Yesterday I went shopping for beauty-products, which hasn’t happen for a really long time.
Usually I would go to a drugstore once a week to get something nice for myself, usually just spending a tiny amount of money here, a tiny amount there, but at the end of the month counting it all together… well… you might picture the effect it has on my finances. Not to mention on my bathroom. It was full of stuff I only used once (and then didn’t like) or didn’t use at all.
This has caused me some headaches over the past years. Even though I don’t like make-up so much I really like body lotion, shampoo, body soap, soap in general, bubble baths, you get the picture. I could never go to a drugstore without over-buying and spending way too much money on stuff I then never had the time to use. I think I kind of liked the idea of having all of these face masks and bath oils to pamper myself whenever I wanted to when in reality I didn’t have the time to do this.
Nevertheless, I think I finally got this part under control. How, you might ask did this happen?
- Well, the first thing I did was not going into drugstores anymore. Sure I did this in the first week I arrived to get some shampoo, but after that I just didn’t. If I really needed something, I would buy it in the supermarket where I wouldn’t get the nice feeling I so like when I go shopping in a drugstore (the atmosphere, the smell etc.).
- My bathroom is really tiny, so there isn’t so much room to leave things lying around, everything soon gets really crowded.
- I use things up I buy. And I don’t go shopping for new stuff before the old stuff isn’t completely used up. This is a very important rule I set for myself, because I tended to use something once (body-soap), then don’t like the smell and throw it away. You shop more carelessly if you know that you can get something new anytime. If you make a rule that you have to use up everything that you place in that shopping cart, then you select items more carefully and go for things that you know you really enjoy. You select items better and you are more conscious about what you buy and where you spend your money.
- When I went yesterday I made a list of what I needed. I had run out of it: shampoo, body-soap, make-up sponge. That’s it. Nothing more.
- I set myself a limit to how much money I could spend on these items. If I wanted fancier shampoo, I would have to find some cheap body-soap. If I really wanted some items not on the list I would have to cut back on everything else (but I made the limit tight enough to not over-indulge on anything).
- I also set myself a limit to how long I could stay in the drugstore, 15 minutes to be exact. Because, if you want to find the cheap and nice items you need time to look for them to make sure you can find a bargain (and I also need time to read stuff since it is all in Japanese), but no browsing through the aisles!
That being said I must confess that yesterday an Aleppo-soap found it’s way into my shopping basket. While it was on the list – I wanted to try this soap out for the past few months – and it was in my budget, it is no essential item for me as I don’t *need* it (as in need for shampoo for example). I think it is still important to try out new things and have fun with them as long as I protect my rules which means that I will use the soap up completely.