Wednesday, August 31, 2016

3 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

So you might be wondering what the hell am I talking about. I decided to go on a year long shopping challenge! What fun, right?

3 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

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.

3 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

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.

3 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

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.

3 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

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.

3 Months Down - My 1 year shopping challenge.

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!

What's New With You


Have you ever done a shopping ban? Any tips to stay strong?

66 comments:

  1. KUDOS to you, girl!! I am so impressed with your 3 months into it update!! That is awesome!!

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  2. Staying off the internet helped me SO much! I actually had to unsubscribe to fashion blogs that I followed because they would always plug sales or share so many affordable clothes that would tempt me. Also, unsubscribing to store emails is huge. After a while, you'll realize how pointless all those purchases were and wonder how you spent so much every month. You got this girl!

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  3. The honest way you talk about your spending habits is super refreshing! I'm so sick of bloggers bragging about how they paid off $100,000 of debit in a year. Yawn. Give me real life.

    I'm the exact same way with spending sometimes. I shop because I'm bored or upset about something and claim that I "owe" it to myself. Clothes at Target and make-up items are my number 1 frivolous spends. Make-up probably beats out everything. And I use about six products on my face total on the reg. Sigh. Good luck on the spending reduction and I'll have to try to play along in the near future!

    Danielle @ afloat on a full sea

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  4. These are my favorite posts!
    I go through phases. I just bought a new tote bag, but I'm feeling another purse. I just bought new pants (which I NEVER do) and I feel like I want another pair. I wear my clothes to death though. Do you wear things several times? I try to only buy things I know I'll wear a lot.
    Also, I'm tending to use deployment as an excuse to buy what I want. I've done this for 7 years now and it's easily justifiable but never quite sits right with me.
    I scheduled a Stitchfix for September and I'm calling it my anniversary present because he'll be gone for (another) anniversary.

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  5. Unsubscribing from advertisement emails and not watching TV has helped me curb my spending the MOST! I'm not always seeing what I could have, which is super helpful. That said, my frivilous spending is starting to get out of control recently and our dog sitter's family noted, "You get a LOT of packages." Ooops...

    I like to tell myself I'm not so bad, but I know I am bad for shopping. I am pretty good when I'm out and succumbing to the group mind to challenge myself and say, "Do you NEED this item?" If the answer is no, often I'll put it back. Sometimes it's harder than others, but if I've determined I "need" something in advance (work outfit, flats, decor item), then I'll cut myself some slack.

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  6. This is incredible, get it girl! And each one of those gifs is spot on - LOVE! Such an honest approach, and enjoy every bit of your trip and time with your mom <3
    Green Fashionista

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  7. I'm really curious to see how this turns out for you! Shopping does make everything better... until you see how much you spent :( I went for a no-spend August and one month was hard enough. I can only imagine what a year will be like!

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  8. ok this is fantastic. i really need to stop spending on stuff that i don't really need. it's a struggle! but then i look at my bank account and i'm like hmm kerri. ha. but i think you can totally do it with the parameters you gave yourself. you got this girl! and def don't restrict when you're with your mom - that is key!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  9. OK friend, I am so proud of you and impressed with your goals and your progress so far! I'm just going to tell you right now I'm not offended if you need to stay away from my blog...especially on big sale holidays like Labor Day and Black Friday! I'm much less enabling on Snapchat so maybe we can just interact there. :)

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  10. I love that "you might think this is a cop out but I don't care" hahhahaha, good luck on your challenge and buy all the things while your with you Mum!

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  11. yes, keeping temptation away is key to not spending. like, I wish I could unknow the Etsy URL because cute planner things...although i'm pretty impressed with myself - i've had shit in my cart for FIVE DAYS and i haven't ordered anything. if that's not will power, i dont know what is.

    YOU GOT THIS!!

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  12. So proud of you! I promise to not send you links of awesome stuff so as to enable you :)

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  13. This is awesome. I just put myself on a ban/challenge of sorts after watching my shopping obsession dwindle down my savings account. I don't need this things and am definitely using it as a crutch. you're an inspiration to see that you can keep up with it for three months! so proud!! :)

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  14. I think this is great. Sometimes I think the only thing that keeps me from buying things is that I literally have no room in my house. I'm hoping I won't go crazy when we move somewhere bigger than 500 or 600 sq ft. Joining the library is so awesome. I just renewed and I am happy being able to get almost any book for free.

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  15. Good for you, friend! Honestly, it's amazing what you find out what you don't want/need when you don't have it or buy it. I think it's great that you want to focus on saving, especially for travel.

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  16. This is awesome and you sound so much like me in your purchases. I spend A LOT and then feel awful about it. And then our air went out. And we need new furniture. I think this challenge is a great idea and something I could do, too. It's much more reasonable then just stopping all together. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  17. This is awesome and it seems like you've got a great system down! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you - YOU GOT THIS!!

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  18. I love this! Ryan and I are working to be debt-free by the end of 2017, and it's an exciting and scary process! There are so many things we spend money on where I think we can really cut corners if we try. We're doing Financial Peace University, so that's helping, but it always feels like there's something else we need to spend money on. And I love clothes! ahhh

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  19. You got this girl! You definitely have a great set of guidelines and I think that will help with deciding what's ok to spend on and what isn't. And the "nothing counts on your trip with your mom" is smart! You can't "save" while on vacation! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  20. I don't have a shopping problem BUT I do get overly excited when a day goes by that I don't spend money on something (coffee or tea, lunch, nail polish, or whatever else might crop up, necessary or not). I do think this is a perfect way to approach this challenge. Anything stricter would be setting yourself up to fail and that accomplishes nothing.

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  21. So proud of you, you're doing so good!!

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  22. I was definitely like, wait what?? I love this idea and your reasoning for doing it! It's so easy to just go through the motions of buying stuff (especially online), when really it doesn't matter. I'm sure this is totally obvious, and you might have already done it, but I unsubscribed from so many store emails, which helped with the sale temptation aka buying stuff you don't really need simply because they are on sale & it seems like every other blogger is buying a million things, haha.

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  23. I love this idea and for the past 3 months, it looks like you're doing well! Granted, I don't know how much you normally spend on things but it's good to have boundaries because a 100% ban is a set-up for failure. I found that I did a lot of shopping on my lunch hour -- I'd end up at a different store every day ... and I had inherited my dad's quirk of not being able to leave a store without buying something. So I guess my tip is, find out what your trigger is and redirect it -- if you're stressed, don't surf the web/shop and hit the treadmill or read. If you go into stores, don't bring your wallet and just browse. It's all easier said than done but that's what worked for me - I was bored during work at lunchtime and would either drive to a store to walk around/shop or surf the web and shop. Now I take my lunch every day and make sure I have a stress-reliever power walk every day for that hour, or if the weather is bad, I stay in my office but shut down the computer for the hour and catch up on my reading. I don't take any money with me and focus on getting the miles in before heading back to my office. Good luck - and keep up the great work!

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  24. Wow, 3 months in, You are doing so great! I love (online) shopping too. And there have been many times that a bad day has caused me to buy something I wasn't quite sure about for the satisfaction of the purchase. I've been trying to be more intentional about buying clothes this year. I want my wardrobe to be small and only filled with things I love and am comfortable in. What has helped me from going overboard is that my husband and I both have a "fun money" budget each month. He spends his on records, I spend mine of clothes. I don't always succeed but I try to stay within in the budget and it helps to tell myself I can buy it next month. Then often when next month arrives I don't want it anymore!

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  25. A whole year with reduced shopping???? Yikes! That scares me. Hahaha. I guess I will be reducing my shopping for myself from here on out with a kid on the way though, so sort of the same. I had been getting better about only getting stuff I really wanted or needed though. And investing in less pieces that are better quality and classic staples to last more than a season. Ummm what weird shit do you buy? No seriously, I need to know.

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  26. Like many others have said, unsubscribing from emails and ads and pages on Facebook for boutiques and shops is what helps me. I've been really bad lately and probably need to do another "unroll me" clean up of my email. Way to go on 3 months, that would be a huge challenge for me as well!

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  27. This is great! For a reader like you, I can't believe it took you so long to get a library card, lol! That will be SO beneficial for you. This is honestly a great thing to do. I have been bleeding out money during this move since I want our house to look a certain way. I am going to go on a saving bender right after it looks how I want (almost done). It really is amazing how much things add up over time, just the little things here and there. I'm excited for you and rooting you on!

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  28. I always try to watch my spending... because I'm GOOD at spending ;) haha
    Good for you throwing it all out for your trip with your momma - some events deserved to be treated as such.
    I need to reel it in something FIERCE!!! Especially before the expensive of the holidays.
    I still owe $2100 on my dental bill that has to be paid off by December before interest gets applied (NO INTEREST EVER!!! is my life motto) so I gotta really save my REAR END off the next few weeks!!!
    I like this plan. I need to take it in my life.

    ... HEY - side not - I just signed up for a 2 month trial of Audible (though I ended up buying 3 audiobooks anyways... sigh... spending) but what do you think of it - do you love it? Like it? Not really care for it. I want your opinions.

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  29. Ah awesome! Good job so far! This is nosy, but what kinds of gifts are coming up for you monthly? Just curious, as someone who is very very obsessed with gift giving. :P I totally feel like it's important to put in exceptions when you do things like this! I think I mentioned I was starting a "book ban" for myself. I swear for the best reasons... and I am not finished counting all of my books I own... so it's not fully in effect. And I definitely didn't buy any books at our bookstore that is going out of business... and I skipped a library booksale... but then last night I went back to the closing bookstore... because new books are now 40% off... and I bought like 7 books. The ban isn't fully in effect yet, but I was clearly trying... and I feel really good about the books I bought! All things that everyone have been saying are GREAT... and the price was obvs. good... but I still feel kinda lame about it. Oh well. Maybe I can finish counting over the long weekend and get it going public... LOL - then it will be "real" I hope you guys have a great trip! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  30. this is AWESOME and so inspiring! I want to do this as well!

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  31. You go girl! I can relate to your shopping habit/addiction. When I was younger, shopping was my answer to everything too. I shopped almost every weekend and if I couldn't find something I liked, I'd panic and buy something stupid. Like you, I also had a ton of clothes with their tags still on. I didn't go into debt over this, thankfully, but I wasted a ton of money on crap and didn't have money for other things because of my shopping habit. I still like to shop but rarely indulge the urge and only when I specifically need something. Otherwise I avoid the stores because I'm human and don't always have the willpower to avoid temptation. I like the rules you set up. They are reasonable and not too austere. I always try to go cold turkey, which never works for me. Have a great time with your Mom!

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  32. Great job! I think shopping with your mom is totally acceptable :) Proud of you for realizing the problem and taking steps to fix it! Not sure if you've heard of this blog, but she did a shopping ban too. Her's was much more intense, but just thought you might be interested to read about it: http://caitflanders.com/shopping-ban/

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  33. I love that are so open and honest about this! So many people go into debt by shopping and buying, buying,buying. I am so proud of you for how well you have done! I significantly cut back on my spending and clothes shopping when I moved in with Mark and we share a closet.....plus I get all my packages sent to his office so that has been a huge deterrent ;-)

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  34. woot woot! get it girl! I have never had a big problem with shopping. I mean i enjoy getting new clothes as much as the next girl, but i don't crave a shopping trip or feel like i NEED something that just came out like some of my college girlfriends did. I was always the one more likely to spend all my money on travel :| lol

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  35. You're doing a great job! I need to do something like this except with food/drinking.

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  36. Great job, Kristen! This is a really good idea :) I could never do an all out freeze but your restrictions make total sense and seem very do-able! Stay strong, lady! (But don't forget, Black Friday and sales are good for early gift buying/Xmas gifts!)

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  37. I laughed at the "also alcohol was present for the tank top" because I know how that goes! Haha. I am on a shopping ban too. Trying to get our savings back up after surgery costs. :) You are doing such a great job so far!

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  38. Congrats to you girl! Right now I'm attempting to not shop for myself until after the holidays but I know it won't last. Shopping does make the world better though :)

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  39. Good for you!!! This is super impressive!!! Great job so far. Enjoy shopping with your mom - that's one of my favorite things to do with my mom, too, so I totally feel you.

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  40. You know what, this is awesome! Awesome. Go you! For seeing the problem, admitting the problem, and doing something about it OTHER than quitting all together because we all know unrealistic expectations are dumb. Your first three months rocked. I know I don't have to tell you that though ;) But seriously, I kept going through those little bitty lists from June, July, and August like wait what?! So I'm glad you can't see my purchases for the past three months.... #embarrassing

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  41. This is insane. But awesome. Much respect! I'm proud of you for taking a step back and being so open about this! You can do it!

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  42. It's great that you're challenging yourself not to shop! I'm trying to be more conscious about my purchases and not buy just because I'm bored or stressed. It's surprisingly challenging, ha ha.

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  43. I haven't banned myself, but my husband and I make a budget every payday. We only get so much "pocket money", which cuts back on unnecessary spending.

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  44. Great job!!! In the recent months, when I get the urge to shop, I either go to the Dollar Store or the Goodwill. That way I can buy some things but not spend a ton!

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  45. I try to only buy beauty items when I have tons of Walgreens or Ulta points saved up AND coupons, so that I can get all my staple items free. It generally works every time, but I do have to time it perfectly. I have been living off Amazon prime for my work and vacation clothes shopping, mostly because once I get it I decide I don't need it and can return it for free and I'm not tempted like I am in a store.

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  46. This is awesome! Sounds like you're on track! I like to shop when I'm bored or feeling a little "off" and then end up buying crap so I feel ya on that. I'm interested to follow along & see how the rest of the year goes for you!

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  47. GOOD for you for doing what you needed to to cut back! I enjoy shopping, but I don't like having a lot of stuff in my house, and that's what naturally holds me back. When you're realizing that what you're spending on isn't truly needed or giving you joy, it's not worth it! This is definitely something worth doing!

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  48. I lovve that you've challenged yourself with this. Seriously, you go girl! It's funny, I've NEVER been a big shopper. Trust me, I LOVE to shop (luv2shop was actually my instant messenger username in grade school, baha!) BUT I've always felt so guilty afterward. Now, I find so much more satisfaction in budgeting for an item and spending the money on a quality piece here and there guilt free! I'm proud of you!

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  49. I haven't done this but I'm not really a big shopper for myself at least. Now all that's her off when it comes to Kyra and gifts. I love to buy things for other people I have no idea why. Other than that I don't really shop a whole lot and usually if I get something new it is because someone bought it for me. I do need to budget better though with the money that we have. Being a one income family is a tough thing to do this day and age.

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  50. I think you deserve a huge high five for the last 3 months - you've done amazing. In fact, just reading it is making me think I need to adopt something like this in my life. Just because you have it, doesn't mean you should spend it, right?!? You got this girl! Enjoy your trip with your mom and get back on track when you return!!!

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  51. I like your "rules" for this. And I think that if you want to do it, even with a few exceptions, go you! I don't think I'd be able to do a whole year, but I also have different spending habits and do no spend months fairly frequently. Just gotta find and do what works best for you! Good luck on the rest of your challenge!

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  52. You go girl! You had an awesome start! I'm not a huge shopper, but I still would be scared to figure out exactly how much I spend on shitty little things every month ;) I think you just being more aware and having some accountability because of your blog will help you in the long run to make better choices. I'm curious to know what "gifts" means....I'm assuming birthday presents, that sort of thing? (yes, I'm so nosey like that ;) )

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  53. Girl, you are doing such an awesome job with this! I love that you're real about your goals too and not just saying you're flat out now allowed to purchase anything (because that would last all of 0.0000001 seconds in the real world, right?)

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  54. That's a really good idea. I have also bought things which I forget about and then find later with the tag still on! And I have bought things on impulse that are on sale or just to cheer me up if I'm feeling down that I don't need. Shopping can definitely be addictive. Anyway, good for you for giving yourself this challenge!

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  55. Kristen, I am so impressed with you for breaking this cycle so cold turkey like that! Obviously you have your exceptions (including this weekend, hooray!), but it sounds like that balance is working for you. Knowing that it's not ALL off limits, but that you have boundaries. In a weird way I feel like I'm reading one of your posts about working out from earlier this year. Just in that you have set up good working guidelines for yourself. You have learned a ton of self discipline this year! Well done on your 3 months in!

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  56. I am so impressed! I'm a bad spender and it's even worse with a little one because obviously she needs all the cute clothes and bows I come across. Can't wait to hear how you do the rest of the year!

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  57. I am crazy proud of you for this! You're doing pretty dang well.
    Remember when I tried to do a year without makeup purchase? Ouch. I couldn't do it... and that was just ONE thing. Color me impressed, friend! I'm right here cheering you on!

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  58. I am crazy proud of you for this! You're doing pretty dang well.
    Remember when I tried to do a year without makeup purchase? Ouch. I couldn't do it... and that was just ONE thing. Color me impressed, friend! I'm right here cheering you on!

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  59. I'm so impressed by you, Kristen! You definitely deserve all the shopping with your mom (it's just the best isn't it?!) I'm trying to cut back more with all of the travel I have coming up. Yikes!

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  60. Good job! I should start doing that. I mean I try to spend as little as possible already but when i want to I just do it.

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  61. I could never ever ever do this, so the fact that you're doing this but allowing yourself to shop with your mom is a million times better than I could do. Also I LOVE shopping with my mom so I'd never turn that down either. Way to go with your first three months!!

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  62. I think that's such an awesome challenge, and I feel like I should try something like that too! I also think that it's great that you didn't tell yourself completely no on buying anything at all, just tried to limit yourself because you know how you operate. I would be the exact same way if I told myself completely no!

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  63. Ah Kristen, I am so proud of you for this! I was doing well with shopping when I really focused on capsules but I have let that fall away over true last year and now I'm back to clothing binges every couple of months and a closet half full of stuff I don't want to wear. Ugh. I went a little crazy when I realized I needed a ton of new work clothes very fast, specifically summer work clothes which I've never really needed before. So I bought a bunch of things that were just okay. Just the other night in a sleep-deprived daze I ordered a bunch of fall stuff from Loft but really need to be more intentional about what I keep when it gets here. Anyway, super proud of you for making it 3 months!

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  64. I am so, so, so proud of you! Not only for confronting this issue you've identified head-on, but committing to it for the last 3 months and keeping it close to the chest and still doing great. Also don't worry about your rules not looking like anyone else's—not that you are, but don't think you need to justify. We all have our own different triggers and habits and reasons for why we do things like this. You're answering to no one but yourself and I think you're doing a great job of meeting the goal you set out to reach. Keep up the amazing work!

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  65. You're doing amazingly well! And I'm so glad you wrote this because I've been thinking about doing something similar for a while. I've consciously tried not to shop for a few months - since June, actually - and it hasn't been too bad, but I realise that my major trigger is travelling! I get pre-trip panic where I'm convinced I don't have enough/the right clothes for where I'm going and I buy a bunch of stuff that I probably didn't need. So, I need to work on that!

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  66. This is awesome! I admire you for taking on this challenge. I try to ask myself a few questions before I buy anything for myself or if it gets shipped to my house and I try it on and find one or two things wrong with it, I send it back immediately. Have you ever read the Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project? She has a theory that people fall into 4 different tendencies when it comes to habits. You reminded me of this when you said you know you can't go all or nothing. If you like reading about ways to improve habits or get more out of life, check out her books!

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