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No Buy December

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Tomorrow is December at last, and finally I can use my Yves Rocher Beauty Advent Calendar. I have been so looking forward to it. I plan to entertain myself by actually using and enjoying the product from each day, so I can stick to a No Buy and not purchase anything else. Because I want so badly to pay my credit card off by the end of the year (balance is $166.85). Yesterday on Black Friday, I did not do any shopping, and made a $100 payment on it, and I feel great about that. 

I feel very satisfied with my Yves Rocher Beauty Advent Calendar. When I was looking for reviews on it, I discovered that Yves Rocher has a beauty advent calendar just for the Scandinavian market called the Nordic Christmas Calendar (only sold in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland). This version has been around for several years, at least since 2015. It has all full sized products in it, and the content is amazing. Instead of being stored in a decorative box, each item is in a fabric drawstring bag, with a number for each day. All the bags are then stuffed into a huge drawstring tote. The bag also has a sturdy rope and clothes pins so that the bags can be hung around the house. It's a dream, and I currently love to read blog posts about it. Maybe next year I will have one! 


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I made another payment on my credit card, and the remaining balance is now $140. 

Yves Rocher Beauty Advent Calendar so far: 

Day 1 - Sel D'Azur perfume - I've been wanting to try something from Yves Rocher's extensive line of new perfumes. This one is meant to evoke a walk on the Amalfi coast, with citrus and sea salt. 

Day 2 - First Snowflakes Shower Gel - One of the new limited edition holiday products. This is lovely! It's white almond, but less sweet and more powdery than the Perlier White Almond, which I also love. I might have to get the big bottle! 

Day 3 - Cream shampoo with avocado - also a new product I haven't tried yet. Very good shampoo that brings out natural waves. 

Day 4 - Four sided nail file - A good file that really is effective. 

Day 5 - Micellar water for sensitive skin. 

Day 6 - Clear base coat for nails. 

Day 7 - Face cream for sensitive skin. 

I had a really hard time going back to work after Thanksgiving. But after Monday, it's been quite slow, thank goodness. They are allowing people to volunteer to leave early. I never do, even though I feel tired and burned out, because I'm so focused on my financial goals. I have been watching a vlogmas on You Tube from the channel iseedee. This is a Swedish girl who is frugal yet glamorous, and has inspired me in my No Buys. Her vlogmas (or Christmas Countdown 2019 as she calls it), is simple yet so beautiful and cozy. She is so organized, and really knows how to celebrate the holidays. She makes a simple Saturday of doing laundry and going grocery shopping seem special. I guess she personifies what you would call Hygge. iseedee is going through The Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar. She has the big one with the full sized items. This is the only vlogmas I've been keeping up with. 

I've been Christmas shopping (for other people, not for myself, lol), and also I'm going to be organizing the buffet at my church later this month. So I don't think I can pay any more on my credit card until Boxing Day. That's the day I am hoping to pay it off!!! After that I might buy myself a little treat or two, and then organize my plan for the New Year. 


Edited by EdithS2
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It was two years ago this weekend, that I started to get ready for my 2018 No Buy, and I've come such a long way! I recall on the Saturday night, two years ago, overeating pizza and watching a mukbang channel on You Tube. I remember waking up really early on the Sunday morning feeling ill. I was googling small meals and I found myself on a forum about bariatric surgery. I was reading posts about all the hard work people put in for that kind of surgery. This inspired me, and the next day I ate a small healthy meal, early in the day. I had an amazing sleep on the Sunday night. Amazing dreams. When I woke up, I had all this motivation to do a No Buy for 2018! I haven't changed my weight or eating since then, but I did make a lot of progress on my debt, which is more important to me. I began right away listing all my debts, organizing my beauty items, and using up a few little odds and ends. My goal was to pay off one debt a month in 2018, and this was my list: 

Jan - credit card $27.32

Feb - credit card $42.93

Mar - credit card $76.98

April - IRS debt $102.04

May - credit card - $242.86

June - credit card - $398.01

July - credit card $442.61

August - credit card $629.43

Sept - credit card $725.55

Oct - credit card $761.90

Nov - credit card - $946.69

Dec - credit card $985.76

I ended up making it half the way through the list in 2018. This year, I got burned out and stopped working on my No Buy until June, when I finished the rest of this list along with two additional debts. All except for the $761.90 debt that I had wanted to pay off Oct 2018. That one has such a bad interest rate and little minimum payment, that many things moved ahead of it in the debt snowball program. That's why it will be so exciting to pay it off on Boxing Day! 

I still have debts but far fewer. I was desperate to not have so many. As you can imagine, that was a lot of payments each month.



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Advent calendar:

Day 8 - Bright red nail polish - Polish was so easy to apply, and lasted well. I got several compliments on it. 

Day 9 - At the Heart of Pine Trees Holiday Shower Gel - a fresh orange scent with a soft wood note. 

Day 10 - Apricot body scrub. 

Day 11 - Hydrating micellar water. 

Day 12 - Plein Soleil Perfume - I love the perfume! It is tuberose with a hint of cardamom, to evoke travels to the East. 

Day 13 - At the Heart of Pine Trees matching body lotion. 

Day 14 - Mango Coriander Shower Gel. 

I've been feeling the pressure of the holidays this month! I've been frustrated, because I have not been able to make progress on paying my credit card off by the end of the year. It's looking like it's not going to happen. I wanted to pay it off by the end of the year just because of perfectionism. Since it was the last in the series of smaller balance debts in my debt snowball, I thought it would be nice to have it done by New Year's Eve and start January with a larger goal. After having a relaxed day (I went to the park for a walk and saw baby deer!), I finally thought of something that made it okay to defer that goal a bit. I realized I won't be finished with my mini beauty products by the New Year either. I have far fewer than in past years, but I'll still have some to get through. I always had the concept of using my mini sample products and paying my smaller debts (the easier goals) and after that was through, I would use up full sized products while paying off larger debts. After thinking of that, I felt it would be okay to make a new plan and give myself January and February to pay my last small bill ($140) while using up the mini products. Then in March I can begin work on larger debts and larger products! I did achieve all of my 2019 New Year's Resolutions, and paid off five credit cards this year, and I'm very happy with that. I'm not going to go on a shopping spree and buy myself a lot of things with credit cards, but I do need to make it through Christmas! 




Edited by EdithS2
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Advent Calendar

Day 15 - Shimmery purple eye crayon.

Day 16 - Comforting Shower Balm - This is not something I would have chosen for myself, but it's really divine. It does lather and make bubbles, but it's so soft and creamy. It has botanical oils and shea butter. 

Day 17 - Hair Masque with avocado oil - This masque is a 2 in 1 product, because it can be used before shampooing for a longer time for a deep conditioning treatment, or after shampooing for a shorter time. It was amazing, and brought out my natural waves. 

Day 18 - Pale pink pearly nail polish. 

Day 19 - Hydrating face cream. 

Day 20 - First Snowflakes Hand Cream - In the wonderful white almond scent. 

Day 21 - Argan Rose Shower Gel - I've wanted to try this so badly since it came out last spring. A rich scent with beautiful packaging. 

I'm now in the time of last minute gifts and preparation. Last night at Dollar General, I bought the "Olivia Grace Shower in Luxury" gift set for a friend. This is a really nice gift set for $10.00. It comes in a large and beautiful box, and has a hair wrap, body wrap, shower pouf, and scented shower gel. The cashier thought it was nice also. I haven't paid extra on my credit card since December 4, and I do miss making progress on it. I was so close to the end. It's not good to leave financial goals for the end of the year, I have learned. 



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Advent Calendar Day 22 - Black Cherry nail polish - very beautiful. 

Cosmetics of Christmas Past 

I was looking at my No Buy journals from 2017 and 2018, and saw that I had received many wonderful things at Christmas of years past that I have not even used yet! I tend to save pretty, new things up and hoard them, feeling they are too pretty to use, and then years go by and they are still untouched, stored away. 

Christmas 2017

On December 23 I got in the mail the December Birchbox, with two extra boxes of samples free (it was a special promo). I've used up many of the samples in those boxes, but the following samples I still have and have never touched:

  • Benefit Porefessional Pearl Primer
  • Stila mascara
  • Marcelle mascara
  • Sand and Sky Masque
  • Matrix leave in hair product
  • Eyelash curler
  • LOC eye shadow 

I got a necklace for Christmas that year that I've never worn. It is a special "Daughter" necklace from my Dad. 

Christmas 2018

I still have yet to use many of the wonderful gifts my brother gave me. He is a wonderful shopper. Marianne Faithful Girl On A Motorcycle DVD- so cool; I forgot all about it. Yardley soaps. Did I ever get around to using those? I love Yardley. Her Royal Highness fragrance - dupe of Vera Wang Princess - never tried it. A family friend gave me a bejewelled little Moroccan type tunic. She also gave me some little socks that have embroidered roses. I fell in love with them, stored them away like precious treasure, and forgot all about them!

These are just some of many examples in my life. 


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Advent Calendar 

Day 23 - Eyebrow Mascara - This has a tiny brush and botanical fibers, and really fills in the brows well. 

Day 24 - A beautiful lip product called "Grand Rouge Elixir" in a dusty rose shade. It is a lip treatment with camellia oil, and also a matte long wearing lip gloss. 

The Yves Rocher Advent Calendar has been wonderful. It allowed me to try many new launches and things I would not have purchased otherwise. All of the formulas and scents have been beautiful. The lovely box is reusable, so I will save it for a future project. 

I always long to celebrate Advent. My Advent time this year was a little bit hard. I have not been to Christmas services since I began the job I had now, four years ago, because I never have time off and am always so, so tired. But my soul always longs for Advent! This year my friend asked me to go with her to Christmas Eve candlelight service. I said I would because I felt guilty saying no, but I have been upset for a few days at the thought of having to leave my room and go out, and I wished she would change her mind. I just felt too tired and depressed for anything, as usual. But after having a potluck at work, leaving work early, and opening all kinds of wonderful gifts from my family, I felt well enough to take a shower with my First Snowflakes Shower Gel, put on my beautiful Grand Rouge Elixir lip color, and I happily went out! We had a great Chinese dinner out, and then proceeded to the Christmas Eve candlelight service. We arrived at the last moment before it started, and the church was packed, with barely a seat free. An amazing usher came and escorted us right to some seats that happened to be empty, right in front, directly in front of the Advent candles! The seats were on the extreme side of the altar, so I could not see the rest of the altar well, so I gazed mostly upon the candles while listening to the beautiful singing, cello and Bible verses. I thought, Jesus saved this seat just for me! He got me here! And then my own little candle was lit from the flame of those Advent lights, and I got to hold it and gaze intently upon it as the church sang "Silent Night." It was amazing! 

Also my wishes came true, and I was blessed to get many beauty gifts from friends and family! 

My cousin sent me an artisan soap called "Pixie" from a company called Finchberry Soapery. It is beautiful, and has a magical dusting of glitter on top. She also gave me a mini of Twilight Woods lotion from Bath & Body Works. 

My brother is an amazing shopper. He always gets me the best gifts! This year he got me a Freeman face masque kit, with a glacier water and pink peony gel cream masque packet, cucumber and pink salt clay masque packet, charcoal and back sugar mud masque tube, and a masque brush! He also got me another set with a charcoal masque in a jar, along with a masque applicator tool, from Global Beauty Care, and Yardley activated charcoal bath soap. He got me so many charcoal products because we had gone to a holistic health seminar earlier in the year, and they had a big section on the uses of activated charcoal! He also got me the the Yardley Limited edition Apple Blossom Soap, and the Yardley Shea Buttermilk, Oatmeal and Almond, and English Lavender Soaps. My brother also gave me two mini shampoos, June Jacobs and Neutrogena, and a Revele 5 Piece Eyebrow Kit. He knows I love eyebrow tweezing kits! 

My neighbor gave me Bath & Body Works Bright Winter Sky hand soap, gift wrapped from the store. 

My father gave me a Baylis & Harding gift set with Midnight Fig & Pomegranate body spray, shower gel, and hand and body lotion, and a beautiful red cosmetics case with velvet and rhinestones! I love Baylis & Harding gifts! Last year my brother got me a Baylis & Harding set, and I still have some of the lotion left from it. I'm so glad to have another set from that brand. My father also got me a perfume set called Ferrera Stiletto that has shower gel, body lotion, and EDP in a shoe shaped bottle. 

Dad's girlfriend got me a mini bodycology cherry blossom lotion. 

My boss gave me Bath & Body Works Pearberry Fine Fragrance Mist. 

My friend gave me a Viva Las Vegas Sweet perfume set with shower gel, lotion, fragrance mist, and big bottle of EDP. 

Other gifts included a Coach wallet found at a thrift store, a lottery ticket for "$500 a week for life," which was not a winner, but which I will keep for luck, a trinket box from an antique store, some cash, slippers, book, DVD, CDs. Our house was blessed with many gifts of food this year, such as ham, chocolate, fruitcake etc., which I found very wonderful and comforting. 

All around a very blessed and miraculous Christmas! 


Edited by EdithS2

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Happy Boxing Day. Last payday of the year and I achieved my goal of paying off my credit card by the end of the year! I didn't think I would make it, but I did and I'm so excited. Now in the New Year I can start with a new goal. Only five days left in this year (and decade)! To do:

  • Try to finish using up a few more little items.
  • Finalize New Years resolutions.
  • Start a new volume of my journal. 
  • Find inspiring videos on YouTube of people doing no buys, debt snowballs, project pan, etc. 


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Shopping at the end of December in the past vs now.

I used to take part in after Christmas shopping in the past, when I had more time and money, and life was easier. I used to take my Christmas present money and hit the mall. My favorite thing to buy after Christmas was an Estee Lauder set they that always came out right after Christmas (this was in the late 1990's and early 2000's), that would have a travel bag, minis of the entire skin care regime, and a hairbrush and lipstick, maybe a mascara, a PWP at a very good price. That was my favorite treat and it was sort of a winter resort, cruise set. For a few weeks in the New Year, I was able to have a complete Estee Lauder beauty regime, something I couldn't usually afford. It made me feel great. It was always an excellent purchase. 

When I first began doing No Buys, I used to like to go on a last shopping spree before the New Year. This was really fun, and I recall before my first No Buy, in December 2006, getting a great deal at the Bath and Body Works sale. In 2014, I went really overboard shopping at Sephora and Nordstrom online before beginning a No Buy. I bought everything I could get my hands on, and that was bad. It gave me that much more to deal with in January. But I loved this roller coaster of shopping before midnight New Years Eve, and then the relief at midnight on December 31, the release of anxiety, when the No Buy began. I liked that dramatic contrast. 

Before my 2018 No Buy, I bought a few things leading up to it, nothing excessive. Maybe that was why the No Buy went so well. 

This year, it took everything to pay my credit card off by the end of the year, no money and no time for shopping at all. This year and last year, completing a No Buy and then rolling right into a new one with no break, makes me feel a bit tired. I think that is why last year I fell of the wagon in late January and did not get back until June! There's not that excitement about the New Year, it's just continuing the same thing. Do I want to shop? No, not really. I'm too tired, have no time and money, the only way to do it would be to add more debt and that would mess up all the progress I have made with my debt snowball. What I want now is a fresh approach, with what I have already, to make it seem new and exciting. I feel sad that the magic of Christmas, which lasted about 24 hours for me, is over, and I face more work pressure. I think we all want the Christmas magic to go on, and that's why we take part in after Christmas shopping. This is expressed so well at the beginning of Bridget Jones's Diary, (the novel) where she goes shopping for discount Christmas candy to eat in front of the TV to help with the post holiday blues. 

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Empties for December:

  • Foil pack of DHC Pore Cleansing Oil - I recently got a DHC catalog in the mail, and it had four amazing foil pack samples! It's always a treat when these come in the mail.  This is a cleansing oil for oily skin types. It smells like orange and is a rich feeling oil, but when it's rinsed off, the skin feels really clean and matte. 
  • Two packets of A0A Pure Cotton Rounds - from Shop Miss A. These are good. I'm using Delon cotton now, as an esthetician advised it is the best. 
  • I've finished four minis from my Yves Rocher Advent Calendar - Sensitive Vegetal face cream, Hydra Vegetal face cream, Nourishing Shampoo, and First Snowflakes Shower Gel. 
  • A fail: I hardly ever do my nails, but I have been painting them this month since there were several nail colors in the Yves Rocher Advent Calendar. This prompted me to look for nail polish remover to change the polish. I had two bottles of my Mom's nail polish remover, almost empty. They were generic brand from a grocery store that went out of business a long time ago, my Mom passed away in 2013, and they were years past the expiration date. Not wanting to waste I tried to use them, but they did not take any polish off at all. They must have evaporated somehow. I had to throw them out. 
Edited by EdithS2

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