Last year I completed a zero spend month challenge, which proved to be an eye opening experience.
30 day challenges are a great way to experiment and try out new things. It gives you the freedom to explore with a beginner’s mind. To see if something works for you, in a focused short period of time, without the burden of a commitment beyond that.
They are also a useful tool in letting go. Whether it is a 30 day social media detox, living without a TV, using public transport or a run commute instead of owning that second car.
Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.Joshua Becker
As you remove things that no longer add value, you become more intentional with what you allow in.
I read two books in quick succession that made a huge impact:
Cait Flanders – The Year of Less
This book was so influential that I used the title of the book to describe my minimalism, weight loss and running journey in 2018:
Anthony Ongaro – Break The Twitch
In Break The Twitch, after spending over $12,000 on small purchases over 4 years on Amazon, Anthony realises the compulsion of the one click purchase (AKA ‘the twitch’) as a reactionary behaviour. He goes on to share a range of gems he learnt after becoming more intentional.
Both books were hugely inspirational. As a result, I cancelled my Amazon Prime subscription, disabled unnecessary phone notifications and generally became more intentional towards building good habits for a healthier lifestyle.
In June 2018, I completed the zero spend month. This meant no use of cash or card for the calendar month (exclusions were basic food shop, petrol, toiletries, birthday gifts & anything needed for my daughter). My wife took care of these transactions so I avoided using cash or card completely for the month.
It felt freeing to not carry a wallet around.
I learnt a lot from the experience, particularly about spending habits and it enhanced my appreciation & gratitude for what I have. Spending time, rather than money, with the important people.