I know it seems silly that I'm implementing a shopping ban at the onset of holiday season where spending is most prevalent. I also know it seems silly that someone would put a shopping ban on themselves period. Like, shopping is an issue in the first place? Aren't there bigger things to worry about? Hear me out.
I've been really into simplifying my life lately. I've learned to disconnect, I've learned to REALLY connect (with myself), and I'm learning to live with what I have. I think this season is the perfect time to take the challenge, during a time where I would feel my most tempted. I've done two months last year and it was amazing. I felt great afterwards - probably the best I've ever felt about myself - but I'd like to push myself even further to see how far I can go.
I've been reading through Cait Flanders' blog (formerly Blonde On A Budget) and I'm loving seeing her document her adventures through non-consumption. It seems easy and like time should be spent elsewhere but I think consumption (or overconsumption) is at the heart of many internal struggles. I believe a shopping ban during Christmas will also put into perspective what the season is really all about. Not gifts, Christmas trees, decorations, eggnog (sorry Vegans). It's not even really about family - it's about Jesus.
Here are my reasons for the ban.
With the anticipation of moving soon and in the time we've been living temporarily at our in-laws I've managed to acquire more stuff. Even though during our move we managed to rid ourselves of a lot of junk I've still managed to accumulate. Somehow. Even after we both looked at each other vowing to never buy anything again after a massive trip to the garbage, I have bought new things. I'm not sure if this is because the majority of our belongings are in boxes and it requires effort to go through all of it if we need to find something. Whatever the case, I'm baffled I can go from feeling total repulsion to new things back to buying new, new, new. Something's not right there.
The best thing for me right now is to stop. I've made several trips to Sephora lately (out of necessity and sometimes not really at all). I realized that I don't NEED anything. Trying to come up with an "Essentials" list of items that I'm allowed to buy during this ban and it didn't amount to much. Indicating that much of my spending has been for frivolous reasons.
I want to cure myself of the bad habit of shopping. I realize that I do it out of pure emotion. When I'm happy I treat myself, when I'm sad, stressed, or bored I treat myself. These are triggers. When I feel inadequate after being on social media a little too long I feel tempted.
To start off, my first money diaries:
Monday, November 21, 2016:
I bought a snack from London Drugs ($6.00) - I believe it was rice crackers that repulses George so much. That day I was very aware of what I was spending because tracking your purchases just puts things into perspective, you know? I picked up my shoes from the cobbler in Pacific Centre. My gorgeous pair of red patent leather Ferragamo's. The repair set me back $32.00 - essentially a new pair of shoes but I like to think that I'm caring for what I already own. I also returned a book to the library. No need to spend money on books when I have a library at my disposal.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016:
I have my coffee and breakfast at home. Always the same thing, so no need to go spending money on morning food. I went to Yokoyaya on my break for no reason except to escape the fluorescent lights of our office. While I was there I picked up a bag of earring backs since the diamond earring I wear broke. Now I can wear it again! Some oil blotting papers for my face. The packaging resembles a pack of cigarettes which is kind of funny. A tray for my office desk to hold all of my stamps and some washi tape for my bullet journal.
After work we were having guests over for pizza and had to pick up a few items from the grocery store. We spent $69.62 on toppings.
Total for the day was $78.58.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016:
A pair of beautiful pair of Seven For All Mankind coated denim that are very quickly becoming one of my sexiest pair of pants were purchased. Although here I sit in a cashmere blend white sweater and my pants are covered in fluff. Lucky for me I work in an office where packing tape is abundant and can act as a lint remover. *shopping ban commences tomorrow*
Total: $112.00 on pants at Winner's
Thursday, November 24, 2016:
Today I bought a Larabar for after my spin class. They say you have to eat right away or your body doesn't get the fuel it needs after expending so much energy. I got a Larabar and went to go watch George play basketball. He has the nicest shoes on the court and the nicest three point shot.
Friday, November 25, 2016:
I bought some movie tickets for our date night. We went to see Tom Ford's new movie, "Nocturnal Animals" at Fifth Avenue. I liked it, George didn't seem to impressed (he told me the next day that it was growing on him). We went to dinner at Anna Lena beforehand, but Georgie paid.
Saturday, November 26, 2016:
NO SPEND DAY!
I spent the entire day at home, so I spent nothing. I went and watched my niece at her ballet class and then I came home to watch movies in bed, read, write a little bit and veg the eff out.
Sunday, November 27, 2016:
Today we bought more groceries at Save-On. Probably not the best place to pick up items but that's where we've been going lately.
My grand total for the week was: $315.58.
*this was only after implementing the ban. I'm sure if there wasn't a looming voice in my head reminding me that I shouldn't be spending - my grand total would have been much more.
I want to talk about my experiences in consumption and non-consumption because I know I'm not the only one shopping mindlessly and who would like to make changes. Money is such a taboo subject - it's so public yet we express it passively on social media. It leaves a I want to talk about it.
Does anyone else feel that keeping our spending habits is harmful? Is money a taboo subject? Do you openly talk about money with your friends and family? Let me know.