Preparing for a No-Buy Challenge

by Nick & Raychel
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It’s 2020 and we’re kicking the new year off with a no-buy challenge in January. We’re going into the new year with some serious savings plans so we can hit all of our travel goals. Here, we’re going to break down the rules of our “no-buy” or “no-spend” month for January 2020. Are you with us?

Why we’re doing the no-buy challenge

As you might know, we love to travel. In 2020, we are planning on doing some travelling in North America, including the U.S. (hello Hawaii), Mexico, and potentially some countries in the Caribbean. We are also building a tiny home out of an ambulance, and we’re saving for a wedding. If it sounds ambitious on our low-income salaries, we know, but that’s kind of how we roll.

And we know we can do it.

Here’s the thing – you don’t need to make a lot of money if you’re frugal with what you have – a lesson we learned when we moved to Cambodia for the first time in 2018.

We plan to be more intentional with our financial habits, and doing the no-buy challenge is just one of the ways where we will take the thrill out of spending money on useless things and invest  into experiences later this year.

So whether you’re a stay at home mom looking for some extra cash, or a travel-lover like us, a no-buy month might be a great way to get on top of your finances.

Are you in now? Let’s break down the rules.

See it in action on our YouTube channel.

No-buy month rules 

  1. No dining out

    During our no-buy month, we will only be preparing food at home. No restaurant dates, no fast food, only home-cooked meals for the entire month.

  2. Brew coffee at home

    We know this sort of ties into the first rule, but it’s worth separating the two since we purchase coffee from coffee shops a lot. 

  3. Cancel subscription services

    We are going through all of our subscription services in iCloud and on PayPal and cancelling all of the unnecessary ones. We are sometimes guilty of downloading fancy apps for a monthly fee of $2, which may not seem like a lot, but they add up. We’re putting an end to that in 2020.

  4. No shopping

    During our no-spend challenge, we are not buying any clothing, makeup, or household items for the entire month.

  5. No going to bars / movies / entertainment

    We are aiming to break the habit of going to a bar to shoot a game of pool or catching a quick movie in theatres during the month of January.

The exceptions 

Let’s be realistic, there are some things that you just need to spend money on. It’s called being human. Here are the exceptions that we are making for our no-buy month.

  • Grocery shopping
  • Rent
  • Cell phone plans
  • Gas & Car payments
    * If we lived in a city where transit was accessible, we would not use the car. Sadly, we don’t have that luxury.
  • Adobe Suite subscription + monthly website domain costs

The biggest challenge

We predict that the biggest challenge will be not buying coffee from shops. We are notorious for stopping for a coffee when we’re running late, or just simply grabbing it on weekends for no real reason.

What we can get around

  • Utilizing gym trials
    Through my dad’s work, we can get a 3 month gym trial for free, so we won’t have to worry about missing the gym.
  • Doing free things instead
    We love going out to play pool (did we mention that already?). Instead of playing pool, we will take advantage of the dart board in our own home – and who knows, maybe find a new passion!

We will also be starting a gratitude list where we will log what we are grateful for, so we can remind ourselves daily of our blessings. After all, we’re in a really fortunate place that we’re even able to do a no-buy month, and we never want to forget what the intention is.

Now are you with us? 

Connect with us on Instagram: @notluxxe

Interested in travelling, but you’re broke AF? No worries, same. Check out our article on how to get around it here.

1 comment

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1 comment

Peter Goudge January 3, 2020 - 3:27 am

WOW, a no buy challenge. I’m not sure I posses the necessary self-discipline. I look forward to reading about the results.

Best wishes, Peter Goudge
AVSE-TESOL, Phnom Penh


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