Monday, January 7, 2019

My 2019 No-Buy Year

In 2019, I'll be embarking on a no-buy year. I talked about this a little when I shared my 2019 goals, as well as in yesterday's post, which was the first in my new "What I Bought This Week" series. My intention for my no-buy year is two-fold: (1) I want to reduce my expenses since I will have no full-time income during my gap year; and (2) I want to reduce the number of items I bring into my home since I'm still trying to declutter. I don't think this no-buy year will be too difficult, as 2018 ended up being an accidental no-buy year in the categories of clothing and accessories, and I've also had zero urge to shop for quite some time.

For this no-buy, I want to be kind to myself and trust in my ability to make the "right" decisions for my life, so my rules aren't going to be onerous. I'm intending 2019 to be a year of self-discovery and healing, and I'd like to get back to following my gut and my intuition. In order to create an environment that supports my intentions, here are the rules I've set for my no-buy year:

1) I can buy replacements for staple items.
This is the overarching rule for my 2019 no-buy, which will encompass the categories of clothing, accessories, toiletries, makeup, and home goods--otherwise known as basically everything. The category that gave me the most trouble in 2018 was toiletries. I purchased a lot of skincare from The Ordinary because I wanted to try a variety of different products. The other categories didn't really tempt me in any significant way.

2) Staples are true staple items that have no substitutes.
True staple items are important to define, as I'm not intending to replace everything I use up or wear out. An example of a true staple item would be my rain boots, which I replaced in 2018. My Hunter boots, which I wore for years, had sprung multiple leaks. I tried to patch them up and even used duct tape for a little while as I racked my brain for a substitute, but my Crocs Kadees were only appropriate for mild weather and my winter boots were only appropriate for snow. Eventually, I decided I needed to buy a new pair, and I bought a pair by Aigle.

3) Replacement items can be purchased in bulk but only up to a six month supply.
In 2018, I had a tendency to stock up on toiletries. I already mentioned The Ordinary, but I also stocked up on products from The Body Shop. Since I track my usage of beauty products now, I have a good idea of how long it takes me to use up each item. Instead of allowing myself to buy up to a year of backups, I'm only going to allow up to a six month supply.

4) I will use my judgement when accepting free stuff or using gift cards.
Free can mean items purchased with points, provided for PR purposes, or given to me as gifts. I'm going to allow myself to use my judgement when accepting free stuff or using gift cards, because I want to use this as an opportunity to hone my decision making skills.

5) I can buy items that truly add value to my life.
This year is not going to be an exercise in deprivation. I still want to be able to buy items that truly add value to my life. I'm not intending to find loopholes or cheat at my no-buy, so when I say "add value," I mean it. I'm going to ask myself if an item truly supports the life I want to lead going forward. I can't imagine any clothing, accessories, or makeup items falling into this bucket.

6) I will be fully transparent and document all the items I buy or bring into my home.
To support my 2019 no-buy, I'm going to be documenting all my purchases or items I bring into my home via a weekly post on this blog and a monthly recap video on my YouTube channel. This is my way of keeping myself on track and holding myself accountable.

I'm very excited for this intentional no-buy year! If you're participating in a no-buy or a low-buy this year, please let me know. I would love to hear about your journey!

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