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TBH I’m Starting a No-Buy Challenge Because I’m Horrible With Money

TBH is a new installment in which Editor, Julia Gigis, gets real about the typical and sometimes taboo struggles of college life.

When I had my fingers crossed for a three dollar transaction to go through, that’s when I knew I had a problem.

Last week, I dropped 80 dollars on a jacket “just because”. I didn’t even like the jacket and the only thing keeping me from returning it was the strict 7-day return policy. 

I had a closet full of clothes, but an empty stomach begging for anything other than a Taco Bell bean burrito. 

Growing up in a financially comfortable home, my parents never taught me about money so I was inherently bad at budgeting. 

Living in the modern age of social media, we are highly misinformed about what our early 20s are supposed to look like. Instagram influencers portray aesthetically perfect lives with brand new outfits, expensive accessories, and even luxurious ways of living that include SoulCycle and spontaneous trips to New York City. 

Because of social media, the “Keeping Up with the Joneses” mentality is stronger than ever. So why don’t I just go off the grid and delete my social media? Sigh, I wish I could but as a journalism student, it is part of my career to stay informed and keep a social media presence. 

But blaming my financial irresponsibility on social media is just an easy scapegoat. I could just as easily look up to the influencers that swear by a minimalistic or low-buy lifestyle. 

And that’s pretty much, exactly, what I’m going to do. 

Musician and Instagrammer, Katy Goodman, made her 2019 resolution to live by a “No-Buy Lifestyle”. The exception to the No-Buy lifestyle was bills, groceries, and the very occasional joy-sparking purchase. 

A No-Buy lifestyle sounds like a “zero to one hundred real quick” for a shopaholic like myself, but the mindset of surrendering materialism for experiences seems like a win to me. 


Here are my new rules that I’m going to experiment with for the next two months. 


No Impulse Buys

Impulse buying is my weakness – not to mention that’s where that 80 dollar jacket came from. My goal is to put any item I want on hold until the next day. If I still want it the next day, then it probably wasn’t an impulse buy.

No Unnecessary Social Eating

Just a PSA that you don’t have to buy a meal to sit in a restaurant with your friend who is splurging on a smoothie bowl.

No Trendy Skin Care

You don’t need that skincare with the Instagrammable packaging. All you need is some Cerave and warm water.

No Payday Purchases

If you haven’t heard the song “Just Got Paid” – you need to listen to it ASAP because it perfectly conveys my financial decisions. Seriously, I act like I’m the richest woman alive on my payday and then I eat crackers for the next two weeks.

Experiences Over Clothing

My major problem is emptying my bank account on clothing so when my friends ask me to go somewhere with them, I have to decline. But I know at the end of my life, I will look back on my memories rather than the likes I got on an Instagram picture featuring an expensive shirt.


My end goal is to become more financially responsible, start a savings account, and find happiness in non-material things, but I wouldn’t mind a finance magazine Editor-in-Chief with a sexy English accent becoming my boyfriend (Hugh Dancy, I’m looking at you). 


Julia Gigis is a Multimedia Journalism major at The University of Montevallo. She currently is a marketing intern for RFG Advisory and StrongHer Money. You probably know her as the girl that "dates without dating apps" on Tik Tok, generating over 6 million views and 59k+ followers. In her free time, Julia likes to brunch and take pretentious photos with lattes.
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