If I'm being totally transparent, I failed my shopping budget. A few times. Three total. Wait, four. This is me being honest. This is not to say I'm going to stop. If anything it propels me to work harder at it. Like anything, you make a mistake, you learn from it and you move on. Apply what was learned from the mistake to future choices. In my failure, I realize I made three mistakes.
1. Looking for a reason to buy something new.
My first mistake came when I was looking for an item to wear for any holiday event I might be attending. Key words: "any" and "might". I went to approximately three events this year all of which did not warrant buying anything that a magazine would have put under their "things to buy this holiday season". My purchase didn't come in the form of a dress. I opted for an eyeshadow and eyeliner. It might not seem like a big fall off the wagon, more like a slip, what it comes down to is that I bought something I didn't need.
How to move forward: Tackling my feelings at the core and take pleasure in putting to use what I already have. I feel no different now than before this purchase.
2. Vacation temptation.
What is it about being on vacation and feeling like the rules don't apply to you if you're not in the same locale as where you first put rules into place. Every time I've travelled I've felt a certain liberty to buy stuff I usually wouldn't have if I had been at home.
I put a $100 gift card towards a pair of new shoes. I paid the balance out of my credit card amounting to USD 277. I was a sucker for a sale and succumbed to vacation temptation.
How to move forward: While on vacation, put effort into making memories instead of buying things that I have to lug home in the suitcase and pay duty on. Take pictures.
3. Putting myself into temptation.
My third mistake is when I was browsing the online consignment shop The Real Real. I was doing great by not window shopping online or going to the mall just "to look", I realize that by not doing this it removes the temptation. Three years ago I tried on this dress by Apiece Apart at a local boutique. I loved it but a little too much. Ever since it's been haunting me. The one that got away. The perfect holiday dress. Sold out everywhere.
While checking The Real Real the dress came up again and a few moments later I had plugged in my credit card number. This mistake came up because: FOMO. I put myself in temptation's path. I set myself up for failure.
How to move forward: Don't put myself in situations where I will be tempted. Easy!
4. Bonus Mistake: Putting my goal aside.
I've had the same camel coat from Topshop for about three years. It's versatile and I wear it a lot, but it's starting to show wear and the buttons are all popping off. I know I can repair it quickly no problems and it'll be good as new. I wanted to replace it for something more sophisticated and a little more "I'm 31". I didn't need it. It was kind of expensive. It's from Club Monaco. I don't want to return it. It's beautiful. I'm throwing it out there - it's made in Vietnam. I've looked for something similar that has the silhouette I'm looking for that isn't $1000. I went with this one. I have 30 days to return for full refund. There's a very small chance I'm going to return it. I have no justification for buying it other than I chose to put my shopping ban aside and spend my money. What have I learned? That sometimes I fail.
I don't mind that I made these mistakes. I'm not going to punish myself, but I'm going to be more careful going forward. Looking back at these choices that don't align with my goal, I know I want to work harder and take an alternate path. I know how I feel about it now and I know how I can change. Two steps forward, one step back. In this case it's six steps forward, three steps back.
Mistakes are not meant induce perpetual guilt. They are tiny hiccups in getting to where you want to go.
I'm sliding my shopping ban back into place and treating the rest of the month as a clean slate. I'm not going to give up on all of it just because I slipped up a few times. It's reality, and what I know is that I need to work my willpower and exercise some more restraint. Here's to moving forward.
Image Credit: Time