Using More, Spending Less Challenge 2022 Results

For the first time ever, I finally gathered the courage and the data (most importantly the data) to write up a yearly summary of my monthly Using More, Spending Less (weirdly named) Challenge.

I kept on promising to do one of these posts, but never quite got round to it. This is the first and hopefully not the last. I do want to do a three year retrospective/summery as well to see whether this challenge has any merit or it is just a way for me to waste time (both yours and mine). Let’s see how this first one goes for now, shall we?

Without giving too many spoilers, the 2022 results are a tad disappointing to me personally. I was so proud of myself for staying around the £1000 mark in regards of spending for around 10 months and then things went down the hill after I decided to make my largest purchase of the year aka the Cult Beauty Advent Calendar. Once I made that purchase, I felt more comfortable with spending money.

In terms of products emptied, I did empty products worth more than the amount I spent to purchase new ones, however the problem is that I count half of that as my “allowance” which means that my allowance did not cover my spending. Of course, my allowance contains a component made out of reviews and such which I did not account for here, but it would have been incredible to hit this self imposed threshold. Regardless, with reviews or not, I did not cover my spending as otherwise my already negative balance would have recovered slightly instead of going further down.

As seen above, I purchased 221 products in 2022. This number is not entirely accurate but for simplification reasons I included beauty boxes, edits and advent calendars as just one item and it does not include beauty gifts with purchase contents. The number refers only to number of items purchased regardless of whether they were individual products or sets taken as a whole.

I decided to include this graphic as I obviously still have products from previous years that I have yet to finish. I have been doing my best to not even open the products, not even for photography purposes until I get around to actually using them. I have tried my best to use older products first so that they do not go bad. However, that wasn’t always the case and wanted to see a visual representation of how much I strayed from this goal.

I ended up using 35 of the products I purchased in 2022 throughout the year.

This number is reasonable I would say and I am actually proud and a bit surprised at myself that the number is not higher. The reason why I am not that concerned about this number after seeing it of course, is that I did purchase products that I did not have a stock of and used those up – such things include hand sanitisers, hand soap etc.

The highest number of products purchased at a single store is 81 and the store is Bath and Body Works. This means that 36% of the products purchased in 2022 I got them from BBW.

This makes sense actually as I finally got access to the store both locally but also to the US one and as such I did get many beauty products from them to explore the various scents. The actual number of items purchased at BBW is higher, but I have not included candles, wallflower fragrances or car ones. I only included bath and body care items and not household ones.

In terms of money spent, the amount is visually represented in the pie chart above. The percentage is visible, but it is not as high as expected given the number of items. I actually spent £332.49 at Bath and Body Works which is more than reasonable. This makes it around £4.10 per item.

The second largest amount of products purchased at a single retailer was from iHerb. At iHerb I purchased a total of 21 products and spent £199.47 in order to acquire them. (Now I realise that the visual would have been better had I combined it with the BBW one…)

Here though, the visual representation is more striking if you know what I know – that I actually got all of these products during the last two months of 2022. Of course, I did get other products throughout the year but they are also from the household category so not included here.

This is not the most entertaining post regardless of much I tried to make it so. I am still new at this and do have to admit that I am super uncomfortable when it comes to anything that is considered “creative”. I lack such skills entirely, but I try if it counts for anything.

However, I am happy that I decided to do this as it showed me where and what to pay attention to in the future even if the results are not entirely accurate. BBW is definitely a spot that I should try to avoid if I do not want to grow my stash to an unsustainable level (in terms of storage haha). iHerb is a store that has a chance to become a bit “problematic” for me but luckily their incredible offers are not available all the time. It depends on luck really, particularly where beauty products are concerned, but I do foresee that a bigger chunk of my spending will go toward the retailer in 2023.

I also need to pay more attention and stay vigilant and diligent as well as make sure to finish past products rather that go searching for the latest ones. I did good I would say, but I can do better in the future.

So that is about it. The more insight will definitely be revealed in the three year challenge results analysis which I hope to be able to share soon.

How was your 2022 in terms of beauty spending?

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  1. o

    At the end of 2022 my stash was pretty much the same as at the end of 2021, so j didn’t do a good job with diminishing it. I saw there was a huge gap between 2020 and 2021, I remember buying a lot.
    I’m surprised about this year (2022) because I thought I was on a really low buy, but then calendars and boxes happened in the last quarter of the year.
    I count each item separately, so the Cult Beauty calendar is a +35 (or whatever the amount was) items to the stash.

    1. Nana

      Congrats! I think it is still great. Also, at least one is us is not lying to themselves 😜 all kidding aside, I track spending more than stash. If my stash overall diminishes then great if not, not a problem as long as I do not (longer) spend 10K on beauty.

      Was just thinking about you yesterday/today. I was shopping at Flying Tiger and saw the major discrepancies in price due to foreign exchange. I know that you tend to look out for such things! For PLN is the cheapest interestingly enough. A 10-15 euro difference at a €47 total is huge. (Down for PLN and up for UK, Sweden etc) thanks for teaching me to look out for such things 🤗

      Hope you are doing better.

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