Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Two Week Shopping Ban

Have you ever had a crazy idea? One that makes you wonder if maybe you've lost your mind, just a little bit? That's me, this morning.

I'm sure it's no surprise that I like shopping. I wouldn't say it soothes me or anything, but I do love the way my little plastic card sounds sliding through a card reader. Going out, hunting for a product, sliding my card, and taking my new possession home with me does give me a thrill. I think I read somewhere that it triggers the pleasure center of the human brain, and I believe it!

It's no wonder, though, that I enjoy shopping. Advertising is a billion dollar a year industry. Everyday I get ads thrown at me, telling me what I need to buy to be better, thinner, prettier, happier, healthier. Here's the thing - it's all lies. I don't need new clothes to be happy. I don't need a new dishwasher to be clean. I absolutely do not need multiple pairs of sneakers that match perfectly coordinated gym clothes to be healthy. We get caught up in this spend, spend, spend mindset, and before we know it, we're left with nothing left to save.

Last night, I got tired of it. Just in the last 24 hours I have scaled back my Netflix subscription, canceled my Birchbox subscription (I still have Ipsy), and redeemed my Bing reward points for a Hulu gift card. I'm all set to save around $11.00 this month, and as long as I can remember to visit Bing everyday and earn my 25 points, I should save $21 next month. Not much, but it's a start.

This morning, I sat down and found inspiration from Blonde on a Budget. She implemented a year long spending ban, using some very solid guidelines. A year is a long time, though, so I'm going to start with two weeks.

Here's the sweet and lowdown:

Things I Can Buy:

Groceries
Home stuff such as paper products and basic cleaning supplies
School supplies if necessary, but only basics
Clothing basics, but only if something breaks or tears and can't be repaired
Gifts for others
Basic cosmetics, only if something breaks or runs out

Things I Can't Buy:

Food out, including coffee and alcohol
Clothing that is not essential
Magazines and books
Movies, either digital, DVD, or theater
Fun makeup
Shoes
Household items like pillows and candles
Electronics and appliances

I pretty much borrowed the list directly from Blonde on a Budget, because it's a good list. I wish I could take credit for it, but that would take more creativity than I have at the moment. I tweaked it just a little bit to fit better into my life, and shortened the time period.

The goal is to have every dollar that I put into my spending money account left over at the end of two weeks. Will I make it? Come back and see!

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