Hi guys and welcome back to my Blog.
Today I’m starting something a bit different on the blog. I’ve really been losing interest in blogging recently if I’m honest, and I think that a large part of that is because I’m not writing about things that I want to write about. I’ve been too worried about people not being interested, or losing readers etc. But I have realised that I cant continue to blog about things that don’t excite me, and hopefully my passion for a topic will come through.
Up until this point, I have mainly been focusing on writing about the Baby Steps by Dave Ramsey. This is because I wanted a reference point to direct people to when they asked me how I got out of debt (if you want to, you can read my story about that HERE).
Now that is done, I want to expand the topics that I write about on here. The main focus this year (2019) is that I am doing a No Buy Year.
Now, I know a lot of you are probably thing ‘But it’s already March!’ and you’d be correct, but better late than never! So, when I say No Buy ‘Year’ I really mean No Spend ‘rest of the year’.
What is a No Buy Year?
Essentially, a No Buy Year is where I do not purchase anything new for the entire year. There are exceptions to this, which I’ll cover later in in this post. But this is the overriding theme of 2019.
Why do a No Buy Year?
The main reason is to get my spending habits under control. When I was paying off debts, I accounted for every penny, I bought nothing (apart from the very occasional item) that I didn’t think was necessary, and as a result I reached my financial goal at that time, which was paying off debt.
However, skip forward 12 months and a lot of small but unnecessary and pointless things have crept back into my budget. My main aim inn 2019 is to eliminate these items.
My aim this year is to build up my 6-month emergency fund. The things that have been added to my current budget are not getting me back into debt, and are not things that I cannot afford…but they are also not helping me to reach this financial goal. Plus, I am not happy with how I’ve been spending money, nor what I have been spending money on. I want to break away from consumerism and accumulating ‘stuff’ and become a much more ethical consumer. Just as an example: I am a HUGE lover of Costa Coffee and what was a 1 a week habit has turned into a 3-4 a week habit, costing about £10 a week. This is a total waste of money, and I would rather have that money in my bank account.
Rules of my No Buy Year
The main rule of the whole year is not to buy anything that is not 100% necessary.
Predominantly, this mean no takeaway coffee, no make-up, no clothes, no perfume, no homewares and no books. No acrylic nails or waxing, and I will groom my dogs myself instead of taking them to the groomer (£25 a time per dog).
I’d also like to make sure I’m not buying more in other essential areas like food, to make up for not being able to spend in the non-essential areas. So, to do this, I’m planning on doing 1 big monthly shop, with weekly small weekly top ups for fresh food.
-The big exception is that I will not put the health or safety of my family at risk. For example, I will be buying sun tan lotion in the summer. Not doing so would just be irresponsible on my part. I will of course try my best to limit my budget.
-Christmas and Birthdays. Luckily my children are older and are used to having smaller Christmas and Birthday presents, so this isn’t going to be too much of a problem. The limit I have set is £100 per child.
-If something that I need to have and already own breaks and cannot be fixed, I am allowed to replace it UNLESS I have a similar item that will do the same job. For example, if I have a T-shirt that breaks, I won’t replace it because I already have several others.
-However, as well as not buying anything, I am also trying really hard to focus on buying ethically and sustainably. So, if/when I do NEED to buy something, I will be making sure that it is as sustainable and ethically produced as possible. This goes along with the fact that I am trying to reduce my plastic consumption too.
-Freebies are allowed! If I get offered something for free, if I have points/money on loyalty cards already, I will be allowed to use them. As long as I am not handing over any cash or using a debit/credit card, it is allowed. From memory, I have £10 on a Marks and Spencer gift card that I have not used yet. I’m aiming to save this to buy my Mum a birthday present, or to just give to her for her birthday. That means I won’t have to actually spend any money myself, but she still gets a present. Or I might just use it in a few weeks when its Mother’s Day here in the UK.
Potential Problems I’m expecting, and how I’m planning to overcome them.
-I am a HUGE lover of Costa Coffee. And within the last few months the building works have begun for a new Costa to be built in my town. I have NO CLUE how I am going to overcome this. Its my biggest downfall by far.
To combat this, I am going to use my coffee machine at home more. At the moment I get my Costa on the school run. Instead of doing that, I am planning on making a coffee and bringing it with me on the school run. Plus, I will be leaving my wallet at home.
-Date nights are also something that we have had to adapt. Usually, date night is a Coffee (do you see a theme here?) and probably a Burger King. I’ve spoken to my boyfriend about this and he is more than happy to sit at home with some popcorn and watch The Walking Dead together instead. He is trying to reach some money goals himself, so he is happy to save the money too.
Potential Positives of doing a No Buy Year.
I really am expecting this challenge to be…well, challenging! Especially emotionally. I want to find out where this desire to buy things I don’t need comes from, how I can get that feeling from somewhere else, and how it makes me feel to stop buying.
Also, as someone who buys things almost daily, I can foresee that I am going to have a lot of free time on my hands. There are 2 things in particular that I want to do this year; learn BSL (British Sign Language) and German. I’m always complaining that I don’t have the time to, but I also always seem to have a spare hour to browse online shops.
This concludes my No Buy Intro post!
I’ll be uploading and posting regular updates, maybe weekly or monthly ones depending on what works best. I’m also interested in doing Anti-Hauls (things I didn’t buy this month etc) as well as other types of content. Let me know below if there is anything specific you’d like to see, either in video or blog post format.
For now, I’ll be back on Tuesday with an update with how the first week went!
See you then, Claire.