Tuesday, 14 August 2018

3 Weeks In ... [The No Spend Year]

Image has absolutely nothing really to do with the upcoming post, I just like and therefore thought I would use it. We need more of this in the blogging world haha.

I am sat writing this post when I really should be doing housework, yoga or more decluttering but as the queen of procrastination I thought I would write a blog post. If you have been following my instagram you will see that I have embarked on a No Spend Year which has come as a bit of a surprise to myself, let alone anyone who knows me! Most people who have taken on similar challenges have a set list of goals and in true me style I didn't prepare and I just kind of started and thought about the rules after. My goals are simply as follows: 

Declutter my house and stop buying tangible things

Stop using shopping as a way to ignore my mental health issues

Figure out "my style" so that when the year is up I don't go back to buying clothes that don't serve me

Save some money to be able to go abroad next year

I know that a lot of people I follow on instagram do no spend challenges to get out of debt etc and they are much more strict than me when it comes to things such as eating out, but I am fortunately not in any debt. I am a student nurse so I have a student loan and I also work along side of that. As I live with Depression, Anxiety, IBS and PCOS my health is always at the forefront of my mind and that is why I have decided not to ban myself from eating out etc as lunch out with my handful of friends brings me so much joy. If I banned myself from this I would become a hermit. I do have a specific rule though:

I am not allowed to purchase *things* So no books, clothes, shoes, accessories, homewares ... anything that will clutter up my house. The exceptions to this rule are a magnet and a bracelet on holiday as these I always buy and anything that needs replacing.

I feel like in the first 3 weeks I have already made some shifts in my mind set and I wanted to talk you through them.

Week one got off to a good start! It was really helped by the fact that I was on placement and so on the days that I was on duty I had no opportunity to spend or even think about spending. The real snag came when I was given some birthday money and I would love to know what your thoughts are on what I should do with this, as Im sure I will have some more gifted money at Christmas. While I didn't break the rules by buying any *things* I did buy myself some rather expensive cereal bars and my favourite bottle of wine (which in shoestring chic style is £3.65). I realised at the end of this week how wrapped up in spending my mental health can be. I had something really horrible happen in my personal life and I really wanted to treat myself. I was feeling really rubbish with my body image and I wanted to buy something anything that would make me feel beautiful. However, the ban forced me to confront my feelings and after a good cry, some good food, a face mask from my stash and a good nights sleep I realised that buying things wouldn't have changed anything and further down the line I would have just felt more despondent when my house was even more full of stuff I didn't need.

Week two started off with lectures and a massive headache! My nana has spent 4 weeks in hospital following a fall and between taking the bus to see her I think I wasn't drinking enough and ended up feeling horrendous. I contemplated buying myself a new reusable bottle (I have no idea where mine has gone ... must stop losing things!) when Tom told me he had one I could have! Result! I then tortured myself by going to the shopping centre and looking at all of the autumnal things that were around. As silly as it sounds I felt a little bit sad that I wouldn't be able to buy anything but then I remembered that I bought a trench coat and a leopard print dress not that long ago. Also I have plenty of autumn dresses that have been feeling a bit unloved while we've had the heat wave. I also went into Town for lunch with Kirstie and we gave each other stuff that we had decluttered that we though the other would like and so that felt like Christmas!! I then did a weekend of night shifts which was VERY easy for the no spend!

Week three started after working 50 hours of nights. Usually after a run of nights I would take myself for breakfast (still technically allowed) and then raid the charity shops looking for something to treat myself too (definitely not allowed) so instead I just went home. I again but on a face mask, slathered myself in luxury body oil (which I won in a twitter competition) and slept. Then the next day I stayed in the house and got loads of housework done which was strangely therapeutic until I started watching cookbooks online and once again was hit with the twinge of sadness that I wouldn't be able to buy anything until the end of July next year. Then it was payday, my first since the shopping ban started! I put a huge chunk of money into holiday savings. As my income is quite erratic due to only working now and again Tom takes care of the house savings and I save for holidays. Holidays to me are so important as a chance to get away, get off social media and read and relax. I also bought my first thing that could be seen as controversial to the ban! So (TMI) but I had the implant put in to control my PCOS symptoms and as a (welcome) side effect I gained boobs for the first time ever. This has meant though that most of my bikinis were far too small for me, so I decluttered them but it only left me with two that I feel completely comfortable in. I decided to replace the 7 I decluttered with one £10 offering from Matalan.

So there you have it three weeks down and Im feeling happy with my decisions so far! Im going to try and make these updates fortnightly but I am not making any promises!

Charlotte Lucy

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