My Unplanned Year 5: No Shopping

During my unplanned year, I’ve decided to go on a shopping cleanse, meaning I won’t shop for an entire year. My goals are to a) appreciate what I already have, b) break the cycle of “I see/I want/I buy”, and c) save money. 


Living in L.A. with an Amazon Prime account, EVERYTHING is only a click away. I noticed how often I would think we “needed” something (like a “vegetable spiralizer”) and then would immediately order it on Amazon. Or I would get an email about an amazing sale at a favorite store, and before long, have $200 worth of items in my cart. This year though, I’ve been craving simplicity and that extends to a reduction in physical stuff.

I also made this realization thanks to “Buxfer” – an online program that uploads your purchases, and then you create categories to see where your money is going. Let’s just say when I added up a few months of the “Kailea Shopping” category, it was MUCH more than I would have estimated. Taking a brutally honest look at my spending habits helped me figure out where I could be saving more.

My parents say it’s less about how much you make, and more about how much you don’t spend, so I figure I can support our savings goal a lot by simply spending less this year. My “No Shopping” cleanse extends to all non-essentials, as well as all personal shopping. If I do need to buy something (i.e. new running shoes) I will use money from the “Extra” category described below.


I’m 4 months in and these are the steps I’ve taken that have helped so far:

  1. Unsubscribed (or labeled as Junk) all emails from stores. This helped me remove the temptation – out of sight, out of mind.
  2. Avoid Known Traps – i.e. the mall, or stores/websites I know will make me want to shop!
  3. Change Mindset – I don’t usually choose “cold turkey” approaches, but in this case, it’s been helpful. The decision to NOT shop has already been made, so I don’t need to internally battle with myself or try to justify anything.
  4. No Amazon Prime – I didn’t renew our Prime account. The cost of shipping is enough of a deterrent to break my old habit.
  5. Use ALL Products – Before I buy a new product (i.e. shampoo), I take a thorough inventory to make sure we don’t have a partial bottle I can use up instead.
  6. Weekly Cash Envelope – I give myself a weekly allowance and I use it for all purchases that can be made in cash (see below).
  7. “Extra” Envelope – If any money is left at the end of the week, I add to it this envelope, then I can use it for bigger purchases (ex: hair cut). Not only does this help me to spend less on a weekly basis, but delaying gratification makes me appreciate what I’m saving for more.

Our bills are paid online, so our cash envelope is used for:

  • Groceries
  • Gas/Transportation
  • Activities (i.e. going to a movie, restaurant, comedy show)
  • Household Misc. (i.e. laundry detergent, batteries, sponges, shampoo, etc.)


Overall, not shopping has been easier than I expected. It has made me feel more appreciative of the things I do have, and I feel like I am regaining a sense of control around not buying something just because I like it. Using cash instead of my credit/debit card has helped me become more aware of where my money is going, and how much I have to spend each week. “Browsing” online is a definite danger zone, and I have noticed myself daydreaming about new ankle boots BUT I’M STAYING STRONG.

Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading!

❤ Kailea

4 thoughts on “My Unplanned Year 5: No Shopping

  1. Awesome!!! And so inspiring, thanks for sharing!
    I’ve just started (three weeks ago) having a weekly grocery cash envelope (with a set budget) and I cannot believe how much it’s changed my spending habits. I’m putting leftover money from the week in a vacation envelope and when we have $500, we’re taking a vacation! Motivating, for sure!!
    Hmm, I may take your idea and stop all non-essential purchases so we can get to that vacation faster…. ^_^


  2. It’s so cool that you don’t shop for a year! I heard from a friend who is doing the same – he finds it easy. I just find it must be real challengingly at first to not buy that hot new jeans you see window shopping or whatsoever.. However, this post inspires me to give it a try!:) Selly


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