My September No-Buy / Low-Buy Check In

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Willpower is a funny thing. People can use sheer willpower to convince themselves to achieve amazing physical feats like running a marathon, lifting a car to save a child, climbing a mountain. Or they can use willpower in smaller ways, like writing 500 words a day, learning a new language or paying off debt. But when it comes to focusing on the little things, willpower may not always be enough.

For the past three weeks I’ve embarked upon a September No-Buy / Low-Buy to curb my spending in non-essential areas of my life. But all its done is really emphasize why I need to have more of a plan about my money.

I have a budget, I save 30-40% of my take-home every month, I’m debt-free and I’m trying to save up enough money so I don’t need to ‘just get any job’ when my contract ends next summer. While I have goals in place for savings, I don’t have many goals in place for SPENDING. AND I’m not talking about a budget. I need to figure out how to make my money work better for me. You know what they say…

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So this is something I’m going to write more about next week. Until then? Here are my results with 10 days to go.

The No-Buy

Breakfast items at the cafe at work: Fail! So far I’ve only bought ONE muffin and ONE cinnamon-twisty-thing. But the reason I did that was because I didn’t go grocery shopping to refill my snack drawer with oatmeal, breakfast items, etc. This ‘fail’ only cost me $3 but it highlights something I need to work on.
Books: Pass! I’ve done so well with this that I’m even, sadly, avoiding Toronto Word on the Street this weekend to help facilitate this goal. Sorry books.
Makeup: Pass! Doing really well! I haven’t bought a single lipstick/gloss/eyeshadow palette all month. Despite a bunch of really tempting products… I know I’m going to spend a bit in October however.
Hair products: Pass! I’ve been working through a lot of my stuff and have even found that I have an amazing Argan oil tucked away in my drawer. Score!
Nail polish: Fail! I bought Yuna from Zoya’s Ignite collection. To make up for it I’ve arranged to sell almost $40 of makeup to friends this month .

Exceptions/Bonus Round: In my September No-Buy / Low-Buy post I SAID that I was making an exception when it came to my beauty box subscriptions of Topbox and Julep, but on Friday I bit the bullet and cancelled my Julep subscription! Cheers all around! Now I only pay for Topbox, the only consistent subscription box around. (You can read about my Topbox wins on Darling Magpie.)

The Low-Buy

For the month of September, I will curb my spending on:

Take-out Lunch: Pass! I’ve done REALLY WELL with this. I think I’m going to continue with this habit from now on. It also makes that ONE out-of-office lunch that much better.
Coffee: So-So! I wanted to reduce the number of work coffees I’ve purchased, and in three weeks I’ve only bought three! I did however have several at the film festival, but I had already noted that as an exception.
Non-Essential Clothing: Pass! So far I’ve only bought a light top for a day where I got SOAKED through my rain jacket. I’ve been trying to find work pants but it’s been difficult…

So thus far, it has gone fairly well. A slip up here or there but if anything it has solidified why I need to start organizing how I SPEND my money a little better. Does it really affect my budget if I buy a $12 nail polish? Where is that $12 going otherwise? What am I not spending my money on that I should be focusing on? New housewares, clothes, furnishings? I think I need a total budget overhaul this autumn.

Jordannn from My Alternate Life has also done something similar recently. Sometimes it’s the small things that can make the biggest changes.

How has your September gone? Has it been spendy? Let me know.

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