Shopping Ban Results
Month two of my year of living more intentionally has drawn to a close. So how did I do?
If you recall, my plan was to not be spend any of my discretionary money. No clothes, accessories, cosmetics, skin care, candles, books, stationary, fast food, etc. You get the idea. This is my personal plan and did not affect the rest of my family and any spending they choose to do. This also did not include money spent on experiences. The plan of my month was to bring more intention to every dollar I spent.
Well I had a few setbacks, but overall I am choosing to count the month as a success. I did make a few purchases, but they were well thought out and a good use of my money. For several months I had been on the hunt for two items of clothing that would round out my wardrobe. While out with my husband one evening, call it a mistake or serendipity, we walked into one of my favorite stores and I found both items and did make the purchase. The second purchase was a necessity that arose when my printer gave up the ghost. I was able to get a good piece of equipment that better met my needs at a reasonable price. So, while I did not meet my goal of no shopping at all, I greatly reduced my consumer spending during the month of February.
1. The best way for me not to spend money is to not go into the stores that temp me. Sounds obvious of course, but it takes planning to ensure this happens. If like me you have used 'window shopping" as entertainment, you have to change your habits, and keep your focus. I am proud to say I was able to go into Target and pick up a prescription without being sidetracked to any other areas of the store.
2. Planning for lunches while working or running around town greatly helped me when it came to the money I was spending on food or drinks. Simply taking food with me or making sure I was home at typical meal times prevented unnecessary spending. I did miss one day and chose to walk to the grocery store near work to got a healthy snack, but this a great improvement over past spending.
3. Since my intention was not to shop, I made better use of the things I had. I used stationary that was being "saved" for that unknown reason to send Valentine's greetings to friends rather than running into to pick up cards. I made a point to use up some of the skin care products that were not my favorites because I could not replace them.
While I acknowledge my plan was easier to follow since I knew I only had to go 28 days, I am still pleased with the my progress, and the cash I was able to save as a result. The other really great benefit is, with a commitment to increasing my savings. I was able to pay off a credit card debt that was hanging over me. This alone is a great success. I am considering a longer shopping ban in the future to see how effective I can be over a longer stretch of time. I will keep you posted.
Stay tuned for my intentional focus for the month of March!