NO BUY 2019: Why I’m doing a no buy year

Happy New Year, friends! I am now a month into my 13-month-baker’s-dozen-no-buy, and I figured it’s about time I come clean with why I decided to do a no-buy. Everyone’s reasons for doing a no buy are different: some just want to save money, some are running out of room in their homes and on their vanities, and others have an unhealthy relationship with shopping. I definitely fall into each of these categories.

I first got into makeup at the end of high school/beginning of university. My first year of university I had two friends/roommates from high school who had been watching Youtube tutorials since Youtube’s inception. They were our resident makeup gurus, and we could usually coax them into doing our makeup before parties or concerts. My first year of university was the first year that I had been single in my adult life, and my not-so-supportive prior partner had always said how they didn’t like me in heavy makeup, and so this was the first time that I felt I could really experiment with makeup and feel beautiful and not be chastised about it. Makeup was also a fun bonding experience with my troupe of gal pals. It was fun to pre-drink, take pictures, and chat while doing our hair and makeup together before going out for a fun night. Even though I was mostly just using cheap ELF makeup and my roommate’s UD Naked palette, it was probably the most fun and exciting period of makeup in my life. I wasn’t buying much makeup other than the odd lip product because I couldn’t afford to, but I loved doing my makeup each day before class.

My second year of university was a little more dicey, and I think this is where the bad spending first started to pop up. This year I bought my very first higher end makeup product, the Urban Decay Naked 3 (pink) palette. My high school and first year friends and I had ended up going separate ways, and I was hanging out more with people from my English classes and some students who worked at the same job I had started working at that previous summer. It was a harder time, as I found myself struggling more with my mental health, like many university students do, and my physical health, and trying to keep up with university, writing, and work, all while not really being well. I had one friend in particular who also experienced moderate to severe anxiety about school and life in general, and I found myself skipping class at least once a week with them to go to Chapters or the mall. At Chapters and Sephora we would usually end up getting expensive coffees and then making at least one stress-purchase. I don’t blame this friend at all, because we were both dealing with a lot and we definitely both enabled each other’s unhelpful spending. We always justified it, as English majors, as “You can never have too many books, right? It helps us with our degree, it helps us to be better writers, etc.”

From here my spending habits just kind of continued to slide. I continued to use shopping as a way to cheer myself up and cope with the depression and anxiety. I justified it because makeup had become a hobby for me. I had a few new friends who liked makeup too, we took makeup lessons together, and I spent most of my non-academic and non-work time watching makeup tutorials and recreating looks in my apartment. It was a hobby I could do from home in the cold winter months when school, my health, and the weather got me down.

However, because I had become such an avid watcher of the Youtube influencer community, I quickly became sucked into the “You need this!” race of getting the newest items, of feeling panicked when I couldn’t get my hands on limited edition items, and of feeling the need to get everything from each tutorial I watched. Again, I don’t blame anyone else for this. I applied critical thinking to essays and readings during my degree, but I didn’t apply this same criticism to my consumption of beauty products. I willingly chose to blindly dive into this unhealthy consumerism culture without questioning the reviews I was watching or the motives of those making the reviews, and without doing the math or creating a sustainable beauty budget for myself.

As I started first working at a spa and then later at a laser clinic, I discovered even more ways to enable and justify my addictive spending. I was seeing improvements with treating my acne and I didn’t want to revert back to my old breakouts. I claimed that it was for work, because I could make better product recommendations, more sales, and more commission if I used the products myself and could vouch for them. I was working in two different cities, and had a hoard of skincare at both my place and at my parents’ place.

It’s only in the past year or two that I’ve become more conscious of my purchases and have made an effort to get back on track. I attempted a no buy last year, but didn’t have a plan in place, or any sort of guidelines, and lacked specific goals, so I failed miserably. There have been set backs, such as being laid off and having limited income for awhile, and caving horribly during Sephora sales. I used each setback as an excuse to completely sabotage the rest of the progress I had made.

This time around though I know I have the tools to succeed with this no buy, to get back on track with my spending, and to pay off my debt and save up for my dreams. I want to be able to take a warm vacation in the future, to travel more overall, and to buy a house, and I’ve realized that with how I was previously spending, I would never achieve these goals in my lifetime.

Hannah Louise Poston (Youtube) said something along the lines of “I was spending like a rich lady, when I was in fact not a rich lady” in regards to how Youtube makes us feel like spending exorbitant amounts of money on skincare and makeup is “self care”, when it’s actually self-sabotaging. This hit home. I had been buying skincare beyond my means because I thought it was necessary to take care of my acne, and I was buying makeup out of my budget because I worked hard and was stressed and thought I deserved it. This sort of mentality, and many of the influencers I followed on Youtube at the time, have become a huge trigger for my harmful spending.

To sum up this lengthy ramble, I am doing this no buy year because I need it. I think it will be a positive step towards paying off my debt and meeting my financial goals. I think it will be a positive and planned out step towards breaking harmful habits and cutting out spending triggers. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for me to rediscover ways to cope with stress, poor mental health, and the usual mess life throws at us humans in a healthier, less expensive way. I’ve got my rules, I’ve got my community, and I’ve got the motive.

If you’re doing a no buy year, please get in touch with me! I’d love to have some blogging friends I can chat with about this experience. If you’re not doing a no buy, how do you manage your spending, whether it be for makeup, skincare, clothing, hobbies, pets, kids, etc.? What are your budgeting strategies and how have they worked for you?

Makeup Buy Ban, Minimalism, and other 2018 Resolutions

If there is any one thing in the world that makes me want to downsize and quit shopping, it is moving. It’s one of the few activities this world has to offer in which you have to come to terms with every single belonging you own. As I unpack in my apartment I find myself chucking things and piling items up to donate because I just have an overwhelming amount of stuff.

The whole moving process was a bit of a gongshow. We’ve had -35C weather and colder here the past week or so, with temperatures only beginning to warm up yesterday. Moving in this frigid weather was an exhausting experience in and of itself, and I am so relieved that I had my family and partner to help me! After going through all of that, and STILL not having unpacked everything days later, I contemplate accumulating more stuff with a sense of dread. I thought that it would kill me to not be able to buy makeup, but I just feel disgusted by the thought of bringing even more items into this apartment right now. I’m sure this resolution will be harder to keep up as time goes on, but right now, it’s an easy one.

I have so many resolutions for 2018, and I feel like most of them are achievable. I want to be more financially responsible so that I can afford to go back to Montreal with my friend this summer, I want to decrease my belongings by 25%, I want to withhold from buying makeup until 2019, and I want to take better care of myself. I just started Yoga with Adriene’s TRUE 30 day challenge and I’m determined to make it all the way through this year. I’m a day behind because of my delayed wifi activation, but that’s not the end of the world.

I feel like 2018 will be the year I trim off the excess and focus in on what I actually need and actually want to do. I’m going to quit agreeing to things to please people, and say no without feeling guilty or obligated to give a reason. It’s going to be great, friends.

What are your resolutions for 2018? I hope all is well.

September Ramble

Hi everyone! Hope September is treating you well so far. Most folks I know are back to school or their kids are back to school, and the hype for Halloween is in full swing.

This semester is a particularly strange semester for me as its my last semester of university, and all of my classes are either online or at night. I’ve already finished the English major and Psychology minor requirements for my degree, so I’m filling my last few elective spaces with some Public Relations courses for my certificate and a Cree language course. It’s been a really nice change, and I’m finding that I’m really liking my Ethics in Public Relations course so far. I’ve been lucky to have more time for self-care so far this semester as well. Even though I’m working more days than I previously have during the school year, I find that because I only have classes three nights a week, I can sleep in on those three days and then get a lot of stuff done throughout the day. I’m not constantly running to different classes spread throughout the day for once, which is so nice. I can spend the day with my tortoise and get a nap or two in, but still get the rest of my responsibilities done. It’s strange to think that I’ll be looking for another job in a few months if all goes as planned, and then moving, and lord knows what other changes, but I’m trying to just take each change as it presents itself and not worry myself sick over it.

Lately going to makeup school has been something I have looked into more seriously. I looked into a local school a few minutes drive from my place, and it looked promising. The property is very current and new, and the class sizes are cozy and small. Unfortunately, tuition is rather expensive, and just finishing up an undergraduate degree, it is not something I can make work for the moment. I’ve slapped it up on my dreamboard though, as it is something I’d really like to do, even if just for the sake of the hobby or as a part time gig on the side. It’s intimidating though, because even though I live in a very low-populated area of the country that is more so rural and agriculture based, there are so many incredible makeup artists who reside in the South Saskatchewan area. I follow close to two dozen of them on Instagram, or have had makeup lessons by them, and there’s far more out there who I’m sure I haven’t followed yet. The makeup industry is growing at a ridiculous rate even when so many other industries are slowing or failing, but I still worry that there would not be room for me in it.

My tortoise, Nugget, is his usual cranky self. He’s slowly getting used to the fact that I am home a lot more than I used to be. I think he got used to having the whole place to himself when I worked full time day time hours during the summer, so he seems a little miffed that I’m suddenly here during the day when he’s awake. He just sits in his enclosure, watching me run around the apartment, with the weirdest look on his face. Nugget finally met my step-kiddo the other week, and was even more confused! He pretty much ran towards the glass and just stared at her. She of course, is only two, so she was just shouting, “Tort! Tort!”, and I had to stop her from touching the glass. Eventually Nugget came to the conclusion that this tiny human was too hyped for his liking, and promptly went to bed in his log.

Hope y’all have a lovely September!