If you’re doing, or considering doing, a no buy year, low buy challenge, or no spend 2020, then this video is perfect for you. I’m gonna go over everything you need to know so you can succeed in your challenge and feel good doing it. I see so many people starting these challenges, and they can be absolutely amazing. But there’s also a few pitfalls. And if you’re not careful about them, then you could be setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. So let’s discuss them, so you can set yourself up for success instead. No spend challenges can be perfect if you want to break patterns, stop shopping or just spend less and save more. Become more intentional with shopping. They can also help you to start minimalism, or take your minimalist lifestyle to the next step. And they can help you to change your relationship with shopping and things in general. Become calmer, happier and also more creative with finding solutions that do not require you to spend any money. In this video I’m gonna go over a different types of challenges and the differences between them. And I’ll help you to decide which type of challenge would be best for you. As well as how long would be a good challenge for you. I’m also gonna give you a lot of tips to make it easier to stick to, as well as pitfalls to look out for and how to avoid them. Lastly, how to make the most out of your challenge so you can reap the most benefits. If you’re new to Simple Happy Zen, I make weekly videos about minimalism, intentional living, happiness and self-development. So consider subscribing if you are interested. And let’s dive right into the video. So first Let’s discuss the different types of minimalism challenges, or no spent challenges that are out there. And the different rules to each of them. So you can decide which one would be good for you. First off, there is the no buy challenge or no buy year. No buy month, etc. The main point here is that you challenge yourself not to spend any money on anything during a certain period of time. Except for the essential items and replacements of items that are needed or important to you. So, of course, it’s impossible not to spend any money. We still need to basics like groceries and stuff. Sometimes an item will also need a replacement, so there’s that too. But this challenge will then make it so you don’t spend any money on non-essential items during this timeframe. Since this is a pretty extreme version of the challenge, most people do it for a slightly shorter period of time. So let’s say a no-buy month for example, but there’s also people maybe who have embraced minimalism a long time ago who are doing a no-buy year. Then there’s the low buy challenge or low buy month low buy year, etc. And this is a bit less extreme than the no buy challenge. So therefore it is often done for a longer period of time, up to an including a year, or sometimes even longer. The rules can vary, but they usually include a set amount of maximum items that are non-essential that you are allowed to buy within that certain time frame. Or a certain amount of money that you are allowed to spend on non-essential items during that time frame. So sort of like a budget. So let’s say that clothing or beauty products is an issue for you. Then you could say that you are allowed to buy 5 pieces of clothing this year. That are not replacements of stuff you already have, so basically non-essential clothing items. Or you are allowed to spend a certain amount of money on beauty products etc. Then there’s the categorical no buy challenge, where it only applies to certain categories of items that you set for yourself. And this can be great if you want to start embracing minimalism in different parts of your life, and maybe challenge yourself in that area. Or if you are having an issue with a certain category of items that you find it very difficult not to spend so much money on. So this can be books, clothing, beauty items, but also think about things like eating out, or getting coffee to go. Have you done any of these challenges yourself or are you doing one right now? And what are the rules that you set for yourself? Let me know in the comments. Now which of these challenges would be perfect for you depends on a few things. And there is first of all your personality. I think this one is the most important to think about. Because some people perform better in the gray areas. Whereas others they like it more when it’s really black and white and the rules are very clear. I have personally never done a no-buy challenge before, because I like things to be gradual and I have no problem with nuances. But because I have been living a minimalist lifestyle for so long I have kind of been on a continual low buy. And I don’t really need a lot of rules and structures right now. But a few years ago and I was spending way too much money on clothing I did decide on a clothing budget for a year for myself and that really helped me to break patterns and cut my shopping way down. If you’re struggling with spending less, and you’re more of an all-or-nothing kind of person, then a no-buy would probably be best for you. Because the rules are super clear, what’s allowed and what’s not. And if you are doing this for the first time, I recommend doing it for a period of one month to start. Or if this is really new to you, and it’s really challenging, even try just doing one week. This is difficult but achievable and it will give you a great sense of accomplishment. If you like things to be a bit more free and less strict, then a low-buy challenge would probably be better for you. Since this type of challenge is easier to stick to, you could try doing a low buy year for example. With low buys there are a few important things to keep in mind, in order to help yourself succeed, and I will get to those later in the video. And lastly, if you are mostly struggling with a certain area of spending money, then a categorical no buy would be best. So for example if you know that your bathroom is overflowing with beauty products, and you know that you will easily last a year with what you have in there, then you can make it a rule that you are not allowed to buy any new beauty products this year. And the same goes with books, clothing music, games, or things like eating out getting coffee to go. And this type of challenge also works great if you set it to a year. Now let’s discuss some of the pitfalls that you could encounter during your no spend and of course how you can avoid them. So you will not set yourself up for failure. Pitfall number one is not being clear enough with yourself. If you want to do this right It is so important to be very clear on what you will and will not allow yourself to buy or spend money on. So I would advise to just sit down and make a short list. It does not have to be complicated or take long, with your rules that you have set for yourself. Things to include are the type of challenge you want to do, the amount of time, so write down the start and finish date. Exactly which items are and are not allowed, how to deal with possible gray areas such as gifts, gift cards, birthdays etc. And if applicable, budget or a max amount of things. And of course feel free to include your own. Also something to think about that you could include on your list is where you want to look for the items that you are allowed to buy. So let’s say that you find you need a new pair of jeans. Then maybe it could be a rule that you have to see if you can swap the item first, or get it second hand. Before you look for one new. Or only shop from ethical and sustainable brands, things like that. Another rule could be that you are not allowed to buy anything online, if online shopping is a trigger for you. That you have to go to a physical store. Or the other way around. So write down these things to help yourself succeed. Pitfall number two is not including others in your goal. So if possible, try to tell the people around you what you’re doing and why. For example, if you have a shopping buddy It’s gonna be really tricky to go to the mall with them as usual and then not buy anything yourself. Also, if you include others they could help to keep you motivated and on track. So whenever possible especially with immediate family and friends, try to tell them what you’re doing and why. Pitfall number three is to try and be a superhero. You don’t want to go too hard too fast. if you are new to minimalism, new to spending less money, new to budgeting. then give yourself something short and sweet first. A challenge that you can stick to. So that you will succeed, and that will motivate you to maybe try something else a bit more challenging. If you want to go from 0 to 100… then there’s a good chance that you’ll get stuck and demotivated along the way. And pitfall number four is approaching a no spend challenge like a diet. We know that diets don’t really work because it’s not something that people can keep up in the long run. And most people who lose weight with dieting they end up gaining it back and then even more. And it’s the same with these types of challenges. So they are great for breaking patterns, trying something new, and challenging yourself. But ultimately they need to lead to something that you can keep doing forever and ever, because it really makes you happy. So don’t approach them as a punishment, or it’s just a quick fix to a deeper problem. But let them kick start your new healthy relationship with shopping instead. Now for some tips to make the most out of your no spend challenge, or low by year or whichever challenge you decided on for yourself. The first is as simple as having a short list of questions in your wallet at all times. So you can use them whenever you are thinking about making a purchase. And questions could be things like Is this item high quality? Will I get a lot of use out of this? Etc. And if you want more inspiration, then you can watch this video. I recommend it, with ten of my best questions to ask yourself before you buy something. Second… take a moment to think about your problem areas. Already think of some things you can do whenever they come up. For example peer pressure, or shopping when you’re sad, or shopping online when you’re bored, or if you’re really tired just going out to eat Instead of making something for yourself. These types of things will come up during your challenge. Snd it can really help wonders if you have already thought about them, and have written down some strategies that can help you. You could think about ways to decrease the temptation for yourself of buying something new. For example you are not allowed to use your credit cards or only taking a set amount of cash with you when you go out. And if you want more inspiration like this, I recommend watching this video for how to stop shopping and start saving. There’s a lot more tips there. Another good thing to think about is to stop following people, accounts, companies that make you want to go out shopping. So opt out of newsletters for your favorite store for a while. Stop following people who share clothing hauls, things like that. And also it can be so valuable to keep in mind for yourself why you are doing this. What are your goals? Maybe you want to save up for something specific, like buying a house, or a car or taking a trip. Maybe you just want to feel better about yourself. Maybe you want to pay back debt. So whatever your goal is, keep it in mind and remind yourself of it regularly, to help keep you motivated and stay on track. Lastly, if you have a certain routine, or a beauty regime that you really love doing and that makes you happy… There’s no need to give it up because you’re doing a no spend. So if you like getting your nails done or your hair done or getting a pedicure or going to a cafe in your one free hour of the day to order a really nNice cup of coffee, or what if it makes you happy. Then you can set a rule for yourself that you are allowed to keep doing it. And there’s no need to cut that out of your spending simply because you’re doing a no spend type of challenge. Of course if it’s a routine that doesn’t make you happy, and it’s simply more of a habit that you have gotten into pretty mindlessly… then yes, it could be a good idea to cut that out. No buy year, low buy challenge, no spend month.. Whatever it is that you are doing or want to do. Please remember that it’s very personal. And you are allowed to make your own rules. Just keep what works for you and leave what doesn’t. And help yourself out in this way. If you enjoyed this video, found it valuable Please show your support by giving it a thumbs up. And subscribe to the channel because there really helps with the algorithm. And will help this video reach more people. Right here I have a video about 14 ways I save money with minimalism. And right here is minimalist habits you can start doing today. As always, questions, comments, conversations down below. Thanks again for joining me again, and I’ll see you next week Bye bye!