No Buy Year: a fail

I’m starting to consider books an “essential” in my life. What do you think?

December of 2019 I set out to complete a challenge that would test my strength as a consumer in a capitalist society — a no buy year

In the beginning, I was determined and thought of going without buying non-essential items a piece of cake… a walk in a park perhaps. It wasn’t until the Fall and Winter months rolled around that my efforts started to go down hill. 

It wasn’t that I completely threw in the towel and went on a shopping spree; it was more like small acts that eventually led me down a road of completely forgetting I was even doing a challenge. 

A thrifted shirt here, a new book there, the no buy year was tucked away from the forefront of my mind, but instead of beating myself up about not completing the challenge, I took the opportunity to look back and praise my efforts. 

One thing that was learned during this challenge was that it’s possible to go without consuming non-essentials, but deprivation of the things that bring you joy (especially in the midst of a global crisis) is hell. 

This isn’t to say I didn’t find joy in non-material ventures such as spending time with family, rather, the act of intentionally welcoming in new items helped add to that pre-existing joy.

I am a huge book reader. I can’t go more than two days without reading a book because I’ll feel like something is missing and due to the pandemic, going to libraries is a no-go so I had a choice: break my no buy year and purchase new books or go insane. Luckily I chose the former. 

All that to say, instead of looking at my failure as.. well, a failure, I’m looking at it as a learning experience — a very valuable one at that. 

I went a full 8 months which is something to acknowledge. I learned what things I consider essential and non-essential and how important some non-essentials are to me. 


I encourage anyone looking for a challenge in 2021 to try a “No Buy Year”. It will stretch you and challenge you to evaluate the things in your life and help you gain another level of awareness that probably wasn’t there before. 

Feel free to share your experience with me. You can find me on instagram or via my contact page

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