At the beginning of this year I made myself one of the most impossible New Year’s resolutions a book blogger could make: I would go on the biggest buying ban you’d ever seen and by NO BOOKS until my birthday. Of course I didn’t stick to it 100%, but instead of buying six books every time I walked into a book store I’ve probably bought only 20 books this year so far. That’s a really good effort for me. (Not having time because of uni also helped)…
This technique is something I only came up with a few months ago and wish I’d thought of it sooner because it works really well! I’ve had a couple of people ask about it so I thought I’d share my secrets.
One of the parts of buying bans that makes them so hard to stick to is the fact that you’re not allowing yourself to buy books AT ALL. This makes it even more tempting to break and also makes you feel more guilty when you do. My approach does allow you to buy books… within reason. But it also stops you.
The main concept of this approach to a buying ban is you have to work for your books.
Everything I did, from study to exercise, to reading books from my massive TBR, had a monetary value. The things I really didn’t want to do were worth more than the things I did often. You could really earn money for anything you wanted. Try and stick away from things you do too often because that’s going to earn you too much too quickly and you’re supposed to be not buying books. But don’t be so harsh on yourself that it never feels like the value will never get high enough for you to buy even one book.
Things that could earn you money could be:
– conquering a fear
– going a day or a week or a month without an anxiety attack, or a cigarette, etc
– helping someone out
– reading a review book
– writing a blog post
– commenting on blogs
– writing a certain number of words of your novel
– so many other things!
And of course the best part of this ban is the spending. There are two ways you could spend the money you earn: let the amount accumulate over time and set a date when the ban ends and you can spend only what you’ve earned, or use this as a budget.
I started this ban with the thought that I was going to splurge at the end of it. I could add the money I earned over the past few months to whatever I got for my birthday and buy ALL THE BOOKS!
However, due to changes in circumstance, I can’t spend this hypothetical money now. Which sucks because I was really looking forward to it. So next year I’m going to use this as a budget for buying things I want. Whenever I buy something I have to take its price off the total I’ve earned. This allows you to buy more books more often, but doesn’t allow you to go overboard. And if you did you’d be in the negatives and have to work your way back up.
In the few months I’ve trialled this method I’ve been so happy with how it works. I’m not tempted to spend as much because watching the numbers get higher and higher is so satisfying. I can’t wait to give it a try and see how it works over an entire year.
What do you guys think of this technique?
Want to try it?
Would it work for you?
How do you stick to your buying bans?
UPDATE: Just found out about this awesome challenge that may help you stick to your buying ban! I’ve signed up and can’t wait to beat it :D