Three months without buying anything!
My dream is to buy my own house, with a small farm, a few cows and chicken, a large garden and enough space for the kids to run around the yard! My boyfriend and I decided that to make this plan happen sooner than later, so we decided to adjust our budget! After a few experiment and less expenses, we discovered that we should try minimalism and to lower our money outcomes. Since January 1st, our challenge is to not buy anything!
What are the rules? We lower our expenses to the minumum, rent, food, anything the kids need and a little bit of fun stuff (yay!). So no clothes, no extra toys for the kids (who already have a full play room!!), no books, no new makeup or anything decorative! A real break for our credit and debit cards! It would seem weird to survive with theses rules for a small amount of time, but we mainly used exhange.
You can do this challenge for as long as you want, but with two young kids, we decided to make it up to three months. I was kind of addicted to the Value Village and it stopped with this challenge.I would go there at least once a week and I would buy the coolest finds, not realizing that it would add up to a pretty great sum at the end of the month and buying a lot of stuff that is not useful!
My secret was to find cool facebook groups that suggested exchange for stuff, to help my friends and neighbours that would help me later on, to create a community of sharing (which is pretty fun to be honest). Minimizing my expenses also made me want to clean my living space of all unuseful stuff, so I clean up and gave away so much stuff that helped us live better with more meaningful stuff!
The advantages? I feel more free now and I give less value to stuff in general. I cleaned a lot and gave a lot of things I would not use anymore and that I was holding onto. I also realize that by stopping buying cheap stuff, I did not accumulate the actual cheap stuff. The best part is that I could put aside 500$ to 1000$ in my bank account by cutting small unecessary expenses.
Did I cheat? Yes, twice! My son just started his swimming lessons and needed good gogles, so I splurged a little bit and I bought flowers for friends after a really sad event.
What helped me a lot was this buyerarchy pyramid, to analyze the expenses better and to help me through the following months of the challenge. There it is if you need it :) Good luck!