No Buy 2021 Challenge: January Update

Hi all! I am back with an update on my ‘No Buy 2021 Challenge. I know I’ve just posted a blog post about this recently (click here to read) but actually I’ve been on-boarding this challenge since the beginning of January.

If I have 1 word to describe how I felt about this ‘No Buy Challenge’ in January, that word would be EASY. I chose that word because thankfully I didn’t have to curb any urge of impulse-buying. I think this is because I was spending like a crazy person in December 2020 due to buying Christmas presents for family & close friends. It was Carmen’s first ever Christmas too! That’s why I went a little overboard with our Christmas celebration last year. But I didn’t regret any of the purchases made because buying gifts and gifting them to my loved ones give me joy.

So here’s the breakdown of my spending for January 2021!

Finalized stats for my total spending in January
  • All of my total spending in January are essentials i.e bills, grocerries, not buying any from the ‘WANTS’ side of my brain. I’ve set that my monthly spending would be RM1,000 monthly and I’ve spent below budget. So that’s a WIN!
  • However, I went overbudget for food delivery ie. Food Panda & Grab Food. Allocation set for this is RM50 but I overspent and it is RM70.80. Maybe my budget for food delivery is too low? I’m not sure but I’m still going to give this budget of RM50 a try for February. Trial and error is KEY in building my sustainable budget.
  • As for my groceries budget, I spent lower than the set budget of RM300. Since I’m still living with my parents, my parents and I will stock up food for our pantry. So I don’t really have to fork out much for this category.
  • I am responsible to buy for Carmen’s clothing & some other things that only need to be bought occasionally. So for January, I did not buy anything for Carmen as my husband will be the one who stock up Carmen’s essentials like diapers, her ointments.
  • When it comes to Netflix subscription, I used to subscribe only when I need to watch shows from my bedroom. After a month, I would normally unsubscribe again because we actually have LongTV (android TV box) at home and it has all the shows from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV. Basically, LongTV has it all. But my sister asked me if I want to be included in her subscription & we would share the subscription fees. I decided to be included so that my sister won’t have to cover the subscription of 4 screen package on her own. So now, I can watch Netflix if I’m Beaufort or in my bedroom. It is cheaper too, compared to ‘1 screen package’ that I normally pay for. So I put this expenses under the entertainment category.

Yay of the Month

Besides spending less than my monthly budget, I’ve also saved a lot too! All thanks to this instagrammer I’ve followed who is a senior of my colleague, Tantini which she initiated this #LOABossMoneyChallenge. It’s an easy way to save money whereby she will post on her Instagram story daily on the amount that needs to be saved. So all of us who are on board of this money saving challenge will save the amount mentioned DAILY.

January in Overall

I never thought that I would succeed in the 1st month of this ‘No Buy Challenge’. I was expecting I will fall into temptation and buy things but am proud to say, this girl is a strong headed! I even uninstalled all the shopping app like Zalora, Lazada, Hermo. However I still keep my Shopee and Cashback app for window shopping or when to buy things that I need. I’ve also added another investment portfolio. Previously I only invested in Gold and now I have invested with a new robo – advisor. I am so terribly new in investment but I have started to learn a thing or 2 about it. I’m hoping that I am consistent in my investment to let my money grow passively. Maybe I would do a blog post about it mid-year on my progress.

I have a feeling that February is going to be a tough one as it is CNY and I might spend extra on groceries. Regardless we are facing the MCO 2.0, CNY feast is still ON!

That’s all for this January update and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Bye Buy!

No Buy Challenge 2021

2020 was a year of financial uncertainty for me. Even though I achieved my savings goal of 10k saved from 2017 – 2020, but I had to go through a salary cut! When I was informed with this information, I was heartbroken! The employer had to do the 50% pay cut because COVID-19 hit us really hard this time. 50% pay cut is no fun, I had to cut down expenses and I really have to be strict with my purchases.

The WHYs

‘No Buy Year 2021’ needs to happen! I need to stop one of my very bad habits, which is impulse buying. I buy so many stuffs that I ended up not using or clothes that I end up not wearing. Most importantly, I need to slow down on the purchase of my ultimate ‘kryptonite’, that is CRYSTALS!

I’ve read quite a few blog posts on doing the ‘No Buy’ movement and I really like this Malaysian blogger ‘figuring(g)itout’ who’s successfully achieved her ‘No Buy 2020’. Even though she did face some tiny hiccups along her ‘no buy’ journey but she achieved her saving goals during the pandemic. Her sharing on her journey were so impactful to me. Hence, for my ‘No Buy 2021’ I decided to follow her method.

The HOWs

This is how I’m going to make my 2021 better, I would really have to fight with all my might when it comes to buying impulsely and I need to justify on each of my purchase. This justification will be done monthly with each month will have its own update in a blog post form. I might want to vlog about it too but I’ll see if I can manage.

For figuringgit’s out methods, she listed down on the categories of things that she can and can’t buy. This list of categories is an important guideline to help me to stay on course in terms of what I can add to cart. I will follow her list 100% but I had to delete some and add 1 category, which is Carmen’s stuff. It’s because there might be some things that I must buy or had to spend money for Carmen.

Things I can’t buy

  1. Apparel and clothing
    Absolute no unless every piece in the same category tear apart and the category is necessary for my life. Simple example, undergarments.
  2. Books
    Absolute no for physical books.
  3. Electronic devices and accessories
    Absolute no unless necessary items go kaput. Example, earphone.
  4. Supplements
    Absolute no unless advised by doctor (background: I self-prescribed myself few supplements (93% probability that I don’t even need them) which end up going past their expiration dates as I fail to take them as recommended). Except for Vit-C and Folic Acid
  5. Stationery and notebooks
    Absolute no.
  6. Home decor
    Absolute no.
  7. Knickknacks
    Absolute no.
  8. Crystals (ultimate KRYPTONITE) – NO!

Another thing to make this ‘no buy’ even more interesting, the blogger mentioned that she will add features to this from time to time. And whenever she had the urge to buy things from the categories above, she will transfer the money as per the price to another savings account to track how much money that could’ve gone to waste. So much fun, isn’t it? I will definitely do the same thing.

Things I can buy / spend on / paying for

  1. Health – I’ll not compromise my health for money. I’ll see the doctors when I need to but let’s pray for a healthy year.
  2. Carmen’s Stuff – All things that are essential for Carmen like clothes, bottles, teats, gears but will be under a budget.
  3. Monthly bills – I’ll pay only for the fixed bills that I currently have, will neither upgrade nor add anything new.
  4. Groceries and food– I’ll keep this under strict budget.
  5. Skincare and makeup – I’ve pretty much have my skincare and makeup routine figured out so I’ll maintain that and the products that I use. I will only buy when they run out. No new item or if I had to change, I will choose products that have pretty much the same value.
  6. Family / gifts / donations– Being stingy is not the aim of this year.
  7. Travel / social / dates / activities – I still want to be happy, will not compromise this but will keep it under strict budget.

Things I may (but preferably not) buy

There are also these other things that are not necessary and I want to avoid buying them, but most probably I would have to get them. I’ll just put them under my May-or-May-Not-Buy List:-

  1. Birthday gift for myself – I usually will buy something high price item for myself on my birthday but will put this thought on hold.
  2. E-books or Audiobooks – I currently like reading books about self-help, finance and productivity. So I might buy them but only after I finished reading then I will purchase a new one.
  3. Wardrobe organization for mine and Carmen’s – I’m still figuring out on how to organize my clothes and Carmen’s the best way possible with a very low budget. Still looking for inspiration on Pinterest and Shopee.

If you really want to join in the journey of ‘no buy’, you have to read figuringgitout’s blogposts to have an idea what she had to go through in completing the challenge!

So there goes my ‘no buy’ plan for 2021. I hope I will succeed and I get to erase my bad habit of impulse buying. Wish me luck!!


Love, Jess x