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Maya's Daydreams

Four Months Into My No-Buy Year

I still have not figured out why images aren't working in my blog posts, once I do, I will go back and include images from my trackers because I feel like they're mildly interesting! I am not a web developer, and I'm learning as I'm going on this website...

I like having goals. I have been doing a no-buy / low-buy all year, and if I was going by my stated goal at the beginning of the year to "buy nothing for myself for an entire year," and then to "buy a reasonable amount with these rules" when I realized that that wasn't possible. To failing at both for a time, to maybe having one bad day a week, to then having one bad weekend a month. I would say that I failed.

January #

In January I started tracking my no spend with a very simple "No Spend" check box for every day of the month. For the first few days, it was easy to not spend money because I was home and tired of getting things from the holidays. It was so easy that I decided to not track at all. Until I got a $2.50 coffee at the courthouse while I was a jury duty... and then it just opened the flood gates. I didn't want to go back and fill in those days in my tracker because I felt so ashamed.

I figured that maybe having one box to check was too much pressure. My perfectionist tendencies were getting in my way. At the end of January, I started tracking my spending by category rather than just having one big No Spend box that I could fill in every day. Historically, my areas have been clothes, craft supplies, books, and eating out, so I went with those. Making this change was super helpful for me, and I felt like I had a little bit more information to help me strategise a little bit better.

February #

This new system made February feel so much easier. I bought one clothing item, got craft supplies once (after finishing a project). I let myself get lunch/food out by myself once per week and stuck to it. I said I could go to a coffee shop twice in the month, but I HAD to sit down and be in the coffee shop and make it an experience. That all went great! But there were still purchases I was making that didn't fit into these categories, so I added a "questionable" category. Those little questionable dots started to increase in frequency as the month went on... A lot of them were wordpress related if I remember correctly, so I'm glad to have finally moved on!

March #

I feel very dumb for not backing up my old blog posts from the wordpress days, because I chronicled my struggles through all of this past March. March was the month that I felt like completely giving up, I felt like I was back to my old spending habits, and that I should just accept that this is the way I am. The big killer in March was books and I felt so bad that I didn't even both tracking them. I was also making lots of questionable purchases, and I was back to binge eating again. :(

Looking back through my spending history though, I was still miles away from my spending behaviors in November and December of last year, and breaking bad habits takes time. I also noticed that my craft supplies purchases were zero!!! So I don't see March as a total loss!

April #

I decided to keep trying, I started April with slightly different rules, things like I can buy a book, but I have to finish one first. The first week of April was full of questionable puchases, two books, and I ate out a lot! But that number started to dwindle quite a bit, to my surprise, gradually and kind of naturally. It helped that I figured out some ways to get books for free and started decluttering more. I also got a little bit deeper into my EMDR therapy, where we have been working through my relationship with money and stuff. More on that later...

Looking ahead to May! #

My tracker is very different this month. I took clothes off my list because I realized that they weren't a problem at all... and I added alcohol as a new habit that I want to kick. It's just been starting to make me feel sicker than I used to. I also took off craft supplies. Decluttering and downsizing has me realizing that I really need to finish the projects in my basket before starting anything new. I have also started this new YNAB system, so at the moment, I don't really have money allocated to buying things or eating out, because I have some more concrete goals that I'm working towards. I am VERY curious to see how this month goes after April went so well!

All of May 2024, I will be participating in weblog posting month created by Apple Annie

For a list of other participants, go here

For a list of my topic ideas and some rules I wrote for myself, go here

Post 4/31