I call it a shopping ban.
Inspired by the book, The Year Of Less, I’ve decided to downsize my consumption. This means no frivolous shopping, no binging on TV shows, and no going over board on unhealthy food. I’m going to cut the crap and reshape my habits. I have set guidelines to follow through this process that will help define what is intentional spending and what is not.
There are a few reasons I want to take this on. The theme is self-improvement on every level. Reforming my habits and redirecting my attention to more important things.
- I need to learn to live with myself. I need to learn that nothing is so important that I need it right now. The urgency I feel when I have a desire to consume something goes beyond a want. It’s habit, a routine I’ve formed for when I feel bad and it’s need to go.
- I’m using this shopping ban as a way to reform my habits and find new reactions to my triggers. I want to fight against my addictive personality and use this experience to take control of my time.
- The end goal is to have more financial freedom. Motivated by my family, I want to give all of us the ability to have a safety net and pull us out of debt.
I started out thinking this would be a six month shopping ban, but after discussing it with Ian, we’ve decided to pursue the shopping ban until we’ve built a small emergency fund and payed off all of our credit card debt. While we don’t have much of it, we have made it a priority to start paying off our debts starting with this.
SHOPPING BAN GUIDELINES
- Healthy groceries
- Replacements for necessities that break, wear out, or run out (including baby clothes when Oliver grows)
- Gifts (holidays/birthdays)
- Experiences (dates, trips, etc.)
- New clothes
- Home decor
- Anything else that’s not on the “can” list
So there are the guidelines. I can’t say I’m not hesitant. There is a part of me that has no idea how I’m going to spend my time once I have it. There’s no more numbing my mind, no more lazy eating, no more frivolous spending. Everything will have to be intentional which is intimidating for someone who’s lived their life acting on every whim she comes across.
I do have faith. Faith that I am capable of creating a better life for myself. I deserve more than a stream of Netflix binging and days spent in a food coma. So I have faith that I can do this because I have faith that I care enough.
So here, on 5.22.2018, I begin my ban.
Pay off Credit Card: $3850.39
Build Emergency Savings: $1000