2 min read

My No Buy Year 2021 rules

My No Buy Year 2021 rules

If you read my ''About Me'' page, you probably know that I started my No Buy Year - an spending experiment to tackle my overspending problem - back in April 2021.

Here are the rules of my NBY that I set out when I started it:


I used to have so much waste on food and groceries as I didn't make plans or shopping list for groceries. I used to eat out whenever I felt like. My spending on food was arguably the second highest on my expenditure every month, right next to my mortgage.

When I planned my NBY, food spending was the first thing I'd like to reduce.

What I can buy on food:

  1. I can only shop groceries that are set out by my meal plan every week.
  2. I will need to reduce the grocery supplied from Chinese/Asian Supermarkets. For one, they are much more expensive than the UK supermarket chains. They might also have higher carbon footprint as they mostly travel longer distance.
  3. I can only eat out or have takeaway once per month, strictly limited to 2 dishes. I can also have 1 social eating out event with friends or colleagues. It sounds a bit sad but considering we are still in a pandemic, this is not too bad actually.

What I cannot buy on food:

  1. No food on the go. No coffee, no soft drinks, no cut and packaged fruit, no snacks. I'd brew my own coffee and take it with me when I go out.
  2. No alcohol unless it's for cooking.

Personal care, fashion and homeware

All personal care products, including skincare, cosmetics and hair products, I will have to follow a strict one-out-one-in rule. That is, only if I use up everything in the same category can I re-purchase one product of the same kind.

No clothes, shoes, clothing accessories or bags in this NBY.

No home decoration or furniture.

Experience and hobbies

For spendings on holidays, books, techs, hobbies and gaming, I set out a 'quota' system on the things I can buy. I can only purchase something new, if I accomplish a small goal (e.g. finish reading a book before I can purchase the next one) or every x months (e.g. one new game every 6 months) depending on the kind.

What I cannot buy on experience and hobbies:

  1. No paid app or paid services in free apps. No annual gym memberships.
  2. No 3C (computer, camera, cell phone) products except for the quota I will earn after accomplishing goals on my YouTube channels (e.g. 1000 subscribers).
  3. No kitchen appliance.

Now that I'm 2.5 months in this process, a little spoiler, I'm doing pretty well on most of the rules, but also having some more insight on some rules. I will update you more in detail on my progress at my 3 months mini milestone.