9 May 2017

a 2017 shopping ban - a brief overview of how and why!

At the beginning of this year, I put myself on a shopping ban from January to May. The only things I was allowed to purchase were replacement skincare and makeup products. You might recall that this has been tried over the last few years but this time, I was a lot more successful. My reason for this time being more successful was that there was a lot more brutal honesty about what I already had in my possession and how much stuff I could realistically go through in this time frame. To help with the latter part, I decided to keep a box of my 'empties' - finished bottles, sachets and products all went in here. My goal is to look at the end of the year and see how much stuff is really used over the course of twelve months.

One motivation for doing this was to be more minimalistic and stop stocking up on things so much. In the past, shampoos, conditioners and things that didn't go off were bought whenever I noticed they were on offer in the supermarket. This would result in, on average, a bottle a week being bought when I go through a bottle every month and a half! Though this saves money in the long run, I find clutter a bit of a stressor and during the last five months, there's been a major mission to declutter stuff no longer used, needed or wanted.



Over the last twelve months, I've accumulated a lot of skincare and make-up samples through various means and this no-spend has been a good time to use up a lot of these samples. You can see a small pile in the picture above. Many of these samples have been average or below average in performance but the ones that do impress me make it onto my wishlist (below). Some of the items on my wishlist haven't been sampled - they are just there so that when I finish my current foundation/concealer/mascara, etc, I can refer to this list to see what was on my mind to try next.


Overall, this project has been largely positive and I find myself evaluating each purchase much more stringently than I used to. Though I don't think my ability to budget before was particularly poor, my belief is that there is always room for improvement, no matter how good you think you are. And I apply this belief to all areas of my life.

My current goal is to keep this going for the rest of the year and so far so good (fingers crossed!). If anyone knows of sites where I can sell good quality clothing on (other than eBay), please do let me know. I had a bad experience where a buyer abused the buyer protection programme and it's really soured my choice to sell on eBay as the seller protection is basically non-existent even when you're 100% compliant (mini rant over!).

If you want to do a similar challenge, I would recommend keeping a box of empties because it is a great motivator and allows you to see how much stuff you realistically get through.

1 comment