Tag Archives: no spend

What I Learned from my Month With No Spending Challenge

Beauty-Review-Haircare-Hair-Products

For those who tuned into my No Spend October: Month With No Spending Challenge, where I outlined 5 “simple” rules for not buying stuff for 31 days…thanks for keeping up! For those who didn’t, here’s the synopsis:

I decided to challenge myself with 31 days of no spending on clothing, accessories, beauty products, footwear, or home decor.

While the rules were relatively simple, I failed by Day 7 (accidentally), by ordering 2 packs of Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. On one hand, they were 2/$10, and on the other, I needed to up my cart price to unlock free shipping. And, in my defense, I kind of forgot that face wipes qualified as a beauty product (and only because I listed it in my rules, knowing full well I snatch these up way too often). 

When the package from Walgreens showed up (ok, I admit it, I’m the lazy person who orders toilet paper and allergy meds for delivery), I realized I had not one but two (2!) packs of face wipes already stashed in my linen closet. So, I really had no reason to cheat, especially when I already had a very similar product on hand.

Upset that I cheated while I actually had virtually the same thing on hand, I knew I had to do something about it to prevent future unnecessary purchases. So, I inventoried every skincare / makeup / beauty product I own.

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I took every product out of my medicine cabinet, drawer, undersink stash, linen closet, storage drawer, and nook and cranny I could think of. And I put it all in one spot. Out in the open to see.

When I Googled this phenomenon (of wanting to inventory all of the things I have to remind myself to use them and that I don’t need to repurchase the exact same things I already have plenty of), I found many people use sophisticated Excel spreadsheets to track what they’ve got and what gaps they have in their makeup collection, for instance. I wasn’t feeling that ambitious, so instead I grouped like things and took photos. After all, this way I could easily search + see what I’ve got, vs. navigating to a specific section of a spreadsheet.

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The Bronzers

This exercise helped me discard items I no longer need / use. It helped me reorganize my medicine cabinet and place items I use / should use regularly within plain sight. In doing so, I felt really good about “all that I’ve got” and it significantly diminished my yearning to “buy more stuff just because.”

My inventory exercise highlighted the fact that I have a lot of stuff, and I really don’t need more until I use all of this up. For instance, my makeup / skincare / haircare collection includes…

48 lip products.

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14 serums. (BTW I really love Glossier Super Pure, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Kiehls Midnight Recovery and Caudalie Vinoperfect).

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15 masks.

8 full-size hair sprays. Eight?!

8 products containing SPF.

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8 body lotions.

14 face lotions / moisturizers. Some were samples, but still… I have a really hard time choosing just one fave, ok?

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23 makeup brushes / applicators. Sad thing is, I’m not sure what is used for what, and still feel like I’m missing some key brushes? Please advise.

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7 different mascaras.

1 reigning blush champ. You guessed it, NARS. At least I got that one figured out, right?

I wish there was an easier way, but physically corralling like items, counting and photographing them really helped drive the point home. This is similar to the Kon Mari exercise of pulling all items out (of a closet, or dresser) and going through each item one by one, to decide if it stays or if it goes. If it stays, it should be something you find beautiful and/or useful. Something that brings you joy. If not, it’s just taking up space, creating clutter, and you’d be better off without it.

Despite this exercise, over the course of the past few weeks some new-to-me products stood out . And in some cases, they screamed out. I really wanted to try them, but also wanted to fulfill my challenge to the best of my abilities (you know, outside of that early slip-up).

And then something else happened… Glossier (my biggest weakness, ugh) announced that their highly-sought-after perfume, Glossier You, was available for pre-order. How could I resist?

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To suppress the need to shop, I collected each item in a list to keep an eye on and if come November I still wanted them, well… I guess they’d be fair game.

Here’s the list of products that’ve caught my attention recently:

Have you tied any of these? Are they worth the hype?

Also, you’ll be proud to hear that during this time I not only rediscovered stuff I already had (for free, in my own closet / mini drug store), but I also corralled all my product samples into one spot so I had the ability to still enjoy those high-end luxuries (at least a little bit of ’em).

If you’re considering embarking on a month with no spending, I’d encourage you to do it! Create your own rules, and try to stick to them. When you’re feeling sad that you can’t add new things to cart, clean out some drawers, your closet, or medicine cabinet, and re-discover some items you already have.

If you’ve done a month (or more!) without spending on clothing, accessories, etc., comment below to let us know how it went / what you learned!

No Spend October: Month Without Spending Challenge

Surely you’ve heard of No-Shave November (support this great cause if you can!). But today, we’re talking about something a bit different. No-Spend November. Scratch that. October.

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While No Spend November has a much better ring to it (not to mention tons more Google results, it must be a “thing”), I’m adapting my No Spend November a month early, selecting October because, well… November has two key shopping holidays that I just can’t avoid (holiday gift shopping for others included!). This year, Black Friday falls on November 24 and Cyber Monday on November 27 and I will be partaking. Chances are, if you read this blog, you will also be partaking… more on that later!

Why Commit to a Month of No Spending?

For me, August + September were full of “just because” purchases. At times I felt “I’ve worked so hard, I deserve it.” In some cases it was justified by “it was a really good deal, hard to pass up.”

-I bought a designer purse (used) and another one (also used). Considered a third…

-I couldn’t pass up the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale (but in my defense, I only bought one thing).

-Then Nordstrom had Triple Points…

$750 dollars later… I finally started asking myself, “Why?” and “What’s next?”

While I do have disposable income available, it feels silly to “dispose” of it in this way. So while there’s not a huge push to save more / spend less, per se, I want to be more intentional about how I’m spending my money. “Just because” just doesn’t cut it anymore. These funds could be channeled to provide more meaningful experiences vs. things. More trips, more entertainment, more memories made. Hopefully, it will shape my long-term outlook on such things.

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The Minimalist vs. Maximalist Dilemma

It’s not just the spending I want to curb, it’s the STUFF. If you know me, I’m quite the bargain hunter. Purchasing a high volume of goods at a low price point is a unique skill of mine. I love a good bargain, especially when the item can be “flipped” for profit (not that I put in the effort anymore, but it’s the prospect of it that counts, for me at least).

When I see something I want at a consignment shop, vintage store, thrift store, or discount online retailer, it’s hard to pass it up. But, the accumulation of stuff is real. How can 2 people living in a 4 bedroom house feel cramped? Stuff. Let me tell you, it’s because of stuff.

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The Rules
I’ll be the first to admit it will not be easy. 31 days of no clothing, shoes, accessories, home goods, beauty products, etc. (just essentials like food and toothpaste and whatnot).

Searching Pinterest, there are some hardcore people trimming their spending on food, social activities, you name it. And I salute you. My rules skew much more simple:

  1. No spending money on clothing. Not online. Not in-store. Not full price. Not half price. Not $1.00. Includes athleisure, pajamas… yep, every article of clothing.
  2. No spending money on accessories. No jewelry. No handbags. No phone cases. No sunglasses, wallets, or perfume.
  3. No spending money on beauty products. No makeup. No Instagrammable apothocary finds. No chapstick just because you can’t find your other 6 sticks. No facial wipe travel packs even if they’re only $4.
  4. No spending money on footwear. No running shoes. No loafers. No riding boots. No chunky knit socks. No leopard print ballet flats no matter how seasonally appropriate.
  5. No home decor. This one is kind of tough. I’ve been on a decor kick. Plus with the change of seasons… No throw pillows. No blankets. No art. No plants. No flowers. No candles. No more fake succulents, alright?

I used to be really good at “No,” especially in college and just after, when I literally needed to prioritize my car payment and keep a careful eye on gas and groceries. But since growing up I’ve gotten caught up in  “treat yourself, you deserve it” mode. In an effort to break this, I’m starting with these 5 rules. I’m hoping one month is more than doable. I still plan on eating out, engaging in some travel, and not depriving myself of a manicure or facial. But, those are experiences and not things that take up space in my house.

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What’s your take? Am I being strict enough? What are your tips to curbing spending on unnecessary items?