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.

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