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9 Tips for a Buy-Nothing Year

Commons Team
January 17, 2024

For many of us, buying less is one of the most impactful ways to lower our carbon footprints. A buy-nothing year or month is a challenge some folks take on to cut out non-essentials. Here are 9 ways to set yourself up for success to buy nothing.

1. Change your digital landscape

  • Unsubscribe from promotional texts and emails. By decluttering your inbox, you not only create a more organized digital space but also significantly reduce the impulse to make unnecessary purchases driven by enticing offers.
  • Unfollow influencers who fuel the incessant "buy, buy, buy" culture and stop engaging with consumerist content to reset your social media algorithms. What we see online matters. Curate a mindful feed that aligns with your values and interests, fostering an online environment that promotes conscious living rather than impulsive spending.
  • Delete shopping apps and cancel subscriptions like Amazon Prime. This intentional act not only saves money, but also reduces the convenience of impulsive buying.

2. Change up your tempting habits

  • Invest in non-consumerist hobbies like birdwatching, museum-going, or visible mending. These activities not only divert your attention from the shopping aisle but also bring joy without contributing to unnecessary purchases.
  • Avoid department stores like Target and Marshalls. Department stores often leave you with more than you intended to buy. If you do need to buy something new, find it at a store where you won’t buy more than you came for.
  • Declutter your home to remind yourself of what you already have. A clutter-free home is a powerful reminder of what you already own. Decluttering not only reduces the physical belongings around you but also helps in breaking the cycle of mindless consumption.

3. Keep track of everything

  • Review your monthly spending to see how much you’re saving by only buying necessities. Evaluate how much you're saving by abstaining from non-essential purchases and let those positive numbers reinforce your commitment. Use this time to celebrate your achievements and reflect on your evolving relationship with consumerism.
  • Take note of your consumerist urges and reflect on them later on. As you navigate your resolution journey, keep a journal or use note-taking apps to document moments of consumerist temptation. Reflect on these instances later on, understanding the triggers and finding healthier alternatives to cope with stress or boredom. This self-awareness will be key to overcoming future challenges and maintaining a sustainable, no-buy lifestyle.
  • Download financial tracking apps like Commons that show you purchase insights and trends. Take advantage of technology to gain deeper insights into your spending patterns. These tools not only streamline your financial management but also offer a visual representation of your progress, motivating you to stay on track with your "No Buy" resolution.

Embarking on a "No Buy" New Year's resolution is not just about saving money; it's a holistic approach to redefining your relationship with consumerism. By changing your digital landscape, breaking tempting habits, and staying organized through tracking, you'll not only help the Earth, but you'll also discover a newfound sense of fulfillment and contentment in your life. 

Commons Team
January 17, 2024


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