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Cutting Back on All Shopping With a No Buy Challenge

Asj loves to travel and helps others figure out how to do so within their financial means through her blog The Knowledgeble Other. She kicked off her year with the intention of working on her personal financial goals by making some major lifestyle changes. Asj participated in the Minori No Buy Challenge to spend less on shopping and save more, and plans to carry on being a more mindful spender for the rest of the year. Reading this interview, along with our other interviews, will make you want to try a No Buy month too!

What was the biggest expense you were trying to cut back on during your no buy challenge?

I honestly wanted to cut back on ALL expenses outside of bills. I didn’t make an exceptions list because I truly didn’t want to spend money on anything outside of grocery shopping, gas, and bills. This had to be a challenge to myself to see what I could find; maybe a free alternative or go without buying all together! I didn’t want to make any clothing purchases, eat out at all, or participate in activities that weren’t free. 

What were your difficulties, setbacks, or temptations during the shopping ban?

The biggest set back was doing a no buy in the month of January. I think had it been any other month I probably would’ve gone the entire month without buying anything at all. Because it was January, I was still catching up on buying late Christmas gifts. On the bright side, I was happy that my money did go to good use instead of buying things I didn’t need. 

The other very small setback was eating out. I’m not someone who typically spends a lot of money eating out because I prefer to eat at home. Unfortunately there were two days in the month where I had a small set back. I was running errands all day and at some point I found myself hungry and too far from home so I ended up buying food. But, I was still mindful of how much I was spending. 

Any advice you would want to share with others who might try doing a no-buy challenge?  

My advice for anyone wanting to do a no buy challenge is do it and take it seriously. If you can’t do it alone, ask a friend to join and you guys can hold each other accountable. I knew before I even started that I wanted to make a lifestyle change! The no buy January came at the perfect time. At the beginning of the month I found myself looking at things and said “I’ll buy this in February.” About a week into it, I stopped saying that and wasn’t even interested in buying those things anymore.

I wasn’t interested in shopping for clothes, ordering food, or buying unnecessary things that I saw on the internet. If there is something you need, consider making a list of needs for when you are ready to make those purchases. I did and I found my list of needs to be extremely short.

What habit do you hope to carry forward into your life after the challenge is done?

I knew before the no buy January started that I was hoping to continue after January. I want to continue to be more mindful of the things I spend money on, no matter what they are. My plan is to stop making impulsive purchases just because things are on sale and instead buy higher quality items and clothing that will last longer.   

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