fought my wavy brown hair for years trying to straighten it, curl it, make it blonder, etc. and turns out my natural hair is pretty awesome once I stopped damaging it. Find friends to swap clothes with for those times you get bored or have an event and nothing to wear. Find a friend or two to join you and help keep you accountable. Learn to fall in love with yourself and embrace your flaws as perfect imperfections rather than trying to cover them up. Finally, make a goal of what you will do with the money you save and put it towards making a big dream a reality and share your progress.

Now I just need to know..who is ready to join me this year?!

No Spend Year Check-in

There have been 107 days that have come and gone in 2019. Of those 107 days, I am very proud to say that I have stuck with my no spend challenge!! If you haven’t read my original post, I started with saying no clothes, no shoes, no purses and no accessories will be purchased for the WHOLE year. Once I saw how easy it was and began to see my savings build, I quickly made the decision to add on no dying my hair and no makeup. I’ve also had a few questions along the way that I wanted to answer.

Yes..I can still eat out or grab a coffee if I choose. I am continuing to live off my monthly allowance like I’ve done for years, and once it’s gone it’s gone (until the next month).

No..I do not have a giant stash of makeup somewhere that I’m using up. I have decided to go makeup free and only use a tinted moisturizer/sunscreen and occasionally curl my eyelashes. Never been more confident in my own skin!!

Yes..my family is supportive..for the most part. 🤣 My husband rarely shops, so it’s not a big deal for him to go a year without. The kids did recently get new shoes, socks and undies, so I’m not depriving anyone of necessities over here. My son had a growth spurt, and I did also get him a few pairs of pants and shorts the next size up.

We also have lucked out and scored some awesome free stuff (love our neighborhood and finding freebies). When we have outgrown stuff, I usually try and post it to pass on to another family. It’s like a free exchange of goods and it’s awesome!! It’s where I get almost all outdoor toys, sports gear and this month alone, I got all the clothes pictured below, including a nice Adidas jacket and bonus Christmas gift bags they came in that I can reuse, a few nylabones for the puppy, a used IPOD, a wicker outdoor set, a bike and a puzzle. I have given away some clothes, pull-ups, a few toys, Tupperware, slime making supplies, etc. It also helps me with an outlet for purging while downsizing to a more minimalist lifestyle. Do some research and ask around if you don’t have a neighborhood page..there are free (or practically free) resources everywhere!

Like I mentioned, I have LOVED my No Spend Challenge so far and have gained so much from it.

1. I’m forever changed when it comes to spending habits. If it doesn’t bring me value..I don’t need it. Through this process..I’ve also learned about and refocused on what I truly value.

2. I don’t miss anything..none of it..the cute new outfits, the freshly dyed hair, the $100 random Target trips, the sales at Old Navy, Ann Taylor outlet, etc. I honestly don’t even remember where all I used to shop, because I’ve been unsubscribed and haven’t gone into a store in so long. So nice having my money and time back!!

3. I love using what we have and swapping with neighbors because it makes me feel like motha earth would totally high five me for respecting her ass and I’ve met some cool peeps along the way.

4. I secretly love being rebellious to societal norms of consumerism and taking a path less traveled. It’s just icing on the cake if I inspire a few people through my journey who also begin to think twice about their own habits and values.

5. The little things DO add up and I’ve been able to do some big things because of it (the big things took years of hard work, but the no spending certainly helps). In the past 107 days, I have used my new relationship with money, and the savings I’ve had while not consuming, to get one step closer to being debt free (paid off car last week). In the past 107 days, we have also purchased our first rental property.

Interested in joining? I encourage you to give it a test run on a no spend weekend, week, or month and see how it goes. If it’s surprisingly easy, or you are ready to dive right into the deep end, you can jump on in for the whole year with me. 😉

And don’t forget the power you hold in your life and beyond!!!

My Makeup is FREE

Does anyone else have memories sitting cross legged on the floor in front of a mirror, and putting on layers and layers of makeup that were 3 shades off from your actual skin color?  Your friends would all lie right to your face and tell you how good you looked? (thanks friends)  Maybe your makeup game has stepped up a bit from the teen years, when most of us started wearing makeup on the daily.  With your new routine, maybe you now get the higher quality stuff, and that quality helps to justify the higher price tag from the cheap Wet N Wild stuff we started out with.

Well, I guess you are wondering why I am claiming to have free makeup.  Turns out, my new favorite makeup is water.  You read that right…high quality H2O.  So I guess if you want to get technical, I actually pay a monthly water bill.  But for the sake of this post, let’s not ruin the fun and get technical.  What I have decided is to start drinking more water in hopes that it makes my skin more hydrated and radiant looking.  I’ve never really been a fan of makeup, so it hasn’t been that big of an adjustment TBH.  It’s only been 2 weeks, but I have already noticed my face is softer and I have had a lot less breakouts.  I really stumbled across this idea as I was trying to deal with flaky, dry skin, and thought a makeup “detox” would help, which it did.  I have also not had one single person come up to me and be like “girl…where’s your makeup?  Your face is looking ratchet today.”  To be clear, I wouldn’t care if they did either. 

I honestly don’t see a difference between my makeup free face and the one that I spent 15 minutes prepping…can you?  Full Disclosure:  Matt isn’t wearing makeup in either picture. 

I am literally shooketh about this post and had to share with all you lovely folks what I found out.  Does anyone want to take a guess at what the average woman spends on makeup…and how much time they spend applying each day?  Go ahead…go google it now, or I can spare you the troubles.  The average woman spends roughly $8 a day and 20 minutes a day applying.  This adds up to around $200,000 in your lifetime and a gazillion hours of your time.  That’s more than double what the average person has saved for retirement, so maybe I just helped you plan for your own retirement…your welcome.  Holy Moly!!!  That’s a lot of cash and time!!

Slow down over there…Nobody’s telling you that you have to be a crazy person like me and go all extreme (unless you want to, then all the crazies are welcome).  I found it to be an interesting topic, and just wanted to give you another thing to think about when considering how you are spending your time and money  😉