I’m three weeks into my 2019 no buy (if you’d like to see my rules and stipulations, or my inventory for this no buy, feel free to check out my previous posts!) and so far, everything is mostly good!
I’ve tried a year long no buy and smaller no buys in the past but have been entirely unsuccessful, primarily because I didn’t have a specific enough goal in mind and didn’t have rules to guide me to my goal. This year I am much more prepared, and know that I will succeed with this no buy.
I downloaded an app called NoMo, which is a sobriety app that has many different settings, including one for shopping. It keeps track of how long it has been since you’ve purchased something, and keeps track of how much money and time you’ve saved by not partaking in whatever habit it is you hope to break.
To keep track of how much money you’ve saved, it asks you to input an estimate of how much you were previously spending weekly on the habit. Based on my purchases at Sephora from 2016-2018, I calculated about $40 a week. This seems insane at first, but when you take into consideration that placing an order every month or so with a couple of items in your cart can easily total $100, it seems more easily done. This amount is on the low side, as it doesn’t factor in how much I spent on drugstore makeup the odd time I’d buy some as a treat while grocery shopping (I have no decent way of tracking what I spent on these particular items), and it doesn’t factor in the skincare and makeup I’ve purchased at work in the past few years. So while not entirely accurate, the money saved does give me an idea of the minimum amount of money I’ve saved thus far by participating in a no buy. I use the app just for the skincare and makeup portion of my no buy, and not to track books or clothing as skincare and makeup was the most frequently problematic genre when it came to shopping irresponsibly for myself.
The no buy itself hasn’t been difficult this month, as it’s early on in the challenge and I’ve had to prioritize my money elsewhere. I recently moved, Christmas is right around the corner, and I have debt to pay off from when I was laid off. Any spare money that I do have (which isn’t a lot, after bills, pet needs, and groceries are paid for) has been going to paying off my credit card and other debt, towards Christmas presents, and towards moving expenses like carpet cleaning and damage deposits. The thought of purchasing makeup has rarely crossed my mind because paying off my debt and becoming financially responsible has become one of my highest priorities, and when I do feel the urge to spend when I’m stressed, I take one look at my overwhelming collection on my dresser vanity and know that I can’t justify it in any way.
Moving unsurprisingly has been a huge help in showing me just how much I have and what an excess of products I have. You can’t ignore what you own when you physically have to pack each and every item up, haul it across town, and then unpack and find a place for it! I’ve moved twice in the last year and since that first move I’ve been doing ongoing declutters of expired items, items that I don’t use, and samples that I don’t find appealing. I try not to force myself to do it, and instead try to do small declutters when I notice I have expired lipsticks or when I get fed up with how many foundations I have. Awhile after I did my makeup inventory for the year, I decluttered a handful of lip products that were expired, rarely used, and/or irritated and dried out my lips in some way.
Lip products is by far my most out of hand category, so decluttering offers a lot of relief. I really won’t need to purchase any lip products until 2020 and beyond with the outlandish amount that I currently own (50+!).
Skincare has been the hardest not to buy, as I work with medical grade skincare every day and am selling these products and using them on patients. I have avoided any unnecessary purchases though! My only purchase was a SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, as I was entirely out of any redness neutralizing/inflammation soothing products. This agrees with my repurchase rules I set out for myself.
I know I will succeed with a no buy this year because I want to succeed so badly. I am fed up with my poor spending, and with shopping when stressed or emotional. I don’t want to experience that weak feeling of knowing that products and advertising have more control over my impulses, decisions, and finances than I do. I want a cleaner home with less clutter, and I want more money in my bank account for my future and for travel. Being financially comfortable is SO enticing and I cannot wait to get to that point.
For those who have also recently started no buys, how are you doing and feeling so far? For those starting no buys in the new year, what are your goals and what do you hope to achieve by doing a no buy? For those not doing no buys, what are your thoughts on the efficacy of no buys and their recent trendiness?
Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and wonderful holiday season ♥️