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?