Shopping Ban: It Begins

Even as I was making that banner in Canva, I was creating a bunch of different excuses for putting it off. That’s not a good sign. For those reading this, have you had those racing thoughts when thinking of limiting what you can buy?

Things that went through my head (even now):

  • Well I need to wait until the end of the month, at least. I have “Happy Place” to visit.
  • I haven’t found the right coffee, and honestly, I really prefer espresso… maybe invest in an espresso machine?
  • What if I lose more weight from working out? I will need new clothes.
  • Ugh… maybe I should start on the new year?
  • Tomorrow? Tomorrow seems hard. I need the weekend to prep and get comfortable with the idea of limiting what I can buy.
  • Tired… just… this is going to take planning. You haven’t touched your bullet journal in weeks. Be honest. You haven’t.
  • What if something really cool comes up?

This can go on and on. To be honest, there will never be a good time. This is no different than me giving up sugar to reduce fibro flare-ups. Yes, it’s the same cycle. I know being in debt and living paycheck to paycheck stresses me out and makes me feel I’m not a functioning adult. I know that sugar hurts my joints and that I lose almost a whole night of sleep. By spending money on something, I get this quick rush of a happy high. The feeling is like a sugar high; great at the beginning, but the crash sucks balls.

In the “Year of Less”, Cait suggests downsizing while practicing the shopping ban. I didn’t think I had anything left to donate, but I definitely do. I picked out 20 outfits that I never wear and that I really didn’t like. As I was downsizing, I started to think of the other things I own that I kept around, but thought it “sparked joy”.

So let’s… let’s start now.

The Shopping Ban List

What I Can Buy:

  • Consumables
  • Toiletries (Only one of each on hand at a time)
  • Food
  • Travel /Experiences
  • Tattoos (I don’t get them all the time, and I never have enough money saved up for them)
  • Replacement of clothes and shoes (must remove an item that it will be replacing)
  • Gas
  • One plant a month
  • Purchase alcohol more than two times a month (max 2 drinks)
  • Gifts for friends/family
  • Important Life Moments (i.e. Weddings, Anti-baby showers, Baby Showers, ect.)
  • Books for Classes
  • Health Management (i.e. Massages, medicine, Haircut/Waxes)
  • Exercise Related (i.e. Orange Theory, Rock Climbing)

What I Can’t Buy

  • Prepared Coffee/tea
  • Fast food
  • Eating out
  • Buying new clothes and shoes (See stipulation under ‘What I Can Buy’)
  • Jewelry
  • Memorabilia
  • Anything on the internet that isn’t a bill or falls under the approved list.
  • Home Goods/ Decor
  • New appliances (especially uni-taskers)
  • No subscription boxes (NONE ALICIA)

As I was thinking this over this list, I think this will end up being a living document. I know a majority of my spending comes from food. I’m not surprised that I gained weight from looking at my spending habits.

What are some things I hope to achieve?

  • Save at least 45-50% of my income into a savings account.
  • Find more effective and healthy coping mechanisms for the following feelings: anxiety, boredom, depression, and pain.
  • Pay back my parents the money they loaned me
  • Begin to pay off a good chunk of my student loans
  • Travel more throughout the year

I am starting this now. I’m going to post on my Facebook to let my friends and family know. I can at least start this list now, and this weekend I will work on the purge of items I don’t use. I feel really good about this, and I am excited to make my 30’s a very healthy and happy decade.

Navigating Needs and Choppy Spending Waves

I think we get caught up in the train of thought that we need things to put ourselves on track or treat it as self care. I need that fancy bullet journal so that I can plan properly. I should treat myself to a latte this morning… again.

I am a shopaholic. I’m not the kind of person that would have a bunch of bags under my arm or always talk about shopping. My coworker was even surprised when I admitted that I was this morning. Looking at me and how I promote minimalism, you would think I wouldn’t be living paycheck to paycheck. I am though. I have 263.00 in my savings, because I convinced myself that I could pull over 200.00+ into my checking for “emergencies” that could happen. In the past two days I spent the following:

  • Lunch at Applebees with my coworker – $15.48
  • Panera Bread, because I totally should have a tea before my site visit. Hell, I know I had breakfast, but a croissant sounds amazing right now – $5.00
  • Trim App Plus. I know the free version works well, but it says they will totally help me negotiate my bills and advise me on how to pay off debt. That’s totally worth it. – $10.00
  • Pressed Cafe for a latte. The coffee at home isn’t cutting it for caffeine, and I love lattes. – $4.91 (x2)
  • Orange Theory Unlimited. Actually worth the amount so long as I don’t cancel 8 hours or less before a class which I did today due to a self inflicted fibro flare-up with food – $159.00 and $12.00 late fee
  • TJ Maxx for a lunchbox. I mean, I need a lunch box if I am going to bring my own lunches. The plastic bags rip and the reusable bags are bulky – $6.36

That’s just a snippet. You should have seen my carts online. Needless to say, I cringed as I listed it here. I didn’t punish myself though or beat myself up; that isn’t going to fix the issue.

Why the wake-up call? It wasn’t an overnight thing. This has been a slow year of major reflection and roller coaster progress. I bullet journal and plan; I joined an exercise routine that I am in love with; and I have refined how I spend my time and with whom. I’m lucky to have found a group of people who I have come to share with to promote healthy habits through text. I also have a lot of cheerleader friends who are always looking to live their best life without being poor. It’s starting to rub off on me. Like any addiction; cold turkey isn’t healthy. For some people it works, but I believe it is a major lifestyle change that takes time and reflection.

I plan to use this blog as a way to promote discussion for best practices, lessons learned, and challenge myself to live my own best life. I plan to adult with confidence.