No Buy Year 2020, No Spend Year, Retirement

A No Buy Year – The hot new trend.

If you do a You Tube search for “No Buy 2020”, a very large number of videos pop up.  You-Tubers have hopped on the “No Buy” bandwagon and are all expressing their desire to not spend for 2020.  Why?

assorted cosmetic lot
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

I believe it’s because many of them were becoming or were addicted to shopping.  Beauty products, planner supplies (guilty as charged), traveling, clothes, designer purses, subscription boxes/services — you name it.  Internet marketing, either through ads that flood your emails, or ‘hidden’ selling on sites online, can be very intoxicating and trigger the impulse to spend.  Things that you had no idea you needed you now suddenly have to have.  To be honest, I’ve been caught numerous times buying things not because I needed them, but because of FOMO (fear of missing out); including cruise travel. (expensive shopping for sure!) When others are ‘selling’ it, the urge to splurge is real.

But I’m fighting back, as are many others. I have unsubscribed to all cruise videos (sorry Sheri!), haul videos, people who do sponsorships nonstop videos, instagram feeds, email subscriptions, etc.  I just don’t need or desire the content, at least for now.  (I’m sure I will be watching cruise videos in the future — but only when I’m researching a trip that I already know I want to go on. 😉 )

And you know what?  It’s been WONDERFUL.  I’ve started reading more blogs, books, and engaging with my friends.  I’m exercising more by taking long walks outside.  I eat out less and make more delicious meals at home.  I’m saving money on food and gas, because I don’t have any need to shop.

I know it’s only been the first couple of weeks for this challenge and I have a long way to go, but I have a good feeling about it.   Knowing exactly why I’m doing this is helping me not to spend money.  And honestly, I am positively giddy when I can send more than 40% of my husband’s take home pay to savings, which is more exciting than the latest planner, purse or cruise ship.  I would never have believed that even possible.

So, yeah, I get this new trend.  I hope to see more people jumping on.  I just wish I had started earlier.


Gratitude, No Buy Year 2020, Winter, Activities to do in Winter

30 Free Things to Do in the Winter Months (while keeping $ in the bank)

dwarf gnome on snow

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler

Here are some of the things I plan on doing this winter season that don’t include spending money.  Feel free to add yours in the comments!

  1. Create a winter capsule wardrobe with what I already have.
  2. Find and donate/sell 100 items.
  3. Paint a room with paint I have left over from a previous project.
  4. Declutter and deep clean each room of house.
  5. Walk outside in nature.  Hike the local parks.
  6. Practice taking pictures with my IPhone.
  7. Learn how to use my Nikon camera.  Finally.
  8. Meal plan a month at a time.
  9. Learn how to make a new dish every week.
  10. After decluttering, inventory EVERY thing in the house.
  11. CVS coupon for household items that need replaced.
  12. Clean up emails on all Apple devices.
  13. Start a yoga routine with free online videos.
  14. Work-out on treadmill, lift weights.
  15. Have a spa day.  Use up beauty products that I have in my stash.
  16. Watch a Netflix series (The Good Place,  Virgin River).
  17. Have a Gilmore Girls movie fest with my daughters.
  18. Write a blog post daily.
  19. Binge watch minimalism and low buy videos to stay motivated.
  20. Delete social media apps that are time sucks.
  21. Read books on my bookshelf, then donate.
  22. Give my dog a bath.
  23. Do a household maintenance walk through. (In preparation for Spring).
  24. Have a bill-reduction day.  Analyze all insurance and utility bills and try to lower them.
  25. Learn how to sell on Facebook Marketplace.
  26. SELL 10 items.
  27. Attend a religious retreat.
  28. Learn how to get free Walmart gift cards.
  29. Order groceries online for pick up to avoid impulse shopping.
  30. Write in a gratitude journal daily.

YOUR turn.  What do you do in your free time without spending money?

No Buy Year 2020

It’s happening. No Buy Year – 2020

wooden bench and stools in a cozy room
Photo by Catherine Augustin on

I’m joining the ranks of many others (see a few of them below) to do a No-Buy Year.  Yes, you read that right.  YEAR.  {So not to be confused, this is an updated spending challenge from what I wrote here.}


1.  SAVINGS.  In four years, my husband and I would like to retire.  For him to feel secure in doing so, however, he wants to have a large amount of cash in a savings account (in addition to our retirement accounts).  In order to a save this specific amount of money, we will have to stop spending money on crap that we don’t need. (Just to be clear, it’s ME who spends money, and my husband spends literally nothing.  Seriously.)

2.  SUSTAINABLE LIVING/MINIMALISM.  I’m also interested in pursing minimalism and sustainable living.  There’s been so much waste (on my part) with buying then decluttering, that it’s time to just say NO.

I don’t consider this challenge a punishment in any way.  I do believe in continuing to have experiences and education.  However, not spending money on ‘things’ will be an opportunity to get what I really want.  More time with my husband.

Here are my rules:

What I’m allowed to spend money on:

  • Bills, medical expenses
  • Food, Eating out (within reason)
  • Gifts
  • Charitable Giving
  • Replacements of household, beauty items I already have
  • Haircuts/coloring
  • Travel
  • Continuing education classes
  • Quality clothing (as replacements only)

And that’s it.  NO books, magazines, purses, wallets, pens, notebooks, home decor (with ONE exception: LR curtains), travel trinkets, fast fashion clothes and accessories, jewelry, movies, make up (unless it’s a replacement of what I use regularly),  travel items, accessories, manicures, pedicures, apps or new technology, paper napkins, subscription boxes/services.  There may be more items I’m not thinking of right now, but those too!

I’ll be tracking my experience with a No Buy in this space at the beginning of every month.  You are more than welcome to follow along, and if you are doing this too, please let me know!

Some sources of inspiration:

The Personal Philosophy Project

Style Apotheca

Use Less

Lara Joanna Jarvis