Needless to say, consumerism is huge, and it seems like every year, it’s only getting bigger. Over these last few years, micro-trends have become a thing; fast fashion is bigger than ever, fast homeware is now a thing, you can’t escape ads, and someone (friends or family) is showing you a product like you need to buy it.
Catchphrases like “Walk don’t run to buy this” are common, or TikTok videos of influencers flaunting items that you need to buy without providing that #sponsored post. Yes, consumerism is more rampant than ever, and it’s going to take a lot more than a financial prayer to ensure that your financial wellness will be stable.
Slowly, over the years, to fight this constant need to spend money, this constant need for a small dopamine rush after clicking the “buy now” button, some people are backtracking and opting for a “no-buy month” or even a “no-buy year.” Doing these little resets to your brain can really help you get a grip on the reality of finances and how it’s not infinite. So, here’s why you might want to try out a no-buy month for improving your financial wellness.
It’ll Help Cultivate Financial Awareness
In a way, credit cards are seen as a Boogeyman because if you spend beyond what you can afford, it can risk putting you into financial ruin. This is hands-down absolutely true, too, not something you’d want to do. Credit cards can, to a degree, give you an idea of what you can and can’t afford, and it’s a nice reminder to never live beyond your means. So, with that said, you can expect to cultivate financial awareness if you focus on not spending for an entire month. This doesn’t mean skipping out on necessities like bills, utilities, food, gas/ transportation, or things like that.
It means not spending money on wants, such as that new trendy outfit that shows up everywhere on TikTok or some cute random home decor item at the store for the sole purpose that you only want to have it just to have it. You need to have a conscious spending plan, and honestly, going one month without buying your wants, you’ll have a firm grasp on how much money left over you’re going to have so you can develop solid budgeting.
It’s Great for Helping You Save Money
The most obvious advantage of a no-buy month is the potential to save a significant amount of money. So, by curbing discretionary spending on items like dining out, entertainment, or impulse purchases, you’re going to be redirecting your funds towards more meaningful financial goals, such as paying off debt, building an emergency fund, that trip you always wanted, or investing.
This Has the Potential to Remove Bad Spending Habits
Have you ever had the need to spend? Have you been in a bad mood and wanted to shop or buy something? What about in a good mood? What about when you’re feeling bored? These are all bad habits, and they’re surprisingly more common than you might think. Everyone is always looking for that little dopamine hit, but you don’t have to get it through financially hurting yourself and becoming dependent on buying things.
Have you ever bought something that was on sale for the fact that it was on sale? Do you own anything that still has tags on it? Have you ever bought something for yourself and then questioned what you were thinking? In general, these all stem from bad spending habits.
So, having a no-buy month can help you break free from these bad spending habits. If you tend to splurge on unnecessary items regularly, this challenge can disrupt that pattern and encourage healthier financial behaviors. It’s an opportunity to reset and establish a new, more responsible spending routine.
You’ll Be Learning How to Prioritize Better
One major key aspect of a no-buy month is learning to prioritize your spending on what truly matters to you. You’ll have to make choices about how to allocate your resources, and this exercise can help you gain clarity on your values and financial goals. Think of it this way: would you rather save up money and go on your dream vacation, or would you prefer just going out to eat and shopping on weekends? You can think of it like that because it’s going to give you a clear indication of what’s more important (whether it’s wants or needs).
It can be hard to resist the urge to spend money, especially if there’s something you really want. Sure, by all means, treat yourself in moderation after you put back money into savings and spend money on needs like food, housing, and bills. But for some people, getting that self-discipline is more challenging than others, which is why having that reset, that fresh start from a no-buy month, can help.
It’s really all about practicing not giving in to urges and how this can help you develop greater willpower and self-control, which can be applied to other areas of your life, such as achieving personal and professional goals.
It Helps Eliminate Needless Stress
It seems like now more than ever, people want to follow trends, they want to keep up, and they don’t want to be branded with words such as “cheugy.” There does seem to be this pressure on following micro-trends, whether it be for home decor, memes, food, clothes, catchphrases, you name it. This constant pressure to feel like you’re “a part of the time’ or “in it,” or whatever you’d want to label it, doesn’t need to be there.
You, as a person, aren’t valued by what trends you follow or what you own. Having this constant need to want to fit in, especially these short-lived trends is honestly stressful and not needed. A no-buy month gives you a break from the pressures of keeping up with the latest trends and accumulating possessions. It allows you to embrace a simpler, less stressful lifestyle.