Money

No-buy February debriefing


Here I am, a day later than expected (botched the post schedule settings yesterday), looking back at my month of no-buy. And honestly, I feel like my no-buy month went pretty well overall.

February was largely about me being more conscious of my money. Besides being in a no-buy mode (with a few exceptions), I was also just generally watching my budget better. I am using one of those budgeting apps that assigns every dollar a category, and so each dollar I spent had to go somewhere. I was not actively doing a lot to change those numbers, but even being more aware has helped me in many ways.

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Money

No-Buy: Did I break the rules in my first month?


We’re two days from the end of February, and now seemed like a good time to take a look back at my first no-buy month. I say “first” because I will almost certainly continue into March, with modifications. But that is for another post.

With this post, I wanted to look back at the last four weeks and confess to you, the anonymous Internet, three times where I stepped over the line and bought things this month. While I may have violated the letter of the rules a couple of times, I feel that each of these stayed within the spirit of my midlife makeover goals.

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Money

The best rule I’ve adopted for my no-buy (so far)


Even now, only ten days into my no-buy as I write this, I am starting to see some of the positive changes that getting control of my bad money habits can bring. Nothing major, yet, but sometimes even a little change, tossed into the stagnant pond of bad habits, can have a ripple effect.

Take for example, what is probably my favorite rule of my no-buy so far: don’t buy treats disguised as groceries. I found this rule while I was reading through other people’s posted rules lists, and I am glad I did, because I probably never would have articulated it on my own. It was definitely one I needed, though.

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Money

My first no-buy month


Step one in improving my relationship with money: I’m embarking on a no-buy month.

A no-buy challenge is more or less just a gimmicky way of trying to change one’s relationship with money (and, more broadly, consumerism). It’s sometimes called a “low-buy”. The terms seem to be used pretty interchangeably in the blogosphere; and while people who use “low-buy” sometimes have less restrictive rules, or more loopholes, I have yet to see a clear articulation of the point where “low” ends and “no” begins. They boil down to the same thing: set some strict rules on your purchases, and then adhere to them for the stated time frame (a month, a year, etc.).

“But isn’t that a budget?” you ask.

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Money

I have a terrible relationship with money


So, my first prong in this midlife makeover, as it were, is financial.

I currently have just one job — the first time in five years I can say that. I make less than the U.S. median wage in 2019, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and just above the median wage for women given in that same article). It’s enough to keep my bills paid (mortgage, insurance, utilities) and my house in order … but I also know I could probably be doing better with it, especially where things like unplanned purchases and unexpected expenses come into play. My retirement planning is in a shameful state.

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