What You Need To Know About The ‘No Buy Challenge’ To Save Money

Money - Savings
Flickr | 401(K) 2013

Are you looking to save some money and simplify your life? You’re not alone: There’s a reason that the TV show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” which teaches viewers how to declutter and downsize our lives, is hugely popular on Netflix. Thanks to Kondo, a Japanese organization expert, people are embracing “less is more” in our homes and cutting down on consumption.

Now there’s a social media challenge to encourage you to pare down your life — and plump up your savings while doing it. The “No Buy Challenge” started by Instagram user Katy Goodman, a Los Angeles-based musician who decided to apply Kondo’s mantra of “sparking joy” to her 2019 spending habits. Goodman posted her self-challenge to the social media platform for the world to see.


Goodman declared 2019 a “No Buy Year” for her and the challenge was born. As the post got picked up by Buzzfeed, followers started to wonder what this challenge actually meant. Could she not buy anything for an entire year? Is that realistic? Ultimately, Goodman shared her rules for her personal challenge for others as a guide to follow.

It turns out that the “No Buy Challenge” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid all purchases for 12 months. However, each purchase needs to be carefully considered, using the following rules:

  • No new clothes, except for replacement items.
  • No food (or very occasionally) from restaurants
  • No coffee from coffee shops
  • No cleaning supplies, except for replacements
  • No toiletries, except for replacements
  • No home decor
  • No books or magazines

Exemptions from the “No Buy Challenge” rules are groceries, gifts for others, and paying the rent/bills.

“The GOAL of my #nobuyear is to reexamine how I spend my money, why I want to spend it, where I’m spending it, and so on,” Goodman explained in her follow-up post. “It is NOT meant to ruin my life, make me a recluse, or keep me locked up inside for a year.”


Goodman shared she has said “no” to ordering takeout food just for convenience for her family. She does say yes to going out to dinner with friends and even getting her hair cut. However, she does these things far less often than usual.

“I used to get my hair done every two to three months,” she shared recently on Instagram. “Now it’s every six to eight months. I consider that a great improvement!”

Could you meet the “No Buy Challenge?” What do you think would be the hardest part of completing the 12-month commitment?

About the Author

Marie Rossiter

Marie is a freelance writer and content creator with more than 20 years of experience in journalism. She lives in southwest Ohio with her husband and is almost a full-fledged empty nest mom of two daughters. She loves music, reading, word games, and Walt Disney World. You can find her writing about her personal health journey at marierossiter.substack.com and connect with her at marierossiter@gmail.com More.

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