2019. My no-buy year.
Yes, I am currently doing a no-buy year. I was put onto the idea after watching Hannah Louise Poston on YouTube and hearing about her experience and how it changed her for the better.
But I’m getting ahead of myself so to backtrack a little bit. For those who don’t know what a no-buy means, a no-buy is a period of time where you don’t buy anything at all.
Usually you will pick certain categories of spending to focus your no-buy on, these categories will be places where you realise your spending has gotten out of hand. Maybe you’ve been feeling that something is wrong, your buying is making you feel guilty instead of excited and you know deep down that you’re losing control.
These were things that I was feeling by the end of 2018. In particular it hit me hard during the Black Friday sales. A period of four days where I spent $416 on makeup. That amount wasn’t something I realised at the time, it was only later when I thought to add up all the money that the truth of the situation became apparent to me.
Maybe $416 on makeup isn’t a lot for you but it was shocking to me. I hadn’t intended to buy anything during Black Friday sales, they’re not that popular in Australia. But I had seen one advertisement on Instagram and that was it. I found myself going online and searching for every website that I buy products from to see if they had a sale going and if they did I was buying things.
None of the makeup that I bought in those few days was anything that I “needed”. It was just makeup that I’d seen before and now that it was on sale it would be “worth it” to try out. Turns out that it’s not really worth it if I’m spending 80% of my pay check on makeup.
It was not long after that when I found Hannah Louise Poston on YouTube and after watching one video I knew this was what I needed. I needed to go cold turkey, completely cut myself off from spending for an extended period of time to reset my consumerism and start fresh with my love of makeup and not a love of shopping.
I have tried previously to reduce my spending however it never works, something will go on sale and then that idea of not spending is pushed aside in favour of “saving” maybe $20 on a $100 eyeshadow palette. But in the end I still spent $80.
So as of January the 1st, 2019 I have been on a year long no-buy. The rules of my no-buy are as below.
NO makeup or skincare for the entire year.
Up to 2 items each month of clothing or accessories.
Can I buy replacements?
Yes. But only if there are no other products of that category left. E.g. I can buy 1 concealer if I completely use up all of my other concealers.
Can I receive gifts?
Yes. Gift cards will count as cash and can only be spent on purchasing replacements.
I can buy tools for work as long as they are absolutely necessary for me to do my job more effectively.
I won’t compromise on health and safety for my no-buy. E.g. if I need a pair of high quality sunglasses for my eyes but I have a cheap pair that aren’t broken, I can buy that high quality pair.
Using up categories of products
I cannot simply declutter every product in a category to enable myself to purchase a replacement for that category. I must finish everything I own to be able to purchase a replacement. If I finish a category by decluttering items that I don’t like, I cannot purchase a replacement until the end of my no-buy year. I will simply have to go without that category of product.
Those are my rules. As Hannah explains on her channel, it’s best to have a very tight set of constraints and very clear rules so that you won’t be able to come up against a situation you haven’t accounted for and be able to sneak through a loophole to make a purchase.
The reason I have set a limit for clothing and accessories and not completely cut them off is because they are not categories of spending I felt were out of control however there were issues that I am hoping this no-buy can resolve.
My problem with clothing and accessories (handbags, jewellery, watches) is that I will buy quantity over quality and be left with a wardrobe that’s full of clothes with only a few being items that spark joy within me.
Too often I’ll find myself wearing an outfit that I think looks nice and fine but I don’t feel any joy or pride when I wear it. So by limiting myself to only 2 items of clothing or accessories I will stop myself from walking into Target and buying 3 shirt that are just okay and not something that I love and that makes me look great.
I am not worried about spending a entire year without spending. I am actually more comfortable going cold turkey on something than I am with trying to limit myself to only a little bit. I have done cold turkey projects before and been completely successful so I am looking forward to seeing how this year long no-buy will change my mindset about spending and hopefully bring my love of makeup to the forefront instead of shopping.