Everything I Bought for Myself in 2021

As you probably know by now, I am very into documenting my life. Earlier in 2021 I committed to doing a “low buy year”. Here’s what I’ve documented so far. Since we are approaching the end of the year, I wanted to check back in to see how I did.

Low buy year

My rules that I wrote up in Notion in January
My low buy year tracker in Notion

As you can see, the low buy year was not a complete success, however I was more consistent than I thought I was going to be. After moving to New York, and things opening back up, I found it difficult to stick to eating out just twice a week. However, I did not buy a lot of coffee out, which I’m proud of. I stopped donating my money (I don’t really know why?). I’m disappointed at myself about that one, and am going to resume it again this month. There were a couple of months were I slipped up and bought myself a very nice new piece of clothing (it was very fun to do this but not part of the low buy year contract). I don’t really remember buying any books for myself but maybe I did. To be honest, I’m super proud about how consistently I used the library. I’ve figured out the New York Public Library system and it’s been extremely beneficial for me. Overall, the low buy year was a really interesting thing to do. I think it made me extra aware of the things I was buying since I had to check off these boxes at the end of every month.

The things I bought

Pretty much every material thing I bought for myself this year. All the clothing I bought in 2020+2021

For most of the material things I want, I add them to a list on Notion called “Things I Want” with a link attached. If that item sits there for a while, I genuinely feel like I need it, and if it’s replacing something I currently use, I buy it and put it in the archived folder. This way, I have a pretty accurate list of all the things I’ve bought myself. There are definitely smaller things that I haven’t included on this list, picture frames, a Christmas tree, reusable film camera, coffee glasses, air purifier, air conditioner, plants, etc. For clothing, I still use my clothing audit, which has pretty much everything I bought, excluding things I wear at home. It was really exciting to see that most of the stuff I bought was second hand and I actually wore all of the stuff! Yay!

Reflections

I don’t know if I necessarily want to do a low buy year again, only because I feel like I have ingrained some of the rules pretty deeply into my head that it’s second nature. It’s become a lot easier for me to make intentional purchases. I wanted to do this reflection because we are now approaching the part of the year where consumption is at its highest because of holidays and “insane black friday deals”. I find myself on a lot of websites looking up things that I don’t really need. Part of it is that I am constantly influenced to, whether it comes from influencers, marketing, or literally just walking the streets of New York and seeing a girl wearing a cute coat.

I want to continue writing down the things I want and only buying them if they’ve been on my list for a decent amount of time. I feel like that is the one practice that has made my purchases so much more intentional.

Would I still consider myself a minimalist? Maybe? I’m not totally sure anymore. It has been exciting to learn about minimalism and write articles about it, but I don’t know if I really fit any specific label. Maybe I’d label myself as an intentional consumer of goods. Also, I’m taking everything I say with a grain of salt because as we all know, I wrote an article about No Social Media November but broke that 10 days into the month.

Anyways, happy beginning of the holidays. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but maybe do a little reflection from time to time. I’ve decided in this moment that that’s my motto.

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