My No-buy Year – 2019

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I feel like I touched on this in my Beauty Resolutions post back in March last year but it’s taken me the most part of the last year to really hone in on what the actual issue is/was. If I’m really honest with myself overindulging in consumerism is something I have not been happy with for a few years now. Looking back at my journey I definitely can see how I got here and each of the phases was just a natural progression reflecting the places where I was both physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong I don’t condemn that time by any means. Somehow, however, I’ve ended up in a place where I’m not entirely happy about how things are standing.

Having worked up the carrier ladder has meant that many of the things that I used to see as something that only happens in movies but not to real life people (like me) were starting to happen to me. And pretty frequently too. As far as shopping goes I was now able to afford that designer handbag of dreams and could easily afford luxury beauty products. I no longer had to rummage the shelves of drugstores to find the best savings. I worked hard to get there and I was truly enjoying every second of being in that position. Somewhere along the way, though, it all backfired. Just like with everything else in life having too much of the good stuff becomes not that good at all. What at first was a special experience soon became an everyday occurrence that instead of bringing me joy and excitement started to become very draining. I’m very fortunate that it never brought upon any damaging financial consequences so budgeting is not necessarily my main concern and the reason why I’m doing a no-buy (though, it still plays a role). It’s more the constant longing for that next best thing and not being able to enjoy the abundance of the beautiful things that I already own.

I also hope it will free a lot of my time because at the moment I spend so much of it looking for and researching things that I newer thought I needed. I’m just so tired of the endless search both online and within brick and mortar shops for something that I might want to buy.

In short – I want to become more mindful and appreciative of what I already have and be more present and spend my time on things that truly enrich my life (none of which are material objects).

In the past I’ve tried to cull my shopping habits by setting strict budgets and so far it hasn’t really worked. I’ve also been flirting with the ides of minimalism and I am constantly working on coming up with the best version of a minimalist lifestyle to suit my particular preferences. Again, though, I haven’t really been able to reconcile it all and come up with a workable plan to stop the mindless shopping. I would say that overall things have improved, however, I feels like it’s still not quite right.

Then one day more or less out of nowhere a video by Hannah Louise Poston popped up on my Youtube feed. It was her No Buy Year project and it instantly caught my attention. After a fairly short research to understand what it was and how it worked I spent a few days toying with the idea of taking up a no-buy myself. I had never considering something so radical but I just couldn’t shake the concept, something had just clicked. Long story short – I’ve decided to do a no-buy in 2019.

Everyone can come up with their own rules that will differ from person to person. I too have set my own parameters to make the whole thing more achievable.

My biggest tripping stones by far are clothing (including shoes and accessories) and beauty products. So these are the categories that I am targeting this year. For beauty products the rules are simple – no new beauty purchase except buying genuine replacements (when I run out of something that I can’t replace with another item that I already own). The only purchases here I can see are skincare, hair care and body care items because I really don’t see myself using up any make-up items that I have no alternatives for in my collection already.

For clothes it’s the same again – no purchases and here I’m not even anticipating having to buy any replacements. BUT – I have allowed for two exceptions. Firstly, I’m five months pregnant at the moment and even though I think I’ve got enough maternity clothes left from my first pregnancy I’m allowing for an extra item of maternity wear if I really start feeling I’m getting restricted in my choices. Also, I’m allowing for an item of clothing that makes me feel on top of the world to reward myself when and if I’ve lost the baby weight (which going by my past experience should be at some point later in the year).

Gift vouchers/rewards points/genuine gifts are allowed to be whatever I want. I’m also allowing a reasonable overspend in case I need to spend my own money when a voucher doesn’t cover the full price of a particular item. I’ve deliberately left this particular section of my no-buy rules very relaxed because I want it to be an overall positive experience and something that I can really gain from not some form of self punishment.

Buying things like home-wares, baby stuff, food, travel, beauty treatments and everything else isn’t a particular source of concern for me (and for many other reasons it is not feasible to restrict these categories at this time) so these are not affected by the no-buy. However, if I start noticing that I’m shifting my bad shopping habits to the “clear” categories I’ll review the rules.

I’m hoping to do fairly regular check-ins mostly to document my journey and have something more structured to look back at. I’m also writing down certain things to be able to draw some interesting stats at the end of the project, which I anticipate could be very surprising.

If you too are doing a No-Buy, congratulations and good luck! Please share your tips and progress in the comments section.

For inspiration see Hannah’s channel HERE (it’s also good for an insight of what happens after a no-buy). Rachael (HERE) has a very snappy, structured and realistic approach. And of course, lovely Ysis (HERE) for a feel good and mindful ideas on how to do a no-buy.

Also – to help with re-wiring your brain when it comes to consumerism try Eva’s channel HERE and, of course, the numerous resources available on the whole philosophy behind the Minimalists movement.

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