As we start this brand new year, many of us are thinking of all the things we want to do differently. Financial restraint is usually especially high on so many of our priority lists after the holiday season.
A complete spending detox in the form of a no-buy to curb spending may seem like the perfect solution at the beginning of a new year. However, if you’ve been thinking of going cold turkey, take a few moments to dig deeper. This particular option can be challenging and deserves additional consideration.
Consider answering these 6 questions first before deciding whether a no-buy is worth it for you:
- Has your spending been completely out of control? If not, can you start with a clear monthly budget that makes sense for you based on your income instead?
- Do you have a life change such as moving or switching to a new job coming up? If you do, you may have unexpected expenses on the way and it may be better to start your no-buy after you’ve made that change. Having the no-buy be the only new big change to deal with when you start will make it easier.
- Do you have someone to talk to during this time or can you make sure to journal out all your feelings? Sometimes shopping can be a coping mechanism and when that isn’t an option, unexpected feelings may come up and it is important not to turn to something else that could be equally as self-sabotaging as overspending.
- Are you comfortable with creating clear boundaries for yourself? This includes a clear list of what you will and won’t be able to buy during the time frame you decide on for a no-buy. This could be too stringent for some and just perfect for others.
- Do you have a plan B or a strategy to switch to if you find that the no-buy is absolutely not for you once you’ve started it? If not, can you clearly define your plan B? It is important to have a fall-back plan that you have decided on before hand so you won’t be overly critical of yourself if this isn’t the right way to go for you.
- Do you have alternate ways for adding joy and things to look forward to in your life? If not, can you make a list of enjoyable things that you can get excited about instead of shopping at your favorite stores? A no-buy shouldn’t make you feel deprived on all fronts. It should just be a tool to let go of wanting to shop as a distraction.
If you finding yourself nodding and saying yes in answer to these questions, then consider testing the waters of a no-buy period. If the answer is no to some of these questions, then maybe a low-buy or the ability to have a specific budget for impulse shopping every month could be a good solution.
Make sure to keep your emotional well-being in mind as you decide on the solution that’s best for you.
Have you ever considered or implemented a spending detox? What are your thoughts on having a no-buy period?