Anyone who read my 2018 resolutions will know my main resolution is to not buy anything new in 2018. A big bit of self restraint is going to be needed, but it is something I really want to do!! I thought now that I am a month into it, it would be good to give a bit more information on why this is something I am doing, what exactly I mean by having a shopping ban in 2018 and how I am getting on so far. A lot of you have been asking me questions on it so hope I cover it all below, but if you have anything else you want to know, ask in the comments!
Why am I doing this?
I touched on this a little bit in my 2018 resolutions post, but basically it is 3 fold. To stop wasting money, to not reclutter my home and because consumerism is just crazy!
To stop wasting money
We are all guilty of buying things we never use or wear and it is just such a waste of money. While I am not as bad as some people out there, when I did my minimalist declutter (more on that later this month!!) I was pretty shocked by how much “stuff” I own. Some of which has never been used or literally just used once. The worst place was definitely in my wardrobe, and the worst culprits are pieces of clothing I bought online which I don’t like, but never return or things bought thinking if I loose a little bit of weight they will fit me. The truth is they will never fit me, I have hips and that is the end of it!! So that had to stop. Then there were all the must have gadgets and things for my kitchen which would be amazing, such as my fajita sizzlers and tortilla warmer! These have never been used and never will be. I thought I would use them, and love the idea, but they are a faff, they need heated in the oven before food is served and I am always too busy cooking to remember them! These things were all just a total waste of money, no matter how you look at it! So this year I am not buying any of these must haves, I wonder if I will even remember what I “needed” but don’t buy in 12 months time…..
To not reclutter
I just spend most of November and December decluttering my life. I used some minimalism techniqes and loved the process. Now my house is free of clutter (even though, honestly I didn’t really think I had much to begin with) I feel so much better. Everywhere I look things are just tidy. Everything has a designated space and as such nothing is stressing me out. My absolute favourite part of the process has been in my wardrobe though. Now when I open it I can see everything I own and it all fits and I love it all. Opening it up and picking an outfit from there every day genuinely makes my heart happy. Not a word of a lie, it brings me actual real joy. If I were to buy more things this joy would dissappear pretty quickly. I am not saying I will never buy again, but certainly for this 12 months, I will not be recluttering anything in my house. It stresses me out and I do not need it!
Consumerism is out of hand
This is probably the biggest part for me. As I move further with my zero waste efforts it has hit me, hard, just how much we buy for the sake of buying and waste things we use only a couple of times. We buy everything we need at any given time when actually we could borrow from a friend or maybe even do a swap. But as we are told to just buy it, we do! The further I pull away from buying “stuff” the more I genuinley just don’t want to buy it. The Christmas period really hit this home though. I witnessed so many people buying things in the days following Christmas just because they were cheap. Normally I am one of those people, but as an outsider watching it last year it was so apparent to me just how ridiculous it is! And personally I want out.
On top of this, there is fast fashion! We are literally putting other people’s lives at risk to get the latest trend which is designed to last for only a few months. That, to be honest, makes me feel a little sick. When did we become so obsessed with buying that we do not care if it literally kills someone for us to get it?? Now I know a lot of consumers are blissfully unaware of this (I was until last year) but the people selling it know this and that makes me feel, like I say, physically sick. They will not be getting any of my money.
What do I mean by having a shopping ban?
As I said, I want out, so made the decision to not buy anything new in 2018, with a few caveats. I can obviously buy myself food, I am also allowing myself to buy skincare and makeup. Whilst this may not seem necessary, I have terrible skin which is only irritated further when I don’t wear foundation (random but true). So I will still be buying skincare and make up, but only what I actually need. Bath bombs for example will not be on the list, they are an indulgence not a necessity. I will also have to finish the item I currently have before buying new, I will not just be buying a new foundation because I want it. Another caveat is, if during the course of the year I find I desperately need a new item of clothing or product for the house, I will have to either borrow it from a friend or buy it in a second hand or charity shop. Again I will not just buy a second hand dress because I want it, I will only buy it if I really need it. I will also allow myself to buy gifts in this way. Yup, I will not be buying anyone a new gift for their birthday or Christmas, which is a challenge I am looking forward to!
Reading blogs and watching YouTube videos, a lot of other people seem to be having what they call a no spend year as well. Most of them, however, will literally not be spending any unnecessary money. They are focussed mainly on saving money. Which I am to a point, I am still spending in some areas. For example, I have and will still be eating out, going to the pub or having a coffee. Probably most importantly I will also be spending money on travel. As my aim in this is to not waste money, it is not to save money. If that makes sense!
How has it been so far
On the 1st of January I was already seeing things I wanted, specifically a gorgeous teal cushion with 2 parrots on it (it was so beautiful and would be perfect in my livingroom). I am happy to confirm I did not buy the cushion, although lets face it, if on the 1st of January I had already failed, I would have had problems!! But, when I saw this it made me think it would be interesting to note down all the things I want over the course of the year. Then on the 31st December, I can look at it to see whether I still want any of these things and maybe more interestingly if over the course of the year I start wanting less. I will probably also make a conclusion as to if something had been bought, would I still be using it. So please look back in 11 months haha!
But back to the point, in general the first month has been ok. The one issue I have found is my black backpack broke and I would really love a new one, but I have other bags so am not getting one. While I want it, and arguably would use it every weekend, I do have a proper hiking backpack I can take out with me. It doesn’t look great, but it serves the purpose. I think there will be little issues like this all along my year. I have also realised I don’t own any bikinis tops, only bottom’s and boring old swimsuits (proper swimming lengths ones). This is no biggie, but I intend on going to Thailand with my friend in November and this may leave me feeling far less than glamorous, but I will make do. I think as the months go on and I see more things I want it will really start to hit home, but January has been good to me! Made even easier as no one else has money so consumerism is probably at its most played down in January!
Has anyone else been doing the same? How you getting on?