LIFE | A No-Buy New Year’s resolution


I’m feeling unusually positive towards New Year’s resolutions this year, and the circumstances call for drastic measures. There’s just one resolution, but it’s a big one: no buying makeup. I’ve tried this twice before, with no luck, so I’m calling on some community support and a good old fashioned star chart to get me through.

Here’s the deal. Over Christmas our temporary flatmates went away, and when they came back Ania was like “I didn’t spend money for four days!” and we both saw it as an achievement. Then I realised how fucking stupid it is to think that’s an achievement. And I wondered how long I could go without spending money on stupid shit for myself. I’ve got an overdraft, credit card debt and a Macbook to pay off, and these are much more sensible places to direct my cash.

I’ve tried this before. Over a year ago I was like ‘I need to stop buying makeup‘, but I decided to try to use up products I don’t use that often. It didn’t work because I just wasn’t excited about them – which is why I wasn’t using them.

In June 2014 I got rid of a bunch of shit and recognised I had spending problems, and it all went well for a while. Then I think I just kinda forgot about it? And now I’ve got heaps more makeup and the same problem.

I decided I need a tangible reminder to measure my success, and sought out the prettiest ‘printable’ 2015 calendar I could find. I settled on this cute hand-lettered one from Chantel Emma. I’ve only printed January and February so far, because I don’t want to over-commit and overwhelm myself. I’m not setting myself an end-date with this No-Buy, for the same reason. Any date I chose would seem either too soon, or too far away.

I was going to buy pretty star stickers to go on my calendar, and then I realised that completely defeats the purpose of not buying anything frivolous for myself. I’m telling myself a hand-drawn star will do just fine!


I’ve joined the subreddit called Makeup Rehab and unsubscribed from all the makeup buying/selling groups and subreddits I’m part of. I’m not ridding my internet circle of makeup entirely, because that would be stupid, but I’m gonna focus on tutorials and creative ways of using makeup, rather than new products that Youtubers APsolutely love and that no one can allegedly be without.

Here’s where the community support comes in. If you’re feeling the vibes, why not do the same? Download Chantel’s calendar (or a different one, but hers is pretty cute) and check out her blog while you’re there. Get to know your Christmas makeup (don’t pretend you didn’t either get makeup for Christmas, or spend Christmas money on some) before you think about buying any more. Let’s see how long we can survive this!

Do you think this is a good idea? Do you feel like you spend too much money on makeup? Maybe it’s not makeup – it could be magazines, or handbags, or records, or shoes, or trips to the movies, or… what other hobbies do people even have?

Or, alternatively, let me know what your New Year’s resolutions are!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone
  • Charli Marie

    Love this idea Morgan! I’ve gotten pretty good at not buying too many frivolous things over the past few months as I’ve been saving to move and I may allow myself one trip to Boots when I land in the UK…. but after that I really hope I can keep up the no frivolous buying thing and save more money for more travel! 🙂 the calendar idea is great, I shall be stealing that!

    • Thanks Charli! You’re lucky you’ve had a goal to save towards, I think that makes it easier to be sensible with money. My goal is to clear out my debt!

  • Sarah Lilly

    Such a good idea and I have total respect for you in doing this as it’s a hard thing to commit to! I really need to stop spending money on makeup and beauty products myself, I’d hate to go back through and add up everything I spent on un-necessary purchases last year! Good luck with your no-buy x

    • Thanks Sarah! I think once I do start letting myself buy things again I will keep a record so I’m aware of how much I’m spending.

  • I really need to do this!!! Since I decided I’m going to move to Melbourne, I need to start saving big time AND I also will need to simplify/destash a lot of my collection since I don’t fancy moving a suitcase just full of makeup. I spend way too much on makeup and shopping in general. I just printed off that calendar and I’m going to put it on my makeup desk. So what’s the criteria for a star – no makeup, or no shopping in general?

    • Are you definitely moving to Melbourne? Sad face. My criteria is anything unneccessary, so obviously makeup (will have to make concessions for cleanser when I run out), but also notebooks, underwear, other things that I always try to convince myself are necessities when they’re not! I’m allowing myself coffee and occasional meals out.

      • I’m pretty much decided! I just need to save several thousand dollars, not an easy challenge for someone who has spent basically their entire pay forever. Plus my overdraft *sob*. Just cancelled a subscription box too.

  • Ellie S

    I’m with you on this one… before the start of the year, I decided I wasn’t going to buy any makeup or skincare this year except for the absolute essentials (even though I probably have enough of everything to last me the whole year). Good luck with your resolution!

    • Thanks Ellie! I’ll have to buy more cleanser when I run out, because I don’t have any backups that I’m happy putting on my skin. I think essentials are allowed, though!

  • Marsya Jauzi

    I spend too much on books. I love to read books but sometimes when I didn’t even get a chance to finish them, I buy another books. I’m with you! Great post <3 xo

    • Oh, books are something that I always have money for. I’ve been reading so much this summer! Luckily I have a bunch of books I haven’t read yet, so I won’t need to buy any more for a while.

  • jamie-lee

    I think this is a great idea Morgan! I’m actually going to do the French 5 piece wardrobe this year to stop spending so much money on clothing which I think will help. My focus has shifted to make up (although I’ve got maybe one more big order I’d like to do and I think I’m probably set with make up for a while) but I don’t think that’s going to be on-going. I just need a new hobby! haha.

    Good luck with this though, I hope you can see it through to the end of the year x

    • If I make it a whole year, I’ll be able to afford a trip to LA to buy half a Sephora store to reward myself! I’ve been thinking of doing some sort of capsule wardrobe thing, but I don’t buy too much clothing anyway and I don’t know if I can handle restricting every area of my life at once. I think your style is really suited to a capsule wardrobe anyway, which will hopefully help!

  • Krystle Field

    Awesome idea. I don’t think I could commit to the make up thing but for me its clothing, I’ve got way too much and I’ve decided that I have to LOVE something and that it will go with several other things in my wardrobe before I buy it now!

    • I’ve become really good with my clothing buying since having a job with a dress code. I can only wear solid black, grey or white, which cuts out of a lot clothes I might buy otherwise!

  • Go you! This sounds completely doable. I wonder how I would do if I applied this concept to not buying shoes… But there’s always a darn pair deemed ‘a must have’. Are you going to make exemptions for say your birthday or I did something amazing I can treat myself day?

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Nina! If I get makeup for my birthday that will of course be allowed, and I might allow myself to use birthday money if I have any – although I’ve got other things I want, already… I’m going to try really hard not to transfer my makeup spending habits to another frivolous thing!

  • Cesy

    Yes, I have been pretty good at this in the past, but have fallen into the trap of “oooh, so pretty, so new, I don’t have anything like that/in that brand/in that colour”. However want to go to Melbourne and buy a house this year, so maybe should join as well. Will print off the calendar at work- save money on printer ink!

    • It’s so much easier to save money if you’ve got something tangible to save towards. Buying a house is a big purchase!

  • Liz

    I attempted a full on project pan last year and after a big clear out I was doing quite well. Then, same as you, I forgot that about it and started buying eye shadow again (I do not need more!) Now I am determined to use up what I have (i’ll use up my mascara’s before I purchase another etc). I will be following your progress. I wish you all the best!

    • Thanks Liz! I’ve just opened a new mascara so that will hopefully keep me satisfied in that area for a while. I’m also horrendous at buying eyeshadow when I don’t need it. I really only wear the same few shades!

  • Coco

    I definitely feel like I spend a lot on makeup, but since last year I downsized my collection and cut down on my makeup spending drastically, I will be allowing myself to purchase several things this month and the next. Good luck xx

    • Thanks Coco! I find it’s extra hard as a blogger because I make excuses for myself about “needing” things to swatch or for comparison purposes. But then I have lots of products I’ve never written about!

  • Steph Hicks

    You can do it Morgan! I believe in you!! I don’t know if I could do it! But you’re lucky because you get sent makeup from PR companies so at least you won’t go without completely. My new year’s resolution is to brush my teeth before bed hahahaha I really should try your resolution though, at least it would get the husband off my back!

    • Thanks Steph! You should give it a go, even if you just try giving yourself a month or something small as your first goal!