💵 Low-buy check-in #6: “No-buy July” update

Hi friends! 😊 Another month has passed – my “no-buy July”, in fact! My aim in doing a no-buy July was to stop my shopping habits from going wild and to make sure I was being intentional about shopping. The rules were generally:

  1. Don’t buy anything that is not an essential (food, rent, phone bill, gym membership, internet, soap, that kind of thing).
  2. Don’t buy anything that I am not already buying regularly (coffee, vitamins, supplements).

I did a no-buy month back in January to start off my low-buy year, which went well, in that I didn’t buy anything. However, I still spent some time browsing eBay for second-hand clothes. I have to say that my behaviour in July was largely the same, except I did actually make one purchase. 🙈 On 7 July I ordered two pairs of shoes. I will be honest: I was itching for the shoes. I’d been looking at them for over a month. They were released last year, so were marked down to just $60 and $100 – they normally retailed at $150 to over $200, and I personally try very hard not to spend more than $150 on any shoe, unless it’s got a special purpose for fitness (I’ve spent $200 on shoes for running or weightlifting). But, they were marked down a further 20% off in a sale, and I held out until there was 15 minutes left to the sale at 11:30 at night. I couldn’t stop thinking about the shoes so I just purchased them. I don’t feel guilty about the purchase at all. You can see one of the pairs, a pair of brown animal print boots, in last week’s Fashion Friday comeback!

A woman with dark hair in two braids, standing in a concrete park. Some concrete cubes are fixed on the ground near her. She is lightly holding one of her two braids and looking to the left.
One of the pairs of shoes I purchased in July

The other pair was a bright yellow pair which I think will be lovely for summer, but I could wear with light pantyhose if I really wanted to. I spent a long time walking around the house in them and working at my desk in them before I bit the bullet and wore them outside. Both beautiful shoes have seen the outside world and I am certain they will continue to get a lot of wear. 🌞 Because I have small feet and picky requirements for comfortable shoes, it is not often that I find shoes I love. I don’t have a wild collection of shoes either, so I don’t feel like this purchase was completely unnecessary.

There were some other shoes I was eyeing in July, including a pair of shoes I looked at in a store about two months ago. 😬 They were on sale but I resisted for long enough until the sale ended. Something in my gut told me that I didn’t need the shoes – partially because I’ve bought three new pairs of shoes this year, and got two of my favourite pairs re-soled – and that I could treat myself to it at a later date, perhaps if it goes to a clearance sale and I still like them then.

Rationing my coffee

A month or so ago, I started buying and drinking alt-milk (yeah, I’m lactose intolerant) mochas from a coffee shop downstairs. I sort of followed in Nick’s footsteps because that is the coffee he likes to drink. But I’ve moved away from milk coffees and purchase my own from beforeyouspeak, which ends up being a lot cheaper. When I first started drinking BYS coffee, I found it quite strong so I split one servings into two, drinking half at a time. Somewhere along the way I started drinking full servings. But since I was running out at the beginning of July, I rationed it out into half-servings again and was reminded how much I prefer the taste of it when it’s not as strong.

I’ve started doing this more regularly, as well as trying to drink coffee only once per day to reduce my caffeine intake. I made another order of BYS so I did spend almost $200 on three boxes, but they should last me a long time. 😉 I used to get the coffee creamer for a while, but I have decided to stop as it is a bit of an unnecessary cost and I am fine with the flavour of the coffee as it is.

Chiropractor appointments

I had to see the chiro several times in July, which upped the amount I spent on health-related expenses. My history with back pain is this: I’ve never had back pain – not related to posture, and not related to sleeping, and generally have never had an injury – I am very fortunate. Even though I have a standing desk that I use from time to time, I still slouch at my desk when sitting. However, I started to get back pain which I put down to some kind of weightlifting injury. Maybe going back into lifting too soon, since gyms in Sydney re-opened at the end of June.

My back is much better now and my chiro suggested a number of exercises to strengthen my lower back muscles, core, and my glute medius, and told me to take it easy on the squats. Since then I am actually feeling much stronger overall and haven’t been in pain. My chiro chalked it up to having taken months off lifting weights due to the pandemic, and losing some strength in that area. Sounds about right. 💪

Another bottle of gin 🍸

I spent $79.99 on a new bottle of gin. I had finished a bottle I received on my birthday and Nick was buying a few bottles of rum, some of which were competitively priced, so I did some research and decided to give Manly Spirits a try. It’s a locally made gin made with marine botanicals, and I thought this would appeal to my love of the ocean, and the taste of seafood and sea plants. It was worth the purchase and I have really enjoyed it so far! I almost bought another bottle but decided to hold off. I don’t always love trying too many new things at once. 😊

Plans for August

I plan to buy some more gym supplements. There was a deal happening this week but I missed out on it. 😂 I think I’ll need some protein soon, and I think I should buy creatine again because I ran out not too long ago. At some point I’ll need some new pre-workout but I’m not in a hurry. I think I’ll make that purchase in about a week or so, after checking if Nick needs any protein or supplements (we share some, sometimes).

I’ve started going through my wardrobe and trying to sell some clothes again. Some of my clothes no longer have a place in my lifestyle, and I was wearing other clothes that were too tight but waiting until I absolutely couldn’t stand them anymore before getting rid of them. Now is the time!

I mentioned that I still have a habit of looking at eBay for second-hand clothes – for the entirety of July I just added them to my watchlist and didn’t think about them too much. I missed out on some of them as they were snagged by other buyers – which was to be expected – but I’m glad I wasn’t tempted to buy any of them. There are some clothing styles I want to experiment with, but even though I set up a budget for style reinvention, I never really set aside a budget for experimentation. I think this is something I should think about – when it comes to experimenting with styles, I think the best thing to do is not to buy new clothes but to look at unwanted items that people own, and shop second-hand. I specifically want to look at adding some red or pink to my wardrobe but I haven’t set aside time to properly curate my existing wardrobe, which is what I want to do first.

I saved about $1300 in July, but I would like to be able to save $2000 this month. I think it is possible… I have my fingers crossed. 🤞

Are you doing a low-buy 2020? How is your year going? Are there any spending or saving habits you’re employing recently? Let me know! 💰

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Hi Georgie!

I think it’s perfect that you posted this — at least for me.

I personally have been struggling with sticking to a budget, figuring out my expenses… I have an addiction to fountain pens, and honestly I can’t resist snagging a nice one up even though I don’t need any more new fountain pens.

We also have regular expenses such as water/electricity, my celestial phone bill, car loan payment, insurance, and my baby girl’s needs (diapers, toys, etc)…

Last July I spent a great deal on fashion related stuff. Couldn’t resist scooping up some new pairs of glasses and clothes. Thankfully it’s easy to get stylish clothes here cheap. I no longer buy brands; instead I look for generic items that are reasonably-priced and also well-made. I’m starting to be more conscious about the brands I do buy. I usually deliberate on whether the price is worth the extra cost.

Hope you’re doing fine, Georgie!
You seem to be thriving. :)

P.S. I’m sorry I posted my shop domain. Didn’t want to seem like a spammer! As much as I want to blog again, I can only focus on my jewelry shop these days.

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Hey Cza!

I really, really dislike budgeting but last month I made the effort to put together a budgeting spreadsheet for clothes I wanted to buy. I’ve realised it makes sense to budget for things that are “wants”. It actually helped keep me on track. When it comes to the essentials and regular expenses, I think it can be a good idea to monitor your bills and try and see if there is anything you can cut down on, or make an effort to buy something cheaper – it’s far less daunting and more encouraging than trying to make a budget and essentially do the reverse.

The reason I shop for a lot of clothes second-hand is not just because it’s cost-effective, but it’s better on the environment to buy what already exists in the world than to keep buying from brands that continually churn out clothes and have horrible production practices! 🌱

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