Starting a No-Buy

Once again, I find that my shopping habit has gotten away from me, spilling out into the world like a deluge. Hence, I’ve decided that 2020 will be a year in which I do not buy any items in my problem areas. These include clothes, shoes, handbags, costume jewellery, fabric, yarn and books.

Clothes, shoes, accessories: their presence on this no-buy list is quite self-explanatory. I do buy too many clothes and spend less time wearing them than they are owed. Also, I find myself less interested and engaged with the things I own because I’m often thinking about the next thing which will enter my wardrobe. I want this to end now. Rather than feeling down about the clothes I have – all of which I loved enough to purchase them, and then keep them after several wardrobe culls – I want to celebrate them by wearing and enjoying them. Am I the only one who buys clothes and is then too nervous to wear them out in public for fear of attracting too much attention?

Next, for craft supplies, my rules are going to be a bit greyer. While I will be unable to purchase yarn, fabric, etc, to start any new projects, I will be allowed to purchase notions and supplemental fabric to finish projects if I find that I’ve come up short. This is not ideal, but I don’t want to have dozens of works in progress and be unable to finish anything because of my no-buy year.

I’ve struggled most with the inclusion of books on this list, but I can always read new books at the library, or I can purchase e-books. However, for environmental reasons as well as space on my bookshelves, I have decided to include my favourite medium in my prohibited items.

I know that starting it on a set date is less about having a clean break with a clear end and more about panic buying. This is obvious to me; otherwise, I would have already declared my no-buy year open. As it is, my book wish list is cleared, as is the one for my craft supplies. The clothing wish list is, as ever, where I have struggled. I’m still trying to crowbar my finances into a shape which allows me to buy a truly ostentatious summer dress that has been on my wish list for seven months or so. If I manage to get the money together before the end of December, perhaps I’ll declare my no-buy open early!

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