Blog| Shopping Ban

I may not seem it, but I am not great at managing money. I wish I was but yeah, no, somehow I always end up scrambling to make sure everything is paid. I’ve mastered the art of living on $50 over the span of two weeks.

It’s a mystery where it all goes. No matter how much more money I make, poof. It’s all gone. One part is I have an online shopping problem. I buy things randomly. Books, clothes, dresses, art. And then it sits there, all piled up. I have dresses for every occasion which means I have dresses I rarely use. The comics are stacked up, I have books I’ve never read, and I’m slowly getting swallowed up by junk.

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This year, I’m going to fix that.

I’ve seen a few other bloggers put themselves on shopping bans every now and then, making sure they use the things they have and aren’t being wasteful. But I want to get serious about it. I did research. RESEARCH. From now until we actually move and are in Washington, I am not allowed to shop.

Hold on. There are specifics.

It’s not like I’m going without groceries and toilet paper for months at a time. There will be things I can buy, can’t buy, and specific items I am allowing because I am budgeting for them. I’m going to break it up into lists. Stuff that is allowed and pertain to my “jobs”, stuff that isn’t allowed because I know its excessive, and stuff that is approved ahead of time.

For this, I’m following the guide Cait Flanders‘s made for her year long Shopping Ban. She even wrote a book about it! This will keep it reasonable, help me address how much and what I buy so much of, and make sure I’m not wasteful.

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Here’s the breakdown:

What I’m allowed to shop for:

  • Groceries and essential kitchen supplies
  • Gas for Car
  • Replacing essential cosmetics when they run out
  • Basic toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Pet essentials
  • Gifts for others (Don’t go crazy)
  • Necessary art supplies
  • Necessary business supplies
  • Restaurants (2 times a month at most)
  • 1 Audiobook a month (Audible. No more than the 1 credit)
  • Comic Books on your pull list only

What I’m NOT allowed to shop for:

  • Non-essential cosmetics (No lipsticks or eyeshadows, LUSH)
  • Clothes you don’t need
  • Shoes (Pretty shoes, flats, etc)
  • Books, magazines, notebooks (Gotta get a library card now)
  • Toys, Funko pops, mystery boxes (Overwatch boxes are no-no)
  • Video Games
  • Household items (candles, decor, furniture, etc.)
  • Electronics and appliances

Approved Shopping List

  • 2 pair of work slacks (I’m down to one pair)
  • 1 pair of work shoes (All of mine are breeeeeaking)
  • A compost bin (On my Goals List)
  • Hair done once (So my hair doesn’t fall out)
  • Oil Change/Car Related Maintenance
  • Passport (Also on Goals List)
  • Movies/Concerts/Events (I’m not missing Infinity Wars, guys)
  • 1 Purse (My tiny purse is breaking)
  • My friends’ products they create and sell (#Supportlocal)
  • I can replace things that break, but have to get rid of them.
  • 1 Souvenir if you travel

I know you’re looking at the lists and thinking I gave myself too much leeway, it’s not that hard, or that this doesn’t look fun. The thing is: we have a lot of stuff. I buy books all the time when I have a ton I haven’t read. I have supplies for hobbies I’ve never done, half started ideas and overall a ton of junk. Yes, the art supplies and comics are really necessary but I work with those so they kinda are. And concerts, experiences, all of those aren’t physical so as long as I don’t go crazy it’s fine. I’d rather experience things than have physical items.

Shopping Ban

We’re going to purge. If it’s broken, not necessary, etc. then it goes. Sentimental stuff I’m saving in a special box or taking a picture of it and putting in a keepsake book. Clothes I don’t wear are donated. I don’t want to sit in a room and see all the stuff I’ve wasted money on, look at the things I’ve bought instead of going to travel. I hate feeling cluttered and a lot of it is that. Clutter. I want to organize and make space and use what I have.

My approved shopping list are things that I had planned on getting or need (my pants ripped last night for the third time and I’m down to 1 pair and all my boots have holes) or are experiences rather than objects. My hair needs to be redyed and cut and is frizzy AF so I’m going to get it done for the very first time. That’ll keep the color lasting for a long time, keep my hair from falling out, and keep me from compensating and buying a ton of shit because my hair looks bad.

Whatever money I would have spent, goes into savings for moving. I need to see how much money I’m wasting and put it to use.

This is going to be hard and I’ll do monthly updates. I am a compulsive shopper. When I’m irritated or bored or sad, I shop on Amazon. When I’m frustrated, I buy new clothes. We need a change, a big one. So I’m unfollowing and unsubscribing to all stores, hiding ads, and making sure there’s no temptation. This is going to be hard, but if I can do it then it’s worth it.

Could you put yourself on a shopping ban? What are things you do to make sure you don’t buy things you don’t need?

Give me your tips!

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-Sam <3

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