Personal Challenge: No Personal Shopping

*I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since writing.  Went through a lot of life changes, so I started writing in a private journal (okay, it’s just an ongoing Google doc that has reached 28 pages since I started it in November).  That essentially took time/energy away from this.  I’ve also been working on some art projects, so my limited creative abilities had reached their max capacity.  Anyway, I have something I want to write about…

If you know me in the least, have seen my Pinterest page, or are one of my credit card companies, you know that I have no concept of what it means to live within my means.  I love to spend money.  Not carelessly (I use everything I buy!) or selfishly (I like spending money on other people!).  But it’s money that I don’t have, nonetheless.  Between rent, credit card debt that I racked up years ago, and $100K in student loans, I have about $100 per week to spend on food, activities, and things like shampoo and paper towels.  Obviously, I blow most of that in a weekend.  On top of my frivolous socializing, I have a penchant for new clothes.  And shoes.  And make-up.  And skin care products.  And nail polish.  And home goods.  The list goes on.  I don’t mean to stereotype, but in a guilty, anti-feminist way, I feel like some of this excused by the fact that I am female.  Right?  I’m not the only one that cares about shoes and shopping and product reviews in Allure magazine.  There’s an entire series of books based on being a Shopaholic!  There are even real support groups for it.  (Maybe I should join one?)  So, it’s okay, right?  Normal?  Accepted?

Five minutes of Suze Orman being on TV at a bar was enough to tell me that it’s not.  So, I am challenging myself to not purchase anything personal and unnecessary until August 12th.

Why August 12th?  Two months will be a challenge and I’m running the Spartan Sprint race on the 11th, so this will be a nice reward.  I’m also really busy looking for a new apartment, training for the Spartan, and studying for the GREs; so I should be able to divert my attention away from shopping during this time.

How do I define unnecessary?  This is a tough answer, but I can say that I don’t need any clothes, as much as I think I need a khaki pencil skirt (It’s a classic wardrobe staple!  I stained the one I have and I have to replace it!) or black espadrilles (They’re comfortable!  I can wear them to work!  I don’t have a comfortable, black sandal with a heel and it goes with everything!!) – I don’t actually need any of these.  I have a taupe pencil skirt and plenty of khaki pants and bermuda shorts.  I have white espadrilles and many black heels, some of them open toed.  This expands beyond shoes and clothes, too!  Just today I read a quote from the Great Gatsby and didn’t remember it, so I almost headed to B&N after work to buy a copy and reread it.  Mind you, I have a stack of 5 unread books along with my GRE study book to get through.  Also on my want list, things from the heavenly Container Store to organize my art supplies.

To make this challenge more fun, I’m going to try not to repeat my outfits during this time in order to rediscover the clothes I have in new and exciting ways.  Therefore I will document that here, complete with pictures (probably bad ones from my phone, but that’s the price of convenience).  I will start tomorrow and post in batches. I can repeat pieces of outfits as long as they’re in different combinations – otherwise I might not make it!  Let’s not set me up for failure.  Gym clothes and sweatpants don’t count, either.

And finally, the last money I spent on unnecessary, personal items was on June 5th from Amazon.  I bought a rolling duffel bag and new backpack for $70, along with a new set of towels for $40.  Justification: Carry-on suitcase broke months ago.  Dogs peed on my backpack at my dad’s house and I was too lazy to wash it, so I threw it away.  Current towels are almost a year old and I needed wash clothes to take off makeup instead of going through tissues.

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