Here’s a challenge, could you go 5 years without buying anything new? That’s what one Portland, Oregon woman did, and is still doing! 

Katy Wolk-Stanley is the creator of the website And she hasn’t bought anything new in five years, and counting, with two exceptions - underwear, and food. 

Her motto is: ‘use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’

She started the no-new spending project as a way to save money, and she quickly chipped away at $20,000 of credit card debt by buying used items at thrift stores, swapping with friends, and borrowing things.

Now, she’s debt-free but continuing her no-new-stuff policy since it’s a great money-saver. She also found that her home had less clutter, and she had more free time to spend with her family and friends.

It may sound hard to stop buying new stuff, but the super saver says you get addicted to saving money and seeing your bank account grow by several thousand dollars a year. For example, even if you’re a fashion addict, you don’t need to blow your paycheck at the mall to look good. 

Instead, our expert suggests holding outfit swap parties with friends, or trading your clothes for different ones at thrift stores.

If you want more tips to help you make the switch from “new” to “used” – check out her website at