What it feels like to do a no-buy month

Blossoms in Tokyo

After spending more than expected on holiday, I’m doing a no spend month, a.k.a. a no-buy month. Here are my thoughts halfway through.

I wasn’t expecting to spend so much in Japan – travel photos are coming soon, I promise! – but I guess we were a little more careless considering this will be our last big vacation abroad before the house has been renovated. To counter the empty feeling in my pocket, I’ve decided April will be my no-buy month.

This month, I’m not allowed to spend money on anything except for necessities or to replace empties. Doing a no-buy month is not as drastic or life changing as doing a whole no-buy year, so I didn’t think it would be hard or give me any more insights. However, I do notice there are some peculiar thoughts that I’m having, being half-way through the month.

Half-way through the no-buy month

Since we’re mid-April now, I thought I’d do a little recap of how things are going. I have to admit that it wasn’t that hard, considering I have bought quite some stuff from Japan, such as skincare and stationery, to satisfy my non-essential wants. In that sense, the first weeks were pretty easy because I didn’t feel I was missing anything.

But last weekend I did feel the itch to have a browse through my favourite webshops. I started to feel the need to buy things. I even added items to my online shopping cart, just to see how much it would cost.

After the no-buy: what I want to buy

Of course, doing a no-buy doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to create a wishlist. I’ve jotted down all the things I felt the urge to buy and narrowed it down to what I really want to buy in May:

Plum blossoms in Japan
  1. Fresh flowers
    This is a strange one for me because I’m not the type of person that absolutely needs a bouquet of fresh flowers at home. But I did feel the need to bring some fresh flowers in our home when I saw all the blooms outside. Of course, it didn’t help that we left Japan at the start of sakura season.
  2. Hourglass Ambient Light Palette
    In February, I bought the BECCA Be A Light face powder palette. I thought it was a good – and mostly cheaper – dupe for the Hourglass face powder palettes. However, I don’t like it as much as the Hourglass formula. The Becca palette isn’t bad but it’s not great either, it’s just a bit…meh? There’s simply nothing that does a subtle lit-from-within face glow like Hourglass.
  3. A matcha bowl
    I was hoping to bring back some beautiful matcha whisks and bowls from Japan, thinking it would be cheaper to get them straight from the source. My gosh, were we wrong! They were around the same price level or pricier than in our local coffee & tea shop. We bought the matcha whisk on our first day back from Japan (since we did buy matcha tea in Japan) but hesitated on the bowl. But since I’m in my no-buy month, the matcha bowl will have to wait.
  4. Chanel vitalumière aqua (replace)
    This is my foundation of choice. It’s lightweight, a little will go a long way and it’s buildable if needed. I have been using it sparingly though because I can feel it’s about to run out. I’m hoping to stretch it until May.
  5. Cleansing oil (replace)
    Last week I ran out of the travel sized Hada Labo cleansing oil. Since I can’t buy a new one, I’m using up a Pixi & Caroline Hirons tub that has been on my shelf for months. It’s not a bad product, but just not my favourite for a double cleanse. It might just last me until May but if it doesn’t, I’ll have to open up the cleansing oil from the Sekkisui travel pack (also a Japan purchase, obvs.). I don’t know why, but I kind don’t want to use the Sekkisui skincare set just yet?
  6. Nighttime skincare treatment (replace)
    I’m almost out of my favourite nighttime skin treatment. There’s only a little layer left in my tub of Blithe Crystal Iceplant pressed serum. Unfortunately, the korean skincare shop in Brussels where I purchased this from, seems to have closed down. It’ll be a bit harder to get my hands on so I might switch back to the Laneige Water sleeping pack. Should I run out of the Blithe, I can temporarily use some of my daytime moisturizers but I do feel the need to give my skin an extra boost during the night.
  7. Hourglass Radiant Bronzer
    Since I’ve concluded that Hourglass powders suit my skin and makeup style quite well, I’ve looked into their other powders too. Bronzer is not something I use much. I do own the Benefit Hoola Bronzer, but that’s more of a matte product that can be used for a little bit of contouring too. I saw Peony Lim use this bronzer in one of her videos and I was fascinated with how effortlessly it changed her look without it being such a stark difference. This is definitely not a must-have but it’s a fun thing I would like to play around with. Maybe it’s more something I would buy at the end of May, when I’m certain it won’t break the bank.
  8. Spring/Summer clothes
    I’ve completed my wardrobe dataset! I finally added all my warm weather clothing to my spreadsheet. Right of the bat, I could tell there were hardly any exciting pieces in this part of my wardrobe. Most clothes were rather old – which in itself isn’t an issue – and style-wise felt ‘too young’. I really felt that most of these were not my clothes but those of my former self. I’m not 100% certain of what my summer style is, but I do believe I need to make a big investment in items that I feel comfortable and like me during Spring and Summer.

There’s still two weeks to go, so I’m hoping to narrow it down even more. Either way, I’m not planning to go crazy shopping everything on my wishlist at once. Else I might have to turn June into another no-buy month. Though I am quite certain about the flowers and the Hourglass palette.