In December 2023 I decided that 2024 was going to be the year of low buys. I've attempted this in the past and failed miserably at it, but I was determined to make it work this time. I felt a little more in control, a little smarter and a little more serious in my commitment to a no buy because I was kind of already doing it. 

My impulse spending had been on the decrease for at least a year and I had a clearer vision of what I wanted my life to be like. I think what also helped was that when I moved into my own apartment over the summer I was very aware of how much stuff I actually did have. It was overwhelming to look at all my belongings every single day and feel like the walls were closing in on me. I had too much stuff and my urge to shop wasn't as strong as it used to be.

After watching a lot of different videos on TikTok about other people doing no buys, I decided to make a list of rules for myself and then create my own TIkTok about it. I wanted it out in the public, my voice saying those words to hold me accountable. I also told everyone in my life I was doing one so I would be embarrassed if I failed.

All of these tricks worked and I succeeded in not spending frivolously in January 2024. I think the key was to constantly remind myself of the rules, and be very specific in what was allowed and what wasn't.

As I looked at my spending over the course of the later half of the year I was spending so much on the Buy Now, Pay Later programs like Afterpay and Klarna so that was definitely going to be something I pushed against. Those apps are so dangerous because you can get caught up in them so quickly, and then you end up owing over $1,000 a month. It's another credit card without interest.

Another area that I wanted to pull back on, not just for spending purposes but for waste purposes, was food shopping. I love grocery shopping and it's very easy for me to walk in with a list and come out with at least 5-6 extra items that looked good. I vowed to not go to Trader Joes this month and be more mindful in the food that I did purchase. I was wasting so much food and I hated it so this was important to me and I definitely succeeded in accomplishing this part of the rules. 

I also put a stern limit on Stoney Clover. My spending at Stoney Clover has definitely decreased in the past two years but I had recently become very overwhelmed by my collection so I wanted to add it to the list to make sure I stuck to my guns, and I did! 

Books was another sneaky thing I needed to limit. Whenever I've done no buys in the past, books has been a loophole for me. When I wanted to shop and wasn't allowed to, books was my go to. Well, I have become very overwhelmed by the amount of books I have so I put a strict limit on that as well, and stuck to it. 

All in all, giving myself rules (and a few loopholes -- like if I needed to buy something for the house or for my upcoming London trip, that was allowed) worked out very well. I had more money at the end of the month, felt lighter and by February 1st, I didn't really feel the need to buy anything.

My February No Buy Rules will be the same but I gave myself a $150 friviolous spending limit because yes, it's important for me to decrease my shopping but I also need to learn how to control myself. If I could stick to a budget throughout the month that'll make things even better.

I'll report back next month with the result of my February no buy! 


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