So I’m twenty days into my intentional shopping ban and this is kind of hard! As soon as you tell yourself you can’t do something it becomes so enticing. I haven’t bought any clothes for myself since late October, but all of a sudden all I can think about is shopping.
Some of the things I’ve been wishing for are….
What’s interesting is that all of a sudden I’m leaning towards a much more casual aesthetic. It seems like my closet is overflowing with feminine and dressy pieces, but lacking in the everyday wear department. Right now I’m craving easy outfits like jeans, boots, and a sweatshirt (embellished of course).
Like I mentioned in my original post on the shopping ban, one of my biggest intentions with going off of shopping is to spend some time really thinking about how I want my personal style and look to develop. An interesting by-product has been learning more about my shopping habits. Before starting the ban I didn’t think I spent that much time or money shopping, but I hadn’t accounted for all the non-clothing purchases I make.
Over the last few weeks I’ve realized that I’m much more likely to drop $20 on accessories, or $30 at the drug store on another body lotion and a few more toiletries I don’t really need, rather than saving for that $150 jacket I’ve been coveting for months. This prompted me to go back through last year’s receipts (yes I still have them – married to an accounting nerd), and I was shocked at how much money I spend on inconsequential stuff! My major areas of excess; lattes, magazines, toiletries (especially nail polish), make-up, and accessories.
So, I’ve added a few new rules to the shopping ban. I’m not buying any accessories or make-up during the ban (so far I only bought one lip liner before my revelation), toiletries are limited to necessities like shampoo and toothpaste, and a maximum of 2 lattes per week (I know that’s still high for some people, but I work at coffee shops a lot!). I’ve also recently discovered that my library has a huge magazine section so I’m going off of magazines too.
What I’m most excited about besides saving money, is the fact that I’m becoming more aware. Like so many busy moms I live my life on auto-pilot sometimes and don’t really think through the little actions. The other day we were getting ready to leave the house to run some errands and were rushing like crazy, when I stopped to think about it, it was way to close to lunch to be leaving the house. Normally we race out the door and end up having to buy lunch on the road; that day we stopped, ate a nice lunch, then carried on with our day. We didn’t waste money, we ate healthy, and the kids weren’t cranky.
The shopping ban was supposed to be about clothes but now it’s making me think about all the little things we buy for no reason; another pack of gum at the till, chap stick because I misplaced mine, sunglasses because I left mine at home, etc. I’ve even started a little secret stash to save the extra cash (thanks for the idea Shweta) for dream pair of shoes later this year!
Have you ever gone on a shopping ban? How did it turn out? If you are interested in reading more perspectives, my friend Tanvi (the queen of shopping bans) has a great link up going on over at her blog; tanvii.com