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In this episode, one woman walks us throw her "low-buy" challenge that's going to help her pay off her debt by the end of 2021.

Thanks to Wealthfront for sponsoring today’s video! Open up a Wealthfront investment account today through my link and get your first $5,000 managed for free: https://invest.wealthfront.com/tfd

Through weekly video essays, "Making It Work" showcases how *real* people have upgraded their personal or financial lives in some meaningful way. Making your life work for you doesn't mean getting rich just for the sake of it. It means making the most of what you have to build a life you love, both in your present and in your future. And while managing money is a crucial life skill for everyone, there's no one "right way" to go about it — you have to figure out what works best for *you,* full stop.

Based on an article by Adriana Vaca: https://thefinancialdiet.com/10-low-buy-rules-im-following-this-year-to-be-debt-free-by-december/

Video by Grace Lee
https://www.youtube.com/c/WhatsSoGreatAboutThat
https://twitter.com/whatssograce

Adriana's Budget Bitch template: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G3d9VotxJlN-JijlAcWRofmt8aPGiWUB/view

The Financial Diet site:
http://www.thefinancialdiet.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefinancialdiet
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TFDiet
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thefinancialdiet/?hl=en
Over the past few years, I've been exploring and educating myself on the topics of sustainable living, minimalism, and personal finance.

These themes go hand in hand with the term "eco-minimalism," coined by YouTuber Shelbizleee. Essentially, it's a minimalist lifestyle with the intention of sustainability at the forefront.

Paired with my chosen financial alter ego, Budget Bitch, eco-minimalism has allowed me to reconsider my relationship to materialism and discover what is worth my coin. That brings us to the low-buy year. It's been done before.

In fact, some participate in a no-buy idea. And now I'm taking my go at it. I've had little success with low-buy and no-buy week slash month trials in the past, but after being unemployed last year and cutting down to bare minimums, I'm more sure of what's necessary to live contently.

Another reason I'm doing this-- I want to be debt free by 2022. I've got about $18K left across student loans and my car loan. Being debt free feels very possible with my $43K income, but I also want to challenge myself and my spending habits.

Here are the rules I set for my 2021 low-buy year. One, create a budget. Have a structured, not strict, budget.

For someone that's been referring to herself as Budget Bitch for the past four years, I've never truly sat down and made a thorough budget. Now that I finally have a stable income, I feel motivated to do it. You can find a download link to my spreadsheet in the description of this video.

Two, spend with purpose. I put my money where my mouth is. I'll be supporting local, small, and sustainable.

If I'm going to be spending money, I might as well invest in a quality product from a company with ethical work practices. Three, wait on big purchases. Anything over $50 can wait at least a month.

This doesn't include necessary expenses like car maintenance, groceries, et cetera, more so items that I have my eye on but are not a need, i.e. a velvet armchair for my work-from-home office or an electronic food compost I've been obsessively researching. If, after those 30 days, I'm still wanting it, I'll consider a purchase. Four, declutter periodically.

Resell items if possible. Dispose responsibly. When it comes to minimalism, it's not just about keeping things you don't love from coming into your house.

It's also about letting go. If something doesn't spark joy anymore, I'll go through a list of ways to get rid of items responsibly-- try to sell it, see if someone I know might want it, find out if I can reuse, recycle, or compost, and donate as a last resort. Five, don't want to?

Don't spend on it. I do not give into events or activities I'm not interested in or buy something just to fit in. I recently said no to joining a Bachelor fantasy league.

I don't watch the show and don't care for the content. Saying yes would be dedicating one-plus hours a week and however much money my friends are putting down. I didn't stay in a group chat long enough to see.

Will I feel a bit left out? Maybe, but I'd rather spend that time and money elsewhere. Six, use gift cards responsibly, when needed, not desired.

Does anyone else get a gift card and immediately start cruising the site to see what you can score? I'll be waiting out that initial urge to shop until I'm needing or really wanting something. Just because I didn't spend my personal money on it, doesn't mean that I shouldn't treat it as if I had.

Seven, low buy clothing-- although I have a good sense of my style and a well-stocked wardrobe, I still like to throw a new piece into the mix every once in a while. But with the current state of things and with a 100% remote job, I won't be dressing up for anything besides Zoom Y nights for a while. If I do feel like I want to get a little something, I'll shop second hand and sustainable.

Eight, replacements, beauty slash toiletries-- last year, I interned for a major beauty retailer and received a plethora of makeup, skin care, and hair products. Though I have already filtered through this and given the things I don't want to friends and family, I still have a small mountain of products to work through. I'll just be replacing my tried-and-true products when the time comes, though we hope they never will.

Nine, no buy home decor-- although I do love scrolling through home inspiration, I have enough already to keep me interested for a while. I've taken to minimally decorating and placing some pieces in storage. Then, when I want a bit of a refresh, I'll swap them out.

My exceptions-- fresh flowers, plants-- only if they're on my dream plant list-- and art directly from the artist. 10, give graciously. Gift and donate as usual. Finally, just because I'm doing a low-buy year, doesn't mean I'm skimping on the gifts and donations.

I'll be gifting thoughtfully and donating to organizations