Week One: No Buy February

We all have our vices—mine just happens to be shopping. This has always been true for me, but I think that the pandemic only intensified how much I enjoy it (and how much of it I do). I have been alone for 11 months now—good mail days are really the only thing I have to look forward to at this point.

The problem is that mindless shopping is costing me quite a bit of money. As I begin house hunting in earnest, I’m realizing that I would rather squirrel money away for a downpayment than buy stupid shit on Amazon because it gives me a little boost in serotonin that my brain doesn’t seem capable of producing itself.

Long story short is that I put myself on a shopping hiatus for the month of February (it is only 28 days, after all). Obviously, I still have to pay all my bills, buy groceries, etc., but everything else is off limits. That’s right: no makeup, no clothing, no shoes, no home decor. Nada. *que sad violin music*. Here’s how the first week is going:

MONDAY

Monday was Max’s birthday and, obviously, birthday expenses are excluded from No Buy February. I purchased the majority of his birthday things in January (that included a yard sign from Fiesta Yard Signs, a shirt with his cat’s face all over it, three sweaters from H&M and the complete Magic Tree House book set). I did, however, have to get him fresh scallops from Fresh Thyme which cost me $15 and a unicorn Happy Nappy that I was able to find at Walmart.While I was there, I realized that Real Good Foods were on sale and since I eat a meal from RGF at least once a day, I decided to get a few and save myself a couple bucks.

I also added a bunch of things to my Ulta cart with every intention of doing a curbside pickup until I realized that it was officially Feb. 1 and I couldn’t do that. I did, unfortnately have to pay for gas.

FRESH THYME: $30.60
WALMART: $42.27
SHELL OIL: $42.00

GRAND TOTAL FOR FEB. 1: $114.87

TUESDAY

Day 2/28. As I scroll social media, there are so many things that I want to buy but cannot due to my stupid self-imposed spending hiatus. Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. I’m hoping that the first few days are the hardest to adjust to. Despite wanting to impulsively buy something, anything, I control myself and my impulsive urges. I’m sure the Target pickup people are wondering if I’m okay.

GRAND TOTAL FOR FEB. 2: $0

WEDNESDAY

I did leave my house today to go to Safe Med Spa to pick up some skincare. While I am technically purchasing this in February, I intended to pick it up in January and just had trouble coordinating a time to do so. While I was there, I also picked up something for my mom for her birthday, so it’s really only half cheating—plus, I make the rules anyway.

Upon checking my bank statement, I see that I also had the pleasure of paying for my Comcast bill and my Apple Care this day.

SAFE MED SPA: $193.98
COMCAST: $74.67
APPLE: $5.00

GRAND TOTAL: $273.65

THURSDAY

I was really busy at work on Thursday, so decided to order myself a salad from Panera for lunch (or maybe I just miss buying things?). The salad, plus delivery and tip, ends up being a gigantic waste of money since I eat maybe 1/2 of it before I toss it in the trash.

Looking at my bank statment, I see yet another lovely charge — this time for my HBO subscription.

I also purchased some groceries from Meijer on this day, my first time doing a curbside pickup there and my first time buying anything from them since before the pandemic. Since they messed up my order and didn’t ask me what substitutions I wanted for items that were unavailable, I probably won’t be doing another order with them anytime soon.

PANERA: $15.66
AMAZON: $14.99
MEIJER: $27.93

GRAND TOTAL: $58.58

FRIDAY

I realized late on Thursday that I didn’t have a single meeting scheduled for Friday so I promptly decided to take a PTO day. I set my OOO message on Outlook and truly took the day off. I didn’t do any work whatsoever and it was glorious.

As I basked in the glory that was paid time off, I thought that it would be a wonderful day to drive to a real mall, maybe somewhere on the east side of the state. Then I remembered by stupid no buy month and realized that that was not in my best financial interest. I stayed home, cleaned (including deep cleaning my cats litter boxes, which they bother supervised closely), and took some product photos of my new Glow by Auric products (which I bought in January, thank you very much!).

I ended up returning some jeans to American Eagle, which meant I actually got $126 back in my pocket and I left the store without purchasing anything else. Honestly, I think I deserve a medal.

AMERICAN EAGLE: +$125.93

GRAND TOTAL: $0

SATURDAY

Because I took yesterday off, I had a hard time keeping track of what day it was. My H&M order arrived so I had fun trying all my new clothes on (they were having a sale and I placed this order in January, thank you very much).

I helped my friend Celeste do a Facebook Live sale for her store Retail Therapy and ended up buying my mom two sweaters because she mentioned that she would like some for her birthday.

When I got home, I laid in bed and watched movies. I also painted my toenails which I had planned on doing last weekend, before my kidneys tried to murder me. To end the night, I ordered myself butter chicken from Sree Saffron, my favorite Indian restaurant. Yes, it cost me money but I was supporting a local business so basically I am a hometown hero and I will not hear anything to the contrary.

RETAIL THERAPY $137.80
DELIVERY.COM $25.79

GRAND TOTAL: $163.59

SUNDAY

Ahh, the Sabbath. I am going snowshoeing (I had to double check the spelling of that word many, many times because it looks wrong to me) with my family today. Outdoors and socially distanced. It’s 13 degrees outside and God knows what with the windchill. I charged my Apple watch for this.

The only money I’ve spent so far today is getting donuts for one of my best friends to celebrate her birthday. I need to return some things to Target, which means I will still end up netting money today. I’ll update this post once my returns are done (if I remember to do so).

There are 21 days of this nonsense left, but who’s counting?

STRANGE MATTER: $9.50

GRAND TOTAL: $9.50

WEEKLY GRAND TOTAL: 620.19

TL;DR

I have implemented a self-imposed spending freeze so that I don’t end up like Carrie Bradshaw when she has to buy her apartment — with $40K worth of shoes and $900 in her checking account. So far it’s going okay but old habits die hard and I am certainly not enjoying myself. Does anyone know of any rich old men who are looking for a wife?