Practicing Minimalism and conscious consumerism in Japan

Shopping Fast Week 1

Well Week 1 of my shopping fast was a slow blur.  The first few days of the week were extremely difficult while the end went by quite fast mostly because I was busy.

For those of you who are first time readers, check out my first post on my 4 week shopping fast here for information on rules and details of the fast.  As I stated in my recently posted Resolution Check Up: the “buy no snacks or candy” rule proved to be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.  I ended up baking quite a lot and making some weird snacks (for example, homemade croutons just because I needed something crunchy to snack on…yeah I’m weird).

Weekly Expense Report:

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As I mentioned before, I do religiously keep track of everything I spend my money on in my budget book (pink book pictured above) and I thought I’d share this weeks expenses in hopes that I can reflect upon my spending and use that reflection to do better next week.

This budget book’s log goes from Sunday the 26th to Saturday the 4th (left to right, see picture above for more details and numbers).

Sunday: Spent quite a lot on groceries as well as some household goodies I ran out of like sponges.  I actually gained 800 yen that day because I sold 3 bags of clothes to a local thrift store.  Since I ended up getting some extra cash I thought it would be nice to spend some of it on myself and my boyfriend so I bought us both some coffee and we argued over what we would name our potential children for over two hours haha. Totals: 6162

Monday: Ate out (somewhat cheaply) and because it was in a neighboring town I had to spend 50 yen on bike parking. Totals: 1350

Tuesday: In the morning I didn’t get around to eating a proper breakfast so I had to stop by the 7/11 and bought orange juice and also ended up buying a drink while meeting a friend after work for coffee. While I was out I was feeling the stress of not being able to buy snacks and realized my shortening for baking was out so I bought a giant tub to replace the one I had just used up.  I then baked 4 batches of brownies at home.  Totals: 1244

Wednesday: I didn’t spend anything. Totals: 0

Thursday: This was a bad day for me in terms of spending.  I went grocery shopping again which I really didn’t need to go but I found a fun recipe online (crispy shrimp) so I went and got some frozen shrimp and other fixings plus saw some delicious looking salmon so I picked that up too.  My grocery bill ended up being almost as much as Monday’s.  I didn’t need any of these ingredients (well I did run out of oil and soup stock) and I could have scraped by the rest of the week with just the groceries I had bought on Monday.  Totals: 5207

Friday:  On this day I went out with a few friends.  We had dinner and went to karoke.  I’m honestly surprised we didn’t spend more. A night out costing less than 30 bucks including dinner is pretty darn good.  The reason why this was such a cheap outing was because we went to a budget karaoke place where we were allowed to bring in our own booze and snacks so I outsourced my drinks and because there were so many of us it only cost us about 300 yen a person for a 3 hour karaoke session.  I did have to add 1,000 yen to my train card (kind of like the clipper card for you bay area folks) but the 1,000 yen usually gets me through a week+  for train expenses.

Saturday: Saturday I realized I forgot my deodorant and I would be sleeping at my friends house so I ended up having to buy a deodorant from a conbini but I had these voucher cards with 500 yen on them from our end of the year party so my lunch and deodorant only cost me 70 yen.  I also treated myself to a decaf soy white mocha which was quite nice.

Week 1 Totals:

18440 (around 161 USD)

Thoughts

A few things:  I think I should have limited eating out to only once given that I spend around 2800 total.  I also think I spent far too much on coffee this week (three times total).  As I mentioned before, there was no reason for me to go food shopping a second time and I could have probably cut my weekly totals in half if I didn’t go food shopping, only had coffee once and limited eating out also to one time.  Besides that, the only issue I see is the fact that I wasn’t really prepared on Tuesday so I had to buy my breakfast .

Did I Cheat?

Yes.  I ran out of my beloved eyebrow pencil so I had to buy a replacement cartridge on Thursday.  Usually my eyebrow pencil will last me a full month or more so I know I wont have to deal with buying any more beauty supplies for the next month.  It honestly was just bad timing but at almost 2,000 yen it was a bit steep for me.  And as I mentioned before, I had to get the deodorant as well.  But with only two things and both were kinda necessary I don’t feel so bad!

Challenges

So far the biggest challenge for me was NOT buying snacks or candy.  I ended up going through most if not all of my stored stash and now I’m freaking about a bit because I don’t really have anything to graze on for the next week.  I’m so used to picking up something from the conbini on my way home, or having some gummies in my purse so this has been a bit overwhelming for me.  Besides that, social media has been affecting my mood.  I’m always on instagram looking at clothes from brands I like which then leads me to their online stores which then almost has me put an item in my basket.  I feel like I may need to take a break from instagram this next week in hopes to keep myself away from these distractions.

Goals for Week 2

I think I want to just make some mini goals for next week to keep on track:

-Have two days of zero spending

-Only have fancy coffee once

-Only one grocery shopping trip (spending limit around 5,000 yen)

-Try and keep weekly totals at around or lower than (15000)

I would say eat out only once, but I think I’ll be eating out twice this week because of a friends birthday and date night


Thats it!  Did any of ya’ll give the shopping fast a try this week?  How was it?

Thank you for reading!