Zero spend month

1 min read

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

Firstly, the Year of Less, follows Cait’s journey as she completes a shopping ban for a full year (ends up being two), gets intentional with her finances and gives up alcohol.

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.

Anthony Ongaro – Break The Twitch

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.

2 Replies to “Zero spend month”

  1. I love this. I’m so guilty of spending for spending sake. Typically I don’t ever carry cash because as soon as I do it’s gone. Now with contactless, it’s just as bad as cash. A coffee here, that chocolate bar I don’t need, something else just because it’s there. I’m definitely going to give this a go. Time to make a conscious change.

    1. Hi Jack, thanks for the comment. I would definitely recommend trying it out and see how it works for you. Like anything, if you remove the temptation (the wallet), then it is simply not possible to spend. That decision had been made for the month and it made it easier just to observe spending habits and see what triggered spending money, that would normally go under the radar. I also try to avoid advertisements generally, bulk unsubscribing from promotional emails, using catch-up TV rather than live so ads can be skipped etc also helps. Good luck with the running & living intentionally – I’ll follow your progress on IG. Cheers, Grant

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