Goodness Gracious Guys… I am very good at over complicating things. I have rewritten this post 3 times! Third times a charm? I have made lists so detailed that no one would ever be able to read through the whole thing. How could I possibly think anyone could live with those strict and detailed rules?
This is what I have decided to do… Reading Cait’s blog got me into this so I have decided to take her list and modify it for a Shopping Ban that suits the needs of my family. Her original blog post can be found here… Cait Flander’s Shopping Ban Rules.
Using Cait’s list as a jumping off point really helped me stay on track and keep it to the basics. I was able to really think about what I use and what I buy, and why. I realized that in December I spent $74 at Sephora on mascara, cover up (which I rarely wear), perfume, and lip gloss all while my friend was waiting for me to meet her for lunch so she could give me a huge box of make up! Why did I do this? WHY!? You will see that I am no longer purchasing cosmetics with a few exceptions. In my last post I mentioned I don’t go on shopping sprees. Yet my credit card has over $3,000 racked up on it since September. My gym membership, Christmas gifts and a Pest Control visit were all used on the credit card but the majority of the charges are clothes! There were a couple trips to H&M when friends came to visit from smaller towns. I tried Stitch Fix for 3 months and always bought at least two items including; boots, jewelry, pants, shirts, a vest, and a sweater. Oh and don’t forget my late night Amazon.com adventures. I think it is safe to say I am pretty well stocked in the clothing and accessories departments as well.
Approved Shopping List:
- groceries & basic kitchen supplies (food, zip lock bags etc)
- basic cosmetics (like mascara & facial cream only after I run out)
- toiletries (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.)
- cleaning products
- gifts for others
- kid’s supplies (school, sports, camps & my kid’s other activities)
What I’m NOT allowed to shop for:
- clothes (except for my kids back to school & event clothing they may need)
- shoes (except for my kids, their feet are growing like crazy)
- books, magazines and notebooks (why will this be so hard when I have so many already!!?? I don’t know but it will be!)
- household items (again unless my son breaks his bed or something)
- electronics and appliances (With the exception of Red Dead Redemption in May. We have been waiting since last September and my family is looking forward to it)
I realize this is really bare-bones and leaves a lot of wiggle room. Then again when you have kids, you can’t just quit shopping for them. I am not prepared to learn how to make Baseball Cleats and Cups so I will have to purchase them. I’m sure there will be serious thought put into the purchase of certain items that I haven’t even thought of yet. When I get there I will post about it and really think through it here.
Looking through my spending and thinking of just how many items I wouldn’t need to purchase for a year was very eye opening. I would recommend you try it, even if you aren’t planning to try a Shopping Ban. I have many opportunities to reduce my spending and it isn’t just the going out to eat and the alcohol as I had originally thought.
The more I sit and think about all of this the more deep I can get and the more complicated I can make it. It causes my head to start spinning in circles and the whole thing stops making sense. Creating a basic outline of where I would like to cut out spending will help as a guide through everything else. While I haven’t had a chance to make any decisions about some important things like eating out, movies, and other entertainments, it is on my mind and will be discussed soon.
In my next post I will talk more about my budget and what I plan to do with the money I save from not shopping. I will address my copious amounts of gift cards. My Mom is a sweetheart and loves to surprise me and my kids with various gifts cards. Christmas just passed and we have many gift cards left over from that too. I’d also like to discuss my danger zones. (They are more closely tied then I’d like to admit.)
My danger zones in spending…
Have you ever set out on something only to discover that you’ve complicated it to the point it doesn’t make sense anymore?
(I’m not a weirdo fan girl, but her blog is what caused me to want to start doing this blog and shopping ban in the first place. She deserves to be mentioned and get credit.)