If you’ve been following me on Instagram you may have seen that I’m doing a no-buy challenge. My first one was in January 2021 with beauty brand Minori and I decided to try it again this year. It’s still early days in my no-buy journey but I thought I would share 5 things that I found helpful when committing to this project.
1. Be realistic with your goals.
Before starting a no-buy or low-buy period I sit down and figure out what is it that I want to curb my spending on. Is it eating out, buying takeaway, shopping for clothes or beauty products? I think with any change in habits what works best is to be realistic and not set myself up for failure. For my first month I didn’t allow myself to purchase any new beauty products or lunches at work but I allowed myself the pleasure of going out for dinner or drinks, or buying clothes because these are things I do infrequently anyway.
2. Go at your own pace.
If you’re doing a this challenge for the first time it pays to start slowly. A month might be too daunting so you could try 7 days to begin with. If you get to the end of the 7 days and think “I can keep this up” then introduce another 7 days and so on. Some people might prefer to go cold-turkey but it really depends on the individual. You know yourself better than anyone. Personally, going cold turkey works better for me.
3. Be accountable.
I have a monthly calendar that I use to keep track of no-buy days, days where I’ve had to replenish something or days where I’ve made a purchase. Being accountable and honest when I slip up helps me to work out my habits and re-assess my goals. I have made a simple calendar that I use to keep track of my low-buy on Instagram stories (see below). Looking back at the end of the month and seeing the success I’ve had is very rewarding!
4. Be mindful when making purchases.
The ease with which we can shop online now can make it a bit tricky to stick to low-buy goals. I find that it helps me to just take a pause and think about why I’m considering a purchase. I ask myself “Do I really need this? Is it filling a gap? Do I have something similar already?”. Just stopping and running a few questions through my head can very quickly talk me out of adding to cart.
5. Keep a wish list and treat yourself.
Being mindful is followed on by adding items to my wishlist, if I really feel that they’re necessary. If anything, it at least gets the items out of my brain and onto a piece of paper, delaying that instant gratification and allowing for some reflection. I am also a firm believer in rewarding myself for a job well done at the end of my low-buy. Depending on your preference, you could reward yourself with an item from your wishlist or something completely unrelated like an experience.