If you have ever met me or read this blog, you know I have a shopping problem. You might laugh and say oh me too, or you might think it's not that bad.. it's just shopping, right? Shopping is harmless, just be smart about it. Well that's the thing, I am not smart about it. I tell myself not to buy clothes and I buy more books than I can read in a year. I tell myself no books and I go on a beauty shopping spree that keeps Ulta and Walgreens in business. I tell myself to not buy any of those things and I buy secret weird things that I can't/won't talk about here.
I have been in major debt before, and I paid it off. You'd think that would teach me, that I would learn my lesson. But somehow I find myself in this position where I have clothes I bought 6 months ago that are still in their packaging. Guess I really 'needed' them, right?
Why would I decide to do a whole year of no/reduced shopping, especially when I have 'failed' more no spend months than I have passed? Honestly? I just felt like it. I was feeling really unsatisfied by my purchases (especially stitch fix) in May. Like I was just going through the motions, shopping for the sake of shopping. The act of shopping makes me happy, but then what? I'm stuck with no money and a lot of crap.
Every time I felt like I got ahead with savings, something else would knock it down. But I knew I was the something else. I am the person who keep spending our money and then being sad about it. I want to do certain things, and I am the person stopping us from doing those things.
We had the accident and had to pay the insurance deductible, then our AC went out.. Then, we found out that when KC was switching from private to public schools, there would be a month or two where we were only on one income. Which was scary. We had plenty saved up, so I wasn't actually worried that we wouldn't be able to feed ourselves or pay our bills, so we were fine, but there was no room to shop or do anything 'fun'. If I didn't shop so much, it wouldn't have been as big a deal, you know? All of that happening at once reinforced why I wanted to do this.
So I decided to do a no shopping year, with exceptions of course, but I didn't want to post about it immediately. I don't know when we will be going to Australia next year, but I am thinking June and I wanted to be done before then, so I had to start it almost as soon as I'd thought about it - which is probably good in hindsight because I would have bought a crap ton in the month leading up to the challenge otherwise. Like someone eating all the bad food in the house the day before they start a diet. I am actually quite proud of myself for starting in June, normally I would be like 'oh well the year is already halfway done, I should wait till next year - oh but wait, I have to shop in Australia in 2017, so I guess I could do 2018?'. Which, obviously, is not logical.
My rules or guidelines are as follows:
- No clothes, shoes, accessories or beauty products. If I run out of something (concealer or mascara), I can repurchase. If something falls apart, I can replace.
- I am 'allowed' to buy gifts and books. I'd like to not buy books, but I'm allowing it as long as I don't go crazy (I started this before I joined the library, so I'm actually not buying books right now).
- Anything joint or KC approved does not count. If KC wants to buy something that benefits me, I will not stop him. If I need or want something and he approves, I will buy it. This sounds like a cop out, but if you knew my husband you'd know it wasn't.
- Nothing counts on my trip with my mum. Again, you might think this is a cop out, but I really don't care. All my life, mum and I shopped together. I haven't seen her in over 2 years and I miss her. I miss shopping with her. I'm going to shop.
Honestly, I could sum up my goals/rules like this: no needless, mindless, unnecessary purchases. The thing is, I know the 'all or nothing' thing does not work for me. I need boundaries, yes, but I also need things to look forward to or for it to not feel too restrictive. This is about saving money, but it's also about not using shopping as a crutch or cure for everything.
So how have I done so far?
Month 1 - June
Books - $16 - Audible, kindle unlimited and Alyssa's book.
Shopping - $70.44 - spanx, tank top and christmas ornament on the cruise. KC was there for the ornament & tank top (also there for the tank top was lots of alcohol).
Gifts - $107.78
Month 2 - July
Books - $63 - Audible, kindle unlimited. ebooks on sale, a ticket to a signing I probably won't go to and 2 books that were only available in Australia and mum will bring them on her trip.
Month 3 - August
Books - $0 - aka the month I joined the library.
Shopping - $16 - new gym bag.
Gifts - $157
So there you have it - I've officially gone 3 months with zero clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, whatever. I am preparing to shop on my trip with my mum, so I guess you could say I'm about to 'fail' but I am not looking at it like that, I fully plan to continue with this ban/challenge when I get back, and if you don't think that's okay well it's a good thing I'm doing this for me and not you. Wink.
This isn't a complete ban or no shopping or no spend or whatever. This is a challenge, for me, to learn how to shop less and not rely on shopping so much. When I am happy, sad, lost weight, gained weight, bored, lonely, PMSing, homesick - I turn to shopping (or food). I'd like to get away from that.
Only 9 months to go! I'm going to try and not go crazy on my trip with my mum, but I am 100% going to shop, and I have things I'd like to get (new work flats, new workout clothes). I am still proud of 3 months without buying anything though, and I will go back to it when I return home, so like I said - I'm not thinking of it as failure.
Not looking forward to Black Friday & Christmas - so many sales and temptations. So basically I will need to stay off the internet.
Just a quick reminder, if you'd like to link up with us tomorrow for what's new with you, we'd love to have you!
Have you ever done a shopping ban? Any tips to stay strong?