2020: My Year of Less

In 2018 and 2019 I attempted versions of a no buy year, succeeding in a few ways and failing in many. I failed, most importantly, in that I ended up breaking my rules and buying forbidden beauty and skincare items before the year was up. I succeeded in that I did significantly reduce the amount of money I spent on these products each year, and opted for more sustainable options.

In 2020, I am attempting it again. Of course, with the hopes that this time I will completely meet my goals and completely follow the rules I set out for myself. Even if I fail though, I feel confident that at the bare minimum I will make some progress, make some healthy changes, and learn a bit more.

I recently finished listening to Cait Flander’s audiobook, The Year of Less, and really enjoyed listening to her experience. Seeing that she is able to travel more and reach more of her goals now that she has her spending in check has made me really hopeful.

I’m attempting another no buy year/year of less sort of challenge for a number of reasons. I would like to save more money to visit my friend who lives abroad in Australia, travel more in general, and put more money towards purchasing a home. Reducing the amount of clutter and objects in my home has greatly helped with my anxiety and has made it a bit easier to keep my home clean, but I’m not quite at the ideal place I’d like to be. I still have a number of clothes that don’t fit me since I gained weight, makeup and skincare that I need to use or get rid of, and a pile of 27 books, 3 audiobooks, and 15 ebooks that are sitting about unread. I’ve got more of a push to downsize my belongings this go-around, as one of my brothers is moving in and we will no longer have a spare room to throw all of the odds and ends we don’t use on the daily.

My goals for my year of less:

  1. Opt for more sustainable options in my home, and reduce the amount of unnecessary garbage coming out of my home.
  2. Use up the backlog of makeup, skincare, and books that I own.
  3. Stop buying things I do not need so that I can travel and one day own a home.
  4. Improve my mental health and the way I cope with stress and how that translates to my shopping habits.

How I am going to achieve these goals:

  1. Regular declutter challenges, starting with a big clean and declutter right before the new year.
  2. Create a set of clear and simple rules about what I can and cannot buy.
  3. Dedicate the money I would have unnecessarily spent on beauty and books to savings accounts for travel and home ownership.
  4. Track the skincare and beauty items I am using up, with the goal of completing the Reverse Rouge challenge. The Reverse Rouge challenge is something I first saw on Instagram, where beauty enthusiasts pledge not to buy new makeup and instead attempt to use up $1000 worth of beauty products, as $1000 is the amount needed to be spent at Sephora to reach VIB Rouge status in their rewards program.
  5. Consume content that relates to my goals. For example, reading other no buy year blogs and books instead of watching makeup reviews on Youtube, spending less time on social media where I’m exposed to countless advertisements, etc.
  6. Hold myself accountable by blogging about it.

The rules:

  1. Makeup: No makeup purchases at all in 2020.
  2. Skincare: No purchases until I entirely run out of one category. Exception: The Caroline Hirons Spring Kit, as her Winter Kit has been well used and has actually been a good investment in my skin.
  3. Sephora: No Sephora purchases at all in 2020. I’m quite unimpressed with Sephora’s rewards program, and how even though Sephora does next to nothing to retain their customers, I still spend a stupid amount of money through their mobile app. A few hours ago I cut up my VIB card, and I intend to instead shop directly from brand websites or at local stores if needed to replace skincare once entirely out.
  4. Nail polish: No nail polish purchases in 2020. This has not been a bad category for spending since I stopped working at a spa, but I would like to use up the nail polish that I currently have first.
  5. Hair products: Purchase as needed. I don’t spend a lot on my hair, and I don’t shop for hair products impulsively or ridiculously. I’m not worried about this category and am fine with purchasing a decent shampoo and conditioner every now and then for my curly hair.
  6. I am only tracking the facial skincare and makeup products I use up (no body care, hair care, etc.).
  7. If I purchase a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes, one old item has to be thrown out, donated, or sold.
  8. Books: No books to be purchased in 2020. As I mentioned above, I have 45 books to get through first that have sat unread for weeks, months, and years. For the book club titles I will need to read, I will either borrow them from the library or borrow from within my book club. It’s a good group of ladies that is good for sharing both purchased and library copies to make sure everyone can read the book before the meet-up, so I am not worried.
  9. Any makeup gift cards will be kept until the challenge is over. Gift cards don’t expire, and there is no rush to use them. Any book gift cards can be used up after the challenge as well.

I am excited for 2020 and the positive actions I can take this year. If you’re doing a no-buy challenge or year of less challenge too, pop by and say hello 😊