Yes, it did.
I failed once. I bought a mechanical pencil because I wanted it. Before I would have said I “needed” it for new kanji study, but that just isn’t true. One thing about this experiment is that it helped me recognize my true wants and needs, and also the reasons, justifications, or excuses I fall back on when purchasing a “want”.
I thought I was doing pretty good before No-spend month, since I have some tenets on shopping, as follows:
- Try to reuse old materials before buying new ones, or do things like borrow books or trade clothes at various group swaps
- As much as possible, buy items used or secondhand, especially for my apartment
- When I do buy new, I buy from local stores to support the community
- Buy products that use sustainable resources, support fair trade commodities, and are ecologically responsible
- Put “wants” on a 30 day wait to buy list, aka no impulse buying.
With that being said, I still noticed that I was making a few too many “justification purchases”. I prioritize health and good food, but there is such a thing as buying too much expensive prosciutto. I already have 3 fleeces for work, so that new tunic length style is really unnecessary, however cute. For someone who tries to declutter every day, it is a lot easier if you have less stuff!
And there is one thing I can’t stop doing: buying gifts and sending care packages. I’m ok with that. I’m even more ok with that now that I’ve figured out how I will budget from now on. I’m not very good with guestimating absolute values for things, so with some inspiration from a friend, I’ve set up a percentage-based budget to implement next month.