|Not a Planned Purchase, but irresistible: this rhinestone Eiffel Tower was just $5 at a Brooklyn thrift shop!|
While my Shopping Ban for 2013 got off to a great start, I wouldn’t say it ended very successfully. I seemed to fall off the wagon in summer, did better in early fall, then had many moments of weakness at the end of the year, especially with the December release of the L’Wren Scott Collection at Banana Republic. I will not be repeating this exercise for 2014! However, I’m glad I tried a Shopping Ban last year and I did learn some valuable lessons about my own spending and shopping habits, which I thought I’d share with you.
1. A little luxury goes a long way.
I noticed if I let myself indulge in a little something it made it easier to look at online sales or things in a department store and think, Do I really need that? Is there something I already own that can take the place of buying that jacket/pair of jeans/pair of shoes/bag? And a good deal of the time I could think of something I already owned that precluded me from making a purchase.
|The polishes I bought in 2013.|
My little luxury very often turned out to be nail polishes. I bought seven of them last year. My current favorite is still Elusive by Revlon, but I’m already eyeing Essie’s Bachelorette Party (the hot pink in the center) and Lilacism as colors for late winter. The most expensive was butter LONDON’s Queen Vic, at $15. Most of the rest were $6 or under. Not bad!
|A leopard clutch I bought from Sheree of It’s Not That Deep. What a great buy: I use this all the time.|
2. The “I Want It” list does work.
The “I Want It” list, when I used it, really helped me to control my spending. If I saw something and just had to have it, on the list it went, where I thought about it for a month. Plenty of times I forgot what was on the list by time the month was over, which proved it would’ve been just an impulse buy. Of course, I will admit most of the nail polishes above were impulsive purchases, but there were times when I resisted the siren song of new colors! And sometimes buying a $5 nail polish kept me from buying something more expensive that it turns out I didn’t need.
|I couldn’t say no to this J. Crew crystal baguette necklace.|
3. Shopping bans force you to think before you buy.
The most important lesson I learned was that a ban can force you to think before you buy anything. Sometimes I’d steamroller right over my good intentions but I never forgot about the ban and that by saying yes to one item now I might have to say no to something else down the line in order to stick to my budget. Just knowing that proved to be very helpful at times when saying no was my best option.
|Even more temptation in this white blazer by Zara.|
In reviewing what I did buy in 2013, I’d say my one of my downfalls was wanting to take advantage of J. Crew in-store sales, when I could stock up on basics like T-shirts (which were Planned Purchases), but then I’d fall in love with something else, like the crystal baguette necklace above.
All in all, it was an interesting exercise and I’m glad I gave it a try. I am also glad it’s over! Who needs the guilt?
How did your 2013 goals fare by the end of the year?