I like buying stuff. It’s a stress reliever for me. I love the feeling of packages arriving at the door, knowing it’s a treat for me and not just dog food, or replacement wall plugs thanks to my failed DIY escapades. As times gone on, that feeling of relief I get from shopping, has turned in to one of guilt, knowing I should be saving my money. So my friends, I’ve decided to try my hand at a No Buy 6 Months…
A “No Buy”?
The concept of a no buy is not a new one to me, but it is a scary one. The basic idea is, you set your own rules, realistic ones, and aside from the set exceptions that you have laid out, you do not buy anything. I’ve seen rules run from being laid out by category and taking every aspect of life in to account, to being more concise, with a list of targeted points that they want to focus on.
Why I’m Starting This
Listen. Ya girl’s out here trying to get married, redecorate my house and just all round trying to save for nice things. But, bills are expensive, and I’m awful at saving money.
I also have a lot of crap. I have a makeup collection, half of which I never use, which is bursting at the seams, about 7 million body butters, 5 fake tanners (I don’t even tan?!) and a wardrobe where I only where about 10 things regularly. The things that clutter my house, that I never use, you would not believe…
As I’m starting to get older, I’m starting to acknowledge all the money I’ve wasted throughout my working life, on stuff. I’ve dabbled with the idea of a No Buy before, but always put it off. Maybe next month. Well, next month turned in to 4 years, and I think I’m done.
So it calls for drastic measures. I’m embarking on a no buy, lasting 6 months, ending 1st June.
My No Buy Rules
I’ve broken this down in to Categories, because I am an opportunist who loves looking for loopholes, and I want to give myself the best possible chance at successfully completing this no buy. I’ve set out a little list of baseline rules below, please feel free to use them yourself!
- Bills take priority, obviously.
- All debt is continued to be paid as it is.
- Once the bills are paid, and the food shop budgeted for, all spare money goes in to a locked Monzo pot, which can be accessed at any time, in case of emergency.
- When the next payday comes around, 2/3 of the money left over is put towards debt, the rest goes in a savings pot that I can’t touch.
- I need to keep receipts for all purchases, to see how I’ve done at the end of each week.
- For accountability, the outcome of each 3 months will be reviewed in my new quarterly series.
- I can buy one pair of sensible, every day wear shoes, at no more than £30. This is once in the 6 months I’ll be doing this no buy.
- Leggings can be bought where necessary, but no more than 3 times.
- If I lose enough weight in this 6 month period that none of my clothe fit me, I can buy some basic every day clothing. This will tide me over for the length of the no buy.
- Replace essentials only. This is things like deodorant, shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste etc.
- Of those essentials, buy basics where appropriate. I use enough shit on my hair after washing it that I don’t need fancy conditioners, and deodorant is deodorant. Basics range only.
- I can buy mascara when I run out. Mascara is actually the only part of my makeup routine where I’ve found The One, and so I don’t actually have a stockpile of mascaras. For anyone who’s interested, I’ll be doing a review soon!
- I can also buy concealer when mine runs out. I am yet to find a budget concealer that I love, and so I only really buy one at a time. At the moment I’m using the ELF Camo Concealer at the moment, and it’s okay, but it’s not love.
Can you believe, that for 2 people, I can spend easily around £350 a month on food?! It’s obscene, and my food wastage is real.
- I will have a strict £40 a week budget. This is to include all food, drinks, and cleaning supplies. Any leftovers carry over to the next week.
- Stick to a meal plan.
- No Takeaways. This is this biggest thing I want to cut back on. I am the sole cook in my house, so if I’ve had a rough day, it’s so easy to just order something. That needs to stop, so I’ve put a blanket ban on takeaways in my household. This will be lifted once around my birthday.
- No “nipping to the shop” for anything other than milk. If I run out of chocolate, that’s on me, and I will have to deal with it until the next food shop.
- I recently quit smoking, and so am relying on an e-cig to get me through the day. The refills for this e-cig cost around £5, and the refill will last me around 2.5 days. So these can be bought where needed. I will buy these at the start of the week to stop me from impulse buying food top-ups when I’m in the shop.
The whole concept of the no buy sounds very scary to me, but also kind of liberating. Aside from my mortgage, I don’t have any huge amounts of debt lurking, so after a few months when I’ve taken the steps to pay this off, I should have freed up a lot more disposable income to save towards the things I really want.
I hope this post has managed to go some way to explain why am doing this, and hopefully even inspired you to start your own no buy! If you do, be sure to reach out, and let me know how you’re getting on!
You can find more budgeting posts here.