Well, Amanda and I made it. Over a post-yoga pint of beer (always good to mingle your virtuous habits with your vicious) we discussed how the month had gone: quickly, for both of us, smoothly, and with a feeling that we were less stressed and more financially comfortable. We both have been waiting for October to buy new black pumps, those most boring of shoes and necessary for almost any office environment (and always a good thing to have at 7:30 a.m. when you're trying to put an outfit together and get out the door).
Other than said pumps, neither of us have kept a running list of things we want to buy. Some things I thought I wanted have completely left my mind, other things, like a down vest that I've been considering purchasing for the colder weather that is now upon us, have become low-urgency and I really don't know if I want to spend my money on them anymore. As I noticed earlier in No Buy month, I'm becoming a bit of a money hoarder.
I remember there was a time when I was working as a cashier at the IGA in my hometown, and minimum wage was something like $6.75, and I would squirrel away every pay-cheque in order to save up to go shopping. There wasn't really anywhere close by to shop - you could get essential stuff in town or in a nearby village, but to really go shopping we had to drive to one of three cities. The closest, about 45 minutes away, also had the poorest selection. The furthest, about an hour and 15 minutes away, had the best. My friends and my sister and I would save our money, and then go and blow big chunks of what we'd saved a few times a year. In between shopping sprees, I remember a feeling of fierce protectiveness over my wad of dough. I didn't want to spend it on anything and would feel a bit miffed when I had to. I am sensing a return to that feeling, which I haven't felt in years.
The challenge now is to prevent a rebound of spending in October with the rediscovered 'freedom' of not having an imaginary crowd of people watching to see if I cave in when I'm supposed to be Not Buying. I am going to foster the feelings of saving money, and Amanda and I are both going to make November a No Buy month part two. The intention is to keep this going, every-other month, and see if we can sustain a long-term change in habit. I hope to make a permanent move from participating in our overly-consumptive culture, to a reflective and thoughtful pattern of making purchases. I'm excited to feel the calmness grow, maybe along with my savings, too.