My Low Buy 2020 wrap up – November, December, and the new year

Low Buy 2020 recap

I’m so sorry – I owe you a Low Buy update for November AND December. I was deep down the rabbit hole of Ph.D./thesis work for the last few weeks and days of 2020, so I didn’t find the time and energy to write a proper blog post. My first draft is now finished (more or less, but let’s be positive about it), I’m finally back and while I still feel drained – work was hell as well – I got no more excuses for not following up with the missing updates.

November – as you will see – was a quiet month with nothing much to write about.
December, not so much – at least regarding certain items …

November – a nearly perfect Low Buy month

November wasn’t just a regular Low Buy month. Additionally, I decided to not buy any books for a month since I completely forgot about my book budget in October. Checks and balances, poetic justice – call it what you want, I for one needed to reassure my (best) Low Buy intentions by not buying any new books for a month.
And: I did it.

Making this much easier was the fact that we entered another lockdown in mid-November. Even if I wanted, I couldn’t. (I know, there’s always Amazon, but opening a website is a conscious choice. Entering a bookstore can happen as if in a dreamlike state … and once you’re in, it’s not that easy to get back out without some new treasures.) Truth be told, it wasn’t that difficult AT ALL. Yes, I saw several interesting books on IG, but instead of looking them up and making my mouth water, I simply put it on my wishlist and that was it. In the end, that’s exactly what my wishlist is for. I can buy that book next month. Or next year.
Because I already got so many great books.

And so I shopped my shelves – and my Kindle. Because November was a stressful month workwise, I preferred light reads, the occasional historical cozy mystery, a little bit of P. G. Wodehouse, Samantha Irby… And some rediscoveries from my shelves.

I even thought about not buying books all through December. But who am I kidding – it’s me I’m talking about. Books are life 🙂

December – a not so perfect Low Buy Month

Didn’t I just blow my own trumpet? Well, December taught me better. While I stuck to my book buying ban in November, in December all hell – or rather heaven – broke loose. I bought at least double the amount of my usual book budget of € 50. At least.

stack of books on a shelve
The books I bought in December 2020 – as you may imagine, that’s more than 50 Euros … 🙂

On the one hand, this leads to the conclusion that while I can be disciplined and stick to a plan for a certain time, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this brings any long-term effects – I love books much more than minimalist empty shelves. On the other hand, it seems that during the last few weeks of my Low Buy a certain laisser-faire crept into my little Low Buy world. After all, I got two things that were on my wish list for a while but could’ve waited until January 2021. I got new glasses and a new coat (I exchanged the one I bought in September because I didn’t wear it after all; it just wasn’t what I wanted). Even worse, I bought an item I had not on my wishlist that long at all: a new pen. Love all my new items, wear and use them constantly (or as much as one can wear a new coat during another lockdown …) – nevertheless, I could have done better during the last few weeks of my Low Buy Year …

black esterbrook pen and the red pen case
My new Esterbrook pen (inspired by Wonderguy, who got one as well). Absolutely love it, but it’s definitely an investment.

My first Low Buy Year – looking back

I started this Low Buy adventure to reprogram my mind: I wanted to stop using shopping as a crutch every time something bad or less than great happened. Looking back at a history full of vices that seemingly got (or rather accompanied) me through rough times – alcohol, smoking, playing video games – compulsive shopping seemed like another hurdle to overcome. Though I don’t think that shopping as an act is inherently bad – it can be fun – I also never called it a hobby of mine. Therefore, finding myself browsing through online stores four times a week for hours at a time was something I felt increasingly unhappy about. That’s why I decided to make a cut.

part of a face with glasses
Taking a look back with my new glasses 🙂

A year later I’m looking back on difficult times (for all of us) and I’m more than happy that I didn’t give in, no matter how bad I felt. Yes, I had a few slip-ups; I knew these could happen and they did. There’s hardly a thing I felt bad about even months after buying it (except for a coat which I thankfully could exchange for a credit) – I still use the items I got and I cherish most of them even more since I know I got them under special circumstances. Right now, I can’t even imagine what it feels like not obeying certain rules concerning my spending habits. We’ll see how it works out 🙂

If you want to make 2021 your Low Buy or No Buy year, go for it! You can learn so much about yourself, but also about the world we live in once you take a step back and change your ways. Feeling like a whole year would be too long? Try a month or two, just to find out how it works for you. Back in late 2019, I knew I needed to stop shopping. Knowing that it would take me some time to change my habits, I decided to do a Low Buy year. But not everyone needs that much time. So just try it out and find your own way of handling your shopping, your finances, and how you want to spend your time 🙂

Hello, 2021 – what now?

Now that we’ve already entered the new year, I’m about to do a bit of shopping. I’ve been looking forward to browsing some shops for weeks. Maybe that shows that this Low Buy year didn’t really work – but I don’t think so. Rather, it shows that I like to shop from time to time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I will fall back into my old ways. I have a wishlist and some good ideas of what I want to get now that I’m ‘allowed’ to shop for anything I want again. I even made a few rounds on my (former) favorite shopping sites … I don’t want to lie, YES I did enjoy it, BUT this excitement wore off pretty quickly. Not shopping or buying anything is much easier than shopping. Or maybe, let’s put it that way: the idea of shopping sounds way better than shopping actually is. Everything looks the same, most of it comes from dubious sources, and the best choice is always secondhand – which can take a while to find what you’re looking for.

I will definitely continue keeping a wishlist – it works wonders for me. I’m an impulsive buyer. From time to time I get lucky, but mostly I make bad choices, buying items because I want them one moment, only to realize that I wouldn’t really have needed (or wanted) that the next moment. But then it’s already there, taking up space, suddenly becoming my issue to deal with – should I resell it? Donate it? Gift it to someone who would like it? Let alone all the wasted money …
So a wishlist is just one thing I will keep up even after this Low Buy year.

Furthermore, I’m also playing with the idea of occasional No Buy months (except for books, maybe :-D). After just a few hours on the web, I can tell you that I find shopping highly exhausting – and I didn’t even leave the house to do it! I enjoy bookstores, oh yes, but apart from that, I’m not up to the task anymore – which I’m very happy about. And since I highly enjoyed my No Buy November, I may take this up from time to time to rest my weary mind and find some solace in the fact that even if I would like to have something, it just has to wait 🙂

For now, this is the end of my Low Buy journey. I will keep you posted about any updates and No Buy months, and maybe I decide to head back to my Low Buy rules, or adopting at least a few more of them apart from the wishlist …

I wish you all a wonderful new year – take care, keep going, and stay positive! ❤

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