Connect with us

Business

More people make ‘no-buy year’ pledges as overspending or climate worries catch up with them

More people make ‘no-buy year’ pledges as overspending or climate worries catch up with them

Published

on

More people make 'no-buy year' pledges as overspending or climate worries catch up with them

A 35-year-old Brooklyn resident gave up buying new clothes. A 22-year old in San Diego swore off retail therapy at Target. A 26-year old in England banned carbonated drinks from her shopping list.

These three women, who don’t know each other, all started the year resolving to spend money only on necessary purchases, or what is popularly known as engaging in a no-buy challenge. The self-imposed rules of the challenge are simple: participants pledge to stop buying non-essential items, be they unneeded shoes, additional beauty products or other impulse buys for a set amount of time, usually 12 months.

What started several years ago as a blogged-about experiment in budgeting and mindful spending has become a popular trend on social media. A Reddit group where people share their experiences has 51,000 members. The challenge primarily gained popularity on TikTok, where some videos of users seeking to hold themselves accountable get hundreds of thousands of views.

Elysia Berman, a creative director who lives in Brooklyn, decided she needed to drastically change her spending habits after she accumulated a collection of vintage designer clothing and a five-figure credit card debt. Her no-buy pledge included no new clothes, getting makeup and hair products only after she finished the ones she had, and limiting social outings to low- or no-expense activities.

Advertisement

“Having this lifestyle adjustment, I was anticipating that it would make a huge difference in my ability to pay down my debt,” Berman said.

Talking about any personal financial struggles is difficult for most people, but Berman approached hers head-on by discussing her financial struggles with friends and family and then posting about these issues on social media. The latter action resulted in more exposure than she originally expected; she has over 60,000 followers on TikTok, where a video in which she displayed her empty skin and hair products received over 1 million views.

While the trend has been growing for some time, the beginning of 2024 provided another opportunity for people to gain back agency over their finances following the “doom spending” of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Courtney Alev, a consumer financial advocate for the personal finance company Credit Karma.

“It’s just people trying to reclaim what’s been a rampant cycle of overspending, to be able to get their financial situation back in order and be able to save money,” Alev said.

Not everyone electing to join the no-buy trend has debt. Amea Wadsworth, who moved back home to San Diego, California, after graduating college, wanted to use her first full-time job as a chance to save, both the environment and money for her future.

Advertisement

After returning to live with her mom, she began noticing how many things she had that took up space. Working for a sustainability app also has made her more aware of her personal contribution to the world’s mountains of waste.

“I’m tracking everything that I’m spending. I’m writing it all down,” said Wadsworth, who also writes down the times she wants to buy something but doesn’t. She reviews the entries at the end of the month to determine if her purchases were really necessary purchase or a response to a quick craving.

Mia Westrap, a PhD student from Southampton, England, also uses TikTok as a way to keep herself accountable during her no-buy year. Her goal is to save three months’ worth of rent, since she currently lives month-to-month. While Berman’s Achilles’ heel was fashion items, Westrap’s was food and beverages.

“I figured out that I was spending four figures on just carbonated drinks and Pepsi Max,” she said.

Since social activities like going out for dinner or drinks involve spending money, Westrap decided to put a pause on dating during her yearlong no-buy challenge.

Advertisement

“I don’t want to turn up to a date and expect them to pay for me,” she said. “And I also don’t want to get up to date and meet someone and be ‘Oh look, I make these TikToks about not spending any money and here I am,’”

Other no-spend participants give themselves some latitude. Wadsworth, for example, is not buying any physical items but does allow herself to occasionally eat out with friends and the cost of visiting her long-distance boyfriend.

Sabrina Pare, 31, of Detroit, Michigan, approached cutting back on purchases from an environmental perspective. A sustainable living aficionado with a large social media following, Pare decided to participate in the no-buy year as a way to limit her contribution to the world’s waste.

She began by decluttering her closet and then looked for environmentally friendly ways to build a minimalist wardrobe, like hosting a clothing swap and avoiding fashion trends. At every step, Pare brings her followers along by filming short videos and sharing tips.

“If you’re buying less, it’s better for the planet. Overconsumption, it’s such an issue in our society,” she said.

Advertisement

But just as social media can be used for accountability and support when participating in the no-buy year challenge, it’s also one of the reasons many overspend. Berman, for example, stopped following a lot of fashion influencers to reduce the urge to buy things.

Learning to avoid impulsive shopping takes rethinking your habits and becoming aware of your triggers, said Carrie Rattle, CEO of Behavioral Cents, a financial coaching company.

“(The challenge) does help you try to push back against that need for dopamine. Every time we shop, any of us shop, we get that little dopamine hit,” Rattle said.

While the challenge is meant to last for one year, people trying it say they are learning new techniques to help them avoid overspending in the future.

Westrap carries a bag big enough to hold something to read when she leaves her apartment so she won’t have an excuse to buy more books. Pare unsubscribed from newsletters that tempted her to buy clothes and skincare products. Berman dyed her hair back to its natural brown since salon appointments to keep the color bright blonde were costly.

Advertisement

“My consumer habits have changed so much through this,” Berman said. “Just because you see all the waste and you’re like, ‘Why is this necessary? Why buy a million little things when you can just buy one big thing, and it’s even better if it’s refillable.’”

After she makes a significant dent in the credit card debt, Berman hopes to start saving and investing. Wadsworth plans to focus on spending her money on experiences with her loves ones rather than material things. Pare hopes to pay off her student loans.

Wadsworth advises anyone who hears of the no-buy challenge and can’t imagine doing one to give it a try, even if it’s just for a month.

“They say that it sounds so hard and yeah, it sounded hard to me, too. But if it sounds so terrifying to you, it probably means that you need it,” she said.  

Advertisement

Business

Oil market likely to be in surplus next year, Morgan Stanley says

Oil market likely to be in surplus next year, Morgan Stanley says

Published

on

By

Oil market likely to be in surplus next year, Morgan Stanley says

The crude oil market is currently tight but next year will likely be in surplus, with Brent prices declining into the mid-to-high $70s range, Morgan Stanley said.

The tightness will hold for most of the third quarter, the bank said in a note dated on Friday, but equilibrium will return by the fourth quarter, “when seasonal demand tailwinds abate and both OPEC and non-OPEC supply return to growth.”

Three sources told Reuters last week that OPEC+ is unlikely to recommend changing the group’s output policy at a mini-ministerial meeting next month, leaving in place a plan to start unwinding one layer of oil output cuts from October.

Morgan Stanley said it expects OPEC and non-OPEC supply to grow by about 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2025, well ahead of demand growth.

Advertisement

Refinery runs are set to reach a peak in August this year, and unlikely to return to that level until July 2025, it said.

Morgan Stanley left its forecast for Brent crude prices for the third quarter of 2024 unchanged at $86 per barrel. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs also maintained its projection for the quarter at an average Brent price of $86 a barrel.

Brent crude prices on Monday were up 0.54% at $83.08 a barrel by 0535 GMT, and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 0.54% at $80.56. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Business

Asia stocks skid as China trims rates; Biden steps aside

Asia stocks skid as China trims rates; Biden steps aside

Published

on

By

Asia stocks skid as China trims rates; Biden steps aside

Asian shares slid anew on Monday, getting little lift from a surprise rate cut by China’s central bank, while Wall Street futures firmed in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to bow out of the election race.

The People’s Bank of China cut short-term rates by 10 basis points, which pulled down long-term borrowing costs and bond yields. The move follows Beijing’s release of a policy document on Sunday outlining its ambitions for the economy.

Investors seemed underwhelmed with the move, in part as it only emphasised how weak the economy was, and Chinese blue chips slipped 0.9% along with the yuan.

“Basically all the fundamental factors point to the fact that China needs a lower rate environment, especially the real rate is really high…in this kind of disinflationary environment,” said Gary Ng, Asia-Pacific senior economist at Natixis in Hong Kong.

Advertisement

“I think the general trend is that it’s pretty much in line with the fact that the economy is not that great, and it seems that there’s a bit of urgency from the authorities to stimulate it now.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost another 0.7%, having shed 3% last week.

Japan’s Nikkei dropped 1.2% and South Korea’s benchmark index fell 1.3%. Taiwan was having another tough session with a loss of 2.3% amid concerns about US restrictions on chip sales.

Investors seemed much better prepared for news President Biden would drop out of the election race and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris for the Democratic ticket.

Online betting site PredictIT showed pricing for a victory by Donald Trump had fallen 4 cents to 60 cents, while Harris climbed 12 cents to 39 cents. California governor Gavin Newsom, another possible Democratic challenger, trailed at 4 cents.

Advertisement

Markets took the news in their stride, with S&P 500 stock futures nudging up 0.1%, while Nasdaq futures added 0.2%. Futures for 10-year Treasuries rose 2 ticks, while 10-year bond yields dipped 2 basis point to 4.22%.

EUROSTOXX 50 futures added 0.5%, while FTSE futures firmed 0.4%.

“As Trump’s polling results have lifted, markets have favoured positions that anticipate more trade barriers and possibly higher inflation,” ANZ analysts said.

“Some polls have Harris performing better than Biden against Trump, and the Democrats will be hoping the next polls feature a Harris-driven bump.”

EYE ON EARNINGS

Advertisement

A packed week of corporate earnings will see Tesla and Google-parent Alphabet kick off the season for the “Magnificent Seven” megacap group of stocks.

Others reporting include General Electric, General Motors, Ford and Lockheed Martin.

The tech sector is projected to increase year-over-year earnings by 17%, while profit for the communication services sector is seen rising about 22%.

Such gains would outpace the 11% estimated rise for the S&P 500 overall, according to LSEG IBES.

Europe’s biggest banks also report this week, with eyes on whether the gains from higher interest rates have run out of steam and if recent political drama is weighing on sentiment.

Advertisement

A busy week for economic news will culminate with the Federal Reserve’s favoured inflation measure out on Friday. The core personal consumption expenditures index is seen rising 0.1% in June, pulling the annual pace down a tick to 2.5%.

Markets are wagering heavily that a benign outcome will firm the case for a September rate cut, which futures are pricing as a 97% chance.

Also due are figures for advance gross domestic product that are forecast to show growth picking up to an annualised 1.9% in the second quarter, from 1.4% in the first.

The closely watched Atlanta Fed GDPNow indicator points to growth of 2.7%, suggesting some risk to the upside.

The Bank of Canada meets on Wednesday and is considered almost certain to cut its rates by a quarter point to 4.5%.

Advertisement

In currency markets, the dollar gave back just a little of last week’s safe haven gains as the euro edged up 0.1% to $1.0886. The dollar was a fraction softer on the Japanese yen at 157.27.

In commodity markets, gold held at $2,406 an ounce and short of last week’s record high of $2,483.60.

Oil prices inched higher, with scant sign of progress on a ceasefire deal in Gaza as Israeli forces battled Palestinian fighters in the southern city of Rafah on Sunday.

Brent gained 44 cents to $83.07 a barrel, while US crude rose 41 cents to $80.54 per barrel.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Business

FinMin Aurangzeb set to visit China to reschedule $15 loans

FinMin Aurangzeb set to visit China to reschedule $15 loans

Published

on

By

FinMin Aurangzeb set to visit China to reschedule $15 loans

 In order to reschedul energy loans worth $15 billion, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb is all set to visit China for three days tomorrow.

The minister will discuss the loan rescheduling with the Chinese authorities. The minister will also discuss China’s energy circular debts worth Rs500 billion.

Read more: Finance Minister Aurangzeb leads delegation to US for IMF talks on new bailout package

The minister will also discuss Panda Bonds during the visit to get the $30 million bonds in China.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN