So two months have passed and, as promised, here is the update on my No-Buy challenge. It is not so much an update as it is a conclusion, a verdict on how I did; did I give in, or was I successful? I’ll give you a rundown on what happened:
So right after my ban commenced, I had to buy accommodation for my mid-year Japan trip. After all, this trip was one of the main reasons I decided to undertake a no-buy challenge in the first place. Now let me tell you, the total price for accommodation was not cheap, so it was pretty easy for me to not spend any money on the things I had put on my no-buy list, simply because I didn’t want to (or rather, I had no money to)!
Alas, as the weeks went by and pay days came and went, my bank account replenished and the restriction of low funds, in turn, diminished. I felt the familiar urges to shop and spend start to resurface, and I really started to feel the challenge in this ‘challenge’. The first time I felt my resolve really starting to slip was when I saw a top that I had considered buying at its full price of $60 on sale for $15. It took me a good few deep breaths and repeating the inner mantra of ‘You can do this, you can do this, you can do this…’ to resist. Another time was when I found some ankle boots that perfectly matched what I had been looking to get for over a year.
However, I was really tested when I scrolled past a post on Instagram from Mecca, an Australian beauty retailer, advertising an exclusive restock of a limited edition eye shadow palette that had I really wanted but missed out on last time it was available. I didn’t know if it would be restocked again after this time, and I highly doubted that it would stay in stock for another month until the end of my ban.
To cope, I would partially satisfy my impulses by window shopping and scrolling endlessly on online shopping sites; it was also a test of sorts to build up my resistance to the temptations that I gave in to so easily. Over some weeks, it really did start to work. I went to the shops equipped with the mindset that I wasn’t going to spend any money, and I didn’t. I had a stronger resolve and I was firm and quick in saying ‘no’ to temptations to break the challenge. Being me, I did complain and dramatise my despair in not being able to buy a certain item at times but the want of the item never overcame my determination to succeed in the challenge.
This is not to say that I still did not have my moments of weakness, of woe of being tied to the restrictions I had placed upon myself. But these were made up by the times I got to reflect and feel proud of my spending decisions and the restraint that I had built up. Of course, the desire for a lot of things was still there but not being able to immediately act upon that urge made me realise that, if only I had taken the time to mull over an item for a day before buying it, I would have realised that a lot of the time the desires were only temporary. I have probably saved a lot of money these past two months from staving off impulse buys - as a result, I have been able to save up money for things that I actually really want, and have contemplated over for some time. In the long run, this type of spending is more meaningful than the immediate but temporary fulfilment I receive from the impulsive purchases I so often wasted money on.
So, what now? Now that the ban is over, the resolve that came with not wanting to fail the challenge is gone. Without that factor, do I just revert back to my old spending habits? Well, hopefully not. I’m hoping to be more conscious of what I am spending, and really questioning the necessity of an item before taking the plunge. Is that to say that I won’t still ‘treat myself’ to a couple of indulgent things? No, I probably will stay partake in a little bit of ‘treat yourself’ moments here and there but I will strive to be less impulsive and really take the time to mull over an item before purchasing it. Overall, I hope to instil in myself healthier and smarter spending habits.
I learnt a lot in these past two months, and I want to better myself from this experience. I know I still have a long way to go, but this is a start! I said it as a semi-joke in my first article, but I really think I would be up for a six month no-buy next time...maybe not for a while though :P
Written by Anna :>
Side note: Some of you may be wondering 'And what of that limited edition eye shadow palette?' Well, I had kept a tab open on my phone to refresh each morning to see if it was still in stock and, promisingly, it stayed in stock for over a week, two weeks, three…I decided that I would purchase it at the end of my ban as a reward but, alas, on the night the challenge ended the palette, devastatingly, went out of stock. Maybe it was the universe trying to tell me something. Or maybe the universe just hates me :<