How a “Do Not Buy” List Can Save You Money
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How a “Do Not Buy” List Can Save You Money

Posted on Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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You might be spending money that you really don’t have. This is especially true for people who have certain spending habits or the need to always have the latest and newest of everything.

Sarah Winfrey, who writes for WiseBread, has come up with a simple way to keep money in your pocket. She calls it the “Do Not Buy” list. For full details about the “Do Not Buy” list, you should read the blog post on WiseBread.

In short, the idea is to identify what drives you to spend money on things that you don’t really need. People buy things as a way to satisfy an emotional state of being. If you regularly engage in “shopping therapy”, the “Do Not Buy” list might be for you!

Author Ann Patchett wrote an article for The New York Times titled: My Year of No Shopping. She was inspired by a friend, who had just completed a no-shopping year. One of the things Ann Patchett learned was that she shopped online when she was feeling anxious.

How can a “Do Not Buy” list save you money? It forces you to identify your own impulses and to stop giving in to them. One way to start is by looking at your bank and credit card statements and figuring out what stores you spend the most money in. You might be surprised by how much you spend at your favorite stores.

Everyone’s “Do Not Buy” list is unique. Avid readers might need to put books on their “Do Not Buy” list. Fashionistas may need to stop buying clothing for a while. People that are into the latest and fastest technology might give themselves a “time out” before buying the newest version of something.

For others, the impulse to shop is driven by emotion, instead of by specific types of products. Ann Patchett shopped online when she was anxious. Other people might shop when they feel sad, or lonely, or bored. Their “Do Not Buy” list might include the restriction of not shopping while feeling a specific emotion.

The best thing about the “Do Not Buy” list is that you can choose how long you want it to last. A good starting point might be a month. Pick a month to start in, and stick to the list until the month ends.

The “Do Not Buy” list will help you save money because you won’t be spending it on things that you don’t need. At the same time, it helps you break your bad spending habits.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.