Day 14 of No Buy July ... //Life Lessons

I'm going to be on call Day 15 of No Buy July, hence this post is a day early.

I used to UNDERESTIMATE Rate of Return - I can't believe it's been half a month since I've bought anything to really add to my wardrobe, and it's finally given a chance for all the store credits and things to start to catch up with my return rate! I didn't know I quite returned that many things, but I've started to accumulate a bunch of store gift cards and credits that I think I'm going to start thinking about how to use. My H&M credit is going to expire soon, and I'm definitely going to use that up!! I know that I bought a lot of things, but didn't know how many of them were going back in the store, and if net I'd be spending more or less. I am using also YNAB to help track things, and it's nice to see a working total of every month's budget.

I used to UNDERESTMATE the amount of Extra Fees I accumulate - as a Canadian, paying duties was just natural to me. I didn't know how MUCH duties I was paying until now. The only thing I am paying out is duties, and with YNAB, I can see up to ONE THIRD of my total budget goes towards duties. Yes; one third. It's insane!!! I need to think of how I am going to tackle this in the future! Once only 20% of my purchases got dinged from ModCloth now consistently it's been 100%. I think they target the ModCloth boxes and I am so annoyed that I have to pay about $26 on every $60 I purchase. This is too high for me and I'm not willing to pay this extra markup. 

I have OTHER HOBBIES too! - I am spending more time (and energy) on doing other things aside from pursuing the next biggest and brightest thing in my wardrobe. I spend time with paper crafts and organizing my planner, as well as making detailed charts and notes about my patients and their progress. My preceptor thinks I'm a bit over-the-top, but really it's because I want to use all of my coloured pens!!! I have also revived my fountain pen and found a few friends who share my love of Noodler's Inks and my Lamy pink pen!

I want to wear the same things Over and Over again and have to stop myself - I found myself checking YLF's WIW's to see when I wore something last! I want to wear more of my closet, but right now the Cotton Collection is getting a workout because of the temperatures! I think I really like pockets! And not-fit-and-flares are not the enemy!

I find OTHER ways of expressing myself - Whether that be experimenting with how I part my hair, or do my daily makeup, it's a good time in honing my style in those often neglected areas. I am also spending some time researching about what type of glasses I should order for myself, too!

That's enough musings for now ... has anyone else learned anything during their first 15 days?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • shedev replied 4 years ago

    That is an insane amount of fees.

  • Mona replied 4 years ago

    Great reflections! The custome fees are outrageous and I refuse to buy anything that I have to pay the fees on. It helps me to stick to my budget as well. Are those post-it notes? cute.

  • rabbit replied 4 years ago

    Wow, lot's of good insights!  Sounds like this break is bearing fruit for you, and I found for myself that focusing on style in other areas (hair, makeup) during my no buy June really made a difference.

    Both your post and Ingunn's made me think that I need to track returns in some way.  I track my overall expenditure and any credits I need to use (and usually use them pretty fast) and never pay shipping or duties so don't have those costs, but I buy and return A LOT, it would be interesting to see how that works out, because it's a time suck if nothing else.

    I also haven't tracked purges of clothes I bought prior to YLF by a year or so, but I need to track any purges of newer items I think, so far I haven't purged anything bought within the last year except for some 35 cent items.

  • MsLuna replied 4 years ago

    My goodness, that's a lot of fees! I stopped buying online from non-Canadian retailers since last year and I really don't miss those fees!

    And.... I'd love to see more of your papercrafts! I've always been interested in them and have done a few decoupage projects of my own :)

    What are those animal things you posted? :)

  • Mo replied 4 years ago

    I love this post!  The fact that this isn't a 'what I can't buy . . . ' but rather, 'here's what's going on instead!' is totally awesome. 
    I found, ironically, that I'm finally cutting back on the wine.  I've been talking about it for months but somehow it came together along with the no clothes purchasing.  Note I said cutting back, not cutting out LOL.  
    I also played with my hair a bit, and am actually looking at my wardrobe now.  Can you believe it took me until today to try on the lilac booties with a pair of skinnies?!  I tried them right away just for fit, and then half heartedly with the shiny shorts, but never with pants, as I'd originally planned to wear them the majority of the time.  That was, what, almost a month ago I got them?  
    I also notice that I was getting used to the waiting on packages, kind of like a mini Christmas every week or so.  Maybe we get caught up in that more than we realize.  Luckily for me, I only have return fees to tally up.  About $75 so far this year. 
    I'm glad to have taken the break.  I think I will likely be doing it again this fall when we move home, since it might take time to line up work again.

  • Style Fan replied 4 years ago

    That was a great post.  I rarely buy anything online because of the fees.  Canadians get hit with so much that it isn't worth it.  Shipping costs more, duty, exchange, on and on.  I will wait until I am headed done south or make do with a trip to Montreal.

  • lyn* replied 4 years ago

    @Shedev - it is an insane amount of fees, and that's already on top of shipping. A $60 dress from Modcloth = $60 + $12 shipping + $26 at the door; which is really too bad.

    Mona - I wish I could be as strong as you. Everything I like usually has customs associated with it, whether that be on stuff from the UK or the US. They're post-its for sure!

    @Rabbit - That's an interesting point; I should track how much Shipping I pay too. I bet it's not a pretty amount. I need to go and do a purge sometime soon too, I'm starting to get some superfluous things.

    @Katie - Most of my paper crafts have patient information on them, unfortunately, so I can't be posting them.... they're huge elaborate patient care charts I've made and my preceptor was like :| uhhhhh.... but I think he gets a kick out of it. Most of my patients do (they're kids, after all). I just got some animal post its!

    @ Mo - I have outfits I've planned for months too! I really need to get a move-on before I get sick and tired of the pieces! :) Your lilac booties would be smashing with a pair of skinnies - maybe the weather hasn't been cooperating? I think I've spent more than $200 this year alone on shipping things to return. Ugh. "Free returns" - ROFL. So not in Canada. Except Zara.

  • lyn* replied 4 years ago

    Style Fan - It's so true if you can head to the south of the border, it's so much better. one of my friends has a mail box in a border town so she can pick up her goodies from there. I live about 6 hrs from the border, so it's not really feasible for me. I miss my old stomping grounds which were only 1.5 hrs from the border. Grrrrrr....

  • doubleh replied 4 years ago

    Yeah, as mentioned before I got stung ( a small sting though) by Boden and it was enough to sour me.  My Canadian friend from NC always talked about how her family visited at Christmas and went hog wild shopping.  Now I kind of understand it.  Perhaps you should figure out your shipping, fees, duties, etc and contribute that portion of the budget to a shopping vacation! :)

  • lyn* replied 4 years ago

    @Doubleh - I'm scared of my most recent Boden order getting dinged - but I'll just keep my fingers crossed for now. I have a credit of 150 pounds that was going to expire so I snapped up some bargains - but if I get dinged on that, it's going to be brutal.

    I like the idea of figuring out all those "extras" and working them into my budget. I bet I'll be able to buy more Canadian higher end stuff for the hidden fees of most of my transactions.

  • JenA replied 4 years ago

    Wow that's a lot of fees. I can see it adding up without even realizing it. It's a good thing that you are tracking it now. I think the idea of tracking shipping fees is a good one too.  I hope that you can find some fun stores that offer better options.

    I also love your idea of using your creativity in other ways. I'd love to see some of your crafty projects. 

    I just had a similar realization as you. I have several store credit cards (i.e. Gap card) that give special discounts if you use their card. The problem was that I found myself paying those bills late; the e-bills were getting lost in my inbox or spam folder.  The bills weren't high, but when I went over the bill, I noticed that I was paying a $30 fee plus the % of total each month per card. It really added up, so I've gone out of my way to not use those cards, not shop at those stores or to pay those bills ASAP if I do. 

    Good luck!!!

  • Janet replied 4 years ago

    WOW, the fees. That is sobering. I did not know it could run that high. I tend to only very rarely shop from any vendor where shipping and returns aren't free, so I pay very little in extra costs.

    Good for you for doing all of this and coming up with creative, productive ways to not shop. I'm taking notes for Austerity August. :-)

  • lyn* replied 4 years ago

    @JenA - Oh yes, the Spam folder - I had that problem with some of my store credits that expired because I forgot about them. I nearly went bezerk because that's just flushing money down the toilet. Now I have to use them ASAP or they get a screen capture and saved on my desktop with the expiry date as the name of the file.

    @Janet - I may have to try to do that in the future. The only one that comes to mind for me is Zara :p I can't buy everything from Zara, right?

  • Gigi replied 4 years ago

    Lyn, that is so awful about the fees! That's so unfair! Do you even get the duties back if you decide not to keep an item?

    If your friend is a very good one, could you ask her if you could use her mailbox, and then could you pay her a modest amount to ship your boxes to you once she's back in Canada? Would that bypass the nastiness?

    Those post-its are sure cute. I didn't know you worked with kids. I thought it was really strange that you were decorating your patients' charts until I learned that...ha ha.

  • Barbara replied 4 years ago

    Wow those fees are brutal! What are those adorable little critter creations?
    They are too cute!

  • lyn* replied 4 years ago

    @Gigi - Unfortunately, the shipping in Canada is even worse! It's brutal to ship things around here; I'd be better off paying the duty! HAHA. :) I can apply to get the duties back through Canada Revenue Agency ... and yeah; to date I haven't been successful once. I just kinda gave up with that. I am on paediatric psychiatry (child psych!) for the next six months or so :)

    Barbara - they are just post it notes with cute little animals on them! :) I love them and ordered a bunch from Etsy.

  • Lisa replied 4 years ago

    Great idea to take some time off to reflect.  When I finally stopped shopping for a little bit, I was able to pinpoint bad habits that I never knew I had.

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