2018 is my “No-Buy” Year

I’ve honestly courted the idea of not buying anything new outside of essentials for the past three years or so. As I grew older and had gone through so many stressful moves in the last year, I am finally setting it in motion.


There are many benefits and reasons behind the challenge but the most important outcome for me is to be more decisive and deliberate in my choices.

It may come out odd on how I make choices is directly tied to all my “things” but I am a big believer of decision fatigue. Material things can be distractions and I need to clear those away to see the bigger picture. But I also want to declutter in a more sustainable way.

While Marie Kondo-ing my life and chuck everything in the bin, I wanted to exercise mindfulness. What do I actually need? How do I prefer dressing? (19 yr old college student or seemingly unintentional fashion plate?) yes I have a range of tastes.

My theory is that I attach those dimensions to things as opposed to how I carry myself. And while I could sit down and psycho-analyze myself, the truth is my mind’s just too cluttered for me to sift through. So I need to move and experience to make informed decisions.

The Situation:

– My skincare drawer looks like it can fuel a battalion of women.
– My closet is the point of my stress every morning. I have 5 black knit shirts and yet I usually use 2.
– I have 12 sleeping clothes but I always grab my rattiest shirt.
– My mornings consists of internal battles where I am guilted into using a purchase and therefore affecting my time.

I know why this is the best way to go about it because I’ve tested the theory a couple of times when I travel. I love the feeling of getting more appreciative in the set of clothes I bring. I wash and iron them myself and choosing them becomes second nature (as opposed to what feels like an intense math equation.)


So this 2018, I want to:
a. Not buy anything new that’s not needed.
b. Fix things instead of throwing them.
c. Make, loan, or trade items instead of getting new ones.

The Rules:


Acknowledge my handicap:
I don’t like shopping with a lot of people but I do find great satisfaction in discovering new things and while I’ve curbed shopping for fun, I now kind of do it when I’m stressed out. I came out clean to my husband that when it comes to financial stability, I look at my bank account and I get stressed out — so I buy something to make me feel better.

It’s the equivalent of wanting to lose weight but you’re gaining so eat a slice of cake to console yourself. Totally the same thing!

Do an inventory to measure how well I’m doing:
Before leaving for Christmas break, I will do an inventory of all the things I own.
It’s going to be so tedious but I need to face just how much clutter I have

Try. Just always try.
Don’t abandon the project just because of a slip up.

I can only spend for essentials and special occasions:

a. Grocery / Food Items
– Sticking to a budget of 100 SGD every month.
– Buying fruits from the market and growing herbs.
– Sweets and Alcohol: I won’t buy them on my own.

b. Toiletries
– No more skin care! I honestly think there’s too much.
– Shampoo and Conditioner – when I run out, I’ll convert to baking soda and ACV
– Period products ie. tampon, feminine wash are a must buy, of course
– Medicine – so far we’re okay with first aid. If needed, I’ll take it from the grocery budget.

c. Going Out
– Traveling is okay as long as it’s part of the 2018 calendar
– Eating out is not recommended. If there’s a team / family occassion: limit to 15 SGD for lunch. 25 for dinner.
– Movies and Date Nights with Rish are covered by the date night budget.

d. Birthdays / Gifts
– For other people: Make them or choose to get experiences over things
– For me: Be upfront about the project
— Wouldn’t hurt to ask for money instead or a trade if they want to give material things or do a special request for Moleskine Sketchbooks 🙂
— Can divert to spending time instead like practicing yoga, or going somewhere

e. Exceptions
— All Weather Jacket – still looking for the right one
— Initial investment to stock my small business

Good luck to me!

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