Okay so here’s the deal – I’ve challenged myself out of spending money for the next 2 weeks for a multitude of reasons. But before I get into them let me just preface by saying this: I am spending money on food i.e. groceries and any other health benefits like, I don’t know, if I have to go to the doctor’s office for some reason or I catch a cold and I need something at the pharmacy, as well as any form of exercise that may cost a small amount because the point of this is not to die. I kid I kid.
I guess I got the idea once I realised I had too many things I needed to buy and just feeling like I didn’t have enough money to buy them. I feel like a lot of my days this year has been oh I need to get this thing and Oh I have to pay for that or literary just fuuuuccckkk I don’t have money for this! I’ve been watching numbers on a screen leave my bank account faster than I stop to think if that was necessary. So what are necessary purchases? Well, I guess this would depend on what is important for you as an individual and they’ll vary between us, if you think of trying the same challenge. Think of what is important for you and your own wellbeing and make that your priority purchases. Not everyone is going to count a gym membership as a priority or a travel plan for that matter but what is important to you is what you put your money towards. But that is the easy part. The hard part is facing the superfluous amounts of money you spend on things you don’t need and on instances you never remember. I think I go to a coffee shop about twice a day on auto-pilot but hardly remember what that was like or if I enjoyed the experience of being there.
And I’m not cutting out what is by far my favourite beverage but just having it at home or maybe if a friend really wants to grab one and I want to spend time socialising then that would be okay. The social aspect of this challenge should be interesting but I’m sure I’ll be able to navigate it just fine after some time. But I don’t think it’s going to be too hard or tragic, like curl up in a foetal position in a dark room because I can’t go out on a Friday night. No. You’re friends are awesome and they will understand and make a plan that works for everybody. Maybe I’ll miss out on waffles or lunch dates now & then but that’s okay because I want far more than that in the long run. And sometimes, the small changes are the big changes.
So let’s talk about the ‘why’ factor for this challenge, which if you’re thinking oh just another someone jumping on the minimal trend, nothing new here, objects don’t bring you joy so get rid of them, start wearing black and white only and brush your teeth with bi-carb, etcetera etcetera, well not quite. I’ve stared this challenge for my own mental health to study the effects that a pay check has on my overall mood and wellbeing. And sure we all feel better when we get paid but what does this mean to my own self worth. Do I feel sure of myself when there’s some good looking cash sitting pretty in my bank account or do I feel this way regardless of how much I’m earning. How much money does it take to make me feel good about myself? And I hope the answer is zero and that my self worth comes from something far more profound than this, but we are living in an age which feels like consumerism on steroids. Every picture we view on Instagram feels like an advert for something and everybody too is selling you something (trust me, I’m a blogger), whether it’s a product, a diet, some famous person’s body or a lifetstyle. Everything is basically for sale. And the more media we consume the more we buy into this idea that we ‘need’ these things.
But what do we really need as human beings? And can we be happy with ourselves without the excess cash, excess products and the extra lifestyle we’ve been conditioned to strive for. If you’re interested in joining me in this challenge or if you’ve already been challenging yourself to live on less for whatever reason then please share your experience in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Outfit Details: Jeans – Stradivarius, Handbag – Mors Design, Sneakers – Adidas, T-shirt – I honestly can’t remember, Lipstick – Stila Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Photography by Achmat Booley
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