Why I’m Doing a 2019 Low Buy Year

Y’all it’s 2019. Those words are probably said by every blogger or person you know lately. Maybe not the y’all part, but you get what I mean. I feel like this is the part where I should discuss how it is a new year, new me. But I’m not into that anymore. I set realistic goals for what I would like to accomplish in the new year when it comes to my finances, career, and life. But other then that I just try to appreciate life, live simply, and experience as much as I can.

During the last week of 2018, I’ve been really interested in the idea of buying nothing for a year. As ridiculous as it may sound (to some) the idea to just stop buying and not allowing consumerism to control everything I do is intriguing.

I’ve watched Youtube videos and read articles from others that have done shopping bans and no spend years. But I decided not to use the word no because that word can be very restrictive. Low buy is a better term for me because I will need to spend money on things like rent, gas, food, and dish soap. I try to follow the rules I set for myself when it comes to buying toiletries. But sometimes I run out of toothpaste so I go to Target and just happen to buy five other things I’ve been “needing” to get.

So, I’ve decided to put myself to the test this year. To see what I consume by only buying things that I deem as necessities while allowing room for life’s unexpectedness.

how to prepare for a low buy year:

1 | HAVE A PURPOSE. // My purpose is to figure out what I consume on a monthly basis in order to cut out unnecessary spending and to stop mindless shopping. I want to learn to appreciate and use what I have, double my emergency fund, take a solo trip this year, and pay off my car.

2 | REMEMBER YOUR PURPOSE & SET RULES. // I gave myself five rules to follow, which are to:

  1. not buy any new products until what i have is gone
  2. only eat out once or twice a week and cook more!
  3. unsubscribe and edit what I consume on social media
  4. be strict about what I purchase
  5. remember my purpose!

3 | HAVE CLEAR GUIDELINES ON WHAT YOU CAN & CANNOT PURCHASE. 

THINGS I CAN PURCHASE

  • Rent and utilities
  • Phone
  • Groceries and eating out with friends or with coworkers
  • Entertainment – this blog and Apple Music, which I pay for yearly
  • Healthcare – massages for pain and vitamins
  • Car maintenance – gas, oil change, taxes, and biweekly car washes
  • Travel/new experiences – if planned and budgeted
  • Basic toiletries and kitchen/cleaning supplies
  • Home goods – a snake plant and a microwave cover
  • Gifts for others
  • Giftcards are guilt-free spending on whatever I want!

THINGS I CANNOT PURCHASE

  • Clothes – unless I have a weight change or something gets destroyed and I don’t have a replacement
  • Eating out when I’m just being lazy, but I have ample time to cook
  • Books – rent them from the library or read what I have
  • Pampering beyond my monthly massages
  • Stationary, notebooks, and art supplies – I have so many that I need to use up
  • Essential oils – unless I use up all of the ones I have
  • Stylish homewares – My apartment is fully furnished and decorated so I don’t need anything other than my snake plant and microwave cover, which I’ve been meaning to buy for a while

I’m so curious to see what I’ve bought and how I will feel when December 31, 2019 comes around. I can’t wait to share it all with y’all and I hope that whatever you have planned for this year is amazing!

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Click to read the 2019 low buy year recap!
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18 Comments
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Cynthia
Cynthia
1 year ago

I’m trying to read books I already own this year too. It is so easy to get distracted by the new releases or what I see as being popular on #bookstagram. But I have probably 30 unread books at home to choose from.

Felicia Renee
1 year ago
Reply to  Cynthia

That’s great, I know exactly how you feel! I’m currently going through the ones I own and it’s nice to finally see them being read. There will always be more books to read.

Roli Edema
1 year ago

This is cool. The stationary rule is probably a good one because that sort of thing just piles up when we see attractive notebooks in the store, but we already have empty ones at home. Hope this goes well for you!
https://www.roliedema.com/

Felicia Renee
1 year ago
Reply to  Roli Edema

Thanks Roli! To be totally transparent, it is definitely hard for me. I’ve already been thinking about more that I want to buy haha.

Crystal @ Dreams, etc.

I love the idea of doing “low spend” over “no spend” is so great! I’ve decided there are a couple of areas I really need to minimize spending in… like books. While I’m not putting a myself on a strict buying ban for books, I’m incorporating some rules to make sure I don’t buy an excessive amount and will use the library and read the books I already have instead.

Felicia Renee
1 year ago

That’s a great idea! I completely agree. Sometimes I look at all of the books I have and love that I have purchased some of them. While others I’m like I should have rented this from the library because I don’t care to own it.

Indya | TheSmallAdventurer

I think the idea of doing a “low spend” challenge over a “no spend” challenge is brilliant! I always struggle with challenges that involve completely cutting something out and often end up caving quickly, but simply being more aware of how much you’re spending and what you’re spending it on is a great way to cut down on unneeded shopping. This year I want to focus on buying things that will actually improve my life (such as a bed frame hopefully) or that counts as investing into myself and my blog. Good luck on your challenge!

Felicia Renee
1 year ago

Thanks! I completely agree. I hate the restrictive idea of “no” and I like things to be realistic, so low buy is so much better to me! Good luck, as well.

Stephanie
1 year ago

Dang! You go girl! With having just moved into a new home with my husband, I’m thinking infrequent buying for a year would be nigh to impossible haha but I’m inspired! Maybe I’ll have monthly goals for purchases!

Felicia Renee
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephanie

Haha thanks! I mean, it’s not impossible. But completely cutting back on spending isn’t for everyone. I moved a few months ago, but I made a list and spread out my purchases so I wouldn’t impulse buy – that might help you!

Michelle @ She's Not So Basic
Michelle @ She's Not So Basic
1 year ago

This is super inspiring and I might just have to join you! I really want to see my savings account grow this year and I know I can’t do it if I keep mindlessly spending. $7 coffees for sure need to go this year! Good luck 🙂

Felicia Renee
1 year ago

I’ve never been a fan of coffee, so I’ve never related when everyone always says to cut it out. So cutting back on things like notebooks and essential oils for me is so difficult. But if you could try a no spend month! You’ve really see a difference with that!

Emily
Emily
5 months ago

Another way to do it is to cut out the specialty coffees, and instead go for a lower cost coffee like a small americano instead of a mocha chip frap with extra whip, extra large. (I don’t actually know what the names of the fancy drinks are) but this is a great way to spend $2.50 instead of $7 each time. Or, another way is to make your coffee at home. Like Felicia, I’m also not a coffee drinker, but for those who live by their coffee- having a good brew at home that you enjoy may cost you $25 for the big bag, but if you drink those $7 coffees everyday, the bag might last you much longer and be cheaper in the long run without you sacrificing something you really enjoy.

Denise // The Elle Aesthetic

I love this idea! I’ve always found the no spend challenges a bit too restrictive too, so I’m excited to follow your journey with low spending.

Denise | http://theelleaesthetic.com/

Felicia Renee
1 year ago

Thanks! I’m pretty excited to see how my habit of mindless shopping changes.

Chona
Chona
1 year ago

I love this so much! I’m going to adopt a similar guideline for myself this year. I like the idea of “low buy” versus just plain “no”. I think that’s more attainable. I spent New Years Eve doing laundry, but before I put things away I had to either donate or throw away things in order to make room for what I wanted to keep. It forced me to take stock of what I have and appreciate that! This is great!

Felicia Renee
1 year ago
Reply to  Chona

Thanks! That’s great, gotta start somewhere and your closet is great way to start! I agree, I’m really trying to appreciate things in my life more.

Emily
Emily
5 months ago
Reply to  Chona

Great idea. I bought myself a smaller dresser so all of my clothes must fit into the smaller dresser in order for me to keep them. I haven’t purchased new clothes in a long time because the clothes I currently have hardly fit in this dresser. It may feel more cramped but it gives the illusion of over abundance. And in reality, we all have a little too much anyway.