Easy Tips and Reasons for a Low-buy Month
I started a low-buy challenge at the beginning of this year, and I wanted to give you guys an update on my first low-buy month.
Committing to a low-buy year was not an easy feat, but I’m excited to report on how it’s going so far and how I continue to learn how to quit shopping so much and save more.
1. Low-buy year rules
My low-buy year rules were to replace only those items that were empty or worn out, avoid dining out, and only buy coffee with friends and family.
I should wait seven days before buying an item I wanted, and always check second hand stores and ethical brands first. Gift giving doesn't count. Investments don't count.
2. Why you should do a low-buy challenge
You might be thinking, well, that sounds like a lot of work. Why even put yourself through this? And the answer is that I was tired of the never-ending cycle of retail therapy and spending my hard earned money to buy things that were essentially meaningless to me.
I was fed up of feeling overwhelmed by the thought of cleaning or decluttering my house because of the piles of random things that had accumulated over the years.
I mean, am I paying just for these things to be in my home? When do I stop or how long does this go on? If I want to move across the ocean one day, what do I do with all this stuff?
Something needed to change. I needed to change. And I knew that committing myself to a low-buy challenge for a whole year was my first step. So how did I do?
3. Low-buy challenge results
I know it's only been one month, but I'm really starting to see some changes: changes in the way that I spend money, the way I spend my time, what I think on a day to day basis, and the content I'm consuming.
And I feel like these changes are small, but collectively, they do make the biggest impact on us.
4. Being happy with what you have
For the first time, I feel so happy with everything I have, and I don't feel the need to add more to it or constantly be looking for something new.
I've actually experienced less temptation to shop. I don't know if you guys can relate to this, but I work from home mostly and I don't need a new outfit to just go into my living room because I won't be seeing anybody.
I really cut back on my clothing shopping at the beginning of last year, but I have other hobbies and creative business ideas that I'm always pursuing.
I love to paint and do different arts and crafts stuff. I love having these little side projects. And of course, I need equipment and materials, so I would spend my paycheck buying these things without thinking twice about it.
I also noticed that I had a tendency to browse online when I felt bored or really tired from a long week at work. I felt like I needed to treat myself. And this was my out. Definitely a form of escapism.
5. Removing temptations
So in order to do this low-buy challenge, I knew that I had to remove all temptations. So that's exactly what I did.
I unsubscribed from my favorite fashion bloggers and stopped receiving email from my favorite brands and interior design magazines.
6. Finding more time for other things
Slowly but surely you'll find other ways to spend your time and money. I was adjusting and getting used to not spending my free time browsing on the Internet, and in return, I found the time and the mental space to finally do all the things that I've always wanted to do, like work on my YouTube channel.
We're actually in the middle of a house renovation right now, so I'm able to dedicate a lot of my time and energy to do that as well, like fixing up our dining room and also our kitchen.
And I have other things I really want to do, like have a planter out on my balcony. I want to start growing vegetables and fruits, so I've been researching a lot about that.
It's just more exciting, fulfilling, and rewarding than just getting a package delivered to your door and getting that hit of dopamine. I mean, of course that feels good too, but it's so superficial. It only lasts for a couple of minutes.
Also, instead of buying stuff, I've been decluttering like crazy, mostly targeting my office and my closet. I still had tons of clothes that I needed to sell.
Also, my office supplies. Man, I don't know how to keep up with it all. It has really been a challenge. I feel like my whole 20s I spent accumulating all this stuff, and now in my 30s, I'm trying to get rid of it all.
8. Low-buy struggles
One thing I did really struggle with is not eating out. I want to blame it on our kitchen renovation, because there was a two week window where I didn't have the stove. I batch cooked ahead of time, froze my meals, and of course, we did end up getting takeout a couple of nights too.
I will say the best part about this whole month is seeing my expenses go down dramatically.
Usually what we do is put all of our expenses on our credit card so we can take advantage of the rewards and the points, but pay it off at the end of the month.
When we checked our credit card this month, it was like one third of our normal expenses. Seeing the numbers go down is truly a big motivation for me because I have financial goals.
Low buy month
So let me know how your first low-buy month was for you. Did you buy anything? What did you buy? Did you save money? Was it difficult? What were some challenges?
I would love to hear from you guys down below.