The eagle eyed among you will know that I decided to do another 90 day shopping ban from October to December.
There are a multitude of reasons as to why I’m doing a shopping ban again (first one was June 1-August 23), but the quick and dirty of it is that in the six weeks since my last shopping ban, it’s become apparent to me that the only way I will hit my savings goals when I want to is if I go on a ban again.
Buying things is counterintuitive to saving money. This is not a new revelation to anyone, but I seem to have lost sight of that for a time in September. In addition to going on vacation and attending a wedding, I bought shoes and clothes and a necklace and makeup. The majority of them were on sale/I used coupons and discount codes, but at the end of the day, they all represent money that was spent and not saved. I will happily claim some of those items as needs, but let’s face it: some were wants, too. I’ll use all of it, sure, and I’m happy with all of my purchases. But they’re also reasons personified as to why my savings isn’t where it could be. You’d think that lesson would’ve stuck after my first shopping ban, but I guess not.
The one thing I have gotten better at since my last shopping ban is bringing lunch to work, which I’m pretty proud of. It helps that a coworker and I indirectly challenge each other to do that. Originally, he was better than me at it and I always felt so guilty the days I forgot to bring lunch or wanted to go to the food trucks. (To give him credit, he never did anything to make me feel guilty, but the knowledge that I could be doing better with bringing my own lunch was enough to create guilt. I do know how to cook and have access to a kitchen, after all!) Now I’m bringing lunch a minimum of four days a week. Often it’s five, but occasionally I splurge with coworkers on Fridays and go out to lunch.
Wanting to spend less money on stuff and bringing lunch to work almost daily aren’t the only reasons why I’m going on a shopping ban again, though. I really need to ramp up my savings because my job, which is supposed to be a stable, dependable source of income, might not be that come mid-December. I need to become more frugal with my pennies because who knows what’ll happen then. The last thing I want is to be in a position where I have not enough savings to get me through the holidays if it comes to that!
It sort of feels like I’m setting myself up for failure to go on a 90 day shopping ban at the onset of the holiday season, as there’ll be tons of upcoming sales and gift sets and Black Friday madness. Especially since those sales get me every time, sigh. But hey, a challenge is a challenge, right? Perhaps knowing that this ban may be tougher than the first one I did will help the lessons I learn from it stick a little better. I’ve outlined my exceptions during the ban (notably Christmas gifts for my family and potentially a suit) in my bullet journal and am committed to following it. If it’s not an excepted item, it doesn’t get bought till January… if I even still want to purchase it then. Simple as that.
There are two resources I plan on using the next 90 days, and in fact have already started to use: Mindful Budgeting and You Need a Budget. More on the two to come in the next three months. In the meantime… here goes nothing (again)!