July Clean Out and No Buy July Update

Why am I still posting about July while we’re in the middle of August, you ask? Because I haven’t quite gotten my blogging rhythm down yet. As a new blogger, there have been many challenges already and there is so much more ahead for me to learn. And sometimes in the midst of all the information being thrown my way about blogging, I forget to actually blog. However, in order to provide myself with some sanity and prevent too much stress, I have decided to focus on three areas right now: a consistent posting schedule, my Pinterest activity, and a mailing list. As with almost anything in life, consistency will be key for these areas. (By the way, if you would like to be added to my mailing list and give me some feedback on my first newsletter, shoot me an email at gingerlifeblog@gmail.com. I greatly appreciate any and all feedback!)

Anyway, let me get on with the real purpose of this post! Last month I embarked on a small journey called “No Buy July” where the goal was to spend $0 on beauty and fashion items for the whole month. Did I meet this goal? Almost. I had a lot of motivation for this goal, though. I finally set my mind on purchasing a vehicle and with that as a priority, it was much easier to not spend money on other things. I knew that I would need it for my car and all the expenses that come along with it. But a small failure in my goal happened on my birthday when my parents took me shopping. They bought almost everything, but when I happened upon the clearance rack in Ulta, I went a little crazy. Ok, it was only like $15 worth of stuff, but it was still technically banned during “No Buy July.” And then, I forgot to skip a month for the Julep Maven box, which I talked about here, and so I got charged for more beauty items again. Darn. I think my total for the month came around to about $40, which may not seem like a lot, but every penny counts for me as a working college student. I was still able to buy a vehicle, though, and it has been amazing so far. It feels like I’ve taken one step closer to actual adulthood.

No Buy July wasn’t the only thing I challenged myself to this month, though. I also attempted to use up older products that had been sitting around for quite some time. I threw away quite a bit of stuff and then kept some back to use up in July. Now that July is over, it’s time for an update on how that challenge went as well.

Here are the products that I attempted to use up (I’ve divided them into two groups: products I used and products I didn’t even touch).

Used Products
Used Products

I used the rest of my Mango Body Butter lotion (yay!) and made a dent in the rest of the products. I gave up on the elf concealer and highlighter, however, because it wasn’t performing as well as I remember it doing when I first bought it. Must’ve been too old, huh? I remembered why I stopped using the Fructis curl calm down: it is too heavy on my hair. I also remembered why I didn’t like the L.A. colors eyeliner that much either–it smudges when I put on my eyeshadow, and not in a good way. I used each of the eye shadow palettes in this picture a few times, but not enough to warrant keeping them around any longer. Besides, the goal is to clear out old stuff anyway! You can see what is left of my Burt’s Bees chapstick, which is not much. I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve used of that chapstick! The only item I’m keeping is the Kenra hair serum because it really is great on my hair when I some extra shine or need to calm a bit of frizz on second-day hair.

Untouched Products
Untouched Products

As you can see, I didn’t touch about half of the products that I set out to use. Perhaps I gave myself too many products to use up, but they need to be cleared out anyway, so I’m not bothered by it. I won’t need any new eye shadow palettes or lotions for awhile, though. I’ll have to ban myself from buying any of those for longer than one month! If you’re wondering why there’s a bottle of the same Kenra hair serum that I just mentioned a bit ago in the corner of the photo, it’s because I actually have two bottles. So one got used and one wasn’t touched. I think I’ll try to give one of the bottles to someone so it doesn’t get wasted. The only other item that isn’t getting thrown away is the Goldbond lotion. My skin gets really dry in the fall and winter, so I’m going to hold onto it since I don’t have any other heavy duty lotions lying around.

Overall, I’m pleased with the results of my clean out. Out of the 20+ products I started with in my first post, I’m only left with 3 that I’m keeping around. I definitely have more space where I store my beauty products now! However, the added space isn’t what I consider to be the most important goal that I reached this month. Combining the spending ban with a mission to use up products I already have has helped me to see how much I really do have. Sometimes my self-control is limited when it comes to sales and new products and it seems as if I have a new email in my inbox everyday tempting me with a new sale. But this past month I was able to see that I don’t really need all the things that are showing up in my inbox, Instagram feed, or that I notice while I’m out at the store. I’ve learned to be a little more content with what I do have and not waste my products or my money. I plan on using up more of my products in the future before I go buy new ones. Besides, who needs 10 different kinds of chapsticks or concealers? Not me! I now have a new goal of continuing to spend less on unneeded items and getting all of the use I can out of what I already have. I also have a new “clean out” goal: my horde of nail polish. This one will take a little more time to get through, though!

Have you ever participated in a spending ban before? How did it go for you? Have you ever tried to use up products like I did in July? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to find me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Interested in guest posting or collaborations? Email me at gingerlifeblog@gmail.com

10 thoughts on “July Clean Out and No Buy July Update

  1. First off, it was really great to meet you tonight. Second, I am SO overdue for a clean out. I have way too much makeup that’s just chilling in my bag that is never used. My collection of nail polish & chapstick is out of control so I did put a ban on that. I felt compelled to buy a bottle of Essie polish & an EOS egg everytime they were in sight.

    Congrats on the new car! That’s such a big accomplishment!


    • Thank you! I’m so happy to have the freedom of owning my own car.

      I still have like 5 eos chapsticks myself!! But I made a good debt in my collection and it feels so good to not have everything so cluttered!


  2. Came over after #blogelevated tonight. Cheers ginger sistahs!! I’m on a purge kick right now. I’m so happy to be over the AQUIRE phase in my life!! Stuff is just stuff, it’s a drain on your money and your energy! Love the no buy July idea. As gingers, we don’t really need all those beauty products, to be fair. Wait, we are fair! 🙂 My blog is http://www.50poundmonkey.com. Hope you’ll come visit. I also write sometimes on http://www.adverbcreative.com. Cheers!


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