Sunday, September 29, 2019

What I Bought This Week #39

We're heading into the last quarter of 2019, and I've been rolling along nicely with my no-buy. I've had a few moments of reflection, but overall, it's been rather easy. The true test will come towards the end of November, when hubby and I visit Japan again. Will I be able to resist the petite fashions and kawaii everythings? Only time will tell. In the meantime, here is the latest recap of my 2019 no-buy year, covering July to September.

A few observations about my no-buy in the first nine months of 2019:

My expenses are currently running well below budget. As of the end of September, my actual expenses are at 77% of my pro-rated budget for 2019. While unforeseen expenses could still arise in the last quarter of 2019, I'm confident that I'll be able to meet the budget I set for this year. I set this year's budget rather conservatively, taking into consideration a few treats like nice dinners and some travel. At the same time, I also set this year's budget quite aggressively, especially compared to my expenditure levels from previous years. Setting a budget can be more of an art than a science, especially when you're attempting to change your life significantly, so I'm happy that my numbers are turning out to be pretty reasonable.

Temporary no-buys can be very useful. I originally implemented my 2019 no-buy for the categories of clothing, accessories, toiletries, makeup, and home goods; however, I found that I was starting to hoard other items, namely groceries and alcohol. When I noticed in mid-July that hubby and I were stocking up on alcohol, despite not drinking it as often as we used to, I decided to implement an alcohol no-buy for the rest of the year. This only applies to alcohol purchased for our home (i.e., it does not apply when we go out or if someone gives us a gift), but it's been helping to limit both our stash and our expenses.

Free stuff has become a struggle. I've gone through several phases with free stuff -- sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. I'm currently going through a phase where I'm finding it really difficult to say no freebies, even if it's something I don't really want. There are multiple examples of this throughout my What I Bought This Week posts: hair ties from the LCBO, reusable bags from Festival Street, SUNCHIPS from TIFF. I would like to get better at this so I'm going to make more of an effort to say no to the things I don't really want... even when they're free.

Now let's take a look at what I bought this week! Amid the heaps of groceries, you'll see a couple things: (1) I received a bunch of free goodies from my friend. I wanted to try these things so I didn't say no! (2) We also bought six cans of beer. Hubby and I went to Bellwoods Brewery to try a tasting flight or two, but the brewpub was closed. We had no idea when we'd get a chance to go back, so we made a conscious decision to break our no-buy (as we did at Left Field) and try the beer at home.

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