Update on my No Spend Challenge: what I learnt

no spend. no spend challenge, livingcoeliac, accessorize

Hi and welcome back.

It seems more and more people are taking on a no spend/ no buy challenge in 2019. With the ever growing awareness of the damage fast fashion is doing to the environment, it seems a good way to raise awareness. I completed my no spend challenge on 31st December 2018 and thought I would share my thoughts and feelings now it is over in case it helps you. You can read the start of my journey here, and my 8 month update here. One thing I will mention is I am not trying to advise you to do a no spend challenge. I would only recommend a no spend/ no buy challenge if it is right for you. I hope you enjoy. C. -x-

My story

My no spend challenge related mainly to clothes but you can do a no spend challenge on anything. I have seen people complete challenges related to makeup, beauty items clothes and more. One of my friends is currently undertaking a no spend challenge on books which I feel may be applicable to me considering how many books I have just packed away in preparation for our move down south. As I said, I started my no spend with clothes but I have found it had further reaching consequences than I imagined. I now not only spend less on clothes, but also: books, makeup, beauty products and food – takeout and food shopping. You can read my go to options for takeout when I was completing a no takeout challenge for January here. For today, I will share what I learnt in my no spend challenge in the hope it helps you.

What I learnt

I don’t need new and more clothes

This surprised me a lot. I had spent years looking at my bulging wardrobe saying there was nothing to wear. At the start of 2018, I really struggled with the items I had as I had no idea on my individual style. As the year progressed, I found my core staples and built outfits around that. My core pieces are a plain shirt, black/ light blue jeans, jumper and boots with a scarf for accessories and to brighten it up.

livingcoeliac, no spend challenge
My go-to outfit

I don’t need multiple items in different colours

The first thing I realised when I first began to clear out my wardrobe and started working with the clothes I had was I had multiples of the same item. One big example here is I had a lovely top from Next, sleeveless with a lace detail in the front. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wore both of these tops to death – they had holes in before I finally removed them from my wardrobe and they lasted really well too. But, did I really need the purple and teal? Probably not.

Quality over quantity

My clothing wardrobe mantra now just keeps coming back to this. I quickly learnt my fast fashion items just didn’t stand up to the test of time. Within a few months of wearing them regularly, the clothing would look disheveled, worn through and not its best. Some of these clothes held up, but considering how many I felt weren’t worth the money during the challenge, I have decided I would rather pay more for an item that I know will last than keep having to repurchase an item and spend more money doing so. Having said that, my shoes from the retailer Accesorize lasted so well I recently purchased a nude pair of heels that I hope will continue to hold up as well as the others.

no spend. no spend challenge, livingcoeliac, accessorize
New shoes from Accessorize

Moving forwards

Overall this challenge has been an amazing, but steep, learning experience that has given me the chance to reflect on my poor habits and create new habits related to my spending. Now, I only shop with a list and wait for a while before I purchase an item to ensure it is what I will use. As it turns out, my other half now tells me I’m a nightmare to go shopping with because if an item is not 100% what I want, I’m not buying it. That in itself is such a turn around from January 2018 and I am proud of this growth. Since January 2019, I have supplemented and grown my core items in my wardrobe. My plan moving forwards is to use a capsule wardrobe system, shop seasonally – better quality items and slowly retire items of clothing I don’t love as they wear out. I have a list of top 20 items I am looking for which I started making 6 months into my no spend challenge. I have decided I also want to take advantage of sales by not paying full price for an item. I am hoping it will teach me the full value of clothes and stop my impulse shopping.

no spend. no spend challenge, list, 2019, livingcoeliac
My 2019 clothes shopping list

I hope you enjoyed this addition to my No Spend Challenge series and the update. I am very proud I completed this challenge and am looking forward to the future with less clothes and a capsule wardrobe. If you would like an update on my shopping now my challenge is completed, let me know in the comments. Newsletter is now live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you do not miss out on any future blog posts.


no spend. no spend challenge, livingcoeliac
Going Out outfit


I'm Chrissi, a lover of all things food. I love re-creating and adapting recipes so they are gluten free, looking for new gluten free places to eat and more -x-

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