My Low-Buy/No-Buy New Year

No-buy‘, minimalism and shopping diets are the Big Blogger Buzzwords of 2019, and (for once) it’s a trend I can totally get behind. I think we can all use a refresher course in mindful consumerism, and while I’m not embarking on a journey of no shopping in 2019, I am laying down some solid ground rules for how I’ll approach it in the new year. A ‘low-buy,‘ if you will.

My goals with this low-buy are three-fold: 1.) cut back on those impulsive purchases that litter my home and bring me little to no longterm enjoyment; 2.) carefully consider the items I want most before I pull the trigger on a purchase to create collections of things I really love and appreciate; and 3.) stash away all the extra cash to save toward a big financial goal for 2019. The latter is my biggest motivation for tightening my pursestrings in the new year; it’s the bright light at the end of a tunnel of short-term sacrifice for longterm gain. (Bonus points if I break some bad spending habits along the way.)

Much like restrictive diets, I find that strict, zero-spending budgets don’t work for me in the long haul. Anything that feels punitive and all-or-nothing is hard to stick to for more than a month or two; whether we’re talking about cutting back on sugar or Sephora. For me, this low-buy isn’t about punishment: my mission is to strike a better balance between what I want and what I need, and become smarter about how I spend my money. I joined a Facebook group called Fewer, Better, a community of women embarking on 1-year shopping hiatuses, or “anyone simply interested in modern minimalism and decreasing their consumption.” It’s full of great tips, recommendations and motivation to stay on track with your spending goals, and after reading through many women’s personal guidelines for how they plan to tackle a no-buy/low-buy 2019, I made a list of my own.

  1. No new books until I read at least 10 from my current collection of unread stacks. (I have so many books, y’all!) Exceptions: my Book of the Month pick and my monthly Audible credit. I’ll keep a list of new titles I want to read and either, 1.) try the library; 2.) organize a book swap with a bookworm friend; or 3.) find it at the used bookstore.
  2. One fresh beauty buy per month. This will scratch my itch for trying new makeup and skin care, and make me think about what I really want to add to my collection instead of experimenting with all the things. I’m not putting a budget on this item, but instead, thinking of it as a #treatyoself opportunity: if I want to go wild on a Tom Ford eyeshadow palette or splurge on a luxe Pat McGrath lipstick, it’s all free game; but it’s one and done each month. (My January pick was the Violette Fr x Estee Lauder La Dangereuse ‘Blue Dahlia’ eye shadow palette.)
  3. After my monthly beauty pick above, it’s one in/one out in skin care, makeup, body and hair care. This is all about using what I have, and only repurchasing a product after I’ve completely finished it and I don’t have anything comparable in my collection to replace it. For example: I’m close to polishing off my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, but I have a full tube of It Cosmetics CC+ Cream, so I won’t need a new tinted moisturizer with SPF until the latter is gone, but if I finish the bottle of my most-loved liquid foundation, I’ll buy a fresh one; or, I have a handful of nude lip liners and won’t buy another until I’m down to the nub of the last one. I honestly have so much makeup in my collection right now, I don’t foresee needing to buy many replacements, but we’ll see how it goes when I stop constantly adding new products in the mix and just use what I have.
  4. One new addition to my closet per month for at least six months; whether it’s a new pair of shoes, denim, a handbag, an item of clothing, an accessory… you get it. I thought about doing a strict no-buy in the wardrobe department for the first quarter of the year, but again, I want to stick to this for the long-haul and being super restrictive may be discouraging and frustrating (know thyself). Exceptions: gift cards and retailer loyalty points (i.e., the unspent LOFT rewards that I need to cash in before they expire!) and everyday basics, like my favorite $8 t-shirts, that may need replacing after lots of wear. I’d love to carry this through the entire year, but we’ll see how I do for the first half and go from there.

To keep myself accountable and keep you all updated on my progress, I plan to share a monthly update that features any beauty products I finished, if/what I replaced them with, and my fresh beauty buy and style pick of the month. I also hope to share monthly reading roundups with you to share book reviews and recommendations, inspired by Grace’s Book Club. And if I can remember to take photos in the mornings, I’ll bring back Style Files to share how I remix all the pieces in my closet instead of constantly wanting something new.

After feeling pretty stagnant creatively in this space for the last year, I’m really excited about creating lots of new blog content based around less-is-more, responsible consumption, and “fewer, better” things. I hope you’ll follow along, and if you’re thinking about tackling a no-buy/low-buy new year, let’s kick off a chat in the comments!

Popular Posts

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 2.19.19
    Indi said:

    What a great plan! Can’t wait to hear the updates! I love the idea to read more in your own book collection before buying another book – I own a lot of books that I started and never finished!

  2. 1.22.19

    Great gameplan, good luck!

  3. 1.18.19
    Annie said:

    the BEST way to track your books is the app & website, Goodreads! it’s so fun to track your books & provides SUCH a sense of accomplishment when you can mark a book as “Finished.” Be warned: its addicting

    • 1.19.19

      I’ve had a Goodreads account for years but I’m TERRIBLE at updating it! I love, love, love reading other people’s book reviews there. Thank you for the reminder to use it, Annie!

    • 7.26.19
      Elizabeth said:

      I read/audiobook The Year of Less and felt inspired to do the same. I have been a shopaholic for many years and hate myself for it. It’s a vicious cycle. I want to make better choices. Thank you for leading the way

  4. 1.17.19
    Julie said:

    Love this! I just finished a year of less by Cait Flanders. You might borrow a copy from the library as your inspiration to keep going. Oh and I’m so excited by more blog content!

    • 1.17.19

      Thank you, Julie! I’m putting ‘a year of less’ on my library wishlist. And I’m always so appreciative of your support.

  5. 1.17.19
    Liz said:

    LOVE that you’re doing this. I’m trying something similar this year (haven’t fully fleshed out the parameters, but I haven’t bought anything this year so I still have options). I used to read fashion bloggers for inspiration and to keep up with trends, but I’ve been so annoyed lately by all the product pushing. I honestly do not need any more clothes/shoes, but I still want to be inspired! Thank you so much.

    • 1.17.19

      Thank you, Liz! This comment gave me the warm-and-fuzzies and I really appreciate the support. Best of luck with your low-buy year!

  6. 1.17.19
    Carolina Jenkins said:

    KEIRA,you are a busy lady ,busy doing some outstanding things . Well you have a great day by the way if you see Spring down your way ,please send it to South Carolina .Have a great day
    Blessings Carolina Jenkins

  7. 1.17.19

    I love this so much and I’m taking lots of pages out of your book this year! I need to be better about my spending habits, for sure.

    • 1.17.19

      Thanks, Kayla! Let’s do some book swaps this year! :)

  8. 1.17.19

    This is exciting! I truly believe that focusing your buying dollars on things you love instead of just buying a bunch of stuff is good in so many ways- reduces clutter, leaves you surrounded by things that make you feel good (Oh, I bought this necklace on that great trip with my bestie! and so on…), and definitely helps for saving goals. As a fellow bibliophile I have found that the library is my best friend. I make regular trips and can even request books they do not have in their collection- they do interlibrary swaps or sometimes even purchase titles to add to their own collection- win, win! It’s also a great resource for movies. To help motivate you even more, you may want to add “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline to your reading list. It’s a real eye opener on consumerism.
    Good Luck!

    • 1.17.19
      Christina said:

      That is a fantastic book; it inspired me to completely revamp my approach to building my wardrobe.

    • 1.17.19

      Thank you so much, Erin! You totally nailed it with what you said about focusing your buying dollars; I’m so guilty of just dropping small amounts of cash willy-nilly and at the end of the month thinking, “I could’ve done so much more with that money!” And I love the idea of buying fewer things so you can tie the purchase experience to something sentimental and special, like you mentioned.

      I’m putting that book on my library wish list! Julie also recommended ‘the year of less’ by Cait Flanders upthread. I watched a documentary on Netflix a few years ago called ‘The True Cost’ that really made me reevaluate my habits around fast fashion and consumerism, too.

  9. 1.17.19
    Logan said:

    Oh my goodness, I love your list of ideas. I plan on going through all of my clothes this weekend (we’re getting a massive snow storm in New England so it’s the perfect time). I’m hoping to see what I have and really cut back on my clothing consumption to quality pieces.

    Xo Logan

    • 1.17.19

      I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a snowed-in weekend than tackling a big closet purge/organization. I did it several years ago on a holiday weekend and donated more than 50% of everything I had, and it was honestly cathartic. (

      I find it really helps me to keep a wishlist of things I want to add to my wardrobe so that I can purchase things thoughtfully and create a closet of items that mix and match really well together.

      Best of luck on your closet project, Logan!