Monday, August 15, 2016

Two Week Shopping Ban Fail

Not only am I a terrible blogger, I'm also apparently terrible at not spending money. My two week spending ban was an absolute fail. It started with school supplies, and just spiraled from there. To be honest, I can't actually even remember what all I bought.

Here are the top three lessons I took away from this experience:

1 - If you're going to succeed at a challenge like this, you have to announce it. You have to be accountable to someone besides yourself. While I have a public space, it isn't very well circulated, and I didn't really tell any of my friends and family. That led to lunches and dinner out, a terrible lack of meal planning, and activities that weren't remotely free.

2 - You have to plan! Just like with everything else, if you want to succeed, you have to plan. The old adage is true - fail to plan, plan to fail. Once you've decided to put yourself on a spending ban, you have to plan out your meals and your activities. Grocery shop for your dry, canned, and freezable items all at once. Things like produce, greens, and some dairy items do have to be bought within a few days of use, but limiting these midweek trips also cuts down on the possibility of splurges and impulse buys. Planning out your activities is also a wise idea. Whether you plan to stay in and watch Netflix, go for some exercise at a local park, or go to the pool at your apartment complex, planning something fun and free will keep you from spending.

3 - Don't think of it as restriction. This seems contradictory, I know. It's called a spending ban. If you think of it as something you can't do, then you'll be more likely to resent it. It will feel like a chore, instead of something that you're doing to help your future self.

In spite of having failed so epically, I will try another ban in the near future, and I will prepare myself much better!

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