I’m not one to join in New Years resolutions, I think if you want to make a change, you have the power to do this at any point of the year. Having said this, I love listening to the trends. Dry January? I don’t drink. Exercise more? I guess, but I already have a gym routine. No buy 2020? Well, this one caught my eye. How does one do this? Logically, I understand how one would do this, but how does one apply this after a lifetime of marketed consumerism? And what about living expenses!?

If you search #nobuy2020 on any social media platform you will get numerous hits of fellow people pledging not to buy anything throughout the entirety of 2020.

Daunting, right?

Upon further research I found that you can still buy things, but alas, there are rules. There are slight variations on this rule, but the reoccurring ones are as follows:

1. You can buy essential items, such as food, toiletries etc.
2. Replacement items are allowed, but only after using up existing ones . No stock buying. For example, only one item of shampoo at a time.
3. You may buy presents for others.
4. You may accept gifts from others.
5. You don’t need to deny yourself date night’s or time out with friends/family. Just keep to a budget.

Now, I enjoy treating myself now and again (sometimes more than I should). Nothing too outrageous and for the last six months I have been really into THRIFTING. I’m trying to make more environmentally friendly choices, and amongst them, my choices in fashion is something I can change. Second hand shopping also has the huge bonus of cheaper and I’m all for reducing my expenses.

So I decided to join in on No Buy January. Committing to no buy for one month feels a lot less daunting than for an entire year. In my mind, if I mess up, then I can just restart the no buy the following month.

So how did I get on? No Buy January was surprisingly easier than I thought. As I write this, it is January 31st and I have not had the urge to buy anything, most likely due to staying off apps like eBay and Depop (my favourite places to mindlessly browse).

If you were to try no buy, I recommend to not approach this like a restrictive diet. We all knows those don’t work. And if you mess up, don’t punish yourself and don’t feel bad – there is no point. Just simply restart!

While the no buy is still on track for me, I’m going to continue into February. I plan to implement no buy months throughout the year (maybe every two or three months) as I think it’s a good way for me to save more of my hard earned cash.

Here are our tips for your own No Buy.
1. Pick a duration you think you can handle. A day, a week, a whole month. Even if you add an extra day or go another month, taking it in small chunks is much more manageable.
2. Install an ad blocker! Some of the buggers will always get through, but reducing the number of ads you see on your browser will hopefully reduce your desire to buy things you’d never thought of before.
3. Unsubscribe from all those emails. Do you even remember signing up to most of them?! 10% offers and new product launches are tempting, but if you don’t know about them, you won’t have to say no.
4. Find a way to stay accountable. Tell someone, keep a blog, tweet about how much of a hero you are for avoiding Starbucks on your way to work everyday.
5. Reward yourself in other ways. Find things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the money for, because now you might. A massage or visit a friend far away for example.
6. Exploit freebies. Use your local library (did you know they also do ebooks!?), walk around local parks and woodlands, join local Facebook groups or Helpfulpeeps to find people willing to swap service, or Streetbank to pick up things people are giving away.
7. Use your time in other ways. Many people shop solely out of boredom. Instead of wandering the local shops when meeting friends, try an exercise class, visit a museum or find a free event. Instead of browsing Amazon, try keeping busy with free activities such as reading, volunteering or learn some programming with free online tutorials.

What about you? What do you think about #nobuy2020?

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