There comes a time in your life when you realize you are spending too much money on things. I’m not talking about rent and groceries (although are ridiculous). I’m talking about spending on clothes, makeup, home décor…things you can control.
I had to confront my spending habits about a year ago when the credit card bills started getting out of control. Also, I’ve been truly trying to cut back – even minimize.
I’m not a minimalist but I do like the concept of a capsule wardrobe, having less décor in the house, and of course making everything easier.
I stumbled on a You Tuber named Christina Mychas who was stating a low buy journey and her ideas really inspired me to start my own low buy. Here are some of the things I have learned about myself during the low buy and of course – how to do one yourself.
First – come up with your “WHY”. You must have a clear reason for doing a Low Buy so it will inspire you when things are difficult. My why was to lower my credit card bills and try to save more for travel. Your why might be to reduce debt and purchase a home. Whatever your why – its personal – but it will support you on your journey.
Second – come up with “RULES”. My no’s were no new jewelry, clothes, home décor, makeup, blowouts, or books. And I committed to eating out significantly less. I committed to use up with I had in terms of makeup and skin care and only REPLACE things when I ran out. My yeses were nails 1x a month, lashes 2x a month and hair color ever 6 weeks. I made those personal upkeep things a priority in my budget. I did also discover that I wanted to prioritize a candle budget. I love burning candles and with buying no new home décor it left a hole. So, I developed a small line item for candles.
Third – manage your budget. I got a budget app called Rocket Money who helped me identify monthly subscriptions and cut back where I could. I also unsubscribed from texts and emails from businesses that sent me too many offers and opportunities to buy. You can control what comes into your email! Finally, I switched to cash for some of my spending. I get coffee from my local bakery on the days I go into the office. (If I have to work, I deserve coffee) So the coffee is $3.75 a cup x 4 days a week = that’s $60 a month. I also use cash for my eating out for lunches. 1 time a week I budget $15 for a lunch out = that’s $60 a month. I use cash to manage both of those funds for myself. Also – it cuts down on credit card line items.
Finally – it was hard to identify, but I shop for clothes and home décor when I’m stressed or bored. So, I had to come up with new, constructive, ways to manage those feelings. I literally came up with a list of things that a free to do when I feel stress or boredom. They include, taking a walk, walking the dog, reading, and taking a bath. I also realized that decluttering my home and of course cleaning it was free!
The low buy has been a game changer. My credit card bills are lower, and I seem to be managing my money better. Of course, I’ve been doing it for a year for I will admit that I have purchased some items (like clothes) on my no list. But I’m not going crazy. And a low buy is just to reign in your spending and help you identify some of your habits. It’s not designed to be about scarcity or depraving yourself. The best part about a low buy is that you get to make the rules. Identify what spending you can control in your budget and make plans to spend less.
I have been very happy on my low buy. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.
I’d love to get a discussion started about what rules you are establishing for yourself and what your no’s and yeses will be. Post below in the comments so we can inspire each other.