The no buy challenge – live well with less

FG Contacts Feel Good Team
Thursday, 21 November 2019 Share this blog: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy link Copy Link

Spending habits getting out of control? Try the No Buy Challenge and watch your savings grow.

November is the time of year where everybody is finally allowed to be festive as the Christmas lights come on and we start to heat up the mulled wine. It’s also a time when spending money can get a little out of control. Buying all your favourite foods for a Christmas feast, finding the perfect party dress, going out to eat with your family and friends more often, it all starts to add up pretty quickly.

Endless adverts during the festive season are primed on getting you to buy more things, particularly when it comes to fashion. Every few weeks there seems to be an unmissable sale, how can you resist! Messages like ‘don’t miss out’ and ‘must-have’ create a serious amount of FOMO. A spending habit doesn't always feel like a problem, especially when we can put them on credit cards and forget about the cost for a few weeks.

Black Friday is just around the corner, but before you set up all those shopping alerts to kick start your Christmas shop, consider saving those deals only for the things you need.

What is a no buy?

The no buy challenge is when you choose certain categories you tend to overspend in (it could be clothes, décor and shoes, for example) and don’t buy anything from those categories for a certain period of time, typically a year. There’s flexibility in this, you could do it for 3 months, 6 months or 8 months, if you wanted to, whatever works for you.


someone holding a credit card in a festive jumper

No buy challenge rules


The challenge isn’t as unrealistic as it sounds. You’re allowed to replace something once it runs out or if it breaks, and there’s no rules about what you replace that product with. If you need something then you’re allowed to buy it. You do have to be strict about what a ‘need’ really is though. You probably do need another jumper to keep you warm in the winter. You probably don’t need a second mascara until you finish the one you already have.


Why do a no buy?


Shopping is a brilliant distraction. Gaining new things gives us this momentary feeling of euphoria. Most of us chase this feeling as we shop, which makes us care less about the things we already own. Once we have the new thing, the euphoria is gone, and so is that feeling of wanting it in the first place.

The point isn’t just to save money, it’s also to make you think more about every purchase. When you only get to buy one more coat to replace the one that broke/doesn’t fit anymore, you’ll want it to tick all the right boxes. Is the quality good enough, will it last a long time? Will it keep you warm enough? (and if it doesn’t, can you easily layer a jumper or cardigan underneath?).

If you’re returning more things than you keep, if you seem to spend ages looking for the right product because you want it to be right, then the no buy is working.


a small shopping cart filled with coins

How to stick to your no buy


  1. Choose your categories and your time limit

Look at your finances to see where most of your money is being wasted. Then choose the top categories you want to reduce. How long you do it for is a personal choice, but it takes a long time to unlearn shopping behaviours so consider doing the full year.

  1. Build a capsule wardrobe

When it comes to clothes, building a capsule wardrobe is a great way to make sure the clothes you own all work seamlessly with each other. You’ll be able to pull out a random skirt and top, knowing they’ll look good together. You’ll also get more use out of your wardrobe. Go for signature pieces that go with everything, instead of things that will go out of fashion, like a pair of sleek black sunglasses, instead of something bright coloured or bedazzled in rhinestones.

  1. Unsubscribe from shopping emails

You might try to ignore the emails shouting about discounts and new-in items. In reality, those things stay in your mind, and somewhere throughout the day you may just get tempted to browse. Be ruthless, unsubscribe from them all – except for our of course, you still need to be able to see and we give you the best deals on contact lenses and eye care.

  1. Shout about it

Tell your family and friends, this will help keep you accountable when you feel yourself falling off the wagon.

  1. Have a clear-out – Marie Kondo style

This is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re buying less. Having a clear out will remind you of what you already have, and help you whittle your collection down to just the things you actually need and use.

  1. Ignore adverts

This might be the hardest of all. Adverts are getting smarter, the websites you browse know your likes and dislikes so they can tailor adverts to you specifically. You can’t always avoid them (especially on social media) but try to dismiss them immediately.

  1. Keep a list of things you would have bought

This isn’t necessary, but it can help. Every time you want to buy something, but can’t because of the no buy, write down how much it costs. At the end of the no buy you can see how much money you’ve saved.


Only buy the essentials


At the heart of the no buy is the concept of only buying the essentials. Having excess things doesn’t make us any happier. Buying more and more of something just allows it to take up more space in your home and more money from your account.

Go back to basics and only buy the essentials, things like toothpaste, the weekly food shop and contact lenses are all important purchases you’ll need to make regularly, keep the no buy for areas of your spending that are more extreme.

If you tend to overspend in a more essential area, such as your food shop, a budget will help you keep costs down in that category.


Choose Feel Good Contacts for your essential eye care


When it comes to contact lenses, designer sunglasses and essential eye care, Feel Good Contacts stock a wide range. We sell daily disposable lenses, lenses for astigmatism and toric contact lenses. Some of our lenses, like Acuvue Oasys, are made from silicone hydrogel. This hydrating material allows more oxygen to the eye for increased comfort.


If you have any questions about eye health or the products we stock, please visit our eye care hub or feel free to contact our friendly customer service team.