When I announced on Twitter yesterday that I was embarking on a six month self-shopping ban, I was met with many different comments. Some people were amazed by my willpower, and others said they’d never be able to do it. I also had some people ask me what I was going to do about after-holiday sales, how I’d get people gifts for the holidays and even if I were still planning to go grocery shopping or if I’d become a freegan.
Well, I’m here to set the record straight. Yes, I am going on a shopping ban for the next six months (November 1, 2011- May 1, 2012). No, I’m not planning to become a freegan. No, I’m not trying to make a commentary on our society by not shopping. I’m not looking for attention, notoriety or places to make socioeconomic commentary. I’m merely just trying to save some money, and this is an easy way to do so, that I can control. And my plans for the holidays are to either attempt to make gifts, because I can be crafty, or use Etsy to purchase some really cool small-business made gifts for friends and family. My shopping ban is pretty much just for frivolous things for myself. I am going to set out a few ground rules, and I want you guys to all be aware of them and keep me in check if you think I’ve fallen off the wagon.
- If I need new undies or bras, I’m allowed to purchase new ones during the six month period, but ONLY if I actually need new ones. Joe will have final say for this rule.
- I am allowed to swap clothes with other bloggers, friends or family. I am also allowed to sell my clothes, but the money cannot be used toward new clothes, it must instead be added to the house fund.
- I am allowed to receive gifts of clothing or accessories for the holidays, and if I am given a giftcard, I am allowed to shop with it. But, I cannot spend more than the amount that it is on the card, unless it is less than $1 or covers the sales tax.
- Because I work with brands and stores on a fairly regular basis, I am still allowed to accept items for review. These are items that are still within my budget, fit within my disclosure policy and are items I would spend my money on, if I weren’t on a shopping ban. (In addition, any ads I sell will also be put toward our house fund, and not toward my clothing fund). (*edit- I am not actively SEEKING any reviews or items, but I have a few that I haven’t worn/posted about yet that I want to make sure will not be viewed in a negative light because of this ban)
This list will be edited/updated as needed.
The reason I’ve decided on this ban is quite simple. I have too much stuff, and Joe and I would like to buy a house. I’d rather work on saving our money toward a large purchase like that, than buy another $40 skirt I don’t really need. I’m one of those shoppers that likes to be thrifty, but it is so easy for me to start with one $3 from the thrift store, and pick up nine more, meaning I only spent $30, but I now own ten dresses that I think are cute, but I don’t really need.
I’ve discussed my spending habits and our budgeting a little before, and while I’m not going to go into detail because I’m not comfortable plastering that much information about myself all over the internet, I came to the decision that this was the best experiment to try. I mean, let’s all be honest. It’s so easy to head over to Target to grab a gallon of milk and walk out with coffee, a new tank top, a sweater, shoes and a new DVD, but no milk. I’ve seen some people talk about it before, and I’m guilty of that bad habit as well. I want to break that habit.
The clothes I currently own are very nice, and don’t need to be replaced. I’m also not planning to gain/lose a large amount of weight any time soon, so my size shouldn’t fluctuate. If it does, obviously these rules will be reevaluated and things will change.
I’m also planning to be very candid here, and share my successes, my weaknesses, my failures and how the process is going. I know I’m not the first one to go through an exercise like this, and I certainly won’t be the last. But hopefully my attempt at this experiment will help me, as well as at least one of you reading this.
Day 1 is complete. Wish me luck for the remaining 182 days!