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Shopping Ban Plan

October 20, 2014

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I may have to change or add to the rules. I've never really attempted a shopping ban before. I'm not entirely sure what I'm getting myself into. Here we go!After Friday’s revelation of how much I’ve spent on clothes, shoes, etc. so far this year, I’ve done some serious thinking. I want to thank all of you for not being to harsh in the comments. Thanks for giving some constructive criticism and ideas to improve my awareness of my spending habits. All of the ideas were great! They gave me lots of things to think about implementing to help reduce my shopaholic tendencies 🙂

After reading the “rules” set by two blogger friends, Cait from Blonde on a Budget and Michelle from Budget Bloggess, and thinking extensively about my setting up my own “rules” to live by shop by, I’ve come up with this set of guidelines for my shopping ban.

Things I Can Buy

  • Life Necessities: groceries (but not junk food/unnecessary food), household goods (paper products, cleaning products, etc), personal care items/toiletries/cosmetics as needed for replacement only.
  • Pet expenses
  • Gifts for others
  • A select and specific few clothing/shoe/accessory items (strict criteria on what clothing items can be purchased TBA)

Things I Can’t Buy

  • Goods for stockpiling – I have a good size stockpile on several products already. I need to focus on using up some of these items so I can get better organized.
  • Clothing, Shoes, Accessories other than defined in the very short TBA list
  • Books, Office Supplies, Magazines, ect – I have TONS of these things already. I need to read and use what I own first.
  • New cosmetic or personal care items to “try”. I will only be buying replacements as needed for the products I already use.
  • Household Decor?? – I haven’t fully decided if this is allow yet or not. But if it is allowed, I anticipate that I won’t be purchasing much anyhow. However, candles and Scentsy-type products are definitely banned.

I think that just about sums it up as far as what is and is not allowed to be purchased.

How long will I be in this ban?

As of now, I am only planning to pan myself from buying these items until January 1st, 2015. At that time I will re-evaluate my progress and determine if the challenge needs to be extended.

What about things I really, really want?

Too bad, so sad. Other than asking my lovely family and friends to get them for me as Christmas gifts, I will not be getting these items. {Don’t worry, I’m really not that greedy. I won’t be asking for specific items as gifts. I only give suggestions if people ask me 😉 }

The goal in this challenge is to learn to stick to the basics, to trim up my budget, and to see what out of my belongings are actually being used. If not I’m constantly giving away, replacing, and bringing in new things, I believe it will be easier to see what I am actually using and what is clutter that can be gotten rid of.

During the challenge, I may have to change or add to the “rules”. I’ve never really attempted a shopping ban before, and as such I’m not entirely sure what I’m getting myself into. But irregardless, here we go!

Have you ever attempted a shopping ban? Am I overlooking anything glaringly obvious?

Have you ever tried a shopping ban? This blogger shares her plans and tips!


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30 responses to “Shopping Ban Plan

  1. Good morning Kayla,

    I must admit I was blown away by your previous post and every time I sat down to write a comment it all came out so negative and judgmental. The number that really stood out was the over $200 you spent on jewelry. I don’t mean to be rude but to me that’s money wasted. You were doing so well with your Thursday decluttering updates and then you had that garage sale where you sold even more stuff and so on and so forth. But then again you are a self-proclaimed shopaholic (or shoeaholic) so I guess I should be more understanding. You can have all the stuff you want Kayla, just not right now. Focus on those status bars on the right and then you can treat yourself later. I admire your initiative to start a shopping ban but remember in order for change to be permanent it has to be sustainable. Forwards and onwards.

    1. That is the number that shocked me too Stranded. It was eye-opening when I finalled added it all up. After just a few times of $25-30 it can become a lot. That’s why I decided I need to try an all-inclusive shopping ban, at least for a little while. I know it’s still not great, but it’s ways less than what I’ve spent on clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc in previous years. Progress is slow, but still progress.

    1. I know! Especially the holiday stuff, it’s so darn cute 🙂 I’m anticipating buying 2 pumpkins for Halloween, we’re carving them tonight, and then maybe a fresh wreath at Christmas…

        1. I’m truly a horrible crafter, but these are all cute ideas! Luckily, the wreath I purchase won’t be too expensive as a friend of mine makes and sells them.

  2. I did a shopping ban in August where I didn’t buy any clothes. It was so hard and I ended up going on a slight binge at the end. I think the important thing is to pace yourself and not deprive yourself. Good luck!

    1. Well, since I haven’t been depriving myself at all lately (as evidenced by my total in Friday’s post) I think a little deprivation may be in order. I don’t want to go crazy with a binge at the end, which is why I’m allowing replacement only, but I need to reign it in for sure!

  3. Your ban seems like a great place to start. Like you, I need firm structure, otherwise, I find a way to wiggle and get what I want. Our weaknesses are a little different (Target kills me!!), but I feel your pain!!

  4. I think it’s always a great idea to reflect back on your spending every month. Before I moved to a different state, I reevaluated my spending habits and didn’t even realize how much I was spending on shopping and restaurants.

    1. It is a great idea. I do reveal my budget and spending outcome based on my full-time job’s income, but I never really reveal how I use my “extra” income from my PT job and freelancing… Maybe I should consider this.

  5. Sounds like a good plan, Kayla! And I really do applaud you for sharing this with everyone. It’s not easy confessing our mistakes and opening ourselves up to criticism. I’m glad everyone kept it positive and wanted to help, rather than attack. A few months of no non-essential shopping will hopefully damper those shopping impulses and starting the new year with a firm budget for clothes and non-essentials will also make a huge difference. When you know exactly how much you can spend, it makes it much easier to prioritize and tell yourself “no” because you have your eyes on something you like better.

    1. That is exactly it Shannon! After a couple of no-spend (or no non-essentials), it will be easier to start the new year fresh with a new plan and hopefully new perspective. This is a journey with ups and downs. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, and that’s what’s happened here. Change is hard sometimes!

  6. Good luck with the challenge!
    If I could keep my butt out of Target we would have so much more money. My husband says that Target is my “mother ship” and that they must pump pure oxygen in the store, because I am so drawn to it.
    My problem lately is not spending money on clothes, but on organizing stuff and decor stuff. Thanks a lot Pinterest for emptying my wallet!

  7. Looks like a pretty good list to me! I’m really happy that I’ve been able to stick with my “no clothes buying in 2014” ban. I’ve found that once you get rolling, it’s actually not all that tough to stick with it. Once I laid down the law (for myself), it was kind of liberating. I don’t feel any pressure to thrift-hunt for a perfect Thanksgiving sweater or Christmas dress because I can’t!

    1. That is a good point. I think the hardest part will be avoiding shopping when I’m with friends that I usually do the majority of my shopping with… I might have to come clean about the ban so they will understand my not wanting to go shopping with them.

  8. I am the opposite — I hate shopping and my bf is begging me to buy new clothes, lol. I do think $900 is a lot to spend on clothes, but I know it could be worse. But now is not the time to compare — it’s time to take action — which sounds like that is what you are doing!

    1. Thanks Melanie! I am trying to do better. I didn’t realize I had spent so much until I sat down and added it all up! It was eye-opening.

  9. Sounds like a good idea to get more aware of your spending habits.
    So does the shopping ban include the jewlery party? or is that included in the “things i can buy” section?

    1. As mentioned in Friday’s post, I will be holind the party as agreed, and it will probably require me to spend a little bit of money on the taxes to get my “free” hostess gifts. Otherwise, I will not be spending anymore on jewelry.

  10. I fall into “slumps” where I just want to spend money. Just thinking about it, my heart rate increases, I feel more alive. There is a reason why shopping is an addiction!

    Just like with food, a total ban on something we crave is dangerous. I am new to your blog, but do you budget for “fun” things? Knowing I can buy a few fun things per month really helps.

    I buy things online instead of in stores. That might sound backward, but I make sure I don’t make it easy on myself. First, I have to purposely decide that I want a specific item. No mindless browsing. Then I force myself to zoom in on every photo of the item to really look at it and make sure it’s quality. I read all the reviews. I comparison shop between sites. I look for coupon codes. By the time I’m ready to buy, I have really made up my mind to purchase the item, and I know I’m getting as good a deal for it as possible. And since most checkout processes are 5 steps, I still have time to back out if it just isn’t feeling right.

    Same thing with eBay. I have always wanted something from the Art Nouveau period, so I decided to treat myself with my budgeted fun money. I did some research and found out that antique jewelry boxes are not rare, so you can get a nice one for not a lot of money. I looked at dozens before I decided which one I wanted. Added it to my watch list without actually bidding. Went over to Etsy and spent a ton of time there to see if they had something better. That all took a while, so I went to bed and slept on it. Next day I bid on the one I really wanted. Had to wait 6 days for the auction to end. Then another few days for it to ship. It is exciting anticipating something coming in the mail. For $25 I got the best little jewelry box, and waiting for the auction and the shipping took 10 days that I didn’t buy anything else, because I only allow myself to purchase one thing for myself at a time.

    This is long-winded, but my point is, by dragging out the process you can still have the pleasure of shopping, but do it mindfully so that you don’t impulse buy. And the items you get are so much more treasured because you have built up anticipation about holding and owning them. Again, just like food – they tell you to really savor each bite so as to avoid overeating. Funny how many similarities there are between shopping and food! 🙂

    I am looking forward to reading more of your blog. I saw it mentioned in several different places so I knew it was one I needed to check out!

    1. Hi Erin and welcome to my blog! I do have a VERY SMALL amount budgeted as “fun” money each month, but I am thinking I need to increase it a bit. The problem is that my debt payments are quite high for my income level. Until they are lowered somewhat (by me paying off a couple cards) it will be difficult to make too many adjustments to my budgeted spending.

      I don’t allow myself to shop online anymore, but I’m glad that when you do you consider each purchase carefully!

  11. Kayla, to today’s me, what you spent on clothes and jewelry seems SO much, given that you were trying to save. However, I know that I have changed over the last years and not shopping has become significantly easier. I think, though, that what made me change was not so much the budgeting and saving part (though that brought some eye opening moments and helped, too), but hard core and continuous decluttering. To see and realize how all that good money just turns into crap that clutters up your home and makes you dread cleaning made me definitely think twice about whether I should add more things to my home. An In/Out talley might be a good idea or an out-talley that you add the estimated original cost of the items to. There have been so many really stupid purchases in my life – like that cute jewelry box that I couldn’t even fill, so I always wanted to buy even more jewelry. When doing project333 (I didn’t include jewelry), I wrote down what items I wore every day and realized I put on jewelry only about every third day and then only a necklace or earrings, so jewelry boxes for dozens of rings, bracelets etc. don’t really make sense for me. It was kind of hard to give it away at the time, but mostly because I knew that the 30 or so euros I spent on that box have been ill spent and completely useless. You bet I think about if I really have use for a box or if that box creates only the want for more useless clutter before I buy one nowadays! Also, decluttering and sorting what you already have fill about the same need as shopping trips. It feels just as good to clean out a shelf of your bookcase and have it all “new and shiny” as buying another book and trying to cram it in afterwards. 😉

    1. Good tips Sanna! What I’ve spend on clothes, etc this year makes me slightly ill when I think about it, but yet it is still SIGNIFICANTLY less than what I spent in past years. So that’s something I guess. I am still trying to declutter. Much of what I’ve bought this year has been 1 in 1 out so at least I’m not gaining additional belongings, but replacements. But even then, I still need to reduce my belongings if I ever hope to realize my dream of living the simple life I’ve been dreaming about… It will be so much easier to be financially independent if I’m also clutter independent too. 🙂 Thanks for the reminders!

  12. Maybe you should ban jewelry until January? Or you have to sell something before you can add a new piece? Good luck with the challenge. Can’t wait to see how you do.

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