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“I’m done with shopping in excess and done with filling any emotional void that I have with stuff.” – Christina, aka Style Apotheca
Y’all, I have to admit something…I have an unhealthy relationship with shopping. I’ve known this for a while. Although I am very thrifty and try to spend wisely, I still buy too much. I am a “pack rat” by nature and my house always feels cluttered. Yet, I always want more.
I first heard about people doing “no buys” a few years ago and my first thought was “wow I should do that” and my second thought was “no way in hell I can do that.” I knew my spending was out of control, but I wasn’t ready to face it. I didn’t want to stop. Shopping makes me feel good. New things make me feel better. Even if once I get those new things I only use them once or twice and then they just take up space.
As I started to think more about what I wanted from this year, a sense of calm is what I longed for most. Serenity. (Read more about why I chose it as my word of the year here). And I knew I couldn’t have a sense of calm with the current state of my house. So I committed to a declutter (and it’s been going great! More on that sometime in the future) but deep down I knew I would fill it back up with more stuff. That was a hard realization to face.
The idea of doing a no buy year popped back into my brain so I started to do a little research. I watched HOURS of youtube videos from folks who have done them before. Why they did it, tips and tricks, success stories (and things that were tough) and I decided it was finally time. So this year, in 2020, I’m buying less. Like….WAY less.
Here are the main reasons why I’m committing to a (very) low buy:
- To break my bad shopping habit and (more importantly) stop relying on it as a temporary fix for emotional and mental problems
- To reduce clutter in my home
- To appreciate and use what I already have
- To save money and pay off debt
- To lessen my environmental impact
- To push myself to value experiences over things
Now the thing about a no (or low) buy month/year/life is that you have to set your own ground rules. Not everyone’s will look the same and that’s a good thing! Clothing is the main thing I want to reduce, but there are other things to keep in mind as well, so here’s where I landed with my rules.
- No NEW clothes in 2020. Nothing that’s brand new. I’m giving myself ONE exception here and that’s to purchase a pair of Doc Martens. I’ve wanted them for years and I don’t want to buy used because an important part of having them is breaking them into your own feet. I’m comfortable with this purchase because I know I will have them for many many years to come.
- If I NEED something (all of my jeans rip, my workout pants don’t fit, etc) swap or buy secondhand.
- I have to abide by the “one in, one out” rule.
- And if I buy something, it must be purchased with money I make from selling other items on Depop. This is a toughie but I’m confident it won’t be a problem…I have lots of clothes to get rid of.
- No new makeup except replacements for things I don’t have more of (foundation, concealer, etc). I’m keeping my Boxycharm subscription through April, and then I will cancel that for the remainder of 2020.
- No home decor purchases unless it’s agreed upon with my husband that it’s something we need.
So what CAN I buy?! Here’s what I’m okay with:
- One plant per month (maximum). I love my plants and since they require care, it’s not something that just sits in a dark closet.
- Experiences (concerts, trips, etc) I have a “personal spending” budget each month, so experiences are okay as long as they fit into my budget.
- Small (useful) souvenirs from trips I take. I have a terrible memory, and it’s really important for me to have small mementos of vacations. I will set a budget for this before each trip.
- I have an Alamo Drafthouse season pass, so I will continue to pay for that monthly and see movies on a fixed budget.
- Candle-making supplies are okay, because that’s a date night (at home) for me and my husband. But only buy more when I run out.
What do I do now? It’s weird because this is a massive goal but I really don’t have to do much, it’s more what I have to not do. But here are a few things to get the ball rolling for me:
- Take photos and list all unwanted clothing on Depop (my username is valerybrennan if you want to follow along!)
- Go through closets (again) to make sure there’s nothing else to list
- Open a savings account specifically for “emergency clothing” and put Depop sales money into that account
- Enjoy all the things I CAN do and fall in love with the possessions I have 🙂
- Take photos of my outfits. I plan on snapping daily outfits to see if I can keep the creative juices flowing all year long! Not sure what I’ll do with the photos, we’ll see how that goes.
So….who’s in!? It’s okay if you’re reading this and you’re like “you’re crazy.” I get it! This is a super personal decision and this year is the right time for me. If you’re doing your own low/no buy, let me know! I’d love to encourage you (and maybe call on you when I’m super tempted lol!)
ps I can’t stop laughing about the fact that I came back to blogging and then immediately decided I wasn’t going to buy any more clothes lol.