Coronavirus - Get the latest updates and resources from MyWalletHero - Find out more.
Advertiser Disclosure

‘No-Buy January’: the merits of a financial detox

‘No-Buy January’: the merits of a financial detox
Image source: Getty Images


Lots of us will have heard of dry January: a pledge to not drink alcohol for the entire month of January. But have you ever considered doing ‘No-Buy January’? With the spending hangover from Christmas, it could be the perfect time to give your finances a detox.

How much do Brits spend online?

It’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has turned us into a nation of online shoppers. Recent research from Merchant Machine found that as a nation, we spend an average of £3,432 shopping online – around 15% of our annual incomes.

That is a sizeable amount, and it’s no surprise that Amazon.co.uk is where most of us head to. If you didn’t use and abuse your Amazon Prime membership in the past 12 months, where were you?

What is No-Buy January?

It’s kind of what it says on the tin. Doing No-Buy January means that you try not to spend money on anything but the essentials for the month of January.

That means stepping away from the winter sales and the start-of-year little pick me up. Having just come out the other side of Christmas, you probably have new things to keep you happy for a while anyway. So January could be the perfect time to cut back on your spending.

With No-Buy January, you get to dictate your own dos and don’ts. So, for example, your key rules could be no new clothes, make-up, home decor items or unnecessary toiletries for the entire month.

In normal circumstances, the no-buy rule could extend to social activities as well. But considering we aren’t doing much of that at the moment, you have already put yourself in a great position to save money.

How much could I save?

The beauty of No-Buy January is that it not only rebalances your habits when it comes to spending, but it could also save you a chunk of money.

If you accept you spend around 15% of your salary on online shopping, then working on an average monthly salary of £2,000, you could potentially save around £300 just through cutting your online spend. That is before you add in the money you could save on other discretionary spending, such as meals out or travel.

What could I do with the money I save?

If you stick to No-Buy January, then you could save yourself hundreds of pounds in just one month.

Rather than just going on a big spending splurge in February, maybe consider what positive impact this money could have on your financial situation.

First things first, if you have any outstanding credit card debt, it is always worth trying to pay this off before anything else. Unpaid credit card balances can quickly accrue interest charges, so paying off a chunk can have a positive impact.

If you have credit card debt, then maybe this is the time to build up your savings pot. As a newbie saver, consider an easy access savings account to start off with. This type of account means you can access your money at any time, so if an emergency expense crops up, you are covered.

However, if you already have your emergency savings stash, you could consider growing your No-Buy January money pot through an online share dealing account. This is one way to step into the world of investing, where it is easy to get a portfolio up and running – and often cheap.

If you are ok with a certain level of risk and don’t need to instantly access your money, then share dealing could grow your money in the long-run.

Join our mailing list

If you’re looking for more ways to make your money work for you, why not sign up for MyWalletHero’s email newsletter? You’ll receive our team’s top money-saving tips, lifestyle hacks and handy personal finance ‘must-knows’ – delivered straight to your inbox…

Just enter your email address below to sign up now:

By checking this box and submitting your email address, you agree to MyWalletHero sending you emails with money tips, along with details of products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from future emails at any time. You also consent to us processing your personal data in line with our privacy policy, and our cookie statement. For more information, including how we collect, store, and handle personal data, please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.


Some offers on MyWalletHero are from our partners — it’s how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our ratings? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our rating will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.