My Anti Haul: 6 Things Not to Buy in 2023

I have a list of things not to buy this year. Here’s why. Did you know that 70 percent of the U.S. economy is driven by consumer spending? That’s you and me buying things like oil changes, our Amazon Prime membership, new pants, and makeup at Target–all of that drives most of our economy.

The average person in a rich country, like the United States, consumes 13 times as much as a person in a poor nation. That means, just as a comparison, one person in the U.S. has 13 times as much of an impact on the environment as someone living someplace like Haiti.

Since I’m a money coach, I work with people to rearrange their spending so they can reach their financial goals. I don’t demonize the small choices in our lives that give us joy. If you want that Starbucks coffee, go for it, but I suggest you do it in a reusable cup.

I do advocate for rethinking our lifestyles in general. For example, why do we create social standards that require us to look, smell, and present ourselves a certain way and then punish those people who do not meet these standards?

We use spending as a weird form of social control. So this year I am choosing not to buy certain things in an effort to unplug myself from the capitalist matrix we live in that demands we define our happiness and self-worth by the way we spend our money. It’s sort of an anti-haul list. So here are six things I don’t buy anymore:

Things not to buy

1. The Stanley cup

I can’t escape this cup on TikTok. It’s everywhere. But you know what was everywhere just a few months ago? A Hydro Flask. And before that, it was the YETI cup.

My point is that this capitalist spending matrix we have is always pushing up to buy something else to replace something we already have! If you already have a YETI, you don’t need a Stanley cup. And I also do not need to feel competitive with other people about the type of cup I’m using!

2. New clothes

I love wearing the free sweater that I got from a friend who was going to get rid of it. I get most of my clothes from thrift stores. But, that’s still considered shopping. But I bought a bunch of clothes last year for trips, parties, and other reasons. That ends now.

3. Skincare

I have bought an endless amount of skin creams. I am in my 30s and I am one of the few women I know my age who has not gotten BOTOX. I do have dry and acne-prone skin, so I need lotions and potions to keep my skin hydrated and clear. But the skincare rabbit hole is deep.

Buying skincare

Every two weeks there’s a new cream, lotion, or oil the skincare industry says is going to clear everything that society says is wrong with your face. You know what I mean. One week it’s Vitamin C serum, the next is hyaluronic acid, daytime and nighttime moisturizer, snail cream…the list goes on.

I have my skincare routine down right now and I know what will work for me so I don’t need to add in anything new.

4. More streaming services

I already have access to Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO, Netflix, and Peacock. That’s a lot of television I could be watching. There’s simply no more time in my day to watch more. I already watch too much.

But this year I have to think about how much time I want to spend sitting on the couch and how much time I want to spend on my life’s to-do list. I may even want to cancel one or two of these platforms because I don’t need the temptation.

Self-improvement books

5. Self-improvement books

I’ve read some of the most popular books out there, but I’m done. Most of the books in this genre say the same thing–focus on details, set goals, put mini-steps in place, communicate to people that matter, etc. I’ve read “Atomic Habits,” and–I get it.

6. Kitchen appliances

Ever since the pandemic, I have spent way more time in the kitchen and I have grown as a cook. But I’ve also added in a bunch of tools, like an immersion blender, dutch oven, all-new stainless steel pans, and new knife sets, and we just don’t need anything else.

I’ve been tempted by something like a bread maker, but I don’t need it and I don’t have the space for it, anyway.

Things not to buy in 2023

So that’s my anti-haul for the year! These are things minimalists don’t buy, anyhow. Let me know in the comments what you’re not buying this year and why not. Or, let me know if you’re doing a low-buy year.

Join the conversation