The No Spend October Challenge

I, Charlotte Valentine, vow that as of tomorrow, Tuesday 1st October 2019, I will not spend a penny on anything that isn’t a necessity (see details below) for the entire month of October.

Who’s with me?!

I did a month of no spending 4 years ago & failed miserably…I ended up going away to a fancy hotel, bought a new bed & ‘accidentally’ let a load of things fall in to my basket mid way through. You can see the outcome blog post here. I then decided to take it on again a couple of years later in 2017 & this time around actually succeeded. I found it super hard, but it was really grounding & made me realise quite how much I spend on pretty much nothing as well as the gratification I get from buying ‘stuff’ which changed my mindset for a little while. Read here.

Not wanting to break the weird every 2 year spacing I seem to have adopted, it’s time to take on the challenge again.

For anyone that pops to Home Bargains for some toothpaste & ends up leaving having spent £30 on god-knows-what, this challenge is for you. For anyone who nips in to Costa every day on the way to work for coffee, this challenge is for you. For anyone who doesn’t think twice about browsing ASOS twice a week for clothes they don’t need, this challenge is for you. For anyone who wants to save some £££ for Christmas, this challenge is for you.

The principles are pretty simple. From the 1st October until 1st November you cannot buy anything that isn’t a necessity. By necessity, I mean anything that isn’t a ‘luxury’ or essential item.

Things that ARE necessities –

  • Your mortgage/rent – yes it’d save you mega dollar but you’d be homeless & that would be no fun….
  • Bills – gas/elec/water/sewerage/council tax/insurance/broadband/phone/gym – anything committed to already….
  • Food – the weekly food shop is fine, but no sneaking homeware or clothes in to your trolley in Tesco. Also, a big one is NO takeaways or going out for food. Become a hermit for the month, or inform your friends you’re only participating in free activities like walks in the rain which they’ll just love.
  • Travel – petrol is also fine!
  • Birthday gifts – I had a ton of messages about this when I spoke about the challenge yesterday so have decided to include this…I mean you’ve still got a few hours until the clock strikes to do some hardcore internet shopping but if that’s too much of a rush & you have a loved one with a rather inconsiderate birthday, then go for it, but draw a line at a gift, card, wrapping paper & that is is.

My one twist to this challenge is that you can spend….as long as you earn it from selling things around your home. This is amazing for encouraging decluttering! No cupboard, drawer or wardrobe shall be left untouched by the end of October when we’re all feeling desperate & needing a bit of retail therapy. Old clothes that are too small should be whacked on Ebay, unwanted toys on Gumtree & the odd car boot sale shall be held.

Our houses will be empty & our bank accounts full…just in time for Christmas when we’ll all be poor again & our houses will be full of tat.

I’m going to be using the hashtag #thenospendoctoberchallenge throughout for anyone joining in with the living the frugal life.