My No-Buy Year Results: A Breakdown of How Much I Saved

Aimee Rebecca
by Aimee Rebecca

Today I will be breaking down all the numbers from my no-buy year. There are many spreadsheets, facts, figures, and lots of information. I hope these numbers and figures can inspire and motivate any of you who are thinking of starting a no-buy year.

What I spent

So let's start by talking about what I spent over the past year. I was able to tally all of the monthly calculations that I've been keeping, put them into broad categories, and see exactly where my money went last year.

Days out

The category where I spent the most amount of money last year was what I called days out. That was going out with friends or family, doing different activities, or having short overnight breaks.

Although I didn't get to do much of that because of COVID, I spent $889.56 on getting together with friends and family. I love that that's where most of my money went. Most of my money went into going out and enjoying my life.


The next biggest category was gifts; I spent $636.45 on those.


Then were groceries. I spent $621.05 on groceries last year, which I think is good going.

Takeaway food

Then comes takeaway food, which over the course of the year, I spent $526.02. That goes some way to explain why my grocery bill was so low. I really like pizza.

Drinks and entertainment

Drinks and entertainment

The next biggest category was drinks, and I kind of feel like I need to put a little caveat or an explanation here because it's not great if the thing you've spent most of your money on in the year is alcohol.

When I say drinks, I mean going out for cocktails with my friends, which might also include food, or that might also include transport there and back.

So it's not purely just drinks, although there were a lot of drinks, and that was $507.21


This is things like shampoo, conditioner, cleaning supplies, boring stuff like that was $436.88

Luxury services

Luxury services like getting my hair done, getting my nails done and having the cleaner in Bahrain come clean my apartment because I didn't want to do that was $403.95

Eating out

This was 368.06. I don't like to cook.

Mental health

I spent $289.85 on counseling services this year for my mental health.

Arts and crafts supplies

Arts and crafts

$182.62 was spent on arts and crafts. I was like, hey; I may as well go out and spend all my money on wool.


My Spotify membership cost me $144.78.


I spent $137.56 on miscellaneous things like petrol, parking, and random junk. I spent $123.37 on makeup. I donated $55.39 to charity. I did spend $54.35 on a new waterproof coat because I was wet and cold.

I spent $51.19 on utilities because most of that was covered under my rent. I spent $44.08 on dance classes, $35.02 on lottery tickets, and $34.29 on takeaway coffees.

One thing I will say is that this total that I'm going to give you does not include my rent, it does not include my Uber, and it doesn't include any travel, although I didn't do a lot of that.

Those expenses came out of different pots of money, and it's confusing. I keep my money separate and budget more effectively.

The categories I listed are day-to-day spending on the categories we've run through.

Total spent for the year

I spent a grand total of $5541.69. I think that's good for a whole year.

To put that into perspective, I want to share how much additional money I saved during my no-buy year.

I've made a direct comparison with previous years to see how much additional I've saved due to this. I saved an additional $1,704.57 due to implementing these no-buy-year rules. I think that's good because I'm a pretty strict budgeter anyway.

Empty toiletries

Project Pan

Now I want to take a second to talk about my empties, because if you guys have been following my empties videos, Project Pan, you know that I've been trying hard to use up as much stuff as possible throughout this year.

This is how that went. I used up 26 makeup products, 21 skincare products, 19 hair care products, 48 general cosmetics products, which would be more like body lotions and deodorant toothpaste, and 28 sample products, which brings my total to 142 cosmetics products that I used up in one year.

Last year, I replaced cosmetics items that had run out; I spent $213.27 on those items, which means I used up $920.28 of cosmetics, makeup, haircare, and skincare in my home already.

The total value of those products was $1133.64. If that doesn't speak to consumer culture, then I don't know what does.

$920.28 of stuff was lying around my home, not being used. If I hadn't done this, no buy year, it probably would have continued not being used.

Will you be doing a no-buy year?

I hope these numbers help you if you're thinking of a no-buy year. Choose what you'll not be buying through the year, what you'll be cutting back on, and go from there. Share your plans in the comments below.

Join the conversation
3 of 11 comments
  • Lynne Lynne on Jan 26, 2023

    Sorry but how is this no buy??? Seems to me you spent a lot of money on things e.g. take out and housekeeping for example, that no one on a budget can afford. Why did you not invlude your rent? And if you were ever spending the kind of money on cosmetics that you mentioned, well that is just fidiculous. Seems to me you have no idea as to how low income people live. Try again.

  • Ticia Ticia on Jan 02, 2024

    While I applaud your efforts at 'not buying' and whatever success and/or savings you've achieved, you didn't give us the true picture because you omitted certain costs - i.e. rent, uber, travel - your own car if you buy petrol. So, I cannot disagree with some others' comments. However, having parents who grew up in or during the war or depression, I learned to make everything work twice whenever possible and more if need be. If there was too much change in your pocket, you saved some of it in a jar. When you started in the work force, one of the first rules was to 'pay yourself' as if you were a bill. Whether that was $2. or $20 really depended on how much you earned. Now, because I no longer work outside the home, whenever I shop anywhere and the store receipt tells me I saved $2, 4, 6 or 8 dollars on my bill, I go into my wallet and save that along with any excess change etc. You would be amazed at the end of a year how much you can save just by doing that and it's great to have for an emergency. It's especially helpful if an appliance dies at a holiday or your car needs tires. While it may not be feasible for everyone to do this, it is another suggestion on best ways to save something. Good luck to anyone who makes the efforts in this.