Chatter: Why My No Buy

why my no buy

Call it what you will: a no buy is just another phrase to describe a spending restriction. This might be in a particular area, like mine is for beauty products, or it might be for everything. It might be out of financial necessity, to encourage savings, or merely to prevent the accumulation of more things/clutter. Since my April blunder, I’ve adhered.

Why my no buy?

My no buy why is a mixed bag.

SPACE. I have drunk deeply of the Marie Kondo kool-aid and although I have yet to Kondo my home, I’m trying to apply some of her school of thought to things I own. Even after paring down, I still own more makeup than I need. Because my tastes are what they are, my collection has a good bit of overlap. I don’t want to add to my collection (okay, I do want to add an Hourglass ALB. And some of those shockingly-good, <$5 WnW palettes); I have extremely finite storage space and am committed to not having that space expand. Period.

I also just need to use up what I have. Every time I buy, say, a new palette I end up giving it priority. Logically, this makes no sense. I don’t dislike my other palettes, damn it. I need to Project Pan something.

Pursuing Invisalign put a dent in our savings. Although I could have financed my treatment, I chose not to take on either interest or an inquiry into my credit (still a thing with interest-free options) since we are aiming to purchase a home in the near(er) future. Paying cash also got me a 7% discount on the cost of treatment, which was obviously quite attractive. We decided to aggressively save to rebuild what I spent on orthodontia. My no buy, combined with my (successful so far) spending edit has been a great way for me to contribute to our goals.


For me, it’s about priorities. I love makeup and skincare! But we really want to own our own home sooner rather than later, and I really wanted to correct my teeth. On the finance front, those two things happened to rank way higher on the, “fucks given,” scale vs makeup and skincare for the time being. My collection is big enough that choosing not to buy myself new things doesn’t feel like a sacrifice. It does require discipline, but it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out.

Aside from those longer-term or larger-scale goals, my no buy also frees up cash for more immediate quality-of-life improvements. Our small apartment is not furnished with in-unit or even on-site laundry. For our sanity, I’ve been toying with the idea of buying this little portable washer with a spin cycle. I feel far more strongly about that than about buying the equivalent amount of makeup at the moment. I’m stocked up on skincare (until I run out of Drunk Elephant C-Firma – but I’m hoping it lasts until the VIB sale so I can use the gift card I have!) too, so I don’t really need to buy much of anything, even hygiene stuff, for quite a while.

Finally, clutter makes me cranky. Having a small apartment means it is easy to end up in a state of clutter. Not buying stuff means I’m not increasing the risk of that. Fairly easy prioritization choice.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve been struggling with cutting back – not just in beauty spending, but anything you wanted to spend less on – reexamine and rank your priorities. Is whatever you’re tempted to buy really a higher priority than whatever goal you’re trying to reach? Or, at the very least, is it worth forestalling the achievement of that goal? I don’t say or ask these things to shame you (obviously I’m guilty of failing my own no buys), but to help shape your perspective and decision-making. If, with that clarity, you decide you are comfortable with taking a delay (if that’s the risk, anyway) on achieving a goal to buy something you previously planned to avoid, so be it. Just be mindful about it.