Hello, my name is Serein and I have a shopping problem. Honestly I have a spending problem in general. Therefore I've decided to embark on my no buy year. Yes, a no buy. This goes beyond beauty and fashion for me. My relationship with shopping is unhealthy and my mindset with money has to change. Yup, it's time to grow up and be an adult. Figure out where all my money is going and what I truly can afford. You can watch very detailed video on my no buy here.

I've decided to write this blog post to give you a quick rundown and easy reference point of all my rules and goals for my no buy year 2019. Like I mention in the video the rules and goals are set for the first fiscal quarter of 2019. I'll be evaluating how the first three months go and adjusting each quarter.


A simple and self-explanatory list of reasons why I want and need to do a no buy year.

  • I retail therapy shop too much
  • I justify shopping because of YouTube
  • I feel like I have to have more if I want to be happy
  • There are new products that I need to get to and test first.
  • I’d like to save some money, pay-off debt, and save for larger purchases that I’ve been wanting.
  • I spend without thinking for instant gratification instead of thinking of why I feel the need to buy something.
no buy year 2019 Serein Wu
no buy year 2019 Serein Wu


I will be starting off my no buy from January 1st, 2019 thru March 31st, 2019 with the exception of a planned capsule wardrobe shop either the last week of March or the first week of April. Here are my rules for my first three months.

  • No impulse purchases at all (if I want something, I have to come back to it after thinking about it for a week)
  • Add wants to a wish list, cannot purchase items off this list!
  • No beauty purchases, unless completely out of that item.
  • No fashion purchases, unless absolutely necessary for work or travel. Example, extreme climates, but borrow if possible.
  • If I buy anything I must have 5 other uses/occasions for the item.
  • Before buying, see if I can borrow or find it thrifting first.
  • Anything new added to our home must be functional or bring long term pleasure and joy.
  • I can buy meaningful gifts for friends and family for special occasions.
  • Food and drink with friends while at the establishment is okay. Key is quality time.


Obviously I need to still pay my bills like insurance, rent, groceries, etc. Here are some other things I'm allowed to spend money on.

  • Experiences within reason (show tickets, events, etc.)
  • Food out with friends
  • Minimal work expenses (make sure it's an actual work expense, not a justification)


Reasons for why I'd like to do a no buy and what my hopes are at the end. My main goal through this journey is to develop a healthier relationship with hopping and noticing when It's an emotional impulse. I struggle with depression and anxiety, shopping has become a coping mechanism and quick bandaid for when I'm starting to feel bad about myself.

Along with this main goal, here are a few more:

  • Pay off debt or make a good dent at it.
  • Save $6,000 over the course of 3 months
  • Saved money to purchase a new camera and iPad both for work.
  • Use up products I enjoy and love.
  • Get rid of products I don’t love immediately.


Two women really inspired me to take control of my spending on YouTube. Hannah was my biggest inspiration which led me to Kelly. I also really enjoy watching The Financial Diet for finance tips, but never really took action till now. They also have an amazing blog with tons of contributors.


Many of you have reached out with your own stories about your relationship with shopping and finances. Thank you for this.

I thought I was alone in my feelings and habits towards shopping. So much of my struggle with spending comes from embarrassment. It's very emotional and at times completely demoralizing. Hope that following me along on this journey will motivate and inspire you on your own. Because let's face it if someone like me can do it, anyone can.

Will you be doing a no buy this year? What are some of your financial goals either way?



no buy year 2019 pinterest


  1. April 3, 2019 / 4:15 am

    She is simply excessively charming and I cherish her fashion sense. I concur with her — I begin with my jeans and assemble my outfit around it. Extraordinary post!!

  2. January 19, 2019 / 5:49 am

    I totally agree this is a good idea! And especially with fast fashion these days, it is so crucial with the enviroment. I support investing in time pieces that last longer.

    Dessy Markova |

  3. January 18, 2019 / 10:02 am

    Exciting! I’m on a beauty low-buy this year, as I just kind of knew I wouldn’t be able to do a no-buy and didn’t want to set up myself for failure! It’s really cool how many people are doing these sorts of challenges this year – hopefully we can all share tips and encourage each other 🙂

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    • Serein Wu
      January 30, 2019 / 10:55 pm

      I think we all are realizing it is not sustainable to be buying the way we have been pressured to do so. I’m excited to see this shift in the industry and community.

  4. January 11, 2019 / 10:17 am

    This is actually a good idea. I did a no-buy last year, started in September, I set my\\self 3 months. But I only lasted 2 months and a half. Regardless, it feels satisfying and I saved some money. This year I decided on low-buy instead, just like you listed I will only buy necessary stuff and no impulse buy, but this time I decided I will still splurge once a month. Although I set a budget for my splurge too unlike before which feels like has no limit (^^’,) a financial guru in my country said, “save but don’t deprive yourself” so I am following his advice 🙂

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

    • Serein Wu
      January 17, 2019 / 2:11 pm

      I think when we have set guide lines it helps us all reach our goals! Love the quote “save, but don’t deprive yourself”


  5. Courtney
    January 8, 2019 / 10:17 am

    I’m usually pretty conscious of what I spend. We live in a one income family, but that works since we have a 6 year old. I’ve only recently discovered a love for makeup and skincare (within the last 2 years or so!) and every time a new product comes out, I want to try it. I usually don’t get to because of finances, but my goal this year is to make a list of products I actually want to try for the benefits of it. I also want to declutter my makeup stash and keep track of my empties so I can see what I actually love.

    • Serein Wu
      January 9, 2019 / 2:45 pm

      These are some great goals Courtney. I think it’s better to love what you have and use things up before trying new items on your wish list.


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