I have a problem; I have next to no restraint when it comes to spending money on things that I know I don’t need.
I’ll fall for any marketing strategy, any advertisement or sponsored social media post. I’m basically an advertiser’s dream consumer. I live for the emails of those numerous online shopping sites I’ve signed up for to tell me what all the latest sales are. I click on those FB and Instagram ads knowing full well they were tailored to me by those sneaky activity trackers. It becomes a vicious cycle of seeing an ad or social media post *cough*Trendmood*cough*, wanting to buy whatever is advertised, contemplating for about a day before taking the plunge and then seeing another ad.
I am also easily swayed in person to purchase things in the shops. When the sales assistant tells me I look good in a top or some jeans I am basically sold, even though I know it was probably part of their job to tell me I look good. Even without the extra encouragement from the sales people, I’m rather good at convincing myself that I really need another stripy shirt, even though I have six others at home.
Another major driver of my non-restraint is FOMO. FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out, and by Google definition it is ‘anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media’.
Essentially, it’s the perception that if you don’t get something now, you will never be able to get it again. It happens when I come across a good sale, whether it be an ad I scroll across on Facebook or a sign propped outside a store in the shopping centre. Don’t even get me started on anything labelled as Limited Edition; it is a marketing strategy literally telling you to snatch up whatever item as fast as you can before it’s all gone. Makeup companies especially love to slap ‘Limited Edition’ onto their products to drive hype and sales (and it works!).
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not completely irresponsible – I do have savings that I am trying to build upon, and, if I try hard, I can resist the pull of that beautiful Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette or those ankle sock boots that I’ve been wanting for ages. But alas, as my mid-year trip to Japan approaches, saving is more important than ever.
That is why I am going to challenge myself to a two-month no-buy. I know that, realistically, I don’t need a 7th stripy t-shirt or another eye shadow palette. My earring collection has also literally quadrupled over the last two months, and I can live for another two without purchasing any more.
Now, I know that two months isn’t a particularly long period of time and there are probably some of you out there thinking ‘is that even a challenge?’. Well, it is for me, and I have to start somewhere I think is achievable. Who knows, maybe after these two months I’ll have learnt some more restraint. Maybe in time I could go for a six-month ban, possibly even a year. But, baby steps…
Although I say my reason for doing this is to save for Japan, I also hope to gain more from this challenge. I want to be more critical with my purchases and smart with my money - I don’t want to open a wardrobe or look over at my makeup vanity to see them full with regretful purchases made over split-second decisions. I want to be more resourceful rather than constantly try to expand my resources. I want to learn to use and love what I already have. Because that’s the thing – when you have so many new things inundating your collection at such a fast pace, it’s hard to take the time to really fall in love with any of it.
So I’m taking matters into my own hands and making my own intervention.
Two Month No Buy challenge
- No new clothes
- No new makeup or skincare
- No new jewellery or other accessories
- Refills of items I already use regularly
- Glasses, because I am due for a new prescription and will most likely be getting a new pair soon
- As soon as this article posts. 7pm 12-03-2018.
Wish me luck!
Written by Anna :>
P.S. Stay tuned for an update article in two months to see how I did!