How I survived a month of NO BUY

I had to try it. You too should consider this option. You may have heard bloggers go on 'no buy' but never really understood why... In general the reason is because they go through these periods of extensive buying and stocking on different kinds of products, so afterwards they need to take some time to just focus on what they have in order to fully use it. It makes sense in that context, but why you?

I took the decision after a long discussion with a family member. She told me, to my face, that she thought I may want to consider seeing someone about that 'addiction' I had to shopping. It is kind of scary to think of yourself as being sick, just because you can't resist a beautiful pair of shoes, or think that scarf can perfectly go with a dress you'll find, sometime in the future. Conclusion of the story: I was and still am convinced that I don't have a problem, it's just temptation. To be sure, just in case, I decided to try a month of fashion no buy (clothes, shoes, accessories...). 

And now guess what, August is over, and I succeeded: not one small item bought, I feel so proud of such an accomplishment. This experience had many advantages, besides me being proud. Obviously, I now know for sure I have absolutely no trouble I should consult a doctor for, I can control myself and be less impulsive. Also, I have an exact idea about what to cut off next time I have to save money, because yes that helps. And more importantly, going on "no buy" made me think about other purchases differently. For instance, I would think twice about a cosmetic deal which I can afford, just because I am in that mood.
I considered this month as a therapy, it wasn't really easy, but I had my own tricks:
  • You don't have to go to the mall. There are so many places worth visiting, and many new activities you can try. You have to do some thinking here. Sometimes when we are bored/ stressed out or depressed, we tend to pick shopping as the healing solution, while we could consider other options. Going out with friends, the movies, bowling, reading, cooking...You pick.
  • If you absolutely have to go shopping, with a relative or a friend for example (and yes I have been there more than once during my -not so short- month of no buy) keep your hands off products, you are not buying a thing. You don't need to make yourself suffer, because yes you may encounter sales, and may find that exact color in those pants you've been dreaming of and hopelessly looking for for so long. And please, don't try on that necklace, it -of course- will suit you perfectly. Hands off !
  • Explain to people what you are doing, you may find some help. I almost gave up my resolution on the very first week, but my mum was there to take what I had chose off my hands and remind me that I had to be wiser in keeping my promises. Of course, some other people may just encourage you to buy stuff and bring on arguments such as "it's the last weekend of the month, you've done good go ahead and get what you want" or "ok just choose whatever you like i'll pay it for you". That's not how it works: the very goal is not money. Don't cheat.
  • Choose the timing: after sales, when your wishlist is almost empty because you got most of what you really wanted, or at the end of the season because anyways if fall is coming you don't really need to shop for summer clothes...The objective is not to torture you!
  • Go through your closet or stock of products (I am here giving the example of clothes but I know there are people crazy about makeup, body creams, table sets or whatever other 'addiction' you have) and make some order. If there is something that should be thrown away go ahead. We tend to have emotional bonds with objects but that's unhealthy: the essence of life is separation (article about this coming up soon). Plus this will make your proud of yourself for taking such a great decision, you'll realize you have so many things you don't really benefit from!
At the very end of the month, celebrate your good will. This does not have to mean go ahead, back to your habit and shop till you drop because you have been deprived enough. The idea is to train yourself to be a 'better' shopper. You get to decide what this means to you: it might be buying more of things you can actually use, not just stuff you find beautiful. Maybe you'll decide to be very picky when it comes to quality, or it can simply imply that you don't have to always buy this kind of dresses, that this color really doesn't suit you, and that these jeans are not exactly the best cut for you...

A month goes by very quickly. Plus no buy is an excellent experience, I would have never imagined it would change my shopping habits, bring on new ideas about how I can exploit what I already have and make me wise about my choices and how I spend my money in general.

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