‘No-buy‘, minimalism and shopping diets are the Big Blogger Buzzwords of 2019, and (for once) it’s a trend I can totally get behind. I think we can all use a refresher course in mindful consumerism, and while I’m not embarking on a journey of no shopping in 2019, I am laying down some solid ground rules for how I’ll approach it in the new year. A ‘low-buy,‘ if you will.
My goals with this low-buy are three-fold: 1.) cut back on those impulsive purchases that litter my home and bring me little to no longterm enjoyment; 2.) carefully consider the items I want most before I pull the trigger on a purchase to create collections of things I really love and appreciate; and 3.) stash away all the extra cash to save toward a big financial goal for 2019. The latter is my biggest motivation for tightening my pursestrings in the new year; it’s the bright light at the end of a tunnel of short-term sacrifice for longterm gain. (Bonus points if I break some bad spending habits along the way.)
Much like restrictive diets, I find that strict, zero-spending budgets don’t work for me in the long haul. Anything that feels punitive and all-or-nothing is hard to stick to for more than a month or two; whether we’re talking about cutting back on sugar or Sephora. For me, this low-buy isn’t about punishment: my mission is to strike a better balance between what I want and what I need, and become smarter about how I spend my money. I joined a Facebook group called Fewer, Better, a community of women embarking on 1-year shopping hiatuses, or “anyone simply interested in modern minimalism and decreasing their consumption.” It’s full of great tips, recommendations and motivation to stay on track with your spending goals, and after reading through many women’s personal guidelines for how they plan to tackle a no-buy/low-buy 2019, I made a list of my own.
- No new books until I read at least 10 from my current collection of unread stacks. (I have so many books, y’all!) Exceptions: my Book of the Month pick and my monthly Audible credit. I’ll keep a list of new titles I want to read and either, 1.) try the library; 2.) organize a book swap with a bookworm friend; or 3.) find it at the used bookstore.
- One fresh beauty buy per month. This will scratch my itch for trying new makeup and skin care, and make me think about what I really want to add to my collection instead of experimenting with all the things. I’m not putting a budget on this item, but instead, thinking of it as a #treatyoself opportunity: if I want to go wild on a Tom Ford eyeshadow palette or splurge on a luxe Pat McGrath lipstick, it’s all free game; but it’s one and done each month. (My January pick was the Violette Fr x Estee Lauder La Dangereuse ‘Blue Dahlia’ eye shadow palette.)
- After my monthly beauty pick above, it’s one in/one out in skin care, makeup, body and hair care. This is all about using what I have, and only repurchasing a product after I’ve completely finished it and I don’t have anything comparable in my collection to replace it. For example: I’m close to polishing off my NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, but I have a full tube of It Cosmetics CC+ Cream, so I won’t need a new tinted moisturizer with SPF until the latter is gone, but if I finish the bottle of my most-loved liquid foundation, I’ll buy a fresh one; or, I have a handful of nude lip liners and won’t buy another until I’m down to the nub of the last one. I honestly have so much makeup in my collection right now, I don’t foresee needing to buy many replacements, but we’ll see how it goes when I stop constantly adding new products in the mix and just use what I have.
- One new addition to my closet per month for at least six months; whether it’s a new pair of shoes, denim, a handbag, an item of clothing, an accessory… you get it. I thought about doing a strict no-buy in the wardrobe department for the first quarter of the year, but again, I want to stick to this for the long-haul and being super restrictive may be discouraging and frustrating (know thyself). Exceptions: gift cards and retailer loyalty points (i.e., the unspent LOFT rewards that I need to cash in before they expire!) and everyday basics, like my favorite $8 t-shirts, that may need replacing after lots of wear. I’d love to carry this through the entire year, but we’ll see how I do for the first half and go from there.
To keep myself accountable and keep you all updated on my progress, I plan to share a monthly update that features any beauty products I finished, if/what I replaced them with, and my fresh beauty buy and style pick of the month. I also hope to share monthly reading roundups with you to share book reviews and recommendations, inspired by Grace’s Book Club. And if I can remember to take photos in the mornings, I’ll bring back Style Files to share how I remix all the pieces in my closet instead of constantly wanting something new.
After feeling pretty stagnant creatively in this space for the last year, I’m really excited about creating lots of new blog content based around less-is-more, responsible consumption, and “fewer, better” things. I hope you’ll follow along, and if you’re thinking about tackling a no-buy/low-buy new year, let’s kick off a chat in the comments!