How To Have a Successful Low-Buy Year: Tips From a Beginner!

How To Have a Successful Low-Buy Year

You may have heard that one of the best ways to be a more conscious consumer is to consume less. Well, of course, that's easier said than done given that the consumerist culture has bred the idea of "more, more, more" and created a society that thrives on consumption.

I'm well aware I can be *that* person at times but I'm just so glad that conscious consumerism is a rising trend among people who want to be more mindful of their spending. I had to quickly jump on that bandwagon and be a wise consumer NOW.

No-buy year vs low-buy year

Out of all the fantastic ways to achieve my minimal consumption goals, I was intrigued by this no-buy/ low-buy year method. Everyone knows about the no-buy year, but have you heard about its cousin, the low-buy year?

They're pretty much similar. Both are ways to eliminate excessive spending. Except, with a no-buy year, you truly limit yourself to buying the bare necessities and only use what you already own, and get this, cut out ALL spending for the entire year. Now that's a little scary...

However, a low-buy year is a more forgiving version of the no-buy year. Instead of being super ambitious about saving money and cutting out all spending, you are allowed to do some shopping throughout the year! The best part of doing this is that you can create specific rules for yourself, which you need to stick to, but still allow some flexibility. That's why I went with this one.

In case you missed it, I've mentioned this several times on my blog, I challenged myself to do a low-buy year. Although I didn't talk about it in a super in-depth style in that post, I just want to make it clear here that it was quite a successful low-buy year for me! And as a first-timer, I am really impressed. So, let's talk about how it went for me and how you can have a successful low-buy year too!

Why I chose to do a low-buy year?

I simply wanted a change in my spending habits. I used to spend half (could be more) of my monthly earnings on a ridiculous amount of impulses. I wasn't really doing good at saving money too so it was concerning at that time and I was constantly anxious when it comes to $$$. So I took the plunge and start a low-buy year. 

I decided I want to reset my finances, reduce the amount of clutter I have brought into my home and eventually save more money. It's crazy how everything went 180 and suddenly I feel like I have more with less. The whole low-buy year thing really lowered my reliance and need for products. 

How to have a successful low-buy year?

Create simple, easy-to-follow rules

I think this is the most important step of all. The key to being successful with your low-buy year is to set simple and clear rules for yourself to follow. When I first started, I created rules that weren't overly complicated and now I'm in my third year of low-buy, I still have simple and uncomplicated rules. It's easier this way and you shouldn't feel like these rules are a burden to you, yknow?

Eliminate the urge to shop

The easiest way for me to stick to my low-buy year was to avoid the urge to shop. And the silly old method that I did was to just put all of my wants in the cart and never hit the checkout button. Then I came back after a few weeks finding myself no longer interested in those things. It worked for me and it still has. 

Discover other sources of joy

I know I am guilty of using the "shopping" excuse to fill a void or give myself that quick rush of joy and excitement but I know I'm not alone. However, it's quickly become one of the most overwhelming things for me ever since I started the low-buy year—I had such a lack of interest in shopping. I value my time so much now and I would love to fill it with other exciting things, in which I revisited a couple of old hobbies as well as learned new ones! 

Actually use the things you already own

I used to buy a lot of makeup and skincare items for the sake of backups. By the time I finished using my current stuff, I was no longer interested in the backups. It's a disease, I know.

To be honest, I think there's such a simple joy in using things up. I can even begin to tell you how many half-used lipsticks, tubes of moisturizer, and bottles of lotion I have used up during my low-buy years. Not only I bought fewer things by doing this but I saved quite a lot of money. 

Talk to your family and friends about your low-buy year

I really recommend this for you to have a successful low-buy year. Make sure you let everyone in your family and your friends know that you're doing this challenge just so you have that accountability, yknow? Also, I didn't have like a buddy to do this challenge with me so this was my method to prepare everyone for some changes that might happen.

Give yourself some grace

If something breaks and you slip, it's okay. Don't feel bad because some things really are unavoidable. Nobody's low-buy-year is perfect. In fact, this challenge isn't about being perfect. It's about being a better version of yourself than you were yesterday. Even if you spend more than you should today, consider that tomorrow is another chance to try again. Just because you make a mistake, it doesn't mean it's over.

If you're considering doing this challenge, I would say just brace yourself. Know that things will sometimes go wrong but don't quit. Don't be disheartened. I just want you to realize that you are amazing for changing your mindset around your spending habits and valuing "less is more". I'm rooting for you. I'm rooting for us! <3

Have you ever tried a low-buy year? Would you give a low-buy year a try?

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