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5 Simple Reasons Why I Never Join a Buy-Nothing Challenge – And What I Do Instead

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Have you been thinking about doing a “buy-nothing challenge”? Great! But don’t do it! Do this instead!

I’ve done my fair share of no-buy challenges in my past with no long-lasting effects. Only after I started to choose “low buy” over “no buy”, my shopping and spending habits changed. And it was exciting!

And my motto about spending changed too! 

It went from “I don’t need anything, I won’t buy anything” 

to the journey to wealth has to also be FUN  – what’s the point otherwise?“.

And if you think about those two sentences, which one excites you more?

Why I don't do buy-nothing challenges

f you’re thinking about doing (your first or another) buy-nothing challenge, please let me challenge you to consider saying NO to no-buy!

Here are the 5 reasons why I choose “low-buy” over “no-buy” PLUS a fun and balanced solution to maintain your low-buy lifestyle.

1. Reason not to join a buy-nothing challenge: the “yo-yo effect”. It can be brutal

I like to think that shopping is like eating. And a buy-nothing challenge is like a strict diet where you only buy the must-haves – the necessities – and where there’s no place for indulgences. 

But once the “cabbage soup” diet is over, you eat all those things as a reward you couldn’t eat during your diet. And the yo-yo effect is brutal. 

The same will happen with the no-buy.

You are strong and you can go on buying nothing for a very long time. 

But the moment your challenge is over… what do you do?

You’ll reward yourself. 

Maybe not immediately, but some point you let yourself buy something. And another thing. And another.

And you might end up spending even more than you would have if you’d have chosen low buy over no buy.

2. Buying nothing is Not sustainable

No-buy is not sustainable. 

Buy nothing or “No buy” -challenges are projects. They start and they finish.  And once you finish – what then?

Do you buy again or don’t you buy again? 

Did you learn the needed skills to be smart with your shopping afterwards?

Do you know now what is a good balance? 

Do you know how to control yourself after the challenge? 


Did you just restrict yourself for days, weeks or even months just to end up feeling the same feelings you had before? 

3. A buy-nothing challenge is too restricting

Buying nothing is restricting. To stay away from the temptation to buy things, it’s better if you stay away from the shopping malls, from the online shopping sites, from boutiques and Target (!). 

So many restrictions. 

No buy restricts you, when low buy gives you the feeling of being in control. You choose where and when you spend your money. 

And continue reading and the fun and balanced solution will surprise you how easy it is to be in control!

4. There’s no balance with buying nothing – and where’s the fun?

No means no, so no-buy means buying zero “nice to have” things.

But where’s the balance? And where’s the fun? 

With “low-buy” you can use the 80-20 rule, where 80% of the time you go frugal and think carefully what you buy. And 20% of the time you can treat yourself with something you really want.

And by this I don’t mean that every 8 milks you buy you go shopping yourself 2 handbags. 

But more like on weekdays you stay off shopping the “nice to have” things and on Saturdays, for example, you can pamper yourself a bit.

Psst! At this point I’d like to remind you of my motto again: “the journey to wealth has to be fun too! What’s the point otherwise?”.

5. No-buy is not a lifestyle change

Buy-nothing challenges are short term solutions. 

You accept the challenge. You start it. You buy nothing. And then you end your challenge after a certain period of time has passed. 

And you saved money. Great! 

You didn’t bring new stuff into your house. Great! 

You restricted yourself. You didn’t give in the temptations. Your credit card lost weight and bank account hopefully gained some. Great! 

But is this your new lifestyle now? To buy nothing ever again? 

If buying nothing is like a cabbage soup diet, can you really see yourself doing it for the rest of your life? 

So what really changed long-term? What is the lifestyle change? 

Can you sustain a no-buy lifestyle, or does a low buy lifestyle start to sound appealing already?

If you want to make a long-lasting change in your habits, don’t choose a challenge, but make a lifestyle change. 

Don’t do diets and end up “yo-yo-ing” with your spending. Try to make motivating, long-lasting, smart (and even fun!) choices – something sustainable – and your home, bank account, and you yourself (most of all!) will thank you for it!

The solution: A fun and more balanced thing to do instead of joining a buy-nothing challenge

I hope I’ve already convinced you to choose low buy over no buy and to say NO to buy-nothing challenges. 

If you’re nodding and saying “yes, yes you have”, you’ll love my fun solution! Please, proceed.

If you’re not convinced please continue reading anyways and let me try one last time.

I’ll share with you my little secret how I maintain my low buy lifestyle and I still get everything I ever wanted!

I’m so excited to share this with you!

After I did my last months-long no-buy challenge years ago and went gradually back to my old habits, I decided that it’s time for a long-lasting lifestyle change. 

By accident I stumbed on the solution to have balanced shopping habitssave money and time and still get everything I ever wanted. 

I call it me-gifting with moderation. Aka giving myself gifts on Saturdays. Saturday gifts.

Yep! It’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a gift. To myself. On Saturdays. 

Not on Tuesdays when I see a nice skirt that would go so well with my new shoes. 

Not on Thursdays when I see the 3 for 2 beauty product sale. 

But on Saturdays. And because it’s not some random shopping but it’s a gift – to one of the most important people in my life – to myself, so I better make it a good one.

And keep the cost of the gift well within my budget.

Why within the budget?

Because I won’t be gifting myself debt. If I would, that would be one lousy gift.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to try me-gifting?

And most importantly: What’s your first Saturday gift going to be? 

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5 reasons why I never join a buy-nothing challenge - and what I rather do instead

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