Many YouTubers and bloggers are currently reflecting on their no-buy year in 2020 or setting themselves up with goals for the same in 2021. While this new year’s resolution may sound daunting, here are just a few reasons why it could be a worthwhile thing to do to curb your spending and make you rethink the things you feel you can’t live without. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Your no-buy year doesn’t have to apply to EVERYTHING: You could simply select one or two categories in your life that you know are your high spend areas and focus on those. For instance, if you like buying books but already have a stack waiting to be read, you could pledge not to buy any books this year and try to make your way through the ones that are gathering dust on your bookshelf or bedside table instead. If you have a weakness for buying make-up you could vow to use up all that you have instead of introducing anything new into your collection this year. Be honest with yourself and write down the categories you struggle the most with and devote all your time and energy to these. 

Allow yourself some exceptions to the rule: If you decide not to buy any clothes this year, you can give yourself some grace for if something wears out or gets damaged. In this event you might like to allow yourself to buy a replacement so you are adhering to the one in, one out rule and not buying anything extra. 

Write down the categories you plan not to buy from: Nothing helps a person to stay focused like writing down goals and seeing them in black and white.  There is a certain finality when you do this and a greater sense of commitment. It’s also a means of helping you to stay on track when temptation comes knocking and your concentration wavers. 

You can set yourself a limit: If you feel a no-buy year is unrealistic, you can commit to a low-buy year instead. Set yourself a limit of how many things in each category you are allowed to buy and don’t exceed this. This allows for a bit of leniency, while also helping you to reduce your spending against last year. Do challenge yourself however- giving yourself a limit of 50 pairs of shoes won’t teach you anything! Keep these limits low and don’t make it too easy on yourself or the entire process will be a waste of time.  

Check out Vera at Simple Happy Zen who has pledged to only buy eight items of clothing this year...

Keep a record: One way to stay motivated is to keep a record of your spending from last year and compare it month by month. Look back over old bank statements and spend some time totting up where you spent your money last year and reflect on this at the end of each month to see the progress you’ve made. Then when you reach the end of 2021, it will be much easier to add up the twelve amounts and see your achievements over the last year. 

Put the money you would have spent aside: If for instance, last year you spent £50 on take-aways in January- put that in a savings account and watch how much money accrues from just cutting that one thing from your budget. As this amount begins to grow- it will help spur you on to keep going and not to give into temptation. 

Keep a journal: One thing that can help you to stay tunnel visioned is to keep a diary of your year. If you decide to cut out food on the go- journal about how your body feels now you are eating less processed food and how you’ve had to adapt your mindset before leaving the house. If you have committed not to buy any home decor, discuss how you feel about your home now nothing new is coming into it. Does it make you appreciate the things you already have more?  

And if you are looking for more inspiration on this topic, I can highly recommend The No Spend Year: How you can spend less and live more by Michelle McGagh.

RELATED: Minimalism: Seven simple pleasures for lockdown 3.0

The temptation might be to scroll through your favourite shopping sites and buy things to give yourself a little boost as the delivery driver knocks on your door, but before you do- stop and think. Will this really bring you lasting happiness? In a word- no… to read more click HERE

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