As you might already know, since the beginning of this year I have been participating in a no-buy year of makeup and skincare.
I have previously posted about the rules of my no-buy year and how it has improved my mindset beyond what I could have imagined and today I am here to talk about the beauty budget that I implemented in August this year and how my progress with that has been going.
My no-buy year.
As I mentioned above, 2019 is my no-buy year in which I am not buying any new makeup or skincare products unless I have finished every product I already own in a certain category, e.g. all of my lipsticks. It’s been more than 10 months and so far I’ve not broken my rules and have successfully not bought any new products.
However I have also been keeping track of my monthly spending since the start of the year, as the purpose of the no-buy was to curb my spending, and what I realised after I looked back at the figures is that a successful no-buy year doesn’t necessarily mean that you save money.
True, I was only buying replacement products and nothing new, however my replacement products weren’t cheap by any means. Apparently I have expensive tastes and so after the first 6 months of my 2019 no-buy year I had still spent nearly $1,000 on makeup, skincare and clothing.
As soon as I totaled up my spending I was struck with a surge of disappointment and shame. I had been so sure that my successful no-buy year would mean that I was saving money but it turns out that my rules didn’t prevent me from buying costly replacements.
My Beauty Budget
While my no-buy year had been progressing, I’d also taken to following other people’s no-buy year stories and a term that had arisen a few times was a beauty budget. Previously I’d not taken much notice of the phrase as I was already participating in my no-buy year and had assumed that was enough, however with the recent discovery of my still costly spending I started to look into what exactly a beauty budget was.
Obviously I’d heard of budgeting before however I had never partaken in one myself and had never heard of a beauty centric budget. As my research found, a beauty budget is simply a budget that is specifically tailored to your spending in the beauty realm, of which you can customise to your specific needs.
For me, my beauty budget is comprised of my monthly purchases of any makeup, skincare, clothing or home ware items. I decided to expand my budget from just makeup and skincare to include clothing and home wares as well as I would like to gain self control in each of those areas of spending and I think a monthly budget is a good place to learn that.
So as my budget is comprised of four categories of spending, I decided to allow myself $200 a month. I tried with $150 in the first month however I thought it was going to be too small and that turned out to be true. I found that $200 is enough for me to buy what I need without being able to buy overly expensive items and some months I don’t even come close to the $200 mark.
On the months when I don’t spend the full $200 available, whatever is left over rolls into the next months budget which I have found is a good way to save up in case I do decide I want to buy something expensive. It also teaches me that if I want an expensive item I’ll have to give up buying something else, and that usually decides if I am committed to the expensive product or if it’s just a short fixation.
Has my budget been successful?
So far I have been following a monthly budget of $200 since August and I can happily say that have yet to overspend in any month following it’s start.
However it has not been easy.
As I have learned, I am an impulse buyer only when it comes to buying something physical. For some reason when I’m in a store I’m highly liable to walk out with a lot of things that I saw 2 minutes ago having decided that I wanted them.
The reason for this, I think, is because I don’t have a lot of time when I’m standing in a store I rush into buying something without considering it’s impact on my budget and if I really need it or not.
When I making a purchase online I can hold the page and research reviews and alternatives and I often find cheaper products or I don’t end up buying the item at all.
When I’m standing in a store holding a pair of shoes all I can see is that I like them right now and if I want them then I have to buy them. I could theoretically put them back, think about it for a day and then go back and buy them however that’s usually too much effort for me and I end up just buying them then and there.
So going forward that is the big lesson that I’d like to teach myself. To stop impulse purchasing when I go into to physical stores.
Should you budget?
Obviously I can’t make decisions for you however if you’ve also been keeping track of your expenses and have come to the conclusion that you’re overspending then I would recommend trying a monthly budget for more reasons than just saving money.
Through both my no-buy year and my monthly budgeting I have of course saved money but more importantly I have been able to learn my own self and the triggers that cause me to overspend.
Learning these things about me has made the no-buy year and monthly budgeting worth it to me so much more than just saving a few dollars. They have taught me lessons that I can carry on long after my no-buy year is over.
With each of these updates that I write about my 2019 year of saving I am finding new points of self improvement and reflection. Beyond any money that I have saved, these lessons that I am learning have improved my mindset to a very healthy place so that I can face the years after my no-buy and not fall back into my old, bad habits.
I would absolutely recommend, if not a no-buy year, even a low-buy month or a monthly budget not just to save yourself some money but to learn about your spending habits and what triggers cause you to possibly overspend. I can say without a doubt that the past year has changed me into a better, healthier consumer and I couldn’t be any happier.