I completed 6 months of No-Buying about three weeks ago. During these six months I didn’t buy a single item of western clothing, shoes, bags or makeup. And honestly, it wasn’t even that hard. Here’s why –
No-Buying is A Habit
You know how they say that you need to get your head into the game if you want to be successful at taking on a diet? Because making responsible eating choices is a habit – and similarly, making responsible purchases are also a habit. I took on the no-buy because I was sick of the crap that I had accumulated over the years – I had way too many clothes, way too much makeup, way too much stuff and yet, I wasn’t happy. Every time I was tempted to make a purchase, I reminded myself of how shitty I felt when I went through my stuff and I forced myself to introspect every time I saw something that I liked –
Do I really need this?
The answer was almost always a no. The first couple of times is very hard, but after you’ve formed the habit, it gets easier every time. Today, it’s incredibly hard to tempt me into buying clothing, makeup or shoes. Like it has to be spectacular if I am to even consider it.
I Cut My Wardrobe Down
One of the more interesting things that happened during the course of my no-buy is that I actually ended up giving away a ton of stuff. Honestly, I thought I’d be hoarding more when I started this exercise but it’s actually made me ruthless. If I don’t love it, I toss it out. And as it turned out…
I Learned That My Previous Buying Habits Were The Fucking Worst
My previous buying habits were so bad, you guys. I used to buy nonsense on sale, just because it was on sale and not because I really wanted it. As a result I had a mountain of cheap-ish clothes that I felt only lukewarm about. Didn’t hate them, but 6/10 times, I never wore them either. I could have spent that on a full priced outfit that I loved! I also bought clothes that I thought looked great on other people without thinking if they were good for me. Anyway, I had just accumulated a ton of shit that I didn’t love wholeheartedly. And the no-buy has really helped me be more ruthless about what I wear and what I store.
My Style Has Evolved
Over the last six months, I’ve really learned a lot about my own personal style based on whatever I keep wearing from my own wardrobe. As it turned out, I like solid colours over pattern, clean silhouettes and minimal embellishment when it comes to the clothes I wear – both Indian and western styles. My wardrobe doesn’t match my style entirely at the moment and I am still figuring out how to align it. I am missing a few pieces as well, so every time I feel like, okay, I need this (for example, I have 10 pairs of blue jeans when what I really NEED is a pair of beige linen pants to take me through the summer), I write it down so that I can remember to get it when my no-buy ends. Until that happens, I try to make do with what I have – in this case, I wear skirts. #Ventilation
Didn’t You Just Feel Like Shopping?
I did! Plenty of times. But as I learned, retail isn’t really therapy and when the first few times I really felt bummed, I bought some stationery. Today I’ve managed to cut even that. Instead, I spend on consuming or experiencing. Like when I had a bad day, I’d step out to get a coffee or sign up for a class. It’s definitely a more constructive way to spend your money.
I do feel tempted to buy all the time though, but whenever I do, I take the time to stew over it. If I find myself really wanting something for more than a month, then it goes into my ‘things to buy after no-buy’ list. Currently, there’s a pair of Valentino Rockstuds on that list – I’ve wanted those shoes for three years now! But although my want is clear, I am still unsure of where to get the money to afford them, heh.
But Did You Really Not Buy Anything?
Here’s a comprehensive list of things that I bought over the last 6 months that didn’t fit in with my Pongal and Birthday allowance:
- A pair of workout leggings from Puma because the ones I had ended up getting ripped in the crotch. This is not even up for discussion.
- House slippers, because I started developing cracks on my heels
I didn’t buy any shoes, makeup or bags and all my skincare purchases were replacements. HAVING SAID THAT, and because this is an honest post, I did receive a couple of kurtas to wear to work on my birthday from my parents and in-laws, as well as a saree on occasion of my baby’s first birthday. Old me would have made at least triple the number of purchases.
You’ve Got To Try It
Not wanting anything is so liberating! Today I am not tempted by any sales or whatever, to the point where I’m confident that even if I do end the no-buy, my consuming habits have seen a permanent shift towards quality over quantity. I am going to Europe in July, so I may end it then, hehe. But until then, I think I can safely say that no-buying, or at the very least, consuming less is a way of life (I feel like I should have a beard right now) and I cannot recommend it enough.
Anyone else try a no-buy?