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Buyer’s remorse is the real deal.

Main points:

  • A “do not buy” list can help you prioritize your spending and identify products or companies you want to avoid.
  • The great things to add to your list are the things you tend to regret buying.
  • You can use your list to make more informed decisions about where your money is spent by choosing to add brands and companies with questionable business practices.

Have you ever gone home and thought to yourself? “Why did I just buy this?”

Yes, me too.

That’s what the No Buy list is for. It’s for all those things you know you really should stop buying, whether it’s for your finances or even your peace of mind.

Maybe you already have 12 of them, but just keep buying them. Maybe you feel pressured to buy it, but you’re tired of it. Maybe you ended up spending your money on a bad company.

Any and all of these are great reasons to make a 2023 No Buy List.

Enough is enough

A big reason I decided to make a No Buy list this year was to organize my hobby closet for the winter. I have many hobbies. This means I also have a lot of hobbies supplies. In fact, at this point it’s almost more appropriate to say that my real hobby is collecting hobby supplies.

In 2023, however, I will do my best to stop the cycle. I’ve put hobby supplies on my No Buy list for the year. My goal is to use up the supplies I already have, not just add to the piles.

Many people have something like this. The thing that inexplicably multiplies every time you come home from the store. Maybe it’s sneakers or clothes. Perhaps you have piles of unread books or video games that you never finished.

For my friend, it’s blankets and throws. They’re ready for the next ice age, but still find some nice throws to add to the collection. (Though to be fair, most of us have that weirdly overflowing linen closet. I don’t even know where those towels come from.)

Whatever it is, make 2023 the year you finally use it. and: stop buying more.

Allow yourself to say “No”

In some cases, we have what we keep buying because we believe we need or must have it. This happens a lot with societal pressures, such as when we have to upgrade electronics that still work well.

But we also tend to put pressure on ourselves.

Yes, kale is good for you. But if you don’t actually like it, why keep buying it only to throw it out when it gets slimy in your crisper? You feel bad for letting it go and so does your wallet.

It is very unlikely that you will suddenly decide. “Hey, this thing I don’t like is actually great now that I’ve bought it for the 10th time.” Allow yourself to simply stop buying things you don’t want or need.

Put your money where your mouth is

The heart of the no-buy list is to increase your awareness of where your money is going. This includes being aware of the impact of your money after you spend it.

For example, a big trend in the last few years on the No Buy list is that people have decided they are done buying drinks in plastic bottles. If enough people stop buying plastic bottles, companies will change their practices. Money talks.

Similarly, you may decide to add entire brands or companies to your No Buy list. Maybe you’ve done some research on Nestle and are now choosing to avoid their products (you’re welcome, friend!). Or maybe you’ve decided this is the year you finally cut the cord on Amazon.

Change the conversation

Our society has become highly commercialized. Half of what we talk about seems to be the last thing we bought or plan to buy.

Adopting a “no buy” list changes the conversation in the best way.

Talk about your hobby accomplishments, not your hobby purchases. Chat about that great carrot recipe instead of lamenting over kale. Cheer on your favorite small brand instead of ethically questionable conglomerate junk.

What we do with our money matters in every way.

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