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@HannahLouisePoston is taking over our channel for four weeks with "The Beautiful Budget!" In this episode, she tells us three categories of spending she no longer buys after quitting shopping for a year.

→ TFD INTERVIEW WITH HANNAH - How A No-Buy Year Can Change Your Brain's Response To Consumerism -

00:00 → INTRO & AD
02:05 → CONTEXT
02:44 → BACKUPS

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Hey, guys. It's Chelsea from The Financial Diet. And thanks to Avast for sponsoring today's video.

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Learn more about Avast One at And now, we welcome my special guest taking over my Tuesday show for a little while here on TFD-- Hannah Louise Poston. Hey, y'all.

Hi, welcome back to another episode of The Beautiful Budget, the TFD channel takeover by me, Hannah Louise Poston. I am a writer and an online content creator. I have my own YouTube channel, which you can click through and watch if you would like to do that.

But I do recommend sticking around, watching this video first. Today, I'm going to be talking about things that I no longer buy. Back in 2018, I did a no-buy year.

I quit shopping for an entire year to give myself a chance to reset my habits and build a new and healthier relationship with shopping. In the wake of that no-buy project, I find that there are things that I no longer buy, things that used to make sense to me in our consumer culture that just don't make sense anymore. That's what this video is about.

And I will also link my no-buy year, full chronological playlist, another playlist full of videos about what I learned from my no-buy year, and the other videos that I'm doing for the TFD takeover in the description box down below. So in the wake of my no-buy year, I no longer buy backups. And I'll explain what I mean by backups.

Although, if you are a member of the beauty community on YouTube, if you watch a lot of beauty videos, you probably already know what "backups" are. It's common in the beauty world for people to buy exact duplicates of their favorite makeup products and store them unopened in their drawers. The purchase of backups, which is pretty widely accepted as a common practice in the community of beauty lovers to which I belong, is encouraged by sales, the concept that you should buy a bunch of the same thing while it's on sale so that you can get a discount on all of it.

And it's also encouraged in a lot of cases by the fear that the product will sell out or get discontinued. It's like buy extras now while you can. For a variety of reasons, I've come to think that this purchasing of backups is almost never a good idea.

These are the reasons why I no longer buy backups. Beauty products, especially makeup, often take longer to use up than we think they will. They also expire.

By the time you're ready to open your backup, it could be much older than a new one from the store would be if you went out and bought it. Tastes change. Even when I love a product, even when I feel like it's the best I've ever tried, by the time I've used up the entire tube or bottle, my priorities have often shifted.

And I'm often looking for something slightly different. And the beauty industry is constantly innovating. You have no way of knowing what new formula or brand will launch and replace your current favorite in your affections.

In almost every case, you have nothing to lose by waiting until you have finished your product before you replace it. But you do have something to lose if you buy hundreds of dollars worth of backups and they sit in a drawer slowly going bad, while you use and buy other things instead. As one of my subscribers once said, Sephora can store your backups for you on their shelves.

Now, when I talk about not buying backups on my channel, I often get the reply in the comments that it makes sense to do if there's a sale, because you're saving money. But even if you buy your backups on sale, how much money are you really saving if you're buying a bunch of duplicates of things that you already have? If, for example, your favorite eyeliner costs $24 and you buy three of them at one time, because they're 15% off and you keep those three backups in a drawer, you've just spent $64 in order to save $11.

And even if you do use the same eyeliner regularly without ever deviating and without fail, and you go through all of them like a bulldozer as planned, which is a big "if" for makeup lovers-- because remember, again, the industry is constantly innovating, and new things are constantly launching. But even if you do go through them one after another like that, by the time you get to the third one, it could be a year old, maybe even older. And if, like so many of us do, you like to try new eyeliner from time to time, you're as likely as not to find a new favorite along the way and then never actually use all three of your backups.

And in that case, you will have just wasted $30 or $40 by buying all of those backups at once, while they were on sale in the name of "saving money." In my experience-- and hear me out-- the purchase of backups, which feels like a sanctioned or logical purchase, is often just an extension of the compulsion to buy more stuff. Sometimes when your brain craves the satisfaction of a purchase, you tell yourself that buying backups is "rational." When you break it down, though, it's usually not. Another category of things that I don't buy anymore since my no-buy year is what we'll call upgrades or products that I perceived to be upgrades on something that I was already using, something I already had.

Before my no-buy year, I would regularly purchase a new brand or formula of a product, even when I had one at home that I was still using. For example, I'd have a facial cleanser from Sephora, something like the Fresh Soy Cleanser, a simple cleanser that costs $38. Halfway through the bottle, I'd get a little bit dissatisfied with some aspect of the formula.

And I'd go to Sephora and get another cleanser, say, the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser which costs $35. Then after using that one for a month or so, something would happen like Drunk Elephant would launch a new cleanser. And I'd feel like I just had to try it, so I'd go and buy it-- the Drunk Elephant Beste Jelly Cleanser, for example, which is $32.

Then I would hear someone on YouTube talking about her favorite cleanser and how it has this fabulous melting texture that you just have to touch to understand. And on my next trip to Sephora, I'd buy the Algenist Melting Cleanser, just to see what she was talking about. That's another $38.

Then I'd hear someone on YouTube, talking about the vital importance of using a cleanser that balances your skin's pH and how most cleansers on the market aren't pH balanced and could be stripping my skin. So thinking that unbalanced pH might actually be the problem with my skin, I'd click through her link. And I'd buy the COSRX Low pH Gel Cleanser from Amazon for another $12.

So there I would be with $155 worth of cleansers in my bathroom, all of them half used, feeling like my space was cluttered and wondering where all my money had gone. And I would still be feeling like none of the cleansers that I had were perfect. I was always looking for something better.

This kind of restlessness was, I would say, emblematic of a lot of the issues that underpinned my shopping behaviors. And I actually do go in more depth about some of those issues in some of the other videos in this series-- The Beautiful Budget. I always felt like what I had wasn't good enough.

There must be something better out there. And there were deep-seated reasons for that which, again, I'll go into in some of the other videos. And if you want to find out more about them, make sure you watch them all.

But what's relevant to this video is that after my no-buy year, I switched to a "replacements only" system. Now, I don't buy a new cleanser until the old cleanser is empty. When it's time to replace a product when I really need it, then I decide if I'm going to buy another bottle of the same thing or if I'm going to try something new.

I mean, if a product is truly terrible in some way, it's not like I force myself to use it up. But I don't give up on what I'm using just because it's not new anymore, it's a little bit less exciting than I thought it would be, or because something new and shiny has come across my path. I just stick with what I have, and I wait.

Or, as a wise man once said, use it up where it out, make it do, or do without. And here are all the ways that the replacements-only guideline is helping me. It makes me more thoughtful about choosing to spend money on a new product.

Because I know that I'm planning to use it up until it's gone. I'm not buying it to try it. I'm buying it to use it.

The replacements-only system also gives me a more realistic sense of the cost per use of my products, because I'm only using one at a time. If an expensive cleanser is bad value because the pump dispenses a generous amount and the bottle only lasts one month, I'll find that out right away. And I won't buy it again.

And in a similar vein, but the flip side, I have a bit more freedom to experiment with more high-end products once in a while. Because I know that I won't be wasting that product and that I won't be wasting money on other things that essentially duplicate it. I don't buy expensive versions of all of my products.

But if I feel like splashing out on a $40 cleanser once in a while, I do it. And it's a much more reasonable decision when I don't already have $155 worth of cleanser lying around in my bathroom slowly expiring. And perhaps most importantly, the replacements-only habit encourages me to practice being satisfied with what I have now, even if it's slightly imperfect.

This is, of course, a much larger life lesson than cleanser. And it gets at the heart of unhealthy consumerism. But beauty products give me a chance to practice it.

A third category of product that I don't buy since my no-buy year, that I try not to buy, is a category that I'm going to call "functional dupes." So we just talked about buying a pile of cleansers, a bunch of products that all do the same thing because of trying to upgrade and how that can come from that restlessness. But there's another kind of impulse that can also lead to buying a whole bunch of different versions of things that do the same thing and having then spent way more money than you needed to spend, which is the impulse to buy something, simply because it's very similar to something that you already own and love. So sometimes this impulse can just come from a desire to buy more.

If you love buying stuff, if you're getting a fix from buying something, anything, then the fact that the thing you're considering buying is similar to something that you know you love becomes the excuse to buy it, even though it's just a repeat of something you already have. And sometimes it can be a misguided attempt to save money. So say there's a beautiful T-shirt, high quality in this color that you really love wearing.

You've owned it for a while. You spent a good bit of money on it. It's an investment piece, and it's your favorite.

And then you're passing by the window of a fast fashion shop and you see a T-shirt, almost the same silhouette, almost the same fabric, almost the same color. And you're like, I'm going to go in and buy that because it's just like the one that I love so much. So now, all you have is your A-list version of your shirt.

And if you watched my interview with Chelsea in which she talked about having only A-list things in her wardrobe, then you'll have heard that before. You have your A-list version. And then you have a B-list version that for some reason, you decided to spend more of your money on, to bring it into your life so that it could take up space and just sit there being inferior to the one that you love.

And in my personal life with makeup, I have expanded this concept, this logic that says it doesn't really make sense to buy dupes. I've expanded it to include what I call "functional dupes." So, for example, when I wear a very bright red lipstick, which I love, my preference is a red-orange. And I own a beautiful Lisa Eldridge Lipstick in this color-- Velvet Dragon.

I am sometimes tempted by other intriguing bright lipsticks, so fluorescent coral, magenta, blood red. None of those are actually the same color as Velvet Dragon. Some of them look very different.

But functionally in my life, they are variations on the theme. Rather than thinking that I need one of each of a red-orange, a magenta, a coral, a blood red, I've become comfortable with thinking about it this way. I just need one statement lip color.

I was recently very tempted by another Lisa Eldridge Lipstick, a magenta lipstick that just released in the shade New Wave. But I decided not to buy it, because I already have Velvet Dragon. To some people, that might not make sense, because they're not the same color.

They're two different lipsticks. But I would wear them in the same way for the same purpose. And I already have a great one.

I love the one I have. So I'm just sticking with it. When you have found something that you really love that really works for you and then you find yourself tempted to keep spending money and keep collecting a bunch of different, often less expensive, but in many cases, lesser versions of that same thing, you're just adding B-list things into a life where you already have an A-list version of that thing.

They're always going to be second string. You're going to spend way more money, maybe even more money than the original A-list item cost, maybe even more money than it would have cost to buy two of the original A-list Items. And if, as we mentioned, you're measuring value in cost per use, you're way better off getting a ton of use out of your favorite one, instead of getting a little bit of use out of a bunch of little subpar ones, the cost of which would have all added up.

And this is true in my experience, whether all of the little subpar ones are exact replicas, dupes of the favorite one, or if they're just "functional dupes." They might look different. They might be different, but do the same thing. So because I'm not buying backups of the things that I really love as we discussed in the first point, and as we discussed in the second point, I'm not constantly trying to upgrade my products by buying different versions of them before I've finished them.

I find that since my no-buy year, I have fewer, but nicer things around me. And that makes my "A-list items" feel even more special. So those are three categories of things that I no longer buy since my no-buy year.

If you like this, make sure you watch the other videos in The Beautiful Budget series, my TFD takeover. I'll be digging into more of these concepts of desire, consumerism, beauty, materialism, and the intersection of mental health and money.