Time for my monthly Year of Saving check in! Longtime readers know that in January, I set out to make 2015 my Year of Saving and set three goals for myself: no buying anything unless it’s taking the place of something; buying lunch at work a maximum of once a week; and purchasing alcohol a maximum of once a week.
There were ups and downs in the first five months of the year, and by the time June came around I realized that the three goals I had set for myself needed to be adjusted. So I decided to go on a shopping ban throughout the month of June. My only rule was no more stuff. Brunches and late night cab rides home were okay, but makeup? Shoes? Clothes? Nope, nope, and nope.
I was successful in my quest to not buy any stuff in June.
Awesome, right?! My savings account has grown, although not by as much as one would imagine as I sent some of my extra money to my dear mom. (Hi, Mom!) Still, savings account growth is good. Excellent, even. Especially since it grew by a lot more than it has in recent months (see: aforementioned too much spending).
I took notes on things that I was tempted to buy throughout the month of June, and a curious theme emerged. Sure, I was tempted by the odd foundation or lipstick, but that doesn’t surprise anyone. (Certainly not me.) No, what I was surprised by was that every time I got really excited about a new idea, or project, or whatever, I did a lot of research and wanted to impulsively buy X and Y and Z to get the ball rolling. There were a few days when I was all about upgrading my point and shoot camera, so I made note of a few of the camera models I was looking at. There were another few days when I was all about reorganizing my apartment, so I made notes of the costs for new shelving and underbed storage. (I ended up being resourceful with what I have instead.)
I’ve learned that when I can’t buy things, I actually get the upper hand in many ways. Most importantly, I give myself the gift of time. Time is such a precious commodity, so this is something I’m all about. I’ve learned that it’s crucial to give myself time when it comes to considering purchases. Since I tend to have a “go big or go home” mentality when it comes to impulse buys, giving myself time means that more often than not, I’ll wind up refraining from a purchase that was a want, not a need.
Before June began, I would have guessed that I had at least one purchase that I was set to make on July 1. But now that July 1 has come and gone, I’ve… well, bought nothing. I mean, I have a few things on my list of things I didn’t buy from June that I’m still seriously tempted to get. Like an Instax camera, some rings from anomie, and a spare battery for my digital camera. The majority of these are sitting in various online shopping carts, actually…
But you know what? I enjoyed being on a shopping ban for the month of June. So much so that I’m going to continue my shopping ban until my birthday, August 23.
I can’t decide if I’ve lost my mind or am onto something life-changing. I guess I’ll find out on my birthday.
In the meantime, I’m going to use Cait’s Mindful Budgeting program* for the month of July. I’ll talk about my experiences with it in early August. I’m really excited to dig into this program and become more mindful about how I budget!