Money Talk

Eight Months of Less

January 23, 2018

“I find it very rude and offensive when I buy something and the money comes out of my account.”

I found the above quote on Instagram, but I couldn’t help to think back to the other day when I bought myself a Maui Browning Lotion while shopping for a friend’s birthday gift. I wasn’t even shopping for myself but, of course, I had to buy something. I wanted the lotion, as mine was taken away from TSA on a previous trip, but I didn’t need it. Miami was facing a rare cold front, and I wouldn’t be in a bikini for another few weeks. Nevertheless, I insisted.

The buyer’s remorse doesn’t hit me until I realize that the little things I’ve bought myself have made a huge impact on my budget. Like, I actually had to convince myself that I didn’t need to buy myself Christmas presents! Part of my New Year’s Resolution is to grow personally and one aspect that I would like to personally work on is the concept of minimalism, simple living, or learning to live with less. I’ve dabbled in Marie “KonMari” Kondo’s tidying methods, but I’ve recently I stubbed across the (audio)book The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. In this book, Cait describes her challenges with alcoholism and her parent’s divorce, as well as her year-long journey completing a shopping ban.

Here’s how a shopping ban works:

You begin by decluttering your home and taking inventory of your possessions. Then, you establish three list of essentials, non-essentials, and an approved shopping list. It’s important to note that a shopping ban in unique to everyone, but the hardest part is actually committing to the shopping ban.

In order to save money, lower debt, and defeat student loans, I’ve decided to accept the shopping ban challenge!

List of Essentials:

  • Toiletries (replenish only)
  • Cosmetics (replenish only)
  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Date Jar contribution (I chip in for dates too)
  • Gifts
  • Pet-related items including grooming

List of Non-Essentials

  • Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Cosmetics (for the hell of it)
  • Geekery
  • Comemierderia

Approved shopping list

  • Dress for my cousin’s wedding
  • Bridesmaid dress of my best friend Amy’s wedding
  • Bedding
  • Desk chair
  • Work supplies (temporarily)

My goal for the shopping ban is a August 2018 – just shy of 8 months and my birthday month. Nevertheless, my stretch goal is a full year! I’ll update on the progress and share any revelations and struggles along the way!

Wish me luck, mi gente!

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