When my amiga The Frugalista mentioned that February was going to be her second go-round at No Buy Month (The Remix, LOL), I got so excited! I mean, I just put in notice at my day job, so right about now a bella needs to be stacking as much paper as possible!
The basic concept of No Buy Month is self-explanatory. In Natalie’s words, “I’m not getting my hair or nails done. No eating out. No car washes. I’m not buying anything other than necessities like groceries and gas. No, I’m not spending money to socialize either. I did this last year and saved $400. This year, though, I want to add a little twist. I am going to burn calories too.”
I’m definitely with her on the burn calories tip, and the rest of it sounds so very necessary.
I eat out entirely too much, and I know I can make that stuff way better at home. Initially I was quick to sign on board. Then the e mails started whispering to me. Valentine’s Day sales! 50% off clearance! Buy one get one free! Ack! It’s only February 3!
What’s an admitted product-junkie to do? How does a beauty blogger take on no buy month?
For one, I’m digging through the drawers for the stuff I’ve been putting away for a rainy day, or just plain forgotten about. That includes clothes, shoes, jewelry, and yes, beauty and cosmetic items. I’m trying to approach this as a challenge to remix my existing wardrobe. I know I’ve got style, so I should be able to work what I’ve got instead of always wanting to cop something new. Throughout February, expect to see some fashion remix suggestions, and product re-reviews mixed in with the regular reviews, previews, and giveaways of beauty items.
Secondly, I’ve been hitting the stores — to return items! And I’ll take the cash back if I can get it. If not, I’ll get a store credit. Does returning a too-big shirt to TJ Maxx and spending the store credit on something new that fits go against the principle of No Buy Month? Technically, you didn’t actually buy anything, did you? If a tree falls in the forest…
Third, I’m trying to share The Frugalista’s perspective. No Fear: ” I look at No-Buy Month as a 28-day treat. I get to spend the month watching my bank account stabilize or grow. I get to spend a month without waiting in long lines at the hair salon or mall… This month is the one month you get to pamper your finances. Bank accounts need love, too!”
She’s so right! 28 days to just sit back and let the money marinate makes so much sense. But when I’m alone in my room, sometimes I stare at the wall, and in the back of my mind, I hear my conscience call. I need stuff! Or at least, I think I do. Or it makes me feel better to buy it if I’ve had a craptastic week. Something like that.
I’d definitely diagnose myself as a shopaholic. I mean, I’m never going to wind up on an episode of Clean House taking about why I can’t sell my collection of comforters in a garage sale, but I’m far from immune from retail therapy. Part of me is super gung-ho about No Buy Month. Part of me doubts my own resilience and really really wants to race to Target to comb through the clearance racks. (Outerwear’s on sale and I’m moving to Chicago!)
So my goal as of February 2 is to cut way, way back. Before I went grocery shopping yesterday, I double checked my pantry, freezer, and fridge to make sure I was getting exactly what I needed and nothing redundant. (HOW many times have I bought an extra can of black beans or bottle of Italian dressing, completely forgetting the other untouched items sitting in the pantry? Ridiculous).
At the grocery, I bought extra frozen meals and yummy soups to fill me up, in the effort to stave off those let’s-go-out-to-lunch urges. I work in a neighborhood that seems to pride itself on $10 panini places. By the time you order a soda plus tax and delivery charge, you’re looking at a $14 lunch. No. Thank. You.
I filled our house with all the food we need for a week, and filled my car with gas. And that’s how I started No Buy Month on Feb. 1. I can’t promise I’m going to make it through the whole month without buying anything extraneous, but I’ll try my best. (I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day, what can I say?)
How about you? Are you down with No Buy Month?