Life after Low buy – my January/February shopping escapades …

A pile of books, a hydroflask bottle, two cups, two bowls and a Midori traveler's notebook in camel on a shelf
Shop ’til you … don’t stop anymore?

Let’s start with a short summary: In 2020 I decided to do a Low Buy Year, setting up some rules and at the same time providing my inner shopaholic with some loopholes – like a € 50 book-buying budget. While I failed a few times and wasn’t always satisfied with my efforts, overall I enjoyed my 2020 low buy adventure and I’m happy I did it.

Eventually, 2021 rolled around and my self-imposed challenge was over. After several intense thesis workweeks in late 2020, I was more than ready for some good ole retail therapy. Planning to support local businesses, I aimed for hitting the stores after the holidays. Only … this didn’t happen – thanks to the current pandemic. We went into another lockdown on December 26 which lasted until recently, February 8.

Let me tell you, I was not amused. Obviously, a global pandemic is way more serious and important than my shopping needs BUT the government could have shown at least a bit of goodwill – just sayin’ …
Jokes aside, I made up for it. Supporting local (and sometimes not so local) businesses, I burned through some money and now I feel in dire need to do another no buy … 😀

Shopping my wishlist – and more

With the end of my low buy year approaching, my wishlist grew considerably. Not necessarily because I wanted to purchase everything from my list, but rather because I wanted to remember all the items that came to my mind. I didn’t have much time to think about anything thanks to work, so my wishlist became a sort of notepad for the mentally overwhelmed conscious consumer of tomorrow. I would deal with it when I had the time – in the new year.

And so I did. Some items lost their appeal after only a few days. If I wouldn’t have written them down, I would’ve forgotten about them for a good reason. Other things I was glad I remembered thanks to my list. As the shops were all closed for weeks to come, I decided to give in to my urges and do some online shopping. On January 1, 2021, at 0:01am, I went online and blew off some steam.

Honestly, I haven’t really stopped until last week.

a pile of books on a shelf
There’s no such thing as too many books …

Shop ’til you … stop

I didn’t shop a ton online during lockdown because – as I said before – I wanted to support local businesses. Some things I could get via click & collect in shops around town, other items I purchased online because I wouldn’t get them locally anyway – like my new Fjällräven Kanken in Brick, a color that isn’t ‘in’ anymore and therefore not in the shops, at least not where I live. Needless to say, I also did some bargain shopping online. Having my wishlist in mind, I focused on stuff I had been interested in for some time. Even so, there were some impulse buys – not too much and thankfully I’m still happy with the items I got BUT STILL, that’s not what I had planned. Anyway, life is a journey and we never stop learning. And boy, some learning I did over the last two weeks since the shops have reopened …

blundstone classic, vans platforms, iriedaily sherpa jacket, dungarees, denham jeans - overview of my shopping

While it felt natural to stick to my wishlist when shopping online because I had it lying next to me pretty much all the time, real-life shopping proved to be less organized. Let’s put it that way: impulse purchases ruled – especially in bookstores. Spontaneous book buying isn’t much of an issue to me because books are always a great investment, yet there was no need to buy ALL the books I found interesting ASAP. But hey, it could’ve been worse – it could’ve been shoes (as you can see on the picture, I actually got shoes as well …) 😀
 

The first week after the lockdown was rather intense since I didn’t know if the shops would stay open. Therefore, I tried to get everything I really wanted – books (obviously) but also some more plants, tools for some repair work, gifts for friends, (fair fashion) yoga pants – within the first week. Accomplishing this idiotic goal, I remembered how exhausting shopping actually was. I had nearly forgotten about one of the many benefits I enjoyed during my low buy: time and energy for much better things than being overwhelmed by all the ‘shopping energy’ and so many people around me.

I felt drained.

a fjällräven Kanken in color brick with embroidery and pins
Finally, my new Fjällräven Kanken in brick. Already ‘made it mine’ by embroidering it and adding pins.

Giving myself a break

So finally, after 7 weeks off my low buy challenge, I decided to give myself a break again. For the next seven weeks – the exact same amount of time I have been actively shopping again – I will go on another low buy. Starting this week, February 22, until Monday, April 12, I will again follow the rules I followed during my low buy challenge last year. I will – again – grant myself a book budget of € 50, though not for the month but for the whole seven weeks. Ideally, I won’t need it because thanks to my HUGE #tbrpile, I should have enough books to last me at least a few weeks, if not months (years?!).

Taking a step back already feels like a relief (thanks to work and thesis commitments, I finished this post later than initially planned). Obviously, I’m still having a hard time finding a sort of balance when it comes to my shopping behavior. Granted, the recurring lockdowns and a feeling of uncertainty relating thereto have influenced my shopping. Wanting to do the right thing – support local businesses – while also sticking to my ideas proved to be too much for now. Maybe once the situation gets a bit more stable – FEELS a bit more stable – it gets easier. I hope so. And I sure as hell will find out 🙂

Anyway, welcome back to another low buy cycle – didn’t take me long to get back to square one (or maybe 1.5). Let’s see how it works out this time. Hope you’re all well – stay safe and take care!
Thanks for passing by, see you soon 🙂

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