I’m not really big on New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes I feel like they can put too much pressure on you and that you may not necessarily be trying to make a change for the “right” reason – or at least not for a reason that will provide for the most motivation to maintain that change. For example, if I were to set a goal to eat more vegetables because I feel like I need to set a goal for the “new year, new me”, I would be far less motivated to attain that goal than if I set it because I wanted to have more energy and eat more healthfully. Do you see what I mean? At least from what I’ve learned thus far about what motivates me, I’m more inclined to meet my goal for the latter.
The other reason I’m not too keen on New Year’s resolutions is because I feel that if you want to make a change for the better, then why wait until the new year? Why wait at all? It’s funny because we are in such a rush to do other things; arriving at our destination when driving, impatience when Netflix is lagging, anxious about occupation or life goals and where we are ‘supposed to be’, yet we have no issues putting off even the smallest personal change until tomorrow or next week or next year. We tend to reflect on the past year and plan for the next during the holiday season; just remember that planning and setting goals can be done any time throughout the year or your life.
My recent decision to make more cruelty-free choices has caused me to look deeper at other decisions, how they affect me and the world around me. One conclusion drawn from this reflection is that I would like to consume less. Now, over the next year and well, forever.
So now we arrive at the heart of this post: I am a product junkie! There. I said it. I’m positive that I’m not the worst, but the underlaying issue is the same – It is not necessary for me to consume as much as I do. That’s it. So simple. Now what can I, and you if you share this problem do about it? I’ve been thinking about this for a little while and I’ve noticed 5 areas where I can improve and limit product consumption:
- Remove Temptation. I was previously subscribed to all of my favourite sites for online shopping; and I had a lot of favourites! Some mornings I had 10-15 emails in my inbox from various sites. My motivation for subscription? FOMO (fear of missing out). I did not want to miss out on a sale or deal on a product that I needed. Here’s the reality of the situation: I either did not have time or did not care enough to make the time to go through those emails everyday. Most days, I deleted them without even reading them. If I went through them, I would find loads of things I just absolutely ‘needed’ despite the fact that I had never even imagined ever needing them prior to opening the email. The worst are those ‘Spend $50 to get this other item that you most definitely do not need right now but isn’t it so perfect I could certainly find a use for it because it’s so cute or solves a problem that I don’t even have right now’ emails. Do yourself a favour and unsubscribe from emails. The product you need is rarely on sale at the time that you need it, plus these notifications are likely causing you to spend so much more that it negates any possible discount you were getting on the item you actually needed!
- Go through your stash periodically. As a product junkie I just LOVE to try new products. Even if I already have something that works well enough, I’m constantly searching for that holy grail item. This means that I have baskets and boxes full of partially used products in various cupboards and drawers (below). Let’s be honest with each other here, you do this too. Like me, you probably don’t even know what or how much you have. It’s important to go through your stash periodically. Monthly, every six months, every year; whatever it is – just go through it. If you don’t do this, you are most certainly hoarding multiple products that serve the same purpose – and worse still, buying more. Don’t keep items that don’t work for you. Give them away or do a product swap with your friends. Just because it doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. Both you and your friends can satisfy the need to try new products without even spending another dime.
- Set a budget for your beauty products. Don’t forget to track how much you spend. It’s almost impossible to really see how much you are consuming without looking at its monetary value. There are tons of tools out there to help you do this whether you prefer old school printables or digital tracking. I use an app called AceBudget2, but a simple Google or Pinterest search will reveal a wealth of options.
- Do your research. Yes, it can be time consuming but it’s free and can save you money. I always check for product reviews on multiple sites whether it’s YouTube, the actual site I am purchasing the product from, Amazon or searching on Google before making a purchase. Of course you have to take reviews with a grain of salt – some of them are sponsored or the product was supplied for review free of charge. Also note that time is precious and many people will not review a product if it is good. They are already using it and are happy with it, therefore less motivated to go on a website to write a positive review. Alternatively in the case where reviews are sponsored or the product is supplied by the vendor for free, the reviewer may be more motivated to speak positively about the product. In any event I like to learn about the product before I purchase it and the more information the better. Although you should not take reviews at face value, you can get a general consensus of what people are saying about the product.
- Shop around and get samples. It is so easy shop around online. Whether you are searching for a specific product on the weekly flyer app Flipp or searching various online sites, it’s a small investment of time that can result in considerable savings. Many stores and beauty counters provide free samples for you try. Although I’m not a fan of in-store shopping, if you don’t mind returning to the store to purchase the full size, you may want to take advantage of this option.