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.
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.
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.
8 full-size hair sprays. Eight?!
8 products containing SPF.
8 body lotions.
14 face lotions / moisturizers. Some were samples, but still… I have a really hard time choosing just one fave, ok?
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.
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).
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:
- dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse
- dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub
- ColorPop (Lips / Eyes / Concealer)
- Urban Decay Naked Smoky Eyeshadow Palette (now $27!)
- Outdoor Voices Leggings
- Target – Project 62 (most everything from this line – especially these picks!)
- EverlyWell Food Sensitivity+ Kit
- Glossier You Perfume
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!