I’ve written before (admittedly a long time ago, hello to any readers still following my blog and apologies for the massive absence!) about the importance of holidays to my family and I, so when we returned from a wonderful pre-Christmas break at Ribby Hall, we decided to see whether we could finance a return trip at Christmas 2020 using money saved by attempting a No Buy Year. Now, this blog is called A Frugal Month, as you know, and we have attempted no spend weeks and months several times before. However, these are usually borne of necessity following an expensive month previously; I don’t think we’ve ever attempted it with a goal in mind. When we then sat down to look at booking, we realised that we are looking at 7 or 8 other holidays/short breaks/weekends away this year, so finding the money for this one would be a struggle, but something we were willing to sacrifice other things for.
So, what is a No Buy Year? Quite simply, it means cutting out all purchases that are not completely essential. There are many people attempting it across the blogosphere this year, many with the knowledge that Brexit is just around the corner, many just with the realisation that consumer culture is not making them happy. A No Buy Year can be defined by any rules you want to set in place for yourself, but what it is NOT is to deny yourself pleasures; goodness knows we need them (with Brexit just around the corner…). Rather, it’s forcing yourself to look at life with the marketers goggles removed; to find alternatives to things that take your money and sap your energy. Days in the park rather than days at a theme park. Cheap and cheerful soups rather than elaborate dinners. Whatever works for you is in – but make sure to be accountable to yourself, pay the necessary bills, and keep every penny spent recorded. My rules to myself are below, you will notice that some of my spends over the year may not be “completely essential”, rather corners cut to save money while still achieving the desired result.
My rules for a No Buy Year 2020
- No spending on toiletries or make up unless the previous item runs out
- Aim for No Spend Days, and if achieved, put £2 in a savings pot
- All £2 coins to be saved along with 1p, 2p and 5p pieces
- No solo coffees to be bought, always share with a friend. And NEVER use a disposable cup.
- Evening entertainment will be card games, movie nights, and home made pizzas.
- I have already given up alcohol but will continue this in 2020.
- No new clothes aside from essentials (knickers, socks). Anything needed for summer will be sourced from charity shops or Ebay.
- No new books. Library only.
- Days out must be free, using our National Trust card, or purchased at a discount via Groupon etc.
- Meals must be planned and no food must be wasted.
Will you be setting yourself any financial rules this year?