It’s the beginning of a new year (and hopefully the last year before my husband’s retirement!) and I’ve decided to embark on my biggest challenge yet! For 2022, I’ve decided to stop shopping. A No Buy/Low Buy year, if you will. I will still buy groceries, of course, and household items, pay my bills and take care of my health. I will put gas in my car, and buy birthday presents. However, I won’t be buying things that I don’t truly need.
My number one reason for this year-long challenge is to save as much money as possible to add to our cash stash. We have the means to retire today but we would like to have at least two years’ worth of expenses in a cash/non-retirement investment form. I am confident that if I stick to this challenge, we will achieve that goal by December 2022. My second reason, and probably more important than the first, is to curb my impulsive spending on stuff that I just don’t need.
Here are the general guidelines I will be following for this challenge:
- Follow my buying/no buying lists (see below) with no exceptions.
- USE cash when in stores.
- LIMIT and/or AVOID online purchases, especially AMAZON.
- UNSUBSCRIBE to store emails and social media that encourages spending.
- KEEP track via WISHLIST of what I would have purchased if I wasn’t on this challenge.
- WAIT 24 hours before making an INTENTIONAL purchase for items I am allowed to purchase.
- REQUEST ‘use up’ or experiences as gifts for myself instead of stuff.
- GIFT giving is fine, but I must stay within the budget I’ve set.
- FIND a support system. (I’m counting on my readers to keep me in line!)
THINGS I WILL BE SPENDING MONEY ON (Low Buy)
- Basic Bills (mortgage, utilities, cell phone,internet, insurance and taxes)
- Health care costs
- Groceries, gas
- Replacements (only) for clothes, make up, personal care items, household items that wear out or run out
- Haircuts and color treatments
- Gifts/Charitable contributions
- Home/Car maintenance
- Eating out occasionally
- Pet food/Vet
- Educational courses
- Travel that has already been planned
THINGS I WON’T BE SPENDING MONEY ON (No buy)
- Home Improvements
- Home Decor/Seasonal Decor
- Clothes, outerwear and shoes (unless it is a replacement)
- Planner supplies: planners, pens, markers, stickers, etc.
- Purses, wallets, jewelry
- Travel luggage, bags, accessories
- Books, apps
- Subscriptions boxes (any)
- Perfume, extra make up
- Excessive gift giving
- Nail salon visits
- Miscellaneous and unnecessary dog items (yeah, this needs to be listed)
- New cruise/travel bookings
I may be speaking too soon, but I don’t think this will be as daunting as it seems. I have more than enough of the items that are listed on the “do not buy” side, so I doubt I’ll even miss anything. Most of the purchasing and spending I’ve been doing has been impulsive, mainly from advertisements and social media influencers. And that type of shopping has to stop altogether, not just for this challenge. I’ll be keeping track of the items that I almost bought, so I can also keep track of how much I saved by not buying them.
I will do weekly updates, monthly updates, and quarterly updates on this blog to keep myself accountable. I hope you’ll follow along and keep me accountable too!
Next up? My yearly budget plan.
Anyone else curbing their spending this year?
16 thoughts on “MY NO/LOW BUY YEAR CHALLENGE.”
I spent a good deal of time on New Year’s Day clicking on the unsubscribe and will continue, the email specials were not good for me.
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Hi Sharon, due to COVID we’ve managed to save money that we’d ordinarily spend. Here are a few: 1-no longer use a cleaning service ( I’m home and able to do it myself)2- no hairdresser except 3 times for cuts, I am now coloring it myself . 3- no eating out- I won’t eat indoors, but we did eat outside a few times in warmer months. 4- no aimless browsing in stores ( I’m usually a big TJ MAXX and HOMEGOODS shopper. Since I’m home a lot who needs new clothing anyway. I have purchased some socks, lounge ware etc online but that’s it. 5- fewer gas tank fillups since I am hardly driving. 6- no trips- I’m too afraid to go anywhere! Would not be worth it to me. These are just a few that I can think of now but we must have saved a few thousand dollars!
Well, that’s funny because I just hired a cleaning service! (I broke my foot and I need the help). I’m not afraid to go out, and that spending actually is tame. It’s my impulsive online spending that has gotten me into trouble and accumulating junk I don’t need. We’ll see how much I save by avoiding online shopping. 🙂
I’m here cheering you on! Great list, by the way. My goal for January – no Amazon orders and no wine/cocktails…both were money suckers in November/December.
Hi Nancy! Happy New Year!! Yep Amazon is a killer….
May I suggest looking for a Buy Nothing group in your area? You can fill a LOT of needs this way, and even some of the wants. It’s also a great way to declutter.
Hi Donna! What a great idea! I will definitely look into it.
Wow! Donna Freedman commented on your blog! You must rock or something. Donna is a star. Good job Sharon!
I cancelled my Amazon membership AND got a refund for the balance of the membership (I had to go directly to a supervisor BUT I got my money back pro rota) If I need something shipped Amazon does it anyway for order $25 and up. I keep a list of what I NEED and then I order, shipping costs free) from Amazon…which is less and less and less these days. I go shopping in an actual store now if I need something. My new go-to store is Ocean State Job Lots. It’s like a mini, more affordable Wal Mart. They don’t have fresh produce or dairy products but I do get some good food deals on close outs. I’m getting my soap, cleaning products, home products, even clothing there now for like pennies on the dollar. Sweet!
My no-spend challenge started with my kitchen garbage can. It was self-lifting but the springs broke. Normally, I would have just bought another garbage pail. Instead, I removed the springs and now I just hand lift and self close the darn thing. Who knew? No money spent. Smart! Then my adding machine died. rather than buy another one, I’m using a hand held model I got free from some bank opening. No spend! Next came my slippers. The innards wore out. Rather than buy another pair I just swapped out the old inner and replaced it with another old pair of slippers that had good innards, and voila! I’m using my slippers and no money was spent. Hubby cuts my hair. he does a great buzz pixie cut so that’s my new hairstyle. No manicures. Not even an annual pedicure. No more massages (but I swear I need just one desperately!!) All memberships and subscriptions cancelled. We got a Roku and we only watch whatever is free. (except Yellowstone. I ain’t giving up Kevin Costner!!!!) Our local Goodwill closed down BUT the next town over has a superb Goodwill (better neighborhood) and I travel there once a month or when a need arises. I cancelled all travel plans for now but come February 2022, I will be booking for February 2023 in Florida state parks RVing. We can afford that at least. Ditto for our home state parks in New York.
It took me a while to re-adjust. I wasn’t happy at first giving up so many things. But I’ve found my balance once again and am enjoying my frugality lifestyle once again.
Thanks for letting me share.
I wish I could give up Amazon Prime — I share it with my daughter. It’s convenient to use when I need to send my parents things in NY. BUT, I don’t need to buy anything. I will consider not renewing in 2022, however.
All creativity is lost when we just buy new to replace, instead of the old “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”. Your slippers and garbage can were great examples of creativity!
As far as travel, we’ve pushed back our paid-for cruise from February to March, but will not plan another one until 2023. Having my husband retire early is a better goal than going on another trip. 😉
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This is a long reply. I have MISSED you!
We did this the year before I fully retired. We ended up choosing to just put half of our paychecks into a savings account the minute we got them—we saved more from there. Sinking fund savings accounts developed for much of everything. Instead of totally no spend- I put away a 3% for our wants. I am not good at starvation diets….
This year? Year eight of us being fully retired. Twelve years and six grandchildren since my husband worked.
I am working on roping in spending since we built a house and moved last year. The last house paid for everything on this one. Once SS steps in for me in September, we will be making more in retirement then we did in working years- and everything is paid off. I still have the sinking funds. Just paid taxes and insurance out of one. Another was emptied for Christmas presents. Tires got damaged in November- new ones came out of the car repair account. The “oh sh#t, the heat bill was high” account is ready…. T he sinking fund for the new truck is pretty close to complete- I will not borrow money! ( And I still travel almost monthly).
We did eliminate Amazon for most everything last year. That became a habit not even a want or need. I developed a good working relationship with a Safeway near my mom. They bring her most everything she needs- even when they are on sale.
Don’t get scared. Figure out the money now and move forward.
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Hi Janette! I love hearing from you!! Keep the comments coming…and advice!!
One of the reasons we are waiting another year before my husband retires is the fact that he is only 58. We want to get him to 59 1/2! We will have the same income as we do now in retirement from our investments. However, when social security kicks in and based on conservative calculations, our money will last us 48 years. I can almost guarantee you I will not live for another 48 years! 🙂 Although we don’t have to, we want to downsize. All expenses will be even lower. We can travel. We can give. As long as we are healthy, we should be just fine. How did you decide on where to move? That’s our biggest question at this point. As far as AMAZON? Yep, I want to get rid of it once and for all. That is one of my goals. :).
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