My No-Spend Challenge – 8 month update

My No-Spend Challenge – 8 month update

Hi and welcome back.

Today I thought I would give you an update on my No-Spend Challenge I started on the 1st January 2018. You can see the rules, goals and how I felt at the start of my challenge here.

I am a self-confessed shopaholic; I love buying clothes and updating my wardrobe. This seems like a perfectly normal habit until I realised this seemingly normal and acceptable behaviour had turned into an addiction. A bad day at work, a long drive home, a quiet evening where I wasn’t racing around, I had completed an assignment, basically anything turned into a justification to buy that new top, new jumper or new dress. I was buying things I didn’t like, didn’t need and was never going to wear just because I would look into my wardrobe and think “I don’t have a red top; I need one”. A short trip to the shops later, really its incredible how easy it is to buy things, and I had the red top. Which all seems fine except I don’t wear red, so the top would just sit there until I struggled to close my wardrobe and then it would be donated. Only to start the process again.

First Few Months

It sounds so simple, and feels that way now, but, at the start of the year it felt impossible. My family and friends didn’t feel I would be able to last throughout the year; most felt I would fail after the first week. However, there is something you should know about me; I am incredibly stubborn and dedicated. Once I set my mind on something, I am determined to see it through until the end.

The first few months were torture, but I slowly learnt to avoid clothes shopping and to stop wanting more than I already have. A big way I achieved this was by taking myself away from temptation. I didn’t visit any clothes stores for a month and deleted all the shopping apps on my phone. I tried to focus on what I had and not on what I wanted. If you would like a blog post on how I am slowly changing my attitude towards clothes, please let me know. Another thing I found really helpful was to keep a review in my notebook. I wrote down at the end of the season what I wore most, what I felt was missing and the dream item pieces I kept wishing I had during that time. I am finding this so helpful, particularly as now I am in my final few months of my no-spend challenge.

livingcoeliac, rome, honeymoon, Castel Sant'angelo,
Castel Sant’angelo in Rome

What has worked for me/ how I tackled this challenge

Getting the most use out of my clothes

I split my clothes to remove the more summery pieces and started with the winter selection. I hung everything back up in my wardrobe with the hangers facing the opposite direction. Once an item was worn, the hanger got turned around. At the end of March, I removed the wintry pieces. Any item I hadn’t worn was assessed. If I hadn’t worn it because the item was more summery it was left in the wardrobe, if not, the item was donated. This has been working much better than using the app for me because I am often forgetting to log which clothes I have worn.

Coping with the shopping ban

Now I have also had the shopping bug more times than I care to admit, but less than I expected. i have still been on town shopping trips with friends and family as well which has definitely tested my willpower to the maximum. To ensure I stay on track with my No Spend Challenge, I have been taking photos of the items I would have liked to buy if I wasn’t completing this challenge. I am starting to notice a theme with the clothes I want to buy; there are the neutral colours and I am okay with that. Anything is better than wasting my money on the red top!

livingcoeliac, no buy, no spend, no spend challenge, 2018
What I have wanted to buy during my no-spend challenge

Finding my personal style

I am still working on finding my personal style but I am becoming more drawn to the capsule wardrobe. I first heard about this from a blogger called Anna and her blog an edited life. I love the idea of having a few quality over quantity pieces in my wardrobe that I rotate out seasonally. I feel this will work better for me as I am already feeling the benefits of decluttering the clothes that don’t fit me. i have started to implement this and am loving the effects; my other half is enjoying the effects as well because there is now space in our large 3 door wardrobe for his clothes too.

nospend, no spend, no spend update, livingcoeliac, no spend challenge, 2018
My condensed wardrobe

What have I bought

I thought I would give you an update on what I have used my gift cards for. Now, as it turns out my summer wardrobe is very limited and with the heatwave in the UK, I struggled. I have used my gift vouchers for a gorgeous white skirt from Next, as it turns out I don’t really enjoy wearing skirts so most have been donated, but this one is perfect. I have also bought 2 vest tops and a pair of sandals to cope with the weather. On our honeymoon, I was gifted some money which I used for a new handbag and leather leggings, both are now core staples in my wardrobe.

livingcoeliac, no spend, no spend challenge,
The sandals and skirt I bought using gift cards

My most worn items

I thought it would be interesting to include my most worn items over the last few months. Aside from my sandals, skirt, new hand bag and leather leggings which I have mentioned above, my most worn items has to be my nude leather jacket and light blue and pink scarf. Seen below, I wear this with pretty much everything; skirts, jeans, shorts. I am just obsessed with the colours.

livingcoeliac, rome
Us in Rome with my favourite pink leather jacket and scarf

The item I want to buy

This update wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the one item that has caused me to test my self restraint and shopping to the limit. I feel for the majority of the time, I am not thinking about clothes or shopping and feel like I have taken a step forwards. However, we recently visited Byrkley Garden Centre for my other half’s belated birthday present; flying owls. You can see some of the gluten free treats I found in their cafe here. While there, we were just wondering around when I spotted this blazer. Its from Joules and I can’t stop thinking about it. I am now day dreaming about outfit combinations and want this item in a way I have never wanted another piece of clothing. And I am enjoying the experience; not giving into the temptation. I just hope it is still around at the end of my challenge.

joules, no spend challenge, no spend, no buy, livingcoeliac, clothes, lifestyle
Joules Navy Blazer

Where am I now with this challenge? I have gone through days and weeks wishing it would just end; just wanting to go shopping. I have spent evenings fighting the urge to press confirm and spend money on items in my basket, days in shops helping family and friends find outfits and wishing I could buy something too, moments when the desire to buy a new top when my favourite staple top was so old it had holes in was almost overwhelming. Yet, I have also had times when I have looked into my wardrobe and loved every piece, times shopping with friends and have not wanted to buy everything, months where I am so content in my clothing options that I don’t care if the new coat from Ted Baker would look amazing right now, long times where I have felt proud of myself for not giving into that impulse.

Overall, I have come a long way. However, there is still a long way to go. I am still working on the no-spend challenge and it will take time but I am proud of the progress I have made so far this year.

I hope you enjoyed this update on my no-spend challenge. For more blogs related to Lifestyle, click here. There is still over 2 months to go so wish me luck! If you would like more blog posts on this topic, please let me know. Please follow me on my social media accounts. Newsletter coming soon, don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future blog posts.


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